How do I Find my Audience? (The Questions Series)
Updated: Jan 2
In light of the super amazingness of the social media workshops facilitated by Vernon Economic Development Association and Bad Axe Enterprises, I want to spend a few blog posts exploring the top five questions posed by business owners. This week it's a big one: how do you find your audience?
SO. You are on board with this whole social media for small business thing. Now what? Where them peeps at? Where my peeps? How do I find potential clients/customers/audiences?
The best place to start is to flip your perspective and ask yourself, “who is my ideal client”? What is their age? Does gender matter? Location? Hobbies? Career? I created a free printable guide that helps answer these questions. Check it out!
Be as precise as you can when designing your potential audience, but don't go so far as to peg your people into a very small pigeon hole. I aim for a ten year age range, a gender, three potential locations or regions, and up to five other hobbies. I also like to note some possible lifestyle options (Kids? House? Job?), but these are less crucial in early stages.
Once you work through defining your audience the fun part starts: stalking!
I mean searching!
Here are the steps I generally take when seeking out new audience members for a business:
Location based searches: on most social platforms, you can perform location based searches. Find out who is tagging posts with the area you think your audience will be in. The location your audience is located in might be different than where your business is physically located! As an example, I'm located in rural Driftless Wisconsin, but I often search for an audience in more metro areas. Scroll through posts tagged in the desired location and see if any reflect traits of your ideal customer. Comment, follow, like, or message those users as appropriate.
Search relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter: if you know the sorts of hashtags your ideal customers use, search those tags regularly and see who is using them. Follow, comment, and like posts that reflect similar interests. A key point to remember: look for hashtags of shared interests, not just industry specific tags. If you are a photographer specializing in pet portraits, look for tags related to pet lovers, not just photography tags. Your client is more likely to be following or posting to #adoptdontshop or #ilikebigmutts as opposed to #wisconsinphotographer or #picturetaker.
Figure out who is talking about you: see if anyone had tagged your business! Sometimes those notifications sneak away. If you have a branded hashtag, make sure you follow it and check in to see customer posts frequently! Remember to search common misspellings of your business name as well.
The first step is where I most often in my own personal experience see the biggest impact. Looking at who is posting in your area or an area where you want to conduct business often results in finding your ideal clients. They've been lurking in your backyard the whole time!
The big take away here: Building an audience from a location-first perspective is time consuming, but often yields positive results. Even if you sell online or have a service that might not be location specific, getting a core group of followers from your local area can become a positive word of mouth machine for your business.
What has worked for you when developing an audience online? Comment below!
Stay Bad Axe,