Simon Sinek is known around the world for nudging us to ask the right first question: "Start with Why" he says repeatedly. "People don't buy what you do they buy Why you do it" he adds. And we agree. Understanding why you are here, doing what you are doing is absolutely key. But the Why rarely goes without the Who. That's why it's the very next step and a very essential one. It's great to know why you do something, but for that something to actually work (and in the case of starting your own business and bringing in revenue) figuring it out who you are directing your energy toward is an exercise that cannot be postponed nor skipped.
However a lot of us do skip it at first. We are so eager and excited to start "bringing our great idea to life" that we forget about who is going to buy from us. It is so much more fun to create something than to answer questions and do market research. We get that because we have been there. We want to dive right away into the cool stuff.
Cool. You are having fun, you are feeling excited.
But who else is? Are you clients feeling excited? And do you know who your clients are in the first place?
Short reminder first: the main goal of a business is to serve its clients.
In order to do that, you must know who your clients are. This is when the exercise of defining who your audience is comes in. Your audience is a group of people made by all your ideal clients who are the people you want to serve and be paid by.
The more you know who they are and understand them, the better you are able to solve their problem or help achieve their desire. Your ideal clients already exist, and one of your tasks is to define who they are.
Below, you'll find a series of questions. Make your ideal client as real as possible. Think about someone in your life that you've already helped, or the old version of you, or anyone else you'd love to be helping. Remember that it is an ongoing discovery: what matters is that you start with one ideal client that feels exciting to work with.
Paint a picture of your audience:
What’s their gender?
How old are they?
What’s their education level?
What type of job do they have?
Where do they live?
Away from pain, towards desires:
Your audience either goes away from pain or moves towards a desire. Understanding both the pain and desire of your audience helps your business be of service in a much more powerful way.
Your ideal client’s pains and fears
What is your client worried about?
What is it that keeps them awake at night?
What are they telling themselves?
Your ideal client’s dreams and desires
What does your ideal client dream about?
What are their desires?
What do they want to achieve in life?
At this point, you want to narrow down who your clients are to create a profile of your ideal client.
Just remember, your ideal client’s profile will evolve over time as you and your business grow. You don’t have to be perfect at the beginning. Using these questions as a starting point will help you communicate with your audience in a compelling way.