The three things you need to know about understanding your ideal audience


Are you a Startup founder, business owner caught up in the bazillion advice out there on how to find your ideal customer?

The information and advice offered out there are majorly from companies that have raised millions in Funding rounds or even gone ahead with an IPO.

You’ll hear words like psychographics, demography, income level, age, married or single and even name your persona.

As good as that may sound, it doesn’t serve a small business owner in the moment or a start-up that hasn’t made a single sale.

It doesn’t mean that their advice isn’t great and won’t serve a business well. But it can be pretty overwhelming, tasking and has a tendency to launch entrepreneurs to a drifting sea of procrastination. This is because it takes having a lot of data at your fingertips to make these ideas work for you.

These ideas craft a 3-10 page customer persona guide, questions and checklist.

You don’t want to get consumed spending days and night figuring out who you should be selling to.

Ask the only three questions that truly determine if you have a monetizable market, marketable idea and can offer up the best solution you can to the right audience.

After you’ve landed some clients and grown your business to a certain degree, you can then begin to implement the 1001 questions of a customer profile.

Because then you know enough about your market, have worked with a variety of customers, observed patterns and can now confidently understand and screen out your ideal customer.

So how do you understand your ideal audience, so that you know you’re spending time with the right people and generating the kind of sales you desire?

The first resolve you got to have before you ask these three questions is you must resolve that you know a problem
that needs solving and you can do a good job at providing a solution.

Understanding your ideal audience (2)

That you have the right skill, tools, expertise, knowledge and competency to solve the problem.

So start there first. And the question you should ask yourself is this:

What problem do I have the skill, expertise, knowledge and competency to solve? – identify the problem you want to solve first.

After you’ve gained clarity on the problem you want to solve, the next thing you do is determine who your ideal audience is by finding answers to these core customer persona questions:

1. – Who has the problem I intend to solve?

You know the problem you want to solve, first find people with the problem.

2. – Are they willing and ready to seek help for this problem? Or are they willing and ready to invest money to make this problem go away?

Is the problem big enough, bad enough, challenging enough that motivates the audience to just put money into it to make it go away?

3. – Do they have the right BMC to make it happen?
BMC stands for Budget, Mindset and Commitment.

Budget: Can they work with you based on the monetary requirement you want?

As a marketing strategist, a business may have the problem I can solve and be willing to invest money to make it go away. However, they may not have the right budget my services demand. That doesn’t make them my ideal customer.

Mindset: Are their mindset and culture framed to support seeking help and having you provide that solution?

This is very important.

The popular story about a village with people without shoes is incomplete. An external factor made the sales of shoes a success.

Someone’s mindset can keep them from getting maximum results that you provide and if they are unable to get maximum results they think your solution is lame, which may end up creating a poor client-business relationship.

Commitment: Are they willing and able to commit to the process of getting results?

Understanding your ideal audience (3)

Some people are just paying lip service to them needing their problem to go away.

For example, if you need your clients to send you certain documentation to get their work done, but they don’t make it a priority. Only to keep procrastinating until you get fed up – that’s not an ideal client.

When you find an audience who can answer yes to these questions then you’ve found your customers.

Stop struggling, trying to build a long-form customer persona when you don’t already have one sale out.

Whatever you come up with is pure theory, it doesn’t matter how many analytics tools and research reports you consult.

Nothing beats real life answers that come from working with real people, serving them, gaining experience, learning the lessons and using all that insights to come up with your ideal customer profile.

With your observation, you can say, “Oh this category of people are a pain to serve as against another category that pays more and demands less customer service and I prefer to serve the latter.”

This is where you need to get to and the quicker you get there, the better.

To find your ideal customer these are the only three questions. that need asking especially if you’re just starting out.

Don’t get buried in customer persona, audience profile and all those time-consuming activities that don’t even guarantee sales.

So rather than, wasting time on a ton of customer persona questions, solve these three first and get moving.


Ifeoma Illoh is a data driven digital marketer focused on revenue growth and customer retention. As a senior digital marketing and PR consultant she works with businesses to activate and grow consistent revenue using digital channels and online media platforms so they can attract leads, maximize sales and grow exponentially. This is ultimately so that business owners can make impact, have influence and build the legacy they desire. She's the Founder of WiredInn Digital agency which she built from ground zero . She's actively the Chief Content Officer here at OMI.

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