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Why identifying your audience is critical to your success

When you first start, it’s pretty exciting.  You get an idea for a course and you want to run with it, however, you will find that you won’t grow quickly.

Instead, you will be shooting arrows in the dark hoping to land a bullseye.  When you don’t know who you are talking to, you are bascially talking to yourself.

By defining your audience, you are able to shape every aspect of your content to appeal to that group.

When you hit the bullseye with your course, your students will become raving fans and follow you from course to course.

A loyal following is essential to your success as an online instructor.  So let’s take the time right now to define your audience.

Finding the Sweet Spot

After you’ve brainstormed a list of course topic ideas, it’s time to define your audience.  

If you haven’t done the brainstorm yet, grab the Idea Party Guide below.

How you teach your courses and the angle of your content will be determined by your audience.

Let’s take a look at an example before we get into the nuts & bolts so you can see where you are headed and why.

Let’s go back to our topic of cleaning.  It’s seems like a pretty straightforward topic but let’s see how it changes based on your audience.

Audience:  New Parents

A new parent is going to be nervous about how cleaning agents can impact their newborn.  They are going to want to know about ingredients and side effects.  

They will want to know about non-toxic and natural products. Safety will be their top concern.

Audience:  Single Working Parents

This audience is going to be interested in fast and simple cleaning techniques.  They are going to be pressed for time continually.  

Having to fill the roles of mom and dad will make cleaning less of a priority.  While they might think cleaning is important, they just won’t have time time to spend hours each week cleaning.

They will want short cuts, a minimal cleaning schedule, a way to get kids involved in sharing the responsibility.

Can you see how these two audiences have very different needs when it comes to the same topic?

You need to know what your audience needs from you with regard to every topic you teach.

Idea Party

Struggling to decide what to subjects to teach in your new online course business?

Get your copy of the Idea Party.  This guide will walk you through setting up your own brainstorm session or Idea Party.  By the time the “party’s” over, you will have a nice list of topics you can teach!

Download it here!

Reading the Mind of your Audience

So you are asking yourself, who is my audience and how do I know what they want?

To start the process, you want to think about who’s mind you can get into.

I cannot think like my husband or my son.  Everytime I think I know what they want or how they are going to react in a situation, I am always wrong.

However, when it comes to my daughter, I am typically right on track.  So I know that I am going to be better teaching women than I am men.  (Sorry men.)

I can usually predict the behavior of women close in age to myself but I totally miss the mark with teenagers.

Observe your own life and see who you can relate to.  Most likely you will come up with a description of someone like yourself and that’s fine.

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Getting a Sharper Focus

Take this starting audience and start to really define it.  While they share a lot of the same characteristics as you, they are not you.  They are not teachers and they may not be entrepreneurs.

To sharpen your focus you need to ask yourself several questions about your group.  Ideally you want to know what your group worries about and how you can use your topics to improve their life.

Download the Audience & Niche Focus Guide here.

What does this audience want from you?

Now that you have a good understanding of your audience, it’s time to work on what topics they want to learn about.

Topic selection is also referred to as niche selection.  You want to win over your audience by becoming THE go-to person on a specific topic.

However, it is a bit tricky to develop a niche that is wide enough to give you plenty of course ideas but narrow enough to allow you to stand out as the leading expert.

I created a tutorial to help you take the skills you feel comfortable teaching and narrowing them down into a niche with hungry fans waiting to find you.

Access the Audience & Niche Focus Guide here.

The Next Step

After you have a good understanding of your niche and your audience, it’s time to work on what type of content will you build and where will you host it.

Click to the next section where we will dive into the world of delivery methods and platforms.

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