Whether you’re selling delectable gourmet cupcakes or conducting research in your robotics development corporation, you have an audience. And if you think “people who eat pastries” or “people who like technology” are your target audiences, chances are you may be missing out on a huge opportunity for marketing your service.


Perhaps the biggest mistake you could make in your marketing endeavors is to over-generalize or broadly define your target audience. So we’ve pieced together 3 Steps to help you decipher just who it is you’re trying to reach, sourced from Raven Tools, Ken McArthur, Amy Porterfield, and our own experience.



“When it comes to growing a business few things have more power than a narrow focus. Too often business owners want to be many things in order to capture as much business as possible.”

John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing


“In order to persuade your audience to consider, try or purchase your product, you must, beyond all other requirements, know that audience.”

Jason Falls, Founder of Social Media Explorer


1. articulate who you are


What does your business/nonprofit offer? How is it unique from that of other places similar to you?

What is the purpose of what you offer?

Do you offer a solution to a particular problem? If so, What problem does it solve?

What does the current customer receive/buy from you?

2. create a customer profile


(for this step, you want to be crazy specific) As online marketing giant and best-selling author Marie Forleo said in her interview with Amy Porterfield, the first step in building your client list is “Know who you want to reach.” She gave this example of audience definition:

a. WOMEN – WAY too broad

b. STAY-AT-HOME MOMS –better. more specific and narrows down a certain segment of the population

c. STAY-AT-HOME MOMS WHO ARE STARTING A HOME-BASED BUSINESS– wonderful! you’ve addressed a unique audience with a defined need


Determine the demographic of your customer: age, location, profession, interests, income, marital status

Define the problem your customer has. Is he or she missing something? What is important to them?

Decide your reach. Are you trying to reach nation-wide, state-wide, world-wide? Or maybe a hyper-local approach is the best.

3. engage in online conversation


Who is reaching your target audience already? GO THERE: Blogs, Social Media, Networks, Resources. Take notes on what they are doing.

What value can you add to those ideal customers that these other sources do not offer? What is already out there to which you can add your own twist?

Conduct a social media-based survey of potential or current customers, asking things about what they are interested in or care about or problems they need solved.

Keep up with trends and news in your industry. Keep track of other organization’s audiences.

PAID RESOURCES Here are some paid resources we found that can help you in your endeavors to define your target audience.


DemographicsPro: Twitter demographic analysis by user or hashtag. It outlines gender, age, race, income, location and brands used. $30 – $400 per month based on number of followers


Raven Tools – Social Monitor: Social Networking monitor for keywords. A part of greater social media tools package for $99 per month. No contract.


B-School: Marie Forleo’s online business training school. It contains an intensive audience-defining course along with other courses to help you grow your business.



Thanks for reading our concoction of (hopefully) helpful tips! Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is some way we can help you engage your audience.


– curated by Shelby Reynolds, Marketing + Admin Intern