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Target audience is one of the hardest parts about building a brand. It not enough to simply make something and hope people get excited about it.

Even if you already have a definition of your target audience or customer, you may find yourself hitting a wall and not understanding how to deepen your connection with the people who follow and buy from you.

You need Deep Audience Clarity. You need to know your audience better than anyone.

In today’s show, we’ll be talking about the kind of clarity that will take you from a surface-level definition of your target audience to a place of deep understanding.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • If you don’t have anyone’s attention, no one is going to know or care even if you create something great.
  • The “Aha!” moment comes when you understand where your target audience is right now and how your brand can get them where they want to be.
  • You need to be the world’s expert in who you’re trying to reach.
  • Approach your target audience with the intention of helping them reach their version of success.
  • Build relationships until you can’t build relationships anymore.
  • One-on-one conversations are possible no matter what your scale.
  • If you have one person in your audience, you have an opportunity to create a deep connection.
  • If you have multiple audiences, they should work for each other and help you accomplish your mission.
  • Figure out who’s attention you have and ask them what they want/need.
Show Notes
  • 05:04 Cory: I get a lot of emails. A lot of these emails that I get from people who listen to the show are in response to content I sent out on the newsletter, which you can sign up for at BehindtheBrand.com. It’s either that or it’s in response to the guide, the email course that I have, Nine Key Questions to Building a Successful Brand Foundation, which is also at BehindtheBrand.com.
  • 05:31 In that email sequence, I have a question for my audience. As they get to the end, I ask, “What is your biggest struggle with building your brand right now?” People will reply to that email. It’s a simple question with a difficult answer. A couple of weeks ago, I collected all of the data and I figured out what people struggled with the most within our specific audience. The data I came up with showed that the overwhelming number one struggle with building a brand, for our audience, is determining and finding a target audience.
  • 06:35 That’s defining the target audience, how to get in front of more target customers, research, making visitors feel welcome, and how to get to a deeper level of understanding when it comes to target audience. People want that clarity. That was very striking to me. I figured that it might be something else, but it was overwhelming how many people wrote in saying, “I struggle with having a good idea of who my target audience is, knowing how to understand them and how to get a deeper clarity about who I’m trying to reach, help, and impact.” It’s a big concern that people have, and for good reason.
  • If you don’t have anyone’s attention, no one is going to know or care even if you create something great.

  • 07:36 You could create the greatest product, but if it’s not made for somebody, nobody knows that it’s for them and they don’t resonate with it, no one is going to care. You have to have someone on the other end of your brand. That’s branding 101—you have to have someone on the other end of your brand! We’re not just saying that you need to have a target audience, but we want to take it a level deeper. We want you to say, “Oh, that’s what I need to do/understand/research/figure out when it comes to target audience.”
  • 08:21 Kyle: I love this episode because a lot of the time, the struggle comes from thinking, “I need to be in a place where these other people are.” For example, Cory is talking about these emails he’s getting where people are telling him what they’re struggling with, and he’s able to go through that data. It’s easy to hear that and think, “I don’t have anyone asking me questions or sending me emails.” You won’t have that upfront. Too many people want to build their brand in a closet and then have everyone love it when they release it. You have to build this up over time.
  • You have to start getting to know people that are going to be in your audience as a brand.

The “Aha!” Moment

  • 09:26 Cory: That’s where this “Aha!” moment comes in. Oftentimes, people who are creating brands try to figure out what their customers want or need and they try to figure out how to market what they already make to someone. You can start on one end or the other. You say, “Here’s this problem. I can make this solution and then sell it to the people who have the problem.” Or, you say, “I can do this thing. I’m passionate about this thing. This is something I want to do. Now I need to find someone who likes what I do and is willing to give me their attention and/or money.”
  • 10:13 The “Aha!” moment comes when you understand this critical thing about your target audience. This episode is kind of a continuation of Defining Your Target Audience. This takes it up another notch.
  • The “Aha!” moment comes when you understand where your target audience is right now vs. where/who they want to be.

  • 11:17 The “Aha!” moment isn’t, “Oh, that’s my target audience,” it’s when you understand where your target audience is now and you know where they want to be—or who they want to be. On a scale of A to Z, let’s say that A is where your target audience started. That could be in life, business, career, or whatever niche you’re in. We’re going to use Kyle and his audience as an example. Kyle is trying to reach out and connect with icon designers.
  • 12:05 He’s got a new course that he just released last weekend, which is awesome. On this scale, let’s say that A is where your target audience says, “I’m interested in becoming an icon designer.” It’s that first moment of interest. Let’s say Z is where they want to be. It’s, “I want to be the icon designer at a Fortune 500 company.”
  • 12:50 Now, it’s about understanding where your target audience is—are they an E, a J, or a W? Then you can start to figure out how to fill the gap in the timeline between where they are now and where they want to be. How do we advance them on their path to personal success?
  • The purpose of your brand is to help your target audience get from A to Z, from where they are now to their ultimate goal.

  • 13:25 You need to figure out what A is. If you only have A, where your audience starts, or H, where your audience is now, you can’t know how to advance them on their path to personal success if you don’t know what Z is. You need to figure out what Z is.

Deep Audience Clarity

  • 13:54 Cory: You need to be the world’s expert in who you’re trying to reach, help, or impact. That’s deep audience clarity.
  • 14:07 Kyle: I want to go slightly harsh Kyle here. I know that at this point, there’s someone listening to the podcast who’s thinking, “That’s great, but I don’t hear from people. How do I have any idea of where to start with this and get feedback about things?” The truth is, upfront, you’ll probably make mistakes. You’ll probably release something, that’s potentially irrelevant to your audience. By “release something,” I’m talking about a form of content, not necessarily a big product that you build.
  • 14:47 Start releasing content. Start talking about this thing and see what people’s responses are. Cory mentioned my audience earlier, which started me thinking. Where did I start with this thing? If you’re building a brand that you can’t personally connect with, where you don’t remember being in a position where the brand you’re building would have helped you or would have been something that you wanted to have at some point, you can’t sell anything because you don’t believe in it.
  • 15:23 You have no investment in the mission or the purpose of this brand. Maybe it helps you now. Maybe it’s a product that you’re building that helps you, but you want to help other people with it. Or, it’s a service, where at some point you couldn’t find anyone to do it a certain way, and you wanted to improve that. Or, you’re teaching. Maybe, at some point, you learned this skill or something, and you didn’t have the help you felt was necessary for this thing, and you want to fill that gap.
  • Think about yourself years ago—what were you struggling with and why?

  • 16:14 When I started the brand, I started thinking, “I don’t know what people currently want. I don’t know how to start getting feedback and clarity.” I started by doing things that I knew past me would have wanted. It starts bringing people to me that are saying, “I’m at this point. I don’t know anything about icons. I’ve been digging through source files of apps and things to find icons to look at. I’ve been downloading all these free things, and I’m confused.” That’s when people start coming to you.
  • 16:51 They start asking questions, because inevitably, you know more about what you’re doing than they do, whether that’s teaching, a product, or whatever. You’re more invested in it, so you understand things better. They start asking questions, suggesting things, or saying, “This is how this fits into my life.” Once that starts happening, then you start getting people responding to you. Stop making the excuse that people aren’t reaching out to you; it’s because you haven’t done anything yet! Nobody’s going to reach out to ask you questions, give you advice, or suggest things, because they don’t know what you’re doing yet.
  • 17:43 Cory: I love that. If you’re building a brand in the same vein as where you’ve been, for instance, you’re an icon designer who’s building a brand around helping icon designers, you can share your journey and how you got where you are. Kyle, you’re not the only person in the world who’s trying to make it as an icon designer. Document the process and produce content based on the things that you’re learning.
  • As you get better, you can use that framework to help people who are currently where you used to be.

Help Your Audience Succeed

  • 18:36 Cory: That’s totally valuable. It helps to move the emphasis away from, “How do I get people to buy what I’m selling?” toward, “How can I help these people succeed?” If what you’re selling helps these people succeed, then you have a great formula. I know people are going to ask, because they ask this every single time, “But Cory, what if I’m just selling a nice-to-have? What if I’m selling something like antiques on a table at a flea market? How is that helping people succeed?”
  • 19:22 First off, you have to understand who you’re trying to sell to, who your audience is. Who is coming to the flea market? Who is looking for antiques and why? Why are they looking for the thing that you’re selling? It doesn’t have to be this enormous, “Oh my goodness, my whole life, now success!” The Z of this thing doesn’t have to be the culmination of your career. It could be something like, “These people are designing their home in a certain way, and the aesthetic they want in the lounge or billiards room has all of these antiques. In order to give that room a certain look, their success is for that room to have that look.”
  • You help get people from H to Z through the things that you sell.

  • 20:35 Kyle: Just now in the chat, Jasper asked, “Is helping others the only way to find your target audience?” The answer to that is yes. If you’re not helping anyone, what is your brand doing? You’re not going to sell anything. You won’t sell products if you’re not helping anyone. You won’t sell teaching material that doesn’t help anyone. You’re not going to sell a service if it doesn’t help anyone. Everything you do has to be in service of somebody, and eventually, there will be a growing number of people, an audience, around what you’re doing.
  • 21:09 To find your target audience in the beginning, you have to go at it with the intention of helping somebody get somewhere. Nobody parts with their finances because something doesn’t help them. For me right now, if I go buy some form of children’s product, that doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t have kids at the moment, so I’m not a target audience for people like that. If it doesn’t help anybody, they won’t buy it.

Are You Always Selling?

  • 21:45 Cory: There’s another side of this, too. Move toward the attitude of, “How do I help these people succeed?” Notice that that phrasing, that direction, doesn’t necessarily include that you have to sell them something. Let’s say that you’re a non-profit or you’re trying to build some kind of personal brand online. Maybe you’re trying to build something up so you’re really well known. That’s twofold. First off, if you have the finances so you don’t have to sell anything, that’s great. Secondly, you’re still trying to help people succeed.
  • You don’t have to sell people something, but if you’re helping them succeed, you can if you want to.

  • 22:40 Kyle: You’re still selling them something, though.
  • 22:43 Cory: I’m talking about financially.
  • 22:46 Kyle: You’re still selling them something. Every business, every thing, runs off of some form of income. Even non-profits are selling something. You want donations. You want people to give something that they’ve used. Even if you’re building your reputation, even that takes attention, which takes time, which means that people are giving up time that they could be earning money or doing other things. You’re still trying to receive some form of compensation.
  • 23:23 Cory: I both agree and disagree. For instance, think about a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, or a place people can go to get resources. When I lived in California, I went to Los Angeles a few times with friends or with a team, and we would help out in the Skid Row area, where there are homeless people and people who need help and resources. We weren’t selling them anything. We wanted to help them succeed by giving them resources. With that, we had to bring in our own finances.
  • 24:10 Those non-profits and organizations have to get income from someplace. The people they’re trying to help, they just want to give them something. There are nuances there. The people you’re trying to reach might be the ones you gain your income from, or you might be helping them succeed while getting your income somewhere else. You need to determine how you’re going to help the people succeed whom you want to succeed. Then you say, “What do I need to make that happen?”
  • 24:45 Where is the money going to come from? Where is the time from? Where are the resources and assets going to come from? That’s why, if you start by asking, “How can I help these people succeed?” it starts the larger conversation of figuring out what the necessities are that you need to make this happen.

Connect Deeply With Your Audience

    You have to have an audience to have deep audience clarity.

  • 25:15 Cory: You don’t get deep audience clarity by coming up with it out of thin air. Everything needs to come back through this framework, through this structure. How deeply do you know your target audience? How deeply do you know the people you’re trying to reach, sell to, impact, or help? Anika asked, “What’s the best way to learn about your audience’s needs and create a deeper connection with them?” Have you asked questions? Have you developed relationships?
  • 25:53 Have you had coffee with them? Do you know their names? Have you invested into understanding them? Have you replied to their emails? Have you scheduled Skype calls? I’m not joking. If you have one person in your audience, you have an opportunity to create a deep connection. That’s what deep audience clarity is, where it comes from.
  • The best clarity about your target audience comes when you get to know them and build relationships.

  • 26:25 That’s how you get deep audience clarity. There are other ways. There are research surveys you can look up. There are journals, articles, and books you can read, absolutely, but the best way to know and understand someone is to have a relationship with them. I really believe that. I’m sure a lot of people have different perspectives on that. The cornerstone of humanity is relationship and community. We are humans, and humans connect. Your brand is about humans. If your brand is not about humans, stop. There’s my harsh Cory.
  • 27:18 It has to be. After you have figured out the group of people or kind of person that you know you can help, you have that in mind, go talk with them. You need to figure out where they are. There’s Google. There’s your phone. There’s this app that comes built into your phone, and it’s called “phone.” You tap on it, and it comes up with a bunch of numbers. You can type in numbers and call someone. It’s really high tech. This is deep audience clarity. A lot of people want to know how they can circumvent this, and I’m going to be real with you.
  • 28:36 It’s not magic. It takes time. It takes intentionality. If you want to understand the people that you’re trying to reach, you have to get to know them. There are no workarounds there. Read what they’re writing. Figure out what they’re posting on Twitter. Send them a direct message. Figure out what hashtag they’re posting on Instagram and study what they’re posting. Call them on the phone, set up a Skype call, write an article with a comment section. Guest post on a blog that’s in a similar industry. Make a YouTube video and do all the SEO, and get people asking questions. That’s how you do it. Of course, there are other ways.
  • Don’t take a shortcut to understanding your target audience—simply invest the time in getting to know them.

  • 29:46 Kyle: The problem is, and we’ve mentioned this before, this idea of looking at people who are ahead of you. During the course of building your brand, you’ve looked at other people in the same market or similar markets and seen what they’re doing, who they’re talking to, and stuff like that. You’re not there yet. You’re not at that point. You see them not responding to everybody. Maybe you’ve emailed them and they haven’t responded to you.
  • 30:30 It’s probably because they’re at a point where they can’t respond to everybody. The point here is to build relationships until you can’t build relationships anymore. There comes a point where you have so many people wanting to get advice from you, ask you questions, and need help with things, that it’s just not manageable anymore. You’re probably looking to those people, because they’re the ones leading the industry you’re in. You see them not being able to reply, and you think, “I don’t need to reply to people or do all this relationship stuff, because I can grow my business without doing that.”
  • 31:17 It doesn’t work that way. In the beginning, you have to have these relationships. You have to be able to talk to people and understand them, and that starts to grow your audience to the point where these other people are at. Things are different at that point. They can’t do all the things they used to be able to do.

One-on-One Conversations

  • 32:03 Cory: Even if you get to the scale where you have 250,000 followers or 3 million customers a year, what’s cool about that is that those are 3 million individuals. Let’s say that you own Macys or Tesco or Sears. Let’s say you own Nintendo. You go to a gamer convention, GameCon, in Las Vegas, and there are hundreds of thousands of people. You can walk up to one person and ask them questions and have a conversation. Even if that’s the only person you talk to at the whole convention, that person is still representative of the people you’re trying to reach.
  • 33:23 We’re assuming that all of the people there are stoked about Nintendo. You can still have an interaction with that person. If you ever get to the point where those relationships have scaled too much to where you can’t contact, reach, or communicate with everybody, having a conversation with one person could mean everything for them. There is such power there. One of Kyle’s life goals is to have a coffee shop. Let’s say that he has this coffee shop, and 2,000 people come through every day.
  • 34:24 Kyle could walk to the front while someone is drinking their coffee and saying, “Hey, my name is Kyle. I own the place. How was your experience here? How is the coffee? Is there anything we can do to improve and make this experience better for you?” Some people might go, “I really don’t know why you’re talking to me. Go away.” There are those people, but I guarantee, more times than not, they’ll say, “Thanks for asking! This is a great coffee. It feels like it takes some time to get my coffee here, so it would be nice if it was a little bit faster. You switched the beans last month, and I can taste a little bit more acidity in the beans…” You’re having that conversation.
  • One-on-one conversations are possible no matter what your scale.

  • 35:27 It’s just the truth. I had a couple of favorite coffee spots in California before we moved to Ireland. One was called Joebella and one was called Malibu Brew. I knew the owners. Joe was the guy at Joebella and Paul was the guy at Malibu Brew. Great guys. If either of them had ever come to me and asked me what I thought about the shop or if there was anything they could do to improve or if there was anything I liked and wanted but they didn’t offer, I would feel so much more attached to that place.
  • 35:57 Brand perception through the roof! Just the fact that they bothered to ask me shows me so much. It shows that they care about me and my experience. They care about how I interact with them. That goes a long way to building your brand and figuring out and helping your audience achieve their desired success in your field.
  • 36:28 Kyle: I want to caution something here. Listening to this, you could think, “This is kind of like a survey. I go talk to people and survey them.” It’s much more meaningful than that. Honestly, this is friendship building. Maybe you’re an online company, and you can’t go into your store and talk to people—maybe you see someone comment on your posts a lot or talk to you through email a lot, and you say, “Hey, why don’t we have a conversation? Odds are, that’s going to turn into some form of friendship.
  • 37:13 It will turn into some form of relationship there, because you enjoy the same things. The people in your audience care about your brand and want to do the same things you’re doing, and because of that, you have a lot in common. It’s much deeper than, “Let’s send out a survey and passively try to gather some information from a big part of our audience.” You’re going to individual people in your audience and saying, “Hey, I want to talk to you specifically. Maybe we could be friends.”
  • 37:48 You don’t have to go into it thinking, “I own this company, and these people are going to follow along with me, so let’s get some information and move on.” It may be a friendship. It may turn into more.

Should You Connect or Sell First?

  • 38:05 Cory: Ryan asked, “When it comes to forging a deep connection to your target audience, is it better to make real life connections with your target audience prior to communicating and selling anything, or is it also possible to make that connection while refining your content and product services as you go?” Sure. You can do it either way. If you know who you’re trying to reach, who you want to help, you can start and then refine your content as you go.
  • 38:39 Just keep in mind that whether or not you start and then refine or refine and then start, as long as you’re focused on the success of your target audience, you’ll develop in the right direction. Is that fair?
  • 38:58 Kyle: That’s fair.

Multiple Target Audiences

  • 39:05 Cory: Garrett asks, “Is it okay to have more than one target audience?” Yes.
  • 39:21 Kyle: I agree with Cory’s yes, but let’s dive in a little deeper here. It’s kind of a yes and no, because this is definitely a confusion point. Let’s say that you teach courses for people who are doing the skill you’re doing. You’re also working with clients, doing projects to help them. Yes, in many ways, those are different audiences. The people who want client projects from you are coming to you with the expectation of you helping their business achieve their goals. They’re not coming to you to learn icons—they’re coming to you because you know icons, in my example.
  • 40:11 I’m using myself as an example here, because this is what I have the closest experience with. Clients come to me wanting icons. They want icons built for their business to help them. They don’t want to learn it themselves. There’s this other subset of my audience that wants to learn how to design icons, how to help clients, and essentially, how to do what I’m doing. Yes, there are two different audiences. At the same time, you kind of have the same audience. I believe that clients want to understand that you understand what you’re doing, so if they see this other audience that’s coming to learn how to do what you’re doing, that says to your client audience that you really understand what you’re doing.
  • 41:09 It also tells them that they can fully understand how they’re going to be treated through this process, because they can see what you’re telling others to do. On the other end of the spectrum, the people learning from you see the happiness of the clients and what they have to say about you, what kind of things you’ve done, and they say, “That makes me feel better about what you’re teaching, because I see how well taken care of your clients are.”
  • You can have multiple audiences, but they should work for and help each other.

  • 41:59 If I was teaching illustration, and I have clients for whom I build wooden cabinets, those are two completely different target audiences and it’s not really a cohesive brand anymore. It still needs to be cohesive. It needs to fit with your brand goals, but yes, you can have more than one target audience.
  • 42:30 Cory: I would add to that. It’s definitely that yes and no. If you’re trying to reach two different kinds of people, that changes the kinds of messaging that you produce. If you’re trying to reach a single target audience but there are levels within that audience, that’s okay. If you’re trying to reach two audiences and it’s making your messaging muddy, that’s what deep audience clarity brings you. It brings you clarity in your messaging. That’s what you want.
  • You want a deep understanding of your audience so you have clarity in your messaging.

  • 43:17 Instead of saying, “Learn to make great pixel illustrations,” or, “Learn to make letters well,” because there are people trying to do hand lettering, you can dial it in and say, “Learn brush lettering.” Our friend Colin Tierney had this course called Crayligraphy, and it was all about doing lettering with Crayola markers. It was so cool.
  • 43:56 Kyle: I think he’s still working on that, actually. He did a workshop about it, but he’s still working on the course you can sign up for.
  • 44:03 Cory: Talk about niche! I love that. What is it you’re going to be writing or saying? How are you describing yourself to people? When you have a single target audience, you aren’t struggling to figure out what to write or how to deliver what you’re writing. You aren’t sitting there going, “I don’t know how to talk to these people, because I’m trying to talk to them and also to them, so I just don’t know…” You’re going to have clarity in your messaging.
  • 44:47 You have to weigh whether the kind of messaging you’re delivering, the content you’re making, and the products you create are going to reach all of your audience, some of two, or both groups. If it can reach them both, that’s great. You just have to figure out whether trying to reach both target audiences is going to help you accomplish your mission. Is it going to help those people succeed?
  • 45:20 Kyle: I don’t know that we want to go down this path in this episode. If you’re helping people, if you run a service and you have a client-based business, and you’re writing for people that do what you do, that’s not a bad thing. That will still bring in clients. You’re doing exactly what I mentioned earlier—you’re helping people learn to do what you do, and in turn, you’re showing clients that you understand what you’re doing.
  • Your clients probably don’t want to learn what you’re doing, but they want to see proof that you have authority within your niche and that you can be trusted to take on their projects.

  • 46:15 You don’t have to write directly do your clients. You don’t really know your clients’ business. They haven’t come to you yet, first of all. Secondly, they know what they’re doing better than you know what they’re doing. You really don’t have to get into these client-directed posts that say something like, “Here’s why you should hire me.” They know that they have a need to fill, and they know who to approach for that need. They just need to make sure that person is equipped enough to fill it.

Charity Water

  • 46:48 Cory: Eugene asked, “Do you have examples of companies that do this well and those that don’t?” Yes. The first one that immediately comes to mind, and this ties into Garrett’s question about having more than one target audience, is Charity Water. I love Charity Water. They’re one of my favorite brands. They’re doing such awesome work. They have two target audiences. I have their mission statement here: “Charity Water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.”
  • 47:36 Their mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. For people in developing countries, clean water can change everything. Access to clean water means education, income, and health, especially for women and kids. The people they want to help, that they want to bring to success, are people in developing nations who do not have access to clean water.
  • Sometimes the people a brand is trying to help are not the same as the people who are paying for the product or service.

  • 48:28 Kyle: This kind of brings us full circle to what we talked about earlier. Selling something to someone is twofold. I looked up the definition, because I wanted to make sure I was on the right page here. The textbook definition of selling is to give or hand over something in exchange for money, which we all know is the common definition of that. The other definition is to persuade someone of the merits of something. In other words, if someone approaches you with an idea, you’ve probably heard them say, “Sell me on this. I want to understand it.”
  • 49:06 Some of these organizations, like Charity Water for example, are trying to get donations or get people to purchase things from or whatever it is, but they’re also working to sell people on the idea of something. They want to help people understand an idea, even the people they’re trying to help. Yes, Cory’s right, those people aren’t giving them money to build the well, and that’s the whole point. They want to help these people, but they also need to sell those people on the idea that they need a well in their town and they want to bring it to them.
  • 49:40 Otherwise, it’s not going to happen. The people will say, “We don’t need this. Go away.” Charity Water is trying to sell them on the idea of them coming in and building a well in their town. They’re saying, “Here’s where we should put it and why we should put it here. Here’s how it’s going to help you…” Charity Water has to sell the idea of the importance of wells and clean water to the people they are trying to help.
  • 50:01 That’s a great example of how a brand can be trying to help somebody and getting someone else to enable them to help somebody. At Charity Water, it can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 to build a well and set up a structure for clean water. Depending on the project type, geographies, and local economies, it can cost up to $25,000. Charity Water has this passion. Scott Harrison, the CEO, has a vision for the world, and he is trying to get other people to catch this vision.
  • 50:50 We have an episode coming up where we’re going to be talking about this idea of vision. It’s going to be called Develop a Vision Others Can Get on Board With. A vision is getting people to believe in the way that you see the world, to believe in how you want the world to be. That’s what a vision is. If you have two target audiences, in this particular case, you have the people who are receiving the help and the people who are enabling the help.

It Starts With Human Relationship

  • 51:27 Cory: You can have different kinds of messaging. In this case with Charity Water, everything on their website and all of their messaging is designed to get people engaged to enable Charity Water to provide the resources to the people they’re trying to reach. That’s an example, but there are plenty of other examples. Let’s say I’m Samsung and I have a mobile phone department, but we also have this TV department. I think Samsung even makes refrigerators. Their audience could be all techie people who want screens in their life.
  • 52:17 Within all of that, you can have sub-target audiences. There is always going to be someone who could come in with something a little bit deviated. Again, ask questions. Figure out who’s attention you have and ask them about it. It’s not magic. You have to be intentional about it. Another benefit of deep audience clarity is that it gives you an intimate relationship with the people who are giving you their attention and money.
  • It’s important to see business as business, but it’s far more important to see humans as humans.

  • 52:59 Humans build relationships. We connect. We communicate. That’s where the structure comes.
  • 53:10 Kyle: Going back to the idea of how you’re kind of building friends, I’m far less likely to meet someone on the street, and I’m talking about someone in the same coffee shop. There are occasions where I have bought coffee for someone I didn’t know, but that’s few and far between. If you have a relationship with someone, you talk to them, and you understand them, they’re much more likely to say, “I want to support that brand, buy something from them, and go to them before I go to this other brand.”
  • 53:57 Once they get into your brand network, they feel like you’re more than just someone trying to sell them something all the time. They feel like you care about them as a person, which should be genuine, or they’re likely to see through that. If they’re that dedicated to you, that expands to their friends, the friends of their friends, and so on. It becomes this network of people that honestly understand that you care about them. They aren’t saying, “Oh, someone has this thing I’m interested in, but I’ll wait on that.”
  • 54:34 I’m sure you’ve done this, Cory. You search for something on Amazon. It’s something you’re interested in. There’s a potential product you could use or something. You find it, but you don’t know the brand. It’s some random place online. You think, “I’m going to wait on that. I’ll see if I can find anything else.” Maybe a brand you love has the exact same product for $5 more. You say, “They care. I’m going to go with these people, because they care.” Maybe they’ve reached out to you.
  • 55:08 Maybe you’ve purchased from them in the past, and they’ve taken really good care of you, so you go to them instead of going somewhere else.
  • 55:49 The “Aha!” moment in understanding your target audience is figuring out how you can help them bridge the gap between where they are now and their version of success. Until you know what that gap is, where they are, where they were, and where they want to be, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s not impossible. You can build a brand off of, “I made a thing, and people showed up and bought it and stuff.” Kyle and I personally know people who have said, “I decided to make a thing to see if people liked it, and then they just kept buying my stuff,” and now they have a million dollar company.
  • 56:42 We know those people. Absolutely, but it’s very rare. It’s not a common thing. If you know how to get your target audience from A to Z and you know where they’re at, you can help fill that gap with your brand, your resources, your passion, and your abilities to get them to that point.