How to Find Your Perfect Online Audience {Letter #10}

the audience

This is the tenth letter in a series on Professional Content Marketing.

Are we supposed to find our audience or is our audience supposed to find us?

In pursuit of the perfect online audience my mind tends to travel two different paths: that of the artist and of the marketer.

The Artist would tell you to always be true to yourself. Be unique, do what you love, say what you want, the way you want to say it…

…and the audience that relates to your content, ideas and style will spread your message.

The Marketer would tell you to tailor your message to the specific audience you wish to attract. Do market research, keyword research and A/B testing…

…and your calculated message will attract the audience searching for solutions to the problem your message solves.

Both sound good, neither attract the perfect online audience.

The artist’s audience wants to experience your message. They want to soak it in and make it a new piece of who they are. The artist’s audience feels fulfilled sharing your message with friends, as sharing your art implies their own creativity and genius.

The marketer’s audience is interested in the cold, hard solution… they derive value from the quality of product their consuming. The relationship is a transaction and if quality diminishes they’re moving on.

True Believers vs Consumers

To find our perfect audience we must capture the Consumers who are also True Believers. 

The Perfect Online Audience

Here’s the problem with finding your perfect online audience… It’s going to take work and a crystal clear understanding of what YOU want.

We must create an accurate, engaging, concise value statement and then shake out everyone who doesn’t fit.

What about all the people who sign up for you email list that will never buy from you…

…those people are The Artist’s audience.

What about those people who buy from you, don’t subscribe to your email list and refuse to connect with you on social media…

…these people are The Marketer’s audience.

Your perfect online audience doesn’t have to be your entire audience, but they should be the only portion of your audience that you strive to fulfill with every piece of content, every product, every action to you take online.

In an effort to make finding your perfect online audience manageable…

Here’s a 5 step process for finding your perfect online audience:

1) Define exactly who you help

This should be one to three sentences (shorter the better) outlining NOT who you are or who you want to help,  but who you do help.

2) Search out your perfect audience

Where do the people or businesses you help hangout? Go there… Be present… Be useful… and DON’T sell.

3) Listen to what your perfect online audience wants

What your audience wants isn’t always what they need, but if you don’t give them what they want first, you’ll never have the opportunity to show them what they need.

4) Address your perfect online audience with specific lead capture pages {filter #1}

Your lead capture pages should address one specific group of people, your perfect online audience. Use the unique language and terminology you learned by listening. WARNING: Do not build your lead capture pages as “Catch all” forms.

5) Build email autoresponder with messaging to filter out unqualifed leads {filter #2}

This email autoresponder sequence is NOT meant to be a sleazy sales funnel blasting marketing messages into as many email inboxes as possible. Rather, use these messages to explain who can/will benefit from your content and potentially your products. Encourage uninterested parties to unsubscribe.

6) Begin to deliver free value consistently

Only now do you begin to explain how your products and services can help solve the problems of your perfect online audience through masterfully written copy that at one time both helps your audience and sells them.

The Rub

A great example of attracting the perfect online audience is Demian Farnworth, Chief Copywriter at Copyblogger Media. In his Education of a Writer series, Demian mixes the Artist and Marketer perfectly. Through each chapter Demian methodically draws in new audience members with a copywriter’s gall and an artist’s wit (and just for good measure he’s also been a guest on the Content Warfare Podcast).

Another excellent example of Demian’s work at Copyblogger: An Open Letter to Anyone Who Writes Headlines for a Living

Remember, we don’t need a large audience, we need the right audience.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley.

P.S. Want more great articles on professional content marketing? Subscribe to my Newsletter.

Drop Some Knowledge

How do you find the perfect online audience?

image credit: http://society6.com/JasonDomingues/crowd-IXI_Print

The Sunday Seven

Never miss the week's best content marketing articles from around the Internet collected and delivered in one email every Sunday.

The Podcast

Subscribe to one of the most popular content marketing podcasts on iTunes.

Subscribe

Google Plus Kit

Everything you need to know on getting started with the best social network in the world.

Dominate Google+
About Ryan Hanley

This blog was created to help brands grow their audience, to grow their business. When I'm not writing, podcasting or creating the videos you'll find on this site, you'll usually find me watching baseball with my son Duke and a cold beer in my hand.