Did you know that your business persona is different from your brand persona? Let’s focus for a minute on demographics.
WHAT ARE DEMOGRAPHICS
Firstly, a demographic is a particular section of the population. We use these all the time and some of the most common demographic information usually found in business persona includes…
HOW TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ONES YOU WANT
There are a lot more out there you can use to narrow down your specific niche even more. However, I want you to consider the following…
Can you provide your service to people other than your chosen demographic?
Are all people in that demographic potential clients for your services?
Who chose this demographic for your business? Was it you, research, or somebody else?
For example, as an online service provider that does all their work online, why would location matter to you? Are you going to only talk to and work with people living in your city even if it’s online? It’s the same thing with every single aspect of a demographic. Yes, you can use it to niche down and narrow down your audience even more, but will you turn away divorcees if your ideal client is married with two kids?
Also, consider that people can’t be labelled and put into nice little boxes all the time. If you’ve said you’re only targeting 30-year-olds, will you turn away somebody younger with a more mature mentality? These things may matter for your business persona to know how to target your ads, how to filter profiles for your lead generator, and how to write your marketing messages. But when it comes to offering your services and connecting with them… maybe they don’t. On the other hand, maybe they do. Think about it.
TAKE YOUR GOALS INTO CONSIDERATION
Here are some examples I want you to consider.
An online service provider targeting moms who are also online service providers. Marital status, age, and location don’t matter. Family does because this service provider specifically works with moms who have kids at a certain age and understands how to adjust schedules around the kids.
A graphic designer targeting local small businesses to talk them through their finances. Gender, age, and marital status don’t matter. Location is important for this graphic designer though because they like to visit in person and work out the problems face-to-face.
An OBM targeting BIPOC communities to buy their products. Age, gender, and marital status don’t matter. But the location and ethnicity do because this OBM focuses on creating a specific environment for their customers in order to get them through the door.
What I’m trying to get at with these examples is that YES, there are demographics that matter. NO, it’s not all of them for you and your business. And no, they are definitely not the only thing that matters in any persona you create.
WHAT TO FOCUS ON INSTEAD
Instead, look at people’s aspirations, goals, personalities, experiences, and frustrations. Consider their likes, hobbies, and interests. You should also probably look at their favourite platforms and channels of communication. Two people who are completely different based on demographics can be the same with those values.
These things will help you in building your brand persona and knowing how to draw your audience in, interact with them, and keep them.
If you are limiting your potential clients based on demographics (not a bad thing!) have your reasons behind it. Whether this is because you know from experience what it’s like to be a mom, or you want to be there in person to walk somebody through their problems, or you know how hard it is to be in someone’s shoes, talk about why this demographic is important to you. I’ll bet you that it’s going to be important to your ideal client too, even if they don’t all match.
And if this doesn’t make that big of a difference for you, if it’s not something you can proudly stand up for, then leave it as a generalized idea on your business persona to help you in large data searches for your audience.
One other thing I want you to think about is how demographics can affect your brand’s visual identity (logo, colours, fonts, website, etc.) and your brand’s essence (language, tone, voice, and content). This is a completely exaggerated example, so pardon me, but if you’ve decided you want to work only with men – should your colours be hot pink and pastel blue? Firstly, one step on narrowing down your audience is never enough to give you good data. But it can give you a general idea.
Let’s use a quick visualization here – think of a tree.
The split between branches is one of a few options, and you want to keep splitting and splitting and splitting until you get to the individual leaf that is your ideal client. Demographics alone will never get you there. If you agree with me, share this article so others can have a read too.