My own target audience challenge was called out this week. Maybe saying it was ‘called out’ is too harsh, but the words “it is not clear who you work with” felt like a gut-punch. Then the waves of guilt, feeling like a fraud, hypocrisy flooded my mind. Classic imposter syndrome.
How did I get there?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been focused on learning new business development strategies – specifically a LinkedIn strategy. As part of that, I’m taking an online course. One key task is to significantly revamp your profile and have it reviewed by the coach. My review happened this week and that is when I heard Leah question whether I had clarity on my target audience.
When I thought of how many times I’ve talked about the importance of knowing your audience and speaking to them in a way they can see themselves in your messaging. I felt like a fraud. (This feeling lingered longer than I care to admit….)
Why does this matter?
There are a few reasons why my experience is important.
- I’ve been put in the shoes of my clients. This experience allows me to empathize with those I challenge and push to define their own target audience. It will remind me how it feels to be on the other side.
- Sometimes you need to hire an expert. Had I not bought this course and took it during the accelerator offer, which afforded me the opportunity to have one-on-one time with the coach, I would have left my loosely defined target audience as is. Let’s face it – it is hard to push yourself to dig deeper when you feel comfortable. And that is where I was.
- Clarity, consistency, and confidence work for me too. Truth be told, I did not have these three things mapped out for my own target audience definition – at least not in a way that could be defined as specifically as I push my clients to do for their own audiences. I need to practice what I preach.
- Solopreneur doesn’t mean you do everything alone. Krista Resnick brought this up in a webinar recently. She said the word solopreneur plants the seed that everything should be done alone – and that leads to unnecessary challenges for that individual and ultimately, their business.
- Work smarter, not harder. Without a clearly defined target audience, you must work harder to find those you serve, so as a result, you are “talking” to a significantly larger number of people than necessary. That boils down to one thing: more work. That is not efficient or effective in the long run.
Here’s my target audience
After 48 hours of sitting with this critique, I don’t feel as much like a hypocrite or a fraud. I’m still struggling with the fact I wasn’t walking the talk I talk. But I am getting better clarity; and with that, the consistency and confidence will come.
Here is the working definition: My clients started their business for a reason – one that is about the impact they make on those they serve – and recognize that profit is a byproduct of that impact. Whether they are the founder, or member of the leadership team, or an employee, everyone is driven by this purpose. The brand needs to be a reflection of the purpose. When they work with me, their transformation comes in the form of clarity of how the vision is interpreted into the brand & marketing strategies, consistently represented throughout all aspects of the business, and a confidence they are making decisions aligned with the purpose while meeting (and exceeding) the expectations of those they serve.
In honor of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this quote sums up the type of business I work with:
If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is – living not for oneself, but for one’s community.Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice
Feel free to stalk my LinkedIn profile to see how I continue to refine it. It is better than it was at the time of the review, and certainly better than it was when I started this course. It is a work in progress. And 80% is enough.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Pack Your Pipeline, Smart Gets Paid
- Nine strategies influenced by your target audience
- How well do you really know your target audience with Suz Carpenter
- Radical soul care in life and business with Krista Resnick
- Recognizing your ideal target audience
- Who’s your target audience?
- Characterizing your brand
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