Who’s Your Audience?

by Trish

It sounds so simplistic, doesn’t it?

But positioning is all about audience.

For instance, my audience is authors, writers, journalists, bloggers, novelists, techheads, business owners.

But this audience includes several sub-audience, or niches.

Becoming a niche blogger, niche author, or niche writer is particularly helpful to finding lucrative gigs and reaching the linchpin people that need to know about you in order for you to gain access to their audience.

Otherwise known as specialization for journalists/authors and market for techheads/business owners, positioning is familiar to bloggers and writers. In fact, you may be rolling your eyes at me right now. More marketing, Trish! Can’t you just get on with it?

I can’t. First things first. If we all don’t learn to position ourselves strongly in the midst of others who are selling essentially the same exact thing (listen up, authors!), we won’t get anywhere. It’s like a flashing billboard in Times Square that everyone ignores or a 30-second commercial that’s beautifully artistic but that no one can understand or the full-page book advertisement that doesn’t result in any sales.

It happens all the time in advertising. But we’re so lucky. We get to look at the mistakes of the past (and the mistakes of the present and future) and see immediately that we don’t have to do that ourselves.

1. Your audience may include several niches or sub-audiences. Can you pick out three different viewpoints in what you think your current audience believes? For me, I know that authors/journalists come to the book publishing industry differently than techheads/bloggers, who also vary from kids’ book authors significantly. Those three areas are my niches.

2. How can you test these viewpoints? What are people in your audience (doesn’t matter which niche) saying about it? Can you place them into niches by what they are saying? Does it match what you think you know? Remember that surveys are what a market thinks it wants most of the time; sometimes, it rings true as to what they need, but often, surveys may send you in the wrong direction. But it doesn’t mean to not survey. Better idea: offer some free consulting. Give away a couple of hours of consulting (especially you business owners/consultants/techheads/bloggers) and see what happens.

3. Who’s buying what? If you’re a novelist and your audience is all buy, buy, buy with your last few books, you can be pretty sure they are interested in what you are writing about. You can quanitfy those results as a test. So then what would a novel-buying audience most like to hear from their favorite author? What kind of questions are you getting in book clubs or from fans? Could you pull together a top 25 questions FAQ and use that to reward your loyal tribe?

Next up, we’ll dig deeper into a kid’s book author-focused discussion about finding your audience on social media. (As you can tell, it’s hard for me to balance all three niches in one post, just because everyone will find their audience in a different way.) Don’t worry, techheads and bloggers and authors and journalists. Your audience-finding specific posts are coming up next week!

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