As consumers we don’t have time to be dealing with the ‘generic’; we only want to deal with brands that ‘get’ us and our specific needs. For that reason, defining your target market or niche is the single most important business decision you can make as an entrepreneur.
Without clarifying who you wish to serve, and getting really specific about who they are and what they do, you may as well be promoting your products and services to a brick wall!
But, deciding on your audience is only half the battle. Next, you need to find out how and where to connect with them.
Let’s take a look at 5 lesser-known places that make an ideal hunting ground for your ideal client:
Facebook Ads & Groups
While Facebook Pages are fast losing their appeal for many business owners (typical organic reach is currently just 2-4%), Facebook Ads are the go-to advertising option for small business owners.
Affordability is one hugely attractive factor, but perhaps even more important is the incredible targeting ability of Facebook’s advertising algorithms. It’s possible to target users by age, sex, location (down to town and ZIPCODE), interests (including other Facebook pages), digital activities, type of device, and Facebook spending behaviours.
Facebook Ads work best for promoting free content, opt-ins, webinars, and anything else of value that will tempt your target audience to engage with your ad post from within their timeline.
For no-cost target market engagement on Facebook, Groups are another great choice. You can either join existing relevant communities to connect with their members or create your own group which directly appeals to your ideal customer and their needs.
Niche Blogs & Magazines
Reaching out to existing communities through guest posting is my personal favourite when it comes to connecting with your target market. Not only do you benefit from the opportunity to show your value, you are also rewarded with free promotion via your chosen publication’s social media connections and search rankings. This is perhaps the most time consuming way to connect with your audience, but an important longterm investment.
Connecting with and promoting to your target market on Twitter can seem like a truly tireless task; it’s hard to make a dint when your Twitter timeline is updating every few seconds!
Twitter Chats are a brilliant way to encourage conversation around a topic that is relevant to your audience and help entice in relevant Tweeters that you can then follow and engage with further at a later date.
Never heard of a Twitter chat? These simple Twitter events can be hosted by any Twitter user using a #hashtag of your choice. Pick a time and date, promote the discussion (as well as on your other social media platforms, newsletter etc) and monitor your #hashtag to read and reply to those who take part. Use a Twitter management deck like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to keep up on the conversations with ease.
For examples of Twitter chats in action, head to this list.
Though designed for organising offline meetings, MeetUp is a brilliant tool for connecting with your ideal customer online. Browse the existing MeetUp topics to find collectives that fit your product and service offering (here you can introduce yourself or privately message members that you’d like to talk) or create you own MeetUp that will encourage your target market to join.
MeetUp is particularly great for connecting with your target audience in the locality.
Another more unusual choice for connecting for business purposes. Quora is a forum & social network for asking questions on any topic – and getting answers from experts and amateurs alike.
Connect with your target audience by demonstrating your expertise in the form of answers, and link back to relevant blog content or information that will provide further value (not just promote).
On Quora you are able to search for specific topics in your niche. So it’s a great place to find out what sort of problems and needs your target market has which you can create offerings to resolve.
Which of these online resources do you currently use to connect with your target market?