Turn It Up To 11 — Create Better Marketing By Defining Your Audience


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turn it up to 11 — create better marketing by defining your audience (a knob with marks from 1 to 11)

For more audience-building awesome sauce, check out this episode of the Brown Bag Business Chat

It’s a Saturday afternoon. I’m hanging out with the family, doing some laundry, and generally enjoying my time away from work. Cell phone rings. I can tell it’s a work call (thanks RingCentral!), so I figure it’s either an emergency, or someone really doesn’t get our boundaries.

“This is Heather” (I drop the cheeriness and the rest of my greeting, it is Saturday, right?)

“Hello sir — may I speak to the business owner?”

Geez, didn’t I just say my name? “This is Heather, I am the business owner.”

“Oh. Ok, I’m calling from Google with an offer to help you improve your ranking.”

OMG this dude has no clue. No. Frickin’. Clue. Who I am or what I do. Obviously has no idea that I work in this industry and I know for a fact: Google ain’t callin’ me on a Saturday to say “what’s good?”

We’ve all been there, right? On one side of a conversation where the other person clearly has no idea who we are. What we’re about.

Here’s another one. Let’s get a little more personal this time.

I’m sitting at my daughter’s school when a mom comes to sit beside me. They’re new to our school and I don’t know her well. She doesn’t know me. We start to chat a little about the school they transferred from:

“I just couldn’t understand why my daughter was in a room with special needs kids. I mean, all those kids had their own aids, and so many more resources than the ‘normal’ kids. I thought they put autistic and down syndrome kids off in their own part of the school. Why don’t they do that anymore?”

Fuming. So mad I can hardly see. Trying to put together the words to explain inclusion. How important it is for both her daughter and the kids who need the extra resources. Before I can even open my mouth to let some words fall out, she continues:

“We just didn’t like it. Not at all. So we transferred to a smaller school that wouldn’t be able to handle ‘those’ kids.”

She has no idea she’s just said shared these shocking opinions with the mother of an autistic child. She has no clue how offensive and rude she comes across.

She has no insight to who I am. What makes me tick. What life looks like for me every day. That my own silly, cuddly, loving, and crazy-hard-working little guy stands in the absolute center of my universe right beside his sister. Or, that I worry every day what his transition to a classroom setting will look like and if he’ll have the resources and support he needs when he gets there.

There Are No Do-Overs

This week during the Brown Bag Business Chat, Randi made a great point that defining your audience matters because there are no do-overs.

First impressions matter. You’ve got to get it right, or you’ll (at best) bore people and (at worst) alienate them.

Whether it’s meeting them for the first time, your phone interactions, the way you use social media or the content on your website, you’ve got to know the people you’re communicating to.

Not Just an Audience, Your IDEAL Audience

Before we get to the meat of this article and actually get your hands dirty doing some work, let me make something abundantly clear: This is your opportunity to think about who you really want to work with.

The people who are fun, profitable, and push you to be better at what you do.

If you’re not already working with people who are an awesome fit for your business, here’s your chance to define who they are and start structuring your website and marketing to speak directly to them.

Let’s Get to Work

Alright, enough chatter, let’s get down to it.

First thing you’ll want to do is grab our Audience Persona Worksheet. It’s like gold on paper, y’all, and to get it you just need to sign up for our mailing list.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

customer persona templateAlright, so you’ve got your worksheet, it’s (hopefully) printed out and ready for your hot little hand to get to work.

Do your best to work through this process carefully—think as honestly as you can about your ideal customer and answer questions from their perspective.

Even better, grab a couple of your favorite clients and ask them for their answers.

You may even need to complete the worksheet a few times to create a profile for each of these clients since they may represent several different audiences.

Now, About That Website

You totally thought I forgot this is a website series, didn’t you?

You know what they say about people who assume…

The thing is, this is the most important part of building or revamping your website. Your content, layout and design will all be driven by these audience profiles.

And every other part of your marketing and communication with your clients? Yep, you guessed it: It all needs to be driven by these profiles as well.

Next up, we’re talking brand in the 2nd installment of our website series: Free To Be You and Me — Why Your Client’s Personality Matters As Much As Your Brand’s.

Take the next week to work on your audience profiles and be ready to dive into your own brand’s persona when we meet again!

P.S. Got a question about your audience profiles or how to use the worksheet? Drop it in the comments below and we’ll help you get through it.

Heather Steele

After almost a decade of marketing in a corporate setting, she tired of being a corporate cog and decided to go it alone, bootstrapping a business based on one simple principle:   Partnership.   Follow her on Twitter @heathersteele03, LinkedIn, or our blog to learn how to turn your business into a beast.

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