I am reading a book by the Video Creators Tim Schmoyer "30 Days to a Better Youtube Channel," and he is talking about the topic that has plagued me for a while, ever since I have decided to try to do something more with my life:
-Define your Target Audience-obviously we talk about that a lot here, and so many podcasts do as well.
He says it is easier to make videos for people like yourself, because obviously you know that person, and you know the problems they face. This is so difficult as I have been on a journey of self discovery for a couple of years now, and who "I am" has changed so much over the years.
In high school, I remember my sociology teacher asking us what we thought the perfect age is, and I remember saying 35, and guess what, I'm there...And considering where I started, I feel like I would look at someone like myself and think they are "successful."
I used to think I would work with pregnant teens, because I was one, but don't like the idea of that being my main topic; however, I do know the struggles of
I could go on and on. I guess I know this person more than I want to admit...I guess I don't want to write about it, because it's not really who I identify as anymore, but I know it plays a huge part of who I am today, and the decisions I have made.
Hmmm. Anyways, I am writing this here, because I am wondering how you narrowed down your audience. Is it because of your story and experiences you chose the market you did? I would love to hear your process, and any ideas you might have to help me narrow mine down or how I can pick a topic that encompasses my past, but isn't my main topic.
Thanks so much for any thoughts :-)
Great question! I struggled with this very thing for years. I wanted to serve the underserved just like you.
The problem I found with building a business around serving them is there isn't much money in some of those groups. And to be honest, if you can't make money, you can't help many people.
So I made some big changes. What I did was find a talent that I had that I could teach.
Creating a business around my skills and strong points has been much easier because I can market that to people with money, then use the money to help those in need.
I would strongly suggest looking inside yourself to find what you are great at, find the market that wants that skill, trade that skill for their money and use the money to help the people you care about.
I guess my point is, before you can narrow your audience you'll have to define what it is that you do. Then, when choosing an audience, make sure they have (and spend) money.
That is kind of what I was thinking too. There wouldn't be much money in helping pregnant teens, but as I am reflecting, I am finding that what those struggles did for me was to make me think in very unconventional ways, so I could bend my content to how I lived that unconventional life.
I am actually really excited to share where some of my reflecting has taken me in the last day and a half; I have been speaking with my spouse and counseling with some trusted people in my life and I have come to this:
Everything I have done and learned comes from having an unconventional start to adulthood. When so many experts say that growth comes from failure, I definitely started out in "failure" in a sense, and had to fight an uphill battle just to get to where most people consider "normal." I felt like I had to prove myself in everything I did in order for people to take me seriously. I have had to work through some really strong perfectionism tendencies, a chip on my shoulder, and a victim mentality.
My hubby and I had to really define as a young married couple what we wanted to do with our lives and who we wanted to be-we knew nothing!! We were very fortunate to have mentors come into our life at the very beginning in the form of a direct marketing company, and I know that that was the foundation that helped us to be better parents, have a better marriage, learn financial responsibility and more. I know I took that a little bit fore granted, thinking that that kind of mentorship was just readily available, but realized that was not the case as we decided to not continue working in that business. What a shocker for us!!
Anyways, all that to say, I think my content will be focused around unconventional thinking and lean towards how to pull your life together, when you feel like you started off on "the wrong foot." How to use what you may think of as a weakness as your strengths. Getting over the self doubt, believing in yourself, and pushing forward with your dreams and seeing that your life is not "over," like many would have you believe when you make life-altering decisions at a young age. Pretty much the stuff we all talk about on here, just bent towards that audience.
I'm glad you are on a better path! Thank you for your thoughts. Writing a testimony is a great place to start :-)
If you were interviewing for a job, you'd want to consider your transferrable skills in order to connect them to the employer. Here, I think you may want to shift the target audience from just the teens in trouble to a wider one that will (as John mentions) be able to fund the entire program.
Who else feels overwhelmed? In too deep? Up the creek without a paddle?
These people need to have a calming comforting guide who can say "I've been there." You can provide discounted services to the crisis pregnancy community as the funds allow, and maybe even encourage other clients to pay for a session that you deliver to a desperate teen. Since you mention the experiences of surviving a tight financial situation, that's a great place to note that nearly all of Dave Ramsey's customers are broke - yet he sells them something and keeps them coming back for more...along the way there are bread crumbs dropped to pass along the graciousness of the business model.
You CAN monetize your experience but you should consider the wider audience and cast a bigger net.
Maybe try finding a branding strategy that speaks to multiple tough decisions or intersections in life where many wreck?
Thank you Lee, I definitely think you are right :-) I am working on a broader audience for sure that I think will allow for helping teens to just be an extension of what I am doing.
I agree with a lot of the other replies here, that you need to look inward a little more, you definitely have skills and the ability to be empathetic towards the pregnant teen, and crisis pregnancy set of our nation. From your first post though it doesn't really sound like they are who excites you to get out of bed in the morning to help. With that being said, you need to decide on something that does excite you to get up in the morning. If you reluctantly begin to try and serve this group of people, how long can you sustain all the work and effort it takes to produce content, workbooks, help materials, and coach, before getting burned out, and giving up. You will always have a soft spot in your heart for those dealing with crisis, and teen pregnancies but are they who you really are excited to serve. If not then keep searching for who you do want to serve and when you are making the money that follows those who are doing what they truly love to do, you can donate to programs that are run by people who are truly excited to serve those facing teen pregnancies. I hope this doesn't come off as uncaring or out of line, and disrespectful to the group of folks who find themselves in a crisis. I just want to encourage you to know, that they are the group you are supposed to serve, because on the hard days of building your business, who you are serving is what will keep you going.
I don't think this comes off as uncaring; I think it's practical and realistic. I would love to pour my heart into this group, but you are right, I need to be sure that it is sustainable, and make sure that the direction i take is the right one for me and my talents, personality, gifts, etc. Your thoughts are definitely valuable. Thanks
I hope you have an opportunity to serve this group in some form or another, there are some great ideas and suggestions from other folks in this feed as well. I'll be watching to see how you move forward, good luck on starting something great in the near future.
Thanks Stuart :-)
GREAT question...way to go on looking at this as you move forward.
It can be really hard to find groups that pay when you have a big heart and want to serve the underserved populations. A few ways you can look at this. Here are a few brainstorm options:
Michael McGreevy did a great interview recently around using your story to build your message. If you didn't catch the live version, the replay will be coming out this week (watch your email on the ask a coach sessions or check out our member blogs as they will have it listed within a few days).
Does this help?
I can't wait to watch it!!
Thanks so much Jen for your brainstorm thoughts; they all sound like excellent options. As you said on my other similar post, I definitely need to figure out what I want to do :-) Thank you :-)
Oh gosh glad it helped Myhriah.
It looks like the post for Michael's interview went up in the last day - if you are interested, click the link below:
for the link.
Best wishes as you move forward. Anxious to hear where your journey leads you!!