It's absolutely huge that you know exactly who your ideal target listener is. It is so important and it's so easy to bypass, but this is a crucial foundation. You not only get to identify who you like to serve, but also who would best benefit from what you have to offer. And then you can start talking to the people that are actually going to invest in you, whether that's their time or their money. And converting those into subscribers or sales, depending on your goals, your business, or your brand.
So we're going to talk about defining your ideal target audience today. My intention for the time you finish this episode is that if you have a brand or a business or you're thinking about launching a podcast, you will understand that this is just a step and a process that you cannot skip over. It is foundational to everything that you will do going forward.
The number one thing I want to talk about today is this huge mistake that people make when creating any of their content, but especially long form content like podcasting. You end up wasting a lot of time and a lot of money, because your podcast doesn't land for anyone. And when you make this mistake, you sabotage your marketing. Your marketing becomes so much less effective from the inside out, because you're not laying any foundational work on who this podcast is for, and the things that those people are looking for on the internet. You'll have to work 10 times harder to grow your podcast if you don't start thinking about your ideal target listener. So let's just get right into it then.
Your ideal listener or your target audience, that's how a lot of people describe it. But I take it a step further, I call this your ideal target listener. Because at the end of the day, your ideal target listener is your choice and you get to decide. That's a really important thing to take away.
To hone in on your target audience feels like generalizing a group of people that would benefit from listening to this podcast. But in reality, what I want you to consider is the specifics of your ideal target listener. Don’t just say ‘my ideal target audience is anywhere from 24 to 35’. That's easy to say, but why did we choose that? I don't think a lot of people cover why. You essentially get the opportunity to create a community of all of your favourite people when you do this work.
How do I know this? Because you're here. No matter who's listening to this, I can give you a pep talk because you are my ideal target audience. And that makes putting this podcast together super fun. It helps us to build a relationship, which are the key foundations when people want to invest in you long term or in the future, whether that's in your business or on your show. So whether that's their time or money, you have to build a relationship where they know, like and trust you to get them to subscribe or buy. You don't even have to ask them to do it as long as you are building a consistent relationship, they know who you are, they like who you are, and they trust who you are. And that's why I think it's absolutely critical.
You have to identify what you uniquely bring to the table, and why you are uniquely qualified to talk about the things that you want to talk about. You don’t need a college degree or certification for this, you’re also qualified to do it if you went through something. A huge cornerstone is the value that you give.
Inside my podcasting course and my coaching, it always comes up around the fear of giving it all away. So let me just squash that right here right now, because there is always going to be more to give and there will always be more to learn. We live in a society today where we are being sold to. And we are so consumer heavy that we can sniff out bullshit from a mile away. And you do not ever want anyone to think that they are being sold to, because that's the moment that you lose trust. And that is hard to get back.
My best advice here is to rewrite that story in your brain that you can never give it all away. Because if you give it all away, then you need to do more work to learn more things. We live in a world that is ever evolving and you have your unique perspective, but there's always more things to learn and therefore always more things to give.
Who do I already gravitate towards? And what do I like about people like that? These are key questions in figuring out who is ideal for you to target. Another question is what is the biggest problem that you solve for people? Or who should people refer to you? And why is that important?
Asking these questions is not just about the answer, but it's about the personality or the profile around the answer. Are they a dog person? Are they a cat person? Why does it matter? We could generalize and we can profile here, but the point is to get really specific on what are the types of people that generally like cats? Who are the types of people that generally like dogs? Why is that important? Because I want people when they listen to the show, to understand when my dog starts barking in the background and be like ‘Oh, I'm a dog person, I totally get that’. Now the listener can relate to it.
It's just coming back to the reasoning why that would be important to you. It's important that you think about who you like to work with. Because if you don't, then you might get stuck with people who wish they were ready to do the work, or to learn, but aren't quite there yet. And you really want the people who are ready to do the work.
If your audience consists of the people that are right for you, you don’t have to wonder if you've delivered enough value, or if you feel like you don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, or you don't want to offend someone. Or if you're creating content that will actually convert to subscribes or sales, you'll just know. You won't have to question it.
I know that when I show up, I'm talking directly to the people that are ready to grow. And so I don't even question it anymore. Because I've gotten so clear on who that is, and I know that that person exists. Having that confidence to show up and be who you are, deliver content as you are, how you are, is so freeing. The more often you can step into that and come alive, the right people will be magnetized towards you. You won't have to ask people to subscribe. You won't have to ask people for the sale. They'll be like, full fuck yes, all the way in. That's why knowing who you serve is so important, because it helps you get really clear on how you get to show up and who you like to serve. And then those people will come forward.
Other helpful questions to consider are: what qualities do they have? Would you rather work with someone who is kind and optimistic or a little brutal and cynical? Ideally, you're creating content for the kind of person you want to have a conversation with. Or if you're a business owner, the kind of person that you'd like to work with. So choose and get specific.
Another question that I think is really common to get to know your ideal target audience is: what level of education do they have? It's not about just the straightforward answer to the question as much as it's the profile or personality behind the person you're describing. I want someone who's invested in some kind of learning, because it demonstrates that they've started and finished something that they've committed to. Even on days that it wasn't easy or fun. That is the kind of person that I want to work with. If we invested in something after high school, whether it's a course or an after school programme, an internship, an apprenticeship, whatever, that was somebody dedicated themselves and committed themselves to starting and finishing something that wasn't easy or fun. They've done it, and I respect that. That's a person who understands the grind and who understands the commitment.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Kelly Whitman on She’s Hungry about personal branding. The message she shared is relevant here too. Don't get so caught up in if the answers are right or if the answers are perfect, because the only way that you get to know is if you start from an informed place. Then you begin creating from that place, and seeing what sticks. Everything is about creation and data, creation and data, creation and data. So create, and then see what works. And if it converts, but you're like ‘wow, these people suck’, try again.
We should not be spending any amount of our time doing things or working with people that don't light us up and lead us on fire. Money isn't everything, happiness should come first. If you wake up every day and say ‘I really like my life’, or ‘I am proud of who I am’, then that's the goal at the end of the day. I know that's easier said than done, but if you are my ideal target listener and you are listening to this, then you know exactly that that's possible for you. And that you know how to stay hungry.