Do you really know who your audience is? Or do you just plan your marketing in a haphazard fashion, you just offer resources, products and more hoping that this is what your customers are looking for?

One of the biggest mistakes creative business owners make is not knowing who their audience / ideal customer really is. You can gain insights into this by performing some market research.

Below are some questions that you should be asking yourself. So take the time to discover the appropriate answers.

  1. Who is your audience/ideal customer?
  2. What level of understanding do they have of the subject in question?
  3. What is the general age range of your audience?
  4. What is their gender, location, income bracket and educational background?
  5. What are your customers expecting from you? This could be a product, information, services or solutions to specific problems.

Quite often the what and who of how your product or service appeals to people is quite different to what you had thought. Once you have completed your research you may have your eyes opened for you!

There are different places where you can gain insights into your audiences needs, desires, challenges and aspirations. You can visit your local Chamber of Commerce or use the U.S. Census Bureau (or a similar service in your country).

If your business is primarily run online then you can use sites such as Quantcast to find demographics and other valuable information. Then there are many statistic type sites that will help you gain further insights.

By taking the time to research your market in depth, you can easily create an outline, or avatar, of a ‘customer’. Then use this avatar in all of your marketing plans.

If have a fan page for your creative business (which you SHOULD), you view the exact demographic of your fans.

Below is a shot from the Handmadeology fan page.

Once you know the age of your target market, you will know how to phrase your marketing when it comes to language. Of course, you are going to use different words and phrases when talking to a group of twenty something’s, than you would talking to a group of seniors.

Another great source for discovering what your audience wants is to visit related forums or Facebook groups and fan pages in your industry. This way you can lurk in the background and see what questions are being asked. Are there common occurrences that keep cropping up?