The key to understanding your audience

If you’ve caught yourself in a few Facebook groups or around a few branding gurus, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “audience avatar” or “ideal audience avatar”. It’s a very common term used to describe the type of person your business should appeal to or even the type of person you want your business to appeal to. Some may find this hard to comprehend, so I’m here to break that down for you. Let’s get going!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is an audience?
How to determine who should be in your audience
What additional things should you know about them?
How to utilize the information you have to sell.

What is an audience?

Simply, an audience is a group of people who have your attention. We don’t have to get too technical here. If you’re a musical artist and have a concert that you’re performing at, your audience would be the group of people who traveled and paid to come and see your amazing talents. If you’re a student in a classroom giving a presentation, your audience would be your classmates who are attentively (hopefully) listening to what you have to say. An audience, no matter the type, is interested in whatever it is that you are bringing to their attention. They want more of you (in most cases).

So now that you’re starting or continuing in business, it’s important that you identify the type of audience that would be drawn to your messaging and what you have to offer. What type of person needs your product or service? That’s what we’re going to talk about.

How to determine who should be in your audience

In many cases, you can create a random audience based on what your desires are, and that may potentially work for you, but in many cases, it may not. Ideally, you want to have concrete info about the type of people who will interact with your business, and that may require you to actually put your business out there and test who becomes drawn to your offers. As you continue in business, you’ll get more of this “inside scoop” based on your analytics and the type of people you may find interacting with you on your preferred marketing outlet.

If you’re brand new to business, it only requires a bit of brain work to determine the type of person that may be interested in your offers. The good thing is that you can always test these things out and refine it as you grow. We all do!

Before you get discouraged, let me remind you that everything we do in life is simply about collecting data and making adjustments as we see fit. If you’re not able to hit the nail on your target, don’t worry! You’ll have many chances to refine that. However, let me give you a head start.

Here are a few things you should know about your audience.

The basic things you should know about your audience lead us down the road of demographics.

But before that, I’m sure you may be hesitant because you believe that narrowing things down will exclude others from experiencing your offer. The truth is that you do have to choose a focus group. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sell to others outside of this group, but if we’re honest, marketing to everyone will definitely cause you to lose more dollars than you’re gaining. Picking a focus group allows you to get much closer to your audience. Think of it this way… if you lose an earring in the living room, would you start looking for it in the bedroom? Probably not. That would be a complete waste of time.

Alright, let’s get back to demographics…


What is the sex or gender of your ideal audience? Is it a factor that’s important for what you are accomplishing? If you’re selling a membership for mothers, your audience would be specifically for women or “mothers”, depending on how you define that word for your particular brand. If you were selling clippers, you may select men as your primary audience based on your brand’s preference, even though women use clippers as well. At the end of the day, you sell to whoever you want to sell to. You don’t have to conform to what others expect, while they can also enjoy the product. Remember: your marketing efforts are for your TARGET audience, not everyone.


What age or age range is your audience? Is your product or service for children? Are these children old enough to pay what you’re demanding? If not, you should consider an additional audience of parents, whom you’d have to convince that your product has value. I remember back-in-the-day when there were infomercials with a 1-800 dial number. They would show all the cool things you could do with the toy and no matter how badly I wanted it, I knew my parents wouldn’t find value in it, and so I was never able to get those cool toys. It may be easy to convince children of your value, but the parents, whom are actually buying, may need to be convinced as well.


Where is your audience located? This may seem a bit silly, but are they in your hometown? If you ship, are you able to ship overseas without breaking the bank? If you’re a food truck, which area will your truck frequent? Do you have several trucks that will drive to various locations? Are you targeting an affluent neighborhood? These are all things that you want to consider especially when it’s not as simple as choosing a country, state or city.


What kind of job(s) do the people in your audience have? Do they need a specific type of income in order to afford what you are offering? For example, if I had a 10k coaching program, I probably wouldn’t be selling it to a college student. You want to be realistic because the type of audience you target will need to have the means to purchase whatever you are selling. In some cases, this may not apply.


Now let’s consider education. Does your audience need a particular level of education in order to understand your offer? I know you may automatically run towards whether they need a specific degree or not, and while that is a valid consideration, this is not the only way to utilize this category. As mentioned before, does your audience need a particular level of intelligence to utilize your offer? For example, if I am selling an SEO course, I would need to appeal to people who at least know how to operate their websites.

What additional things should you know about them?

Now, the items mentioned above are more of the “top tier” things you should know about your audience. I mean think about it this way, if you were on a date, you’d probably get the answers to those questions first… maybe. But these additional concepts are ones that you should also pay attention to before you seal the deal. Take a look…

Personality + Attitudes

We’re taking things a step further with this one. What is the personality or attitude that your audience may have? You can list these out. If you’re a workplace solutions business, you may consider hiring or “placing” someone who is determined, a hard worker, professional, reliable, etc. What characteristic(s) would your audience need to have in order to mesh well with your brand and what you are offering?


What kind of values would your audience have? What do they find to be important? Let’s say that you are selling environment-friendly mulch (just an example), you would probably need to find someone who found value in protecting the planet. If you’re a chef that’s selling a sugar-free cookie, you would be more successful in finding someone who wants to find healthier alternatives to food.

Interests + Lifestyles

What are their interests or lifestyle like? Do they have a family, children, or pets? Do they enjoy traveling? What shows do they watch? What things do they enjoy in their free time? Are they willing to drive to Starbucks every morning? Do they prefer Chick-Fil-A for lunch? Let’s break things down even further.

How to utilize the information you have in order to sell.

Now that you’ve dissected each part of your audience’s life, you can utilize this information towards your marketing efforts.

You can go to the local church and speak with their congregation, if those are the types of values your ideal audience has. You can also pay for some ads to show when your audience is watching cooking videos on YouTube. You may even want to lure in some buyers by hosting a vacation giveaway to get your name out there.

Knowing more about your audience allows you to utilize what they actually enjoy to garner their attention towards your brand. If you make a perfect match, then you shouldn’t have much of an issue getting them to check out your business.


Overall, creating an “audience” avatar goes beyond the basics. It’s about truly understanding who your audience is in order to tap into their desires and deliver an experience that they will enjoy and relate to. This information can even help you all the way down to the “hashtag” level. You can utilize the interest and lifestyle portion to catch the attention of your audience. Take a moment to go through each of these categories to define your target audience. Also consider the fact that you may have more than one audience. For example, if you think back to the toy company, you have a product for kids, and while you need to grab their attention, you’ll also need to cater to the audience of “parents” as well.

Cynthia Akita

brand strategist | brand + web designer | author

Known to go against the grain, Cynthia Akita is a Brand Strategist as well as a Brand and Web Designer. She is the person you go to when you’re ready to find clarity in your business and acquire brand assets that stand out. She pushes the narrative that you can build a brand that reflects who you are even if you don’t desire to make yourself the face of that brand. With 10+ years in the branding and web design space, Cynthia has helped several entrepreneurs, business owners, and public figures bring their brands to the forefront of the internet and social media. Her designs and insight have helped her clients generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

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