Today’s #TuesdayTutorial applies to everyone who markets a product or service, but since I’ve been seeing this situation repeatedly in the #writingcommunity recently, I’m going to use it as my example.

Make sure you know who your ideal client is, who your audience is, and that you are adequately sharing your service or product with that client. More and more entrepreneurs are getting involved in their industry on social media (which is great!), and building their followers among people who do the same thing they do, but then getting their feelings hurt that those followers aren’t purchasing their product or service. You need to understand that those are your colleagues at best but probably also your competitors for sales, not necessarily your audience, clients, or customers.

In the writing community, the rule of thumb is you need approximately a thousand followers before agents, editors, or publishers will consider buying your work. In order to get the thousand followers, many writers are getting involved in the online writing community. It’s a great community to be part of, very supportive and encouraging, which I have enjoyed and from whom I’ve learned a lot. But they are not the audience I am writing books for.

If I want to sell books to readers (uumm, duh), I must participate in the READING community. To promote a medical thriller, I need to be involved in the medical and the thriller online communities. If I want to market a book about service dogs, I need to be part of the service dog, disability, and dog lover communities. I can’t expect the writing community, my coworkers, to purchase my books if they’re not interested in those genres. Notice I said to participate, be involved, and be part of those communities–don’t just show up only when you have something to sell.

So what is your product or service? Have you thought about who your ideal client or customer is? How old is that person? What is his or her demographics? What are the interests or hobbies they pursue? Have you taken time to figure out your ideal customer’s needs, concerns, pain points, or joys? If not, I suggest you spend some time doing that, and then getting involved in her online and real life communities, before you put more time or money into promoting what you are working on.

Marketing at its most basic level is simply sharing how your product satisfies your client’s needs or wants. To do that, you need to have a relationship with your customer, hence the SOCIAL part of social media, not to mention why sales departments usually have an entertainment budget.

So tell me, who is your ideal client? Are you marketing to him, or only to your colleagues/competitors?

If you need help figuring out this essential piece of your marketing puzzle, let me know. I love coaching social media marketing and platform building! I am here to help you level up, regardless of your industry.