You’ve Got To KNOW Your Target Before You Start: Listen Up, AARP (Part 3)

If you’ve been tuned in the last couple of weeks, we’ve covered what not to do when writing sales messages as well as how to make your prospective clients clamouring at the chance to work with you or buy your product.

(If you’ve missed the beginning – Start Here with the first post in this series.)

Today we’re going to be talking about how to find out what your audience really thinks. See, here’s the thing: when you create your sales copy, you want to use language that your audience actually uses. I wouldn’t drone on and on about “highly converting sales copy” when my audience really wants more money… right? (Even though I’m a Conversion Copywriter… I know that my audience is focused on ROI, bottom line, money-in-the-pocket needs.)

There are 4 pieces of ammo you should always have in your toolbox – and I’ll cover each of them today.

In the last blog post in this series, we talked about printing a free stock image of a person you could imagine being your target customer. Did you name that customer? Are they on your desk, where you can talk to them and write to them?

If they are, you’ve got a damn good chance at succeeding in copywriting, because you know exactly who it is you’re writing to, and that’s half the battle.

If you couldn’t print a picture of your target customer, is it because you don’t know them well enough? For many of us just starting out, it’s difficult to come up with even an idea of a person, much less a well-filled-out profile and picture. If that’s where you’re standing, don’t worry. These tools will help get you on the right path.

First, we’ll start off with your product or service. What is it? Who do you imagine using it? At the highest level, when I write, I imagine a speaker, or an author, or a coach using my words to build their communities and sell their products & services. Who do you imagine using your service?

This is the top of our inverted triangle. Just a basic idea, still fuzzy, of someone we’d like to work with.

If you’re not even sure about the demographic information of your audience, but you do have a website up and running, you’re in luck. There’s a tool to help you out. 🙂

Toolbox Ammo #1: Google Analytics

If you visit the audience tab in Google Analytics, it will tell you demographic information about the visitors to your site, which can help you form the basic idea you’re looking for. You can see information like sex, age, marital status, etc, which gives you a broad picture of your target audience, or at least the audience you have now.

The really cool thing about Google Analytics, though, is that it also tells you a bit about what your audience likes (they call this “affinities”) and what your audience purchases online. Knowing these things can give you a better idea of who your audience is as a whole person, not just as a person whose sole existence is to buy what you’re offering.

Next, think about what they LOVE about your product or service. Do they love the online community you provide? Do they love the life-changing advice you give?

Just pick what they like first.

Then, dig deeper. Why do they love this? What hole is it filling? What little extra (or a lot extra) do your services/products give your customer that helps them get through life more easily and more happily?

What is the why behind your customers loving your products and services? Be specific when describing this, and use names if you can.

Debbie loves my books because they show her connection to others. They let her know that she’s not alone in her feelings and ambitions and sorrows.

John loves my podcasts because they inspire him to be more mindful in everyday life.

Grace loves being my coaching client because I help her achieve a positive mindset that has contributed to amazing growth in her career.

Knowing why your customer loves your products and services is important because only knowing what they love isn’t even half the picture. Knowing why they love it helps you to achieve insight into your customer’s mind, and start to see the gaps you help to fill in their lives.

You can take this information to help you determine keywords. These keywords are the terms your prospective customer would use to search online when trying to solve their problem.

Debbie might search “community.” John could be looking for “mindfulness tips.” Grace could search something longer – “how to take my career to the next level.”

Your prospective customers are going to use a variety of search terms to research their problem and find solutions, so brainstorm and think of as many keywords that would apply to your customers as possible.

Toolbox Ammo #2: Google Insights for Search

This tool is diverse. It can show you demographic and geographic information for search terms instead of information about people who are already on your site, which can be really helpful. This helps us to see who you could be targeting based on the needs you fill. But the best use you’ll get out of this tool is looking at its section on related terms, which can help you to see terms that are related but not as popular. This is helpful in knowing which terms you want to focus on in your website copy to attract the customers who need your products and services.

Toolbox Ammo #3: Reddit

If you don’t know much about Reddit, you might not expect it to be here. After all, it’s just another social media site, right? Nope. Reddit is hands down one of the best tools for finding out what consumers are talking about – the good, the bad, and especially the ugly. On subreddits, which are more specific threads, you can find out exactly what advice is being given, what books are commonly recommended, and some of the chief complaints about products and services that are currently available. This is researcher’s gold.

Toolbox Ammo #4: Social Media Threads

This is actually my first stop when I’m researching for a client. If my client has an active Facebook page, FB group, twitter, LinkedIn… these are all places to data mine to see what your customers are talking about and get a sense of the language they use.

You can use comments on blog posts (yours or other people’s) for the same information. Groups where your ideal customer hangs out or anywhere they’re talking about their problems are a great place for information for you!

No single tool is going to give you all the information you need to make a complete buyer’s profile. By using these tools combined with surveys, brainstorming, and talking to current customers, though, you can find out a whole lot about prospective clients who need your services.