You are not your target market: You know too much.
You’re pretty smart. You’ve been around your industry or subject area for several years, maybe longer. You have studied, learned, tried, failed, learned some more, succeeded, and learned some more. In short, you are no longer the same as your customers.
Now, this is good because you have something to teach them. Now, this is also bad, because you don’t know what it’s like to be a beginner anymore. You think you remember, but that is tempered by looking back through your own experiences. Your customers are at the other end of the experience. They are looking ahead, but can’t see very far. It’s not really possible for you to really understand that anymore, because you know too much.
So you have to listen, deeply, to the questions customers ask. You have to think, deeply, about the questions they aren’t asking.
You are not your target market Part 1: Quit hanging around with your own people. Go find the customers.
You are not your target market Part 2: What you like doesn’t equate into what customers like.
You are not your target market: How to get more volunteer participation.
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Agatha @Free Money Tips says
After 10 years in the accounting biz, I had a hard time figuring out what it was my target audience actually wanted to learn about money. Surveying friends and current customers has helped. And doing speeches for various types of groups has also helped me narrow my target market and what they want to know.
Wayne McEvilly says
This is really very applicable in a general perspective – I think it even applies to the way we welcome (or not) newbies on Twitter. I can vividly remember what it was like being in that place. So I attempt “to listen, deeply,” as you say and to make my communications suited to the circumstance. This also applies in a big way to bringing the forbidding field (to many) of “classical music” into a public arena where many feel unwelcome or uncomfortable (because of so many reasons, one of them being the cult of exclusion that has so surrounded it like a barbed wire fence :-)
Well, useful post. Thank you.
Becky McCray says
Yes! Wayne, I think you are very, very good at this.