One of the most difficult things for entrepreneurs who are at the very beginning of starting their business is trying to find, and build, an audience.
In the beginning, when your email list is barren or completely non-existent, and you're watching videos of people who have list of over 10,000, you may start wondering if you have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.
You don't even know how to get the first 100 people on your email list so the thought of getting 10,000 seems pretty impossible.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
No matter what platform you want to focus on, there are ways to get people interested in you as a person as well as the products and services you want to sell.
Here are five ways to find your audience and ultimately turn them into raving fans...and even friends.
Finding Your Audience
The very first step is finding your audience.
In order to do this you need to figure out where your ideal person would hang out.
If your perfect client is a 36 year old Stay-at-Home mom who lives in the suburbs of Chicago and loves watching Days of Our Lives you're probably not going to find them hanging out in a Dodgers forum on Reddit.
You may however find them in a Facebook group dedicated to people who love soap operas, stay at home mom support groups, or forums dedicated to homeschooling in Chicago.
Sit down for a few minutes and think about your absolutely perfect client. One who would love working with you so much they'd want to refer you to all of their friends, family members, and complete strangers who happen to be within earshot.
Then, sit down and think long and hard about who they are as a person.
Get down to the finest detail - this is called creating a client avatar.
Is it a man or woman? How old are they?
Where do they live? How many kids do they have?
What’s their favorite movie, music, and tv show? What’s their favorite color?
Why do they need your product or service? What are the problems they're dealing with right now because they don’t HAVE your product or service?
How would it make them feel if they had your product or service and it resolved their issue?
You need to dig deep.
One of the reasons you do this is so you can narrow down where they might be hanging out.
That way, you can actually communicate with them and get even MORE information to help you win them over to your side.
How many times have you had people trying to sell you something you didn’t want?
How did that make you feel?
I don't know about you, but most of us don’t like or trust people trying to shove things we're not remotely interested in down our throat.
Do your homework, because there's absolutely no point wasting your time (or theirs) by running around trying to get people excited about your product in a place where nobody actually gives a crap.
The ideology of throwing pasta at a wall and seeing what sticks is not a good idea for growing your business.
It’s actually the exact opposite.
You need to create a plan of attack. And in order to create that plan, you need to ensure you have data to base your decisions on.
Inspire Trust and Get Visible
Once you determine where your ideal clients are hanging out and you’ve joined these places (forums, groups, etc) entrepreneurs often make the mistake of immediately trying to pitch their products and services.
"Hi, I'm Sarah! If you're looking for Social Media Marketing advice, you can set up a free strategy call with me by clicking here..."
This is a horrible idea.
Let me repeat: This is a horrible idea!!
They don't even know who you are...
They don’t know, like, or trust you; and these three things are IMPERATIVE if you want people to purchase anything from you now, or in the future.
No one wants to just hand their money over to some random strangers on the internet in hopes they MIGHT receive a product that MIGHT solve their problem.
You need to create value and be of service.
If you're hanging out in a Facebook group give tips and tricks, answer questions, show people that you're an authority WITHOUT asking them for anything in return.
Before anyone is going to invest in you, you need to prove your worth and show them you’re someone they can listen to...someone they can TRUST.
In order to do that, you need to give, give, give.
Never be afraid of giving your best stuff away for free. No one’s going to recreate your product or services from bits and bobs of information you’re throwing out there sporadically.
The more questions you answer, the more advice you give, the more people see you delivering day after day...The more they will invest in you.
A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% free content to 20% paid.
That means for every 5 posts you send - 4 should be you providing value and only 1 of those should be you asking for something in return.
Speak with your ideal clients
After you've shown up again and again and proven your value it’s time to actually SPEAK with your ideal clients without the intention of selling them anything.
Your objective is to give more than you get. This will always get you much further along in any situation in life.
Reach out to people directly. Tell them you are creating a new product and want to speak with people to see what they need.
No obligation, sales tactics, just PURE information.
You want to ask them questions that get deep into their head so you can understand the fears, pain, and desires of your clients.
You can do this by just flat-out asking questions in Facebook groups or on Twitter.
Do polls in certain places like on your Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Instagram, or Youtube videos.
Get inside your ideal client's head!
Don't just ask generic questions either. You REALLY need to know what drives them.
You want to see what their problems are (usually called pain points) because once these problems become big enough THAT'S when someone will pay you to help solve them.
If you can discover the solution that tips them over the edge (and cause them to dip into their pocketbook) you’ll have discovered the holy grail; and if you can successfully give them solutions again and again they'll become raving fans.
Turning their words into a powerful marketing tool
One of the really great things about surveys and communicating directly with your clients is they’ll basically give you the exact words you need to use in order to persuade them you can provide a solution to their problem.
Just think about what causes you go buy things...
Some product or service fills a great need you have, and you trust that they can deliver on their implicit promise to solve that need.
They got into your head and made you think they were a good solution.
When they actually provide that solution you go telling everyone how great it was and how happy you are now that your problem's been solved.
If you can get enough people to tell you their problems, feelings, and desires then you can replicate that wording and attract similar people to you.
This increases their satisfaction rate, because it significantly increases your chances of success when you're attracting similar people with similar issues to you and your products.
You can narrow your wording down more and more with each success.
Tailoring it to get as granular and specific as necessary to only attract people who are ideally suited to be satisfied with what you have to offer.
The problem for most new entrepreneurs is that they approach things from a non-objective place.
Thinking about THEIR needs and what THEY think their product will do.
That’s not fair, because, unless we are our ideal clients we’re really not inside their head.
There are things we take for granted and assume other people already know because we’re too close to it all.
We tend to look at things from the perspective of someone trying to SELL a product or service…
But our client’s look at things from the perspective of someone who actually NEEDS a product or service.