Step 3: Audience

How To Find Your Perfect Audience

Creating and using persona profiles

How can I improve the engagement with my target audience?

Get to know your audience

If you want to engage your audience, it is necessary to ask yourself the questions: who is actually my target audience, and how can I best address them? A way to get to know your audience better is by doing research. For example, by interviewing several people, and afterwards, create personas with the help of the gained information.

The value of personas

A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal audience based on market research and real data about your existing audience. Personas will help you identify with your audience and better solve their problems. For content marketing purposes, your personas can help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience. When you use personas wisely, you use specific messaging for them and empathize with them as they connect with you. Your target audience will get a better experience and therefore will become more engaged.

The idea behind the persona is that when you can put a name and a background to the people reading what you write, you can meet their needs even better. It is recommended that you make three to five personas to represent your audience; this number is big enough to cover the majority of your customers, yet small enough to still carry the value of specificity.

Creating a persona

The steps towards creating a persona are:

  1. Give the persona a name
  2. Identify the job, role, company and demographics
  3. Determine the values, beliefs and passions
  4. Find the goals and challenges
  5. Create a marketing message and an elevator pitch for your persona

My experience

When I first had to think of personas for my business Floorish I didn’t know how to start. Then I realized I had actually been working on personas before, but not really strategically. I did not yet go through the whole process from interviewing to analysing.

  • For the Facebook group Theory U in Practice, which I started in 2015, I had a vision of the kind of people I wanted to attract. I shared the existence of this group on other social media where I thought I would find those people.
  • For the project ‘German for Dutch people’, I created surveys to get to know the potential students. Also for months, I had been an active member of several online ‘Dutch people in Berlin’ groups and had been organising network events for Dutch people.
  • For one of my startups ‘Unleash Leadership’, I went through all the steps, from interviewing to analysing to creating marketing messages.

After going through the whole process I saw the incredible value of creating them. I also became a lot more conscious of the way I was communicating. I realized I had been communicating mostly from my personal preferred communication style without paying much attention to the other styles. (I wrote about different personal preferred networking styles in this blog about the first step of Business Connecting).