How to Know Your Audience


Sometimes launching a project can feel a bit uncertain. It can feel like you’re throwing your idea against the wall and hoping it sticks. But, what if we told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if we told you there is actually one aspect of crowdfunding that, after mastering you’ll be able to have a pretty good handle on how things are going to turn out? 

Well, lucky for you, Nalin does just that in this week’s episode. The topic: your audience. By knowing the in’s and out’s of who your project was made for, you will be able to crush your crowdfunding campaign and have better success. 

Main Takeaways

[0:34]: Encouragement for Those in the Trenches  

Why Nalin does what she does.

[2:40]: How Nalin’s Previous Life As A Product Marketing Manager Relates to Crowdfunding

Being a project marketing manager at an after-market car solution company taught Nalin some very important crowdfunding lessons that she shares with us all.

[4:22]: What Is “Product Market Fit” Anyway? 

Let’s compare a cooking pan and a smart trash can to explain this one.

[8:27]: What Product Does Your Audience Like?

You have to know your “why” to know your audience. If you can’t pin down exactly who your audience is – go back to the drawing board of why you created your product in the first place.

[10:22]: The Potatoe Peeler Example

How does a potato peeler have anything to do with your audience? A lot actually! 

[16:17]: Picking Your Audience Helps You Pick Their Influencers 

People trust influencers, reviewers, or anyone who has sway in a certain industry. Knowing your audience will allow you to know who will have more success in selling your product to them for you.

[17:49]: How To Predict People’s Response To Your Product

What if you could know how people are going to react to your project before it launches? Well, you can! 

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product, audience, talk, launch, crowdfunding, potato peeler, trashcan, working, people, idea, product marketing manager, problems, project, backup camera, arthritis, ergonomic, type, love, put, market

This is the crush crowdfunding podcast, the number one place for people who want to launch on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. My name is Nalin and I invite you to join me for tips, hacks, and insights to get you launched and fully funded.

Hey, everyone! Welcome to another episode of The Crush Crowdfunding podcast. I'm recording on a beautiful Seattle day and I'm so grateful to be here to talk to you all about crowdfunding. You know, every time I talk to another entrepreneur or someone who has a dream/idea about crowdfunding I am just floored just by the passion, the motivation, and the drive. People have to really extract the idea from their head, the one that they've been thinking about for months or the one they've been kind of toying with and working on for years and actually put it to life. There's so much bravery, passion, dedication, and fuel behind putting an idea to life. I am just absolutely floored by that passion. So, thank you so much for making what I do one of the best things in the world because I get to work with people like you, whoever you are, who's listening.

Right now I get to work with people like you who are so passionate and ready to get your idea out in the world that I can't help but just be psyched every time I wake up and get out of bed just to do this. I love to help people launch their dreams and ideas. So thank you. I really applaud you for doing what you do, Keep going. Don't give up!

As a crowdfunding consultant I talk to a lot of people about their campaigns, projects, products, and progress. We discuss a lot about what they've been doing, what they want to do, and where they should be going for their crowdfunding campaign. One of the key things that has really stood out to me in the last few weeks is the idea of the audience. The idea of who an audience is for a crowdfunding campaign. People talk a lot about finding an audience for a launch. People, like myself, say- “Audience! Find an audience. Build an audience. Get an audience." Other crowdfunding consultants, agencies, and expert courses talk about audiences. Even books that you read about crowdfunding talk a lot about finding an audience for launch. Recently I found that this step is often really overlooked or misunderstood by people.

Let me tell you a little story. As a product marketing manager in my previous life, I actually worked at a tech startup in the San Francisco Bay area where I launched new hardware products to the market and pretty much figured out where things fit into the market, who would actually like the product, and so on. As a background, the company that I worked at launches, works, builds, and makes products for cars. It's centered around aftermarket car solutions. So, for example, if your car doesn't have a backup camera and you really want to have a backup camera you would install this little camera on the back of your license plate and it will sync up with your phone through Bluetooth. You'll essentially have a backup camera without having to pay thousands of dollars for a new car or pay thousands of dollars at an automobile shop. So that's one of the many types of products that I was working with in this particular company.

As you can see, this type of product is probably only relevant to a certain type of people. They're not going to be relevant to people who have a new car with a backup camera already. It's not going to be relevant for people who are so used to driving without a backup camera because they don't need it. The product is only going to be relevant to people in a certain generation with certain needs and likes that want a backup camera for their car. People who don't have it for their car and don't want to buy a completely new car. This is just one example of various products that I was working with.

As a product marketing manager, I talked to my product team a lot about what we call “product market fit.” What this essentially means is- finding the right people who will love your product. This applies to every single crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It applies because you really need to find that product market fit. Where does your product fit within the market? Where and who are the people who actually like this product? When you go back to that backup camera aftermarket installation example that I was talking about - not everyone will love that backup camera and the way that it's made. Not everyone will love it. But, my job as a product marketing manager was to figure out who it was that needed that product, who it was that would love that product, and who it was that would have been willing to pay money for that particular product. That's the same thing that you have to do for your campaign every time you want to launch anything to the market.

There are a few things that you really must keep in mind. One, not everyone will love your product. You cannot please everyone. And, two, there's a certain group in the population who will be absolute fans for your project. Those are the two main things to keep in mind. Not everyone will love your product and there are certain people who will absolutely love it.

Let’s make this more tangible. Take some time to think about your favorite movie or your favorite book. Visualize that feeling you have when you watch the movie or the feeling you have when you read the book. Whatever your absolute favorite thing is - maybe you absolutely love penguins as an animal. All right, whatever it is that you love - just think about that for a second. The crazy thing here is that what you absolutely love someone else might really hate. You might love the book ‘100 Years of Solitude’ and someone else absolutely hates that book. You might love Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol but someone else out there might absolutely hate that movie.

Those are two things you have to keep in mind before we dig deeper into this. This idea of an audience- not everyone will love your product because everything out there has lovers and haters. There's a certain group in the population who will be absolute fans. Your job, as the person with the idea who is trying to launch this product, is to hone in on who these people are. What kind of characteristics do they have? What kind of likes and dislikes do they have? What kind of things do they like to do on the weekends? What kind of things do they like to read? Who are these people and why are they going to love your product? Who you need to market to depends on what your product is and who will enjoy it enough to buy it.

Those two things can be very, very different for each product. So, knowing who will like your product and who will like it enough to enjoy it really determines on who your audience will be. I know this might be a kind of crazy example but imagine if you're launching a new cooking pan versus if you're launching something like a smart trashcan. Cooking pan versus a smart trashcan. As you can imagine, the audience of these two projects will be very different and have really far reaching repercussions for your marketing. Because, people who are always obsessed with cooking and cookware and making new things in the kitchen like trying new recipes. Those people might not even care if their trashcan is smart or not. They might not even care if they have a legit trashcan. They might not even want to pay for something like this, and vice versa. So this is the first key step. When you think about your audience, you really need to know what kind of products they like. Is your product one that they would like? Is it something that they will enjoy? If so, then they will enjoy it enough to even buy it. When it comes to your audience that is the first place to start.

This might still be a little bit abstract to a few people so let's talk a little bit more in detail about this. When it comes to a product that you're creating for crowdfunding (even one that's in your head) and if you're not sure who your audience is then think back to the creation and the idea and the inception of your idea. Think about where you were when you created this product. Why did this product come to your head? This is going to be the key factor for unlocking who your audience is because products and ideas arise because they solve problems. They become the solutions to different problems that you, your friends, your family, or your acquaintances encounter.

Think back to when you had the idea for this product. Think back to when you had the idea of launching something and the passion that you had to get this project out there. Why? Why did this idea happen? Why did this idea pop up into your head? Why did this idea make you so driven to launch something to the market? That is the key to finding your audience. When you know the “why,” you know what problem it solves and for whom it solves it.

Let's take another example. I have talked about this example a lot but it's really worth talking about again and repeating. It's such a key example of how solving for a need can give you a core audience. The example is - the potato peeler! The potato peeler used to be this really hard, thin metallic thing that you gripped onto it and squeezed it with your hand as you peeled the potato. As you did that, the metal would cut into your hands. This person was using the potato peeler and he saw his wife using a potato peeler and realized that - “Hey! This potato peeler is really just not effective at all.” Not only that, but his wife had arthritis and was having a really hard time grabbing the peeler. So he thought - “Wait! Why not make something that's easier to grasp?” So he worked with the arthritis society and came up with the modern day potato peeler which has a handle that is really easy for someone to grab hold of. This guy went out and said- “Hey, this product doesn't work right now. This product isn't great right now. I see my wife having this problem because she can’t grab this potato peeler and actually use it so I'm going to set out and make a better product.” The first audience group for this particular product was actually people who had arthritis. It made cooking and other kitchen tasks so much easier for them. Then, lo and behold, after years of being in the market, this is now a product that you can see everywhere. Now all potato peelers are pretty much easy to grasp like that. To go back to where it all started, he created the new potato peeler because of a problem and found an audience because he knew what problem he was solving and who was experiencing those problems.

When it comes to your particular product think back to when you had the idea of this product and what you wanted to solve by it because that will tell you who your audience is and who you should be talking to. Knowing your audience really has far reaching repercussions for your marketing. Let's see how.

One, you'll figure out what your audience needs to hear to convince them to buy. Every single product has a different way of convincing someone to buy. If you're launching a new audio product then people need to see other people who are well respected in the audio industry talking about this. People need to see what the technology in the audio product is. That makes it so much more special and so much more unique than everything else on the market.

If you're launching a new type of ergonomic mouse for the computer then people have to see the problems the existing mouse has. People need to see the problems that it causes in the long run and how an ergonomic mouse will actually combat those problems. By knowing the type of product and type of audience, you'll be able to see and create content and create information that your audience needs to hear to convince them to actually come to your crowdfunding page, Indiegogo page, or Kickstarter page. That way they’ll be more likely to put in money for building up your idea.

Two, you'll figure out where your audience is hanging out and where you should be grabbing attention. Let's go back to that original example between a smart trashcan and a new type of chef's pan. When you're looking at these two products there are clearly two different types of people who want these products. They are going to be talking and chatting and hanging out in very different places. People who want chef stuff are probably in a chef-related forum, cooking forum, or in a place where they're looking at recipes and influencers who love to cook. That determines where you should be talking, where you should be present, and where you should be writing and making connections; grabbing people's attention for your own products. If you're looking at an audio product where people talk it's going to be very different from where people talk when it comes to those who are interested in chef products. So, knowing your audience really determines where you put your efforts and energies into.

There's no reason to try to secure a promotion or an article or write up in a huge tech gadget blog if you're launching a pair of pants, right? It doesn't make any sense because the audience who goes to that tech gadget blog is not going to be looking for your pair of pants. People who are looking for your pair of pants are probably looking at a fashion blog, a fashion magazine, a fashion writer or following a fashion journalist. Something like that. Knowing your audience really determines where you put an effort for your promotional activities. It also determines where those people are that might find other people who might like your product and grab their attention in those places.

Another reason an audience is so incredibly important is that you'll be able to pick reviewers, influencers, and people who have sway in certain industries depending on who your audience is. If you're looking to launch something like a drone there's people out there who just reviewed drones and you want to get your drone out to that person and to where that person is so they can test it and do an unboxing. They’ll be able to play around with it and fly it and write about it and talk about it on a video because the people who are watching videos and reading blogs from this particular influencer will be persuaded by what they have to say. Consumers will take into account the influencer’s support for a product before they actually buy it. So just knowing your audience will really help you narrow down the scope of work that you have to do in order to get the word out about your project.

If you're launching a new smart vitamin case you probably don't want to be in an outlet that only talks about mugs. There's no reason to be in a place that only talks about mugs. You want to be in a place that talks about health, nutrition, and new technology. Those are the types of people who will be supporting your particular project.

The last reason why I think it's so important to know your audience is because you'll get to figure out who will respond positively to your content. Getting a lot of hate for your content or even no response at all for your content can be really demoralizing. Imagine if you put something out there and there are no likes or comments or clicks. There's no one who even cares about what you're posting. That hurts. Most likely, it's not that your project isn't good, it's probably because you're trying to grab attention from the wrong people in the wrong places. It all comes down to an audience.

If you find the right people and places where they're open to learning about what you're talking about - they're going to cheer you on, lift you up, and root for your success. Finding an audience is really at the core to most marketing and crowdfunding successes and mishaps. I really want you to think very deep about who your audience is.

The most successful products are able to find their audience and market and talk to them. They dig deep into the where, what, why and how's of their lives so that they can convince others to back their project. At the end of the day, it's incredibly beneficial to know who your audience is before you start marketing.

So that wraps up this particular episode of The Crush Crowdfunding Podcast where we talk about audiences.

Thank you so much for listening today. If you enjoyed the content, I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review wherever you're listening to this. Whether it's iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Podbean, or anywhere else, I would really appreciate a review so that other people who are looking for crowdfunding content, looking to share their ideas with the world, or looking to launch their ideas can also find this podcast and learn.

Again, thank you for listening and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review for the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you go out and crush it.

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