“Alright, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles per hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, hen house, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at 15 miles. Your fugitive’s name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him.” quote by US Marshal Samuel Girard, The Fugitive
2. You know enough about them, but don’t know where to find them
Happens to business owners all the time. You work hard on creating great programs, products, membership sites, online courses that your customers want and need. The opt-in, squeeze page, logo, website and web copy are perfect.
You put a few posts on Facebook and Twitter, couple of pins on Pinterest, share your blog post and put up a few Oprah quotes. A like here . . . a comment there, but basically . . . nothing.Knowing that your target audience is on Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+ is a great place to start.
But as of 2014, there are over a billion people on Facebook. LinkedIn and Google+ each have over 300 million members. How do you find your people on there? They aren’t going to wave their hand and say come over here.
It’s time to go all Tommy Lee Jones and look for your people like you’re looking for a fugitive. Here is how . . .
1. Determine your audience
Who are you looking for? Who is your fugitive? You may have more than one target audience, which means they may spend time in different places, have different pain points or use a product/service for a different reason. And I’m not talking simply demographics (gender, age, ethnicity, etc.). Think of beauty industry- the same product can be sold to 20 year old as well as a 50 year old. Think of what’s important to them when looking for a product. The advertising images and words used. Think of how differently they do searches when they’re online. TIP: If you have more than one target audience, rinse and repeat these steps
2. Gather intel
A U.S. Marshall must have a basic knowledge of how fugitives roll. Build on the market research you did when researching and developing your offerings. Before you start looking, you must know enough about your target audience, their habits, thought process, pain points as lifestyle to make an educated guess about where to search. Think of what we call your customer’s pain points, the things that keep them up at night and/or what they wish they could solve. Then start to think about what general area they might be online. What blogs do they read? Forums they belong to? What networks are they on? Some businesses will do great with Facebook, others do better on LinkedIn. It’s not about what networks you like and don’t like. This is about where your people might be. TIP: By the time your customers reach out to you, they’ve done a considerable about of research online. Think about what information they looking for to make their jobs/lives easier and where they might look online.
3. Know the lay of the land
Going on to Facebook and not knowing there are Business Pages and Groups or how they work will leave you at a disadvantage. Same with LinkedIn & Google Plus. Do you realize LinkedIn has groups where you can find your “fugitive”/target market? Those billion people on Facebook join groups and “Like” pages based on their interests. Here is a basic list for you to learn about (I’ll cover them in ongoing blog posts). Don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on learning one at a time – that’s what I did. There are . . .
- Facebook Groups
- Facebook Pages
- LinkedIn Groups
- Google+ Communities
- Niche Forums
- Twitter Lists
TIP: Learn about how to search within each network to find your people
4. Have an Idea of Where To Look
Tommy Lee Jones’ character starts his search “radius of six miles”. He then narrows down to “every dog house, etc. ” As a U.S. Marshall, his job is to know everything he can about how fugitives act and have a tendency to go. As a business owner, you also have to know as much as you can about the behavior of your target audience in order to make calculated guesses about where to look. TIP: People tend to spend time with others who have things in common with them. Looking for people who knit? They’re getting together somewhere (in person, online, Skyping, Google Hangouts) reading and commenting on the same blogs, re-tweeting the same things, sharing resources). Imagine your target market is looking to lose weight? What groups would they join? Are you a professional organizer? What are your people looking for to help them in their daily life? Web designer? What info are they looking for prior to hiring a designer? Where would they go to get those questions answered?
5. Be prepared to spend time
I know this goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it. This stuff takes time. Especially in the beginning. Set your timer, grab your favorite beverage and get ready to look for your people. Also be ready for a little trial and error. Prepare yourself for the realities of search. Sometimes you find them and sometimes you have to dig a little further. Do you think every single Coca Cola campaign worked? They make adjustments and kept it moving.
Look and keep looking. If you look and see that your target market isn’t there, look in another group. Look for groups, communities, forums where your target market congregates. You have to spend time searching and looking. The operative word is “search”. It’s a verb. To search, means spend time looking. Hate to break it to you, but sometimes your marketing is trial and error.
TIP: Set your timer for 30 minutes at a clip and look like your business depends on it. Keep looking.