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Target Audience

Lesson 4 from: Branding Strategies to Ignite Your Marketing

Ashlyn Carter

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Lesson Info

4. Target Audience

Lesson Info

Target Audience

Alright, let's move into talking about your target audience; target audience 101. And, I thought it may be helpful for you if I tell you a little bit of my story and why I made the transition in my target audience. My backstory is I worked in corporate marketing. I loved it. I worked in a PR in a full-service communications agency, mostly on the Delta Airlines account, helped out on the Chick-fil-A and a bank account. Loved it! It was my absolute dream job and then I went from there to working for a chef as his publicist which looks completely differently, right, than my client and customer database does now. It's a whole different animal. I work with creative Women. I work with creative entrepreneurs, small businesses. Work with a lot of people that serve the world with their art and their talents and their gifting, and that is so different from the world of airplanes, right, and pitching media in that capacity. So, to tell you a little bit of this story and how I made that transition...

; like I told you, I loved my job. I worked in media and at night, I would go home and burn the midnight oil and fill calligraphy orders. I picked up calligraphy on addressing wedding invitations, just as a... Kind of felt good after the end of the long day typing and hustling around town, in the office, it felt good to go home and make something with my hands. I loved it! I loved that! But, as you can imagine, that was a little stressful; working long days at the office, going home. I know that there's a lot of you out there who do the two-job thing and it is a tough life but I did the side hustle thing, too. And, during this time, I made that transition to working for a new business and they really expected me to be on all the time because, like I said, I was doing PR and managing emergency situations like that. So, I started struggling a little bit. I only dealt with a little stress and anxiety, thought that was kinda normal, but then my husband proposed, that was one more thing on my plate and I could not control all of the things that I had going on. It was just too much. And, so, I reach out and grabbed the very first thing that I could control and that happened to be what went into my body and what came out through exercise. So, bit by bit, I created the worst bank ever and I was constantly measuring and counting, measuring and counting and, you can probably guess where this is going, I developed an eating disorder at the age of 27, which I thought was way too old to be dealing with this kind of thing. So, after many months, going back and forth with my husband and my sweet family, I ended up going into full or partial hospitalization for this. And, again, thought I was too old for this but it was time where this girl who was obsessed with media and marketing and her job and hustling kinda had to pull away from all that and I'd sit there and think about what would it look like to work from a place of rest and not hustle. Hustle's not a bad thing, I am not a hustle-shamer but it's my go-to, it's my innate, and it was the rest part that I couldn't figure out. So, it spurred some conversations and you kinda know the rest of this story; I ended up leaving that world of harried marketing and wanted to start my own business where I could set my own pace and my own schedule. So, I started doing calligraphy and quickly realized that there were a lot of creative entrepreneurs out there who didn't wanna write sales copy, who didn't like and felt a little sleazy and slimy, like we talked about earlier, when it came to writing marketing merch for their business and talking about money. I thought, I've been doing that for years, I love doing that. So, we started offering that and the copywriting side of my business exploded. So, that is a long story to kind of frame for you, when it comes to finding your target audience, what I want you to think about is what gifts and talents and artistic abilities do you have, but I also want you to think about what the gap in the market is. I just told you about how I realized, when I went full-time with calligraphy and I was writing all the things; I was writing editorial copy. I was writing blogs for businesses. I was writing everything. But, I started to realize that there was a gap. So, I want you to really think, who out there is not being served? What target audience out there do you have a gift and a skillset and a talent that you can serve and they don't already have that offered. I was a journalism major. I was not a business major but I've learned over time that when it comes to business, supply and demand really is the name of the game. So, we, as creative entrepreneurs, have to ask ourselves what, literally, is the million dollar question. Will anybody actually buy what I'm offering? Can the market support what it is that I wanna do? I see so many creatives and students come through our doors and they are so jazzed about whatever it is they do. They're visual artists and they love painting. They're hand-lettering. They're doing photography. But, what I really want you to think about is how you can monetize this. How can you offer a service that's not being offered? Or fill a gap; step up and fill a gap. A lot of communicating that is, I'm not asking you to come up with something that's never been done before, but you're gonna have to communicate your positioning on this, like we just talked about in the last lesson. We're gonna have to figure out what sets you apart and what makes you different, so that's very clear for people to understand. One of my favorite things to do is to think about how can you look outside of our creative bubble? How can you look outside and get marketing ideas from other businesses? And, I mentioned Delta earlier, it's probably comes easily 'cause my husband works for it. I worked for the company. We're like dyed-in-the-wool kind of people. One thing about Delta, if you fly a lot, is you know that they're a little bit more of a premium price-point airline. They are not the Southwest. They are not the cheapest on the block. So, that's why I wanted to focus on this as an example because they do kinda three things, just for examples, that help them command their value and their price-point. Those are that they are typically number one or really close to it when it comes to on-time performance. By-and-large, when you are booking one of these flights, you can pretty much guess that you're gonna get there on time. I know this because my husband has a branded shirt that he has from work and it mentions that on the side. This is something that they pride themselves on. Another thing that they do is they cancel fewer flights than many other airlines. A third thing that they do is they have spent a lot of time putting into amenities, the different products on the planes, from the lay-flat seats to chef-curated meals in the air. They're really targeting and whispering to that client that they want, who is somebody who is willing to pay a little bit more for a little bit better product. They're not trying to be the budget airline. You can't be all things to all people, like I talked about earlier. So, they weave these messages that I'm talking about into their marketing and into their copy. They whisper to their clients. So, what can we learn from a brand like this, an airline like this? We've gotta figure out how to whisper to our potential clients and our potential customers. This means that need to figure out what they actually want, so we can say that back to them in a way that sounds good, right? So, people buy when they feel heard, when they feel seen, when they feel understood, right? At the end of the day, we're people and we love to feel those things, right? We're making purchasing decisions. So this means you, as the business owner, need to be a good listener. You need to learn how to listen to your audience. One way you can do this is surveying your audience and really paying attention to these needs and these wants that they have, so when we come to communication, marketing and branding, we can reflect these back to them in a way that makes them say, "Ah, this is for me. "This is exactly built for me." I love this quote. Got this from a book I read recently. "To really understand your marketplace, "get out of the office, "get to your existing or your would-be customers "in an environment where they would use your product, "ask questions, and observe." That's by Jon Kolko, I believe is his name. So, I want you to start thinking about how you can get out there and start listening. If you're not quite sure, I was talking about maybe finding that you-sized hole in the market that you can fill. If you haven't figured that out yet, this is a great place to start. It wasn't until I started going to meet-ups and asking creative entrepreneurs, when it comes to marketing and writing, what do you have a problem with? That's when I started getting the ideas of how I could serve them. So, really listen to your audience. You cannot write good messaging without figuring out this. I really believe it. Otherwise, we thought back to that Ven diagram I showed you earlier where you have one side being the things that you wanna say and you have the other side being the things that other people wanna say. We've gotta talk to... We've gotta use that sweet spot that's right in the middle, right? And, so, if we can listen to our audience, we're gonna be able to fill that spot. So, I have for you, and this is, again, in your bonus packet, but I want you to get going with these five survey questions that are ready for you to use. Now, you can use these all together or you pick the ones that feel natural for you. But, I want you to start listening. Maybe you want to call somebody or talk to a friend who's recently been in a position where they would be a great client. Think about, if you are a wedding photographer, how can you talk to one of your friends who recently got married and had to go through the process of finding and booking a wedding photographer. I want you to go through these questions and start to understand the things and the patterns that these people think because when we come to writing your website, to writing captions, to communicating things back to your clients, these are the survey questions and the data that we're gonna use. Copywriters call this data-mining. It's really important to get the data. So, I'm not gonna dig in too much to validating your business idea. There are so many great resources on that and they're definitely fun to read and to look into. But, what I want you to start thinking about is how can you test this idea and one of the best ways to test is just starting to ask people. Can you figure out if this audience, this target audience that you really wanna serve, actually needs your product. You can do this by going to meetings. You can do this by creating downloads and just seeing and measuring what downloads do people actually want? What freebies will they actually take? So, there's lots of different ways to test it but I want you to start figuring out what that you-sized hole in the market is and the talents and the gifts that you have to fill it so you can talk to that right target audience.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

How to Run Your Business Like a Boss
Branding & Copywriting Resource Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Awesome class!! Super great info, Ashlyn is a great presenter!


What a great class and Ashlyn really knows her stuff! Thank you for this super helpful information!

Marta Oliehoek-Samitowska

Very helpful and informative! Ashlyn does a really great job! So much ethusiasm, lots of good advice and so many simple but handy tips!

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