Jett Hayes

How to choose an audience for your business.

8 tips for establishing an audience that converts

We live in a world of endless content, distractions, and stimuli. If you do not already have an established audience, by trying to market to more than one at the same time you’ll be wasting your time, money, and effort – as well as your customer’s. Unless you’re a business owner who doesn’t want leads, this list is for you.

Intro to Audiences

You’ve probably heard it before: ‘Define your target audience’; ‘Create a Niche’; ‘Market to your demographic’…. But why? Is it just another know-it-all business trope?

Well, no, it’s not. These days, there’s too much competition to be the jack of all trades, master of none – especially if your business isn’t tied to a local market.

If you spend all of your time marketing to three different audiences, you’ll have three competitors who are only focused on one of those audiences. While ⅓ of your attention, ad spend, research, and overall marketing is targeted at one of those groups, each of your competitors will be focused on one group – fully catering to them.

While you’re being pulled in multiple directions, your competitor’s streamlined funnel will rake in leads – and they’ll spend less than you to do it. All because they got specific.

Unless you want to spend more on worse marketing results, here’s 8 tips for your new business to create an audience:

Tip 1: Evaluate your Skillset & Experience

Let’s think about plumbing for a second. In a medium sized town – there’s bound to be large apartment buildings, multi-family units, commercial properties, and family homes (forgive me – I’m not a plumber, I’m sure there’s many more).

You’ve decided to run some ads to drum up new leads. While I’m sure, as an independent contractor, you’d tell me ‘Jett – anyone who wants my service is a potential customer’, I’m going to tell you otherwise.

An airport or a gigantic luxury apartment – those’ve got to be pretty nice contracts to land, all the work you could possibly need at first. But if I send you in, after we’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars and hours marketing to clients like these, and you’ve only ever serviced single homes – what’re they going to say?

Especially in the beginning – you’re going to want to stick with where you have the most knowledge and experience. We can always build to bigger contracts later – but we’ll never get back that wasted money.

Tip 2:Research your appeal

While it’s easy to want an affluent, trendy audience, conversions are king.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, certain markets have a high affinity to your product. If your largest, highest converting audience is 75 and older, why would you direct significant funds to anyone else? 

Don’t fight the tide: if it’s paying the bills, sometimes the best thing to do is make the font size bigger. 

Tip 3: Evaluate the market & competition


Sure would be easy to have no competition, right? Sure would be cheaper, marketing-wise.

As you look at your market – look at what your customers need, and if your competitors offer those services. You’ll make more, spend less, and convert leads far easier if you’re one of two providers offering a service.

At times, this can even supersede your experience: At the end of the day, if a service is much needed, and in short supply, your customers will only be asking you one thing:

“When can you start?”

Tip 4: Evaluate their budget

To donate your time, money, and energy is charity, and a lovely thing to do; but it’s not the way to a successful business – As you are planning out your services, the budget of your audience needs to be at the top of your mind. 

Most tennant’s aren’t looking to spend $1,000 painting their units; but the property owners could be. By analyzing the needs and budget of your audience, you’ll find the sweet spot of pricing your services.

This is important, as it can disqualify a potential in-market audience. 

You could have the perfect, all inclusive, top-to-bottom restaurant system – but what’s it cost you? Could you possibly price it low enough to where a small, mom-and-pop cafe can justify it, without taking a loss?

Tip 5: Research your audience

This one can be deceptively difficult – but it boils down to a simple enough question.

Where does your audience find products or services like these? While it might feel obvious for you, based on your own habits, you’ll find audiences vary wildly. Personally, I was surprised to find that 16% of Gen – Z starts their online shopping on TikTok

If you’re marketing a new service, rather than a replacement (to a competitor), this gets harder.

Are you selling to people who are in-market (like those researching starting therapy), or to customers who you’ll believe find interest, but aren’t currently looking (a new type of fishing gear).

These questions form the basis of how you’ll market to this audience, which segues perfectly:

Tip 6: Can you afford to market to this audience

Many people don’t look into this, until they’ve already committed – but it’s crucial, especially to a new business.

Have you heard of Betterhelp, Purple Mattress, HelloFresh, or Dollar Shave Club? If not, your ad blocker is military grade, man – these companies are absolutely dominating digital advertising over the past few years. Via InsiderRadio: BetterHelp increased its podcasting ad budget to 7.9 million – for a Month!

As a newer business, no matter your funding, your budget will have trouble competing with that. While you’re exploring audiences, make sure you’re aware of the lion’s den – that’s a tough bidding war to win.

Your goal, if you find yourself a competitor to an industry giant, is to avoid competition. Find where these titans are advertising, and pick another path. Your wallet will thank you.

Tip 7: Trim the fat

As a new restaurant, you can’t beat Mcdonalds in an outright bidding war for ‘Fast food Lovers’.

But, you don’t have to.

By targeting Millennial Families, in a 15 mile radius of your location, with interests aligned with your business, you’ll rank higher in relevance (to search engines) and interest (to your customers). This is the way to make sure your ad dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible.

As you are finalizing your audience, I cannot stress it enough: The smaller, the better.

And Finally: Start small

You can always expand – but with limited time, savings, or advertising budget, the best way for you to get converting leads is to focus on one audience in total.

It will feel hard to do, it will feel counterintuitive – and then you’ll get leads. And you’ll spend less than your colleagues and competitors, while converting higher.

If you’re looking to fine tune your audi ence, I’ve created a cheatsheet to help you out – and it’s free!

Download it here:

Who is this guy, anyway?

My name is Jett! I’m a marketing strategist with a passion for all things digital.

I don’t know a single business that hasn’t spent money on marketing – but I’ve worked with quite a few that spend it in the wrong places. 

If your business isn’t hitting the returns you like, I want to help. Schedule a free consultation today.

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