Your family and friends are not your customers! Yes, I said it. You are probably crying over how your brother, sister and best friend are not buying your products, requesting your services or supporting your brand. Well, you are not alone.
Let me tell you a story.
When I started writing about three years ago, I thought my elder brother would be my editor, my friend would be my proof-reader and my father would help me publish my book.
It didn’t start in tears. It almost felt like this plan I had in my head was going to work.
While I was writing the first three chapters of my book, my elder brother read and helped me edit it. A friend told me how beautiful he thought it was and how he couldn’t wait to read the entire book when I was done. I hope you can imagine how happy I was. I had just started writing and I already had my personal editor and my fan base was growing. I knew I would blow soon. If I got my blood backing me, who would be against me?
Well, I’m here to tell you that although it didn’t start in tears, it ended in tears. It began when I told my brother to read the next three chapters of my book and he replied with, ‘I don’t have time for all that.’ And my friend told me that he wasn’t ‘really a reader’.
I felt bad for the first few months.
If my family and friends did not think my art was good enough for them, then, I must not have done something right. They are the supposedly biased ones and they still couldn’t see the magic I was creating. I might as well give up.
What I did not know is that these people are not my target audience. They may be family but do they like reading poems and stories? Do they share the same interests as me?
Some of them may support you but it could either be because of the emotional connection they have with you or pity. These two factors cannot build a brand. They won’t work in the long run. These people will get tired or they will find better places to put their time and money into and you will be left dry.
If you are angry that your family members are not your biggest fans, look at this for a minute.
Imagine if there’s a small town of 50 thirty-year-old men (no women, children or aged) and Pampers markets their product (baby diapers) to them. Do you think Pampers would sell a pack? Would Pampers make a dime?
Some men may buy a pack because the owner of Pampers is their brother or cousin. Some may feel bad that Pampers couldn’t sell anything and decide to buy two packs out of sympathy. But this wouldn’t be ten per cent of what Pampers wanted to sell when they came to the town. They wouldn’t even buy if Pampers decide to come again.
That’s how you seem when you sell your service or products to people that are not your target audience.
NOW, WHAT IS A TARGET AUDIENCE?
Target audience refers to a group of people you want to reach through a medium. These people make a big part of your brand because they are your potential customers. They fit into your buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
If you craft an ideal customer out of your target audience, that is your buyer persona. You can craft it out by asking these questions:
• What age range should my customers fall into?
• Are they high, average or low-income earners?
• Are they mostly male or female?
• Are they unemployed, employed or self-employed?
• Where do they stay?
• What behaviours do they exhibit?
• What are their hobbies and interests?
All these and more will guide you discover your buyer persona. Targeting your audience will not only help your brand offer more value but it will make your brand known in a particular niche. Focusing your brand on a particular audience will help your brand grow faster and better.
You are probably saying, ‘but I’m selling shoes. Everyone wears shoes. Therefore, my target audience is everybody.’
I once said this too but it doesn’t work like that. If you are selling shoes, are you selling to children? Are you selling to office workers or teenagers or basketball players?
Target your audience so that when you are shooting your shots, it will hit the right person and not a tree.
When you do this, it will also save your relationships with your family and friends. You’ll not go through another heartbreak if your friend doesn’t follow you on Instagram or read your blog. You’ll not end your relationship with your family because they don’t buy your products.
PS: Some of my close friends and family member are not my target audience and that’s okay. Some of my close friends sell clothes and shoes. I shop for clothes and shoes once in six months and I may buy from them twice a year. But do you think these people will target me when they are planning to sell their products? If they do, their business will fall.
Now you know that you need to have a target audience, your next problem should be how you can find them. And that’s why my next post is on finding your target audience.
Come back here next week and be blessed!