Learn How to Start Your Own Business

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Written By @HelloTRM

Explore the insights of a professional blogger and researcher.

Start Your Own Business

1)Why should I avoid generic descriptions of my target audience?

2)What’s a good way to define my target audience?

3)How does this help me stand out from my competitors?

Soccer moms. Yuppies. Tweens. You might hear businesses using labels like these when they talk about target audiences.
It helps them narrow their ideal customers down into an easy group to market to. It makes sense…in theory.
When it comes to target audiences, remember this: Customers are people, not stereotypes.

Really understanding your customer means knowing more about them than just their sex, age group, social status, and what type of job they have.

What you really need to know is WHY. As in Why they act, think, and lead their lives the way they do. Basically, you need to know your target audience as well as you know your closest friend.
You may be thinking, “Broad stereotypes are easier to come up with. Why can’t I market to 30-something hipster dads?”
Here’s why: It’s difficult – if not impossible – to be everything to everyone. There are just too many competitors out there, and you won’t distinguish yourself from them.
And stereotypes can lead you to assume your target audience is one group when it’s actually a completely different group altogether.

How do you avoid the broad stereotype trap? Think about the major assumptions you’ve made about your customers – and challenge them.

Ask yourself which of these assumptions needs to be validated before they can become a truth. Also, list out anything you might not know about your customers that you should explore.
As you whittle away at stereotypes, keeping some Dos and Don’ts in mind will help you find a better target audience.


What those Dos and Don’ts are really saying is: Look at your audience as three-dimensionally as possible.
You’ll find a lot of different ways to do this, but we’ll take you through a few jumping-off points.
You can look at definitions that are normally considered generic and broad, and then begin paring them down and refining them.
Instead of the very large 18 to 49-year-old age group, you can look at specific age ranges like the early 20s or early 30s.

Along with age, you can look at where your target audience is: city, suburbs, countryside, another country, etc.
What education level does your target audience have? High school, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or higher? Or are they self-educated?
Also look at what type of job they have: professional, blue collar, business owner, etc.
These descriptions do a decent job of defining your audience narrowly, but you can go further by looking at lifestyles and emotions.
Look at what they like to do and what type of hobbies they have. Are they into arts, science, socializing, etc.?

How To Start A Business -TRM Research

Your target audience’s values can also tell you a lot about them. Research what they believe in honesty, hard work, community, family, etc.
Finally, look at how they view your business and product. Do they think of you as a pastime, a necessary evil, an escape, or something else?
Let’s see how Pinterest, the visual discovery tool for ideas you can try in real life, found success by narrowing down its target audience.
Founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp originally created Pinterest as a tool to help themselves collect visual inspiration they found online. When they decided to make Pinterest available to others, they at first weren’t sure who they should market.
One conference later, they found traction with a community of lifestyle bloggers, which helped populate Pinterest with great content. Based on this, Ben and Evan could have easily chosen the broad target audience of “creatives.”

Instead, Ben and Evan studied how Pinterest’s audience was growing organically. They looked at why people were using their tool and how they were using it.
Through this, they discovered new communities of Pinterest fans – like people who weren’t professional designers, but who were still interested in easy, creative ideas for home decor, fashion, and cooking.
Pinterest focused its marketing to reach this narrow target audience, which helped them quickly grow its user base and develop a global community of Pinners.


To start defining your target audience like Pinterest, think of one current customer who you really value. Then ask yourself some questions about that person.

What Does Your Customer do for a living?
Why do they do this job AKA What Motivate Them?
How do they usually feel on a normal workday?
If they had more free time what would they do?
What would they say your products do for them?

Lesson Recap

Launch Your Business with Customer-Focused Marketing

Key Takeaways

1. Using demographics isn’t the only way to find your target audience.

2. Think like your customer and consider their emotions, mindset, needs, and wants.

3. Having a narrow target audience helps you reach your customers better and stand out from your competitors.

Do This Now

Here’s your Target Audience Idea Starter:

My customer ____because he or she ____. This person usually ____ Feel and would ____ if there was more free time. My customer often thinks, “If only I had something that ___..”

Thank you


Our team of experienced bloggers and researchers.

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