Every marketer says you’re supposed to define your target audience. Make up some names, find some stock photos online, paste them onto a board along with everything you know about your prospective fans.
Have you ever had a disconnect with this process? Were you stopped at any stage of developing your customer avatar?
That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
- 00:37 – Returning to a critical music career topic
- 01:03 – The “mind-reading magic” of target audiences
- 02:38 – Dipping into the Brunson well
- 03:40 – Target audience vs. dream customer
- 06:21 – Episode summary
- 07:18 – Closing thoughts
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.
In my continued exploration and investing in my ongoing self-education, there’s a topic I wanted to return to and share on newly. And that’s on the topic of defining your target audience.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve rolled your eyes any time anyone brings up the subject, because you’ve heard it before, and you’re not sure how this mind-reading magic is supposed to work.
The Mind-Reading Magic of Defining Your Target Audience
I started calling it “mind-reading magic” last year because of the books I was reading, which would talk about the importance of defining your target audience, but not offering concrete steps on how to do this.
Or it was just the same things I’d always heard:
- Demographics – age, gender, location
- Psychographics – what they read, where they hang out online, what they’re interested in, what matters to them
- Customer interviews – talking directly to your audience about what they want (something I’ve done this year)
- Setting up customer avatars – the process I hinted at, at the top of this episode
And even after I’d gone through that process, it was all kind of nebulous to me and didn’t make a tangible difference in my career or business.
If I can share something with you, it was really the same thing with trying to learn the pentatonic scale on the guitar.
I’d figured out the basic box pattern and could play it, but when I wanted to be able to play across the entire fretboard, I was stuck.
I assumed that I would somehow have to memorize every note on the fretboard, which felt daunting, and even impossible to me.
I read multiple resources, but none of them added up for me.
It wasn’t until I watched an Eric Johnson video that it finally landed. He talked about shifting between the patterns, and then it clicked.
There are five patterns to the pentatonic scale, and having learned each, you can shift between them. That was a big “aha” moment for me.
So, all this to illustrate that sometimes we can understand something as a concept, but not have it make much of a difference in our lives because some part of it hasn’t fully landed.Sometimes we can understand something as a concept, but not have it make much of a difference in our lives because some part of it hasn’t fully landed. Click To Tweet
Discoveries in DotCom Secrets
So, what I’m going to share here comes from Russell Brunson’s DotCom Secrets.
Now, as a disclaimer – I have friends who noticed I’ve been dipping into the Brunson well and have been cautioning me against it.
And trust me, I get it, I’m quite familiar with the culture it has bred. And I’m not excited about the culture or the hype machine snake oil sales. I’m just excited about the discovery and the information that I’m getting, and how it’s connecting the dots and filling in the holes for me.
You can’t have a book the size of DotCom Secrets and not have some powerful takeaways in it.
Last year, I made the decision that I would keep an open mind to learning from everybody, because frankly you just never know what might connect with you and leave you with an instant awakening.
And as a further note of caution, I’m not here to plagiarize, and simply recite what I’ve read, so if what I’m sharing connects with you, I’d suggest picking up a copy of the book for yourself.
I’m here to share what I’ve been in discovery of, and how the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together for me, which in turn should make a difference for you.
Is “Target Audience” the Right Framing?
So, this is what I’ve been discovering.
First, “target audience” is perhaps the wrong framing. I’m finding “dream customer” to be a far more powerful way of thinking about it.
When we say, “target audience” we really get lost in the minutiae of it – age, location, gender, interests, things like that. And that’s all helpful, it just doesn’t tell the full story.
You can find most of that data online in about an hour or less.
Like, I can tell you right now, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re my age plus or minus 10 to 15 years, you live in US, Canada, India, UK, or Japan (although I know I have listeners in other countries), and you’re interested in music and building a music career.
And I’m kind of guessing here, but you’re probably an information junkie, and you probably hang out on sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, Instagram, Clubhouse, and the like. Feel free to fill in the blanks for me if you like.
That’s all well and good, but what I’ve described is mostly just a broad overview of my target audience, not my dream customer.
In addition to everything I’ve already mentioned, my dream customer is also well-read, listens to several podcasts, keeps a busy schedule, and doesn’t have a lot of time to do research. They’re actively looking for solutions to challenges in their careers, has money to invest in themselves, is sharp, ambitious, and has a strong work ethic, has a music career in motion but hasn’t been able to achieve everything they’ve set out to do, is feeling kind of stuck with where they are, is on a treadmill of desperate repetition, and likely has already tried every strategy or tactic without breakthrough success.
Although I kind of rattled it off stream of consciousness style, that’s what I see about my dream customer, because those are the people I can help – those are the people I can cause a breakthrough with. It’s where I can cause the greatest results and make the greatest difference.
See, if we’re only thinking about getting more people to listen to our music or buy our products, we’re not actually looking at where we can make the biggest difference, and how we can serve those people at different levels. And I’ve been losing sight of that lately.
Although there are always exceptions, there’s a progression to things. People usually read a blog post, then download something for free, then attend a webinar or a live stream, then buy a tripwire offer, then a course, then a mastermind…
That might not apply to your specific business model, but the point is people usually go from something free or low cost and then follow a journey into something that costs slightly more, and then something more, and then something more.
So, I hope you’re seeing something for yourself in this conversation, that it’s not just about knowing how old your audience is, or that they live in the States, or that they like Corgi puppies. That’s stuff is helpful. But it’s really being clear on who you can serve and what the greatest result you can cause for them is.
And here’s your episode summary.
- Just because we’ve researched a topic doesn’t mean we completely understand it – we might have it as head knowledge, but it’s possible it hasn’t translated into transformation and a mission that makes every next action you take crystal clear. Stay in discovery and keep looking.
- There’s a difference between “target audience” and “dream customer.” Identify who your dream customer is because that’s where you can make the biggest difference and it’s also where you’ll find your superfans. Also determine the greatest possible result you could help them achieve.
- Once you know your dream customer, let that guide every next action you take. The content and products you create, the platforms you publish to, the copy you write, and practically everything you can imagine on a tactical level should be influenced by your dream customer and the conversation they’re having with themselves and with others.
So, if you’re ready to define your target audience and you’re looking for a step-by-step plan for connecting with them online and off, be sure to pick up a copy of The Music Entrepreneur Code at MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/Code.
This has been episode 251 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe and I look forward to seeing on you on the stages of the world.