Why You're Not Attracting Your Dream Audience (And How to Start)
You have a clear vision of your dream audience — aka the people you really, really want to be working with and the people you know you could do your best work for. They’re your tribe: the people who get you, value your work and want to work with you You know who they are, what they like, what they dislike, what they need and even what they will spend.
The only thing you don't know is where they are. Wherever it is, it's not on your website or social channels, doing business with you. At least for now.
Successful brands and businesses are ultra-specific about the customers or clients they serve. Clarity is power in anything you do. Obtaining this kind of clarity is hard work – and you should pat yourself on the back for it.
But that's only the start of attracting your dream audience to you.
Here are some of the common obstacles that keep your target customers or clients from discovering you, plus some strategies for clearing those obstacles.
1. You're Waiting For Them to Come to You
At DesignGood, we build beautiful brands, websites and sales tools that are custom-designed to attract each client's dream audience. After we deliver each project, we don't just wish the client luck and move on. Instead, we have a follow-up conversation to help the client set up ongoing outreach steps. Why? Because even the best website won't drive business on its own. You can't sit back and wait for your dream audience to discover your site — or to keep coming back when they do. To attract them and keep them returning, you need to mindfully create content they love, build your email list and interact with them on social media, among other steps. It’s about creating intentions (deciding who they are) and giving attention (being where they are) to the people you want to work with consistently. With every interaction, focus on serving them. What would your audience find helpful, encouraging or valuable?
2. You're Out There — But Not Where They Are
If you are already taking outreach steps, make sure you're focusing in the right places. For example, you can spend every spare moment on social media and still not attract your dream audience if you're not devoting your time to the networks they use. Depending on your business, you may also need to do more to be in the same physical spaces as your clients or customers — not just the same online spaces. Make a list of events, conferences and classes where you might encounter the people you want to serve. Can you attend one or more of them in the coming month? With every action you take, post you make or event you attend, have a clear vision of your dream customer in mind. Ask that the universe place right people in your path (or in your social feed, for that matter).
3. You're Stuck in the Past
This one is for any of you out there who have recently decided to refine or revise who your target audience is. Let's say you want to drop the lower-paid work you've been doing and focus on landing more clients who want your higher-paying services. All of the messages and signals you're putting out into the world need to align around this goal. You need to refine the voice of your brand — the way your business looks and the way it speaks — to focus on the audience you desire now. The same brand you've always had will get you the same business you've always had. It’s time to really focus on what you want and on the people you want to be working with. And that might be completely different than it was two years ago. Consider the lessons you've learned, what worked and what didn't. If you know you need to make this shift, don’t delay it. Hiring a coach to guide you through this transition really pays off.
4. You Haven't Wholeheartedly Committed to Them
Defining your dream audience is exhilarating, but it can also be a little scary. After all, the flip side of declaring "I want to sell to these people only" is admitting that there are customers or clients who aren't the best fit for you — and letting them go. Passing up business opportunities can feel counterintuitive, so entrepreneurs often hedge their bets. The message they send to themselves, and to others, is more like this: "I really want to attract this kind of customer, but if push comes to shove, I'll accept anyone." And that keeps them stuck in mediocrity. We want you to try something: Start being upfront about whom you want to work with. If you're at a networking event and someone asks you what kind of referrals you'd like, be really specific. You could even describe your dream audience on your website, like we did. Make a list of their traits and review them daily. Manifestation is a real thing! In our experience, just putting it out in the world who you are and whom you want to work with changes the way you think about yourself and how you run your business. And that starts attracting your dream audience.
5. You’re Not Being Authentic
Sure, the word “authentic” gets tossed around a lot lately. Sometimes we get sick of hearing it ourselves, especially because — ironically enough — some people aren’t being very authentic when they use it and it becomes just a buzzword. But the power of authenticity is real. Think about the brands that really resonate with you. Chances are you feel a deep connection with their unique values, approach or personality.
Now consider your own brand. Are you just saying things you think people want to hear in your social posts, emails and blogs? Are you simply parroting information that’s available from other sources? Audiences have an uncanny way of telling when you’re not being yourself. It turns them off. Put in the work to find your authentic voice. After all, the difference between someone hiring you or another company is YOU. Talk to your customers as you would a dear friend. Your dream audience wants to hear your voice — not a generic voice. Don’t hide behind your brand. Be your brand.