Your Niche vs Your Target Audience


Episode Transcript

I’ve repeated the definition of niche already, so I’ll skip that. Let’s go straight into target audiences.

Your target audience is the group of people you want to take a specific action or set of actions.

These actions can be: sign up for your email list, hire you, listen to your podcast, read your blog, etc.

The worst mistake you can make in branding is not having a defined target audience. If you don’t have a target audience, building a brand is pointless. Why?

Because your brand is what’s going to get that target to trust you. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, what’s the point?

Example: you’re a person with lots of sides to you. You can wear a suit and tie and you can wear sneakers, sweats, and a baseball cap.

You can speak technical jargon that people in your career field understand and you can speak slang that the kids these days use.

Which of those are you doing to do if you want to get hired?

The suit and the jargon, right?

Well, if you’re a retired baseball pitcher, pitching your services to a high school baseball coach who’s trying to get his team to nationals, the sweats, sneakers, baseball cap, and your ability to communicate with, and get the respect of, teenagers might be more useful than your suit and jargon.

Know your audience.

Now, how would that retired baseball pitcher decide that this was their niche?

  • Maybe they learned how to pitch in high school and that’s what makes them want to give back to this age group.
  • Maybe they appreciate the level of competition of high school sports and want to prepare young athletes for the shock of entering into college athletics programs.
  • Maybe they really get through to teens and have a passion for working with youth athletes.

For all we know, this retired pitcher picked up teen slang because they knew this was the group they wanted to work with and they decided to enhance their brand by being marketable to a demographic of people who’s job it is to get through to teenagers.

If that same retired pitcher also had a background in physics and wanted to teach a university elective on the physics of the perfect pitch, they would probably want to wear the suit and use a bit more jargon than teenage slang, because that audience would be academics in a university setting who probably would understand very little teen slang.

Whether or not [the slang] would make this pitcher look unprofessional, the bigger problem is they wouldn’t make those academic decision makers feel like this person gets them because he or she is speaking to these academics in what’s, essentially, a foreign language.

You use your niche to make your target audience feel like they’re at home with your brand.

If you’ve answered those questions I told you to ask yourself last episode, which were:

  • Why do people need my activity?
  • What problem do I solve?
  • What makes me so good at this?

Take it a step further and then think about:

  • Who needs this problem solved the way I solve it?
  • Who values the thing that makes me so good at solving this problem?
  • How do I use that knowledge about them to make a more specific service for them?

You may find, if you’re still getting to know your target audience, that you’ll need to adjust your niche a bit to better serve your target audience.

That’s OK.

If you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll be deepening your relationship with this audience over time—meaning you’ll always be working on being more relevant and and more useful to them.

Adjustments are just a part of the game.

I really hope you enjoyed this series on niching down. Thanks so much for sticking with me for these four episodes and stay tuned for the series on building an online brand!

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