You’ve thought of the perfect business plan. You set up social media pages, reached out to friends and family to spread the word, and maybe you’ve even created a website. But now what? If you don’t properly market your business and build a solid brand, no one will know who you are, what you do, and how your business will help them. Creating a marketing plan will help you gain intrigued, passionate followers, gain clients, and grow your business. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, we will teach you the necessary steps, tricks, and tips on how to Build Your Brand.
Defining Your Audience
Given the state of the economy, no one can afford to target every audience. As a personal trainer and small business owner, you’ll want to narrow down your audience so you can grow your business to the best of your ability. Without know who your audience is, building your brand can be challenging.
But how can you do that?
Clearly defining your audience will make all the difference when you are creating content. Blogs, training material, and even the wording on your social media accounts needs to be directed towards your target audience.
If you don’t know who you are writing for, how will you write it?
Your target audience is the market for which you are writing. This is the group of people that are going to be looking for your services or your information about health, nutrition, and fitness. Narrowing down this group of people will allow you to create smart and effective marketing material.
Targeting a specific group of people does not mean you are excluding people who do not fit within your qualifications. It simply means that your efforts and marketing budget will be focused on the people who are in your market.
What determines if what you are writing or creating is hitting your target market?
How to Determine Your Target Audience
Often times, you will be segmenting your audience by age, location, demographics, and learning their similarities and differences. This is helpful to know in order to target certain aspects of your audience’s attention. Learn what appeals to them to adapt your content and marketing efforts to match their interests.
Here are a few ways to segment and narrow down your target audience:
Focus Your Energy
Before you can understand your audience, you need to determine who your audience really is. The biggest thing to remember is that you can’t be everything to everyone. That will hinder your marketing efforts and hurt you more than help you. If you think that by having a broad audience will help you grow your business, you’re sadly mistaken.
Businesses that don’t have a focus, or niche, end up working harder than necessary to market their brand to everyone. Narrowing down your audience will exponentially benefit you in the long run. Remember, smaller is bigger.
For example, what if Under Armour didn’t focus on athletic wear and they marketed attire for anyone and everyone? Their brand wouldn’t be associated with sports, or have wildly famous athletes like Missy Copeland as their spokespeople. Instead, they’ve made it their goal to be the frontrunner of athletic wear and to empower athletes everywhere.
That also goes for a brand like Express Clothing. Express targets their attire towards young, stylish professionals that live in urban areas. Their clothing is created for any event from a first interview to a night out on the town. But without that niche, they’d be generic. They wouldn’t stand out. There wouldn’t that individuality and uniqueness to their product.
Your niche should be built off of your interests and your own story. If you aren’t interested in what you are providing your customers, then you have chosen the wrong field. Your passion, you level of interest, and your approach to marketing will be reflected in the niche you choose.
Once you have narrowed your sights into a certain niche of your field, start to learn about your audience as a whole, and what they may be looking for. Ultimately, you want your product or service to be a solution to an overarching problem.
Analyze your product or service and then create a list of all the problems it could resolve.
For instance, if you have an online personal training business, let’s make a list of everything this could solve:
- Travel time to and from the gym
- Stay-at-home moms that don’t have time to go work out
- People who are too self-conscious to go to a gym
- People with disabilities who may not be able to get to and from a gym
Right there, you have a solid list of people that would greatly benefit from your services. Understand what this could solve long term and short term – the problems you revolve won’t be the same for everyone inside your niche.
You want to be exactly what your audience is looking for.
Be the solution to your audience’s problems or be the answer to their wants and desires. That is how you should market your product. Learning and understanding what your audience wants and needs will help you shape a brand that your audience will flock towards.
Go for Gold
Big name brands are recognizable because they are constantly reworking their marketing strategy to out-brand their competitors. This doesn’t mean you should copy a competitor’s strategy, but you need to know what other competition is out there.
You can learn a lot from your competitors – learn about their products, their services, their company platform, how they utilize social media… everything! Knowing this information will not only help you in your marketing efforts, but it will help you learn more about your brand.
What makes you unique? Why should customers use your product or service over one of your competitors? What sets you apart from the rest of your field?
Once you can answer these questions, you’re on the way to building a brand that you can market. You’ll want to highlight these differences and unique qualities when you are writing content and creating marketing campaigns for your own business.
Use those qualities to your benefit. See them as your path to greatness. Those qualities will be what you can use to position yourself as the leader in your niche. Go big or go home. Brand yourself as the top in your field. And use what you learn from your competitors to reach the top.
Building a Consumer Persona
Now that you have narrowed down who your target audience is, you will need to create a consumer persona.
When you write your marketing material, blogs, and social media posts, you will find they are more effective if you write with one person in mind. This one person is the ultimate client or consumer. They fit into every aspect of your target persona.
This method of using a persona will ensure you are writing information that your target audience wants to read. Without this persona, you may be writing content and sharing information that your audience is not interested in or won’t care about reading. The best way to build your brand is by proving yourself as a useful resource that offers relevant content.
Let’s use a few examples of target audiences and explain how you may write content towards these people:
- Single woman in her late twenties renting an apartment in Washington, DC making $60,000 a year
- Single male in his thirties renting an apartment in LA making over $100,000 a year
- A married woman with 3 kids in Texas that is a stay-at-home mom living on a combined income of under $50,000
- A divorced man in his forties living on Lake Michigan with a net worth of a few million dollars.
All of those audiences are very different and would require a very different writing style. These minimal details give enough of a picture into the lives of your market audience that you can begin to form a more complete picture of your consumer persona. The variables would allow you to dig a little deeper into your market’s desires, needs, and motivations. Use these details as a solid foundation on which to build your ultimate consumer persona.
Write content that your consumer will want to share on their social networks.
Expand your network, provide useful, relevant content, and write with one person in mind. This is the best way to ensure you are reaching the correct people in your market and that your marketing efforts are being focused.
Next week, we’ll take you through the steps you need to take to create your tone of voice and how to market your brand. Stay tuned.