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I’m typing you this in the middle of a huge thunderstorm here in Bulgaria.  The electricity is down and so is the internet which means this will go out a little late to you all but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

In this Weekend Takeaways I wanted to share with you some more thoughts and resources on the importance of knowing your target market, whether that be on or offline.

I was inspired to do this by the lady who runs the shop in the tiny village where we are staying. I’ve watched her build that shop up over the years from a one room convenience store that sold a few basics to the minimarket it is today, complete with air-conditioning and tables where you can sit and enjoy a drink.

She raised all the money to improve it herself from slowly but surely building up a customer base that stretches for several miles and across multiple villages. She’s open all hours, sells a constantly improving range of goods that is carefully chosen to suit her target market of mostly farmers and elderly village folk and has prospered in an economy that would incite despair in most people.

And all because she knew her target market and served up what it wanted, day in and day out.

To achieve the same success, you need to do what she did and keep your customers’ and prospects’ needs at the forefront rather than your own.

Forget what you want – what do they want? And how do you find out what they want?

One way is to pay attention to what they are talking about on social media, specifically the hopes and fears they express. The trouble is, that can take hours of trawling through pages…unless you use the brilliant Who’s Talkin which I have mentioned before and still heartily endorse.

A great free social media search tool to save you hours staring at Twitter and Facebook posts – this tells you who is talking about a particular subject/niche/market and what they’re saying:

Another site that I use a lot for research are Quora (so much so that I wrote an entire course about it).

It’s free to join and provide a great range of insider information on just about any conceivable topic.

Don’t forget that asking and answering questions about your niche or market is also an excellent way to brand yourself as an expert and thought leader in the field, drawing more traffic and opportunity your way.

Check out Quora here:

Another great way to get to know your audience is to track and observe how they behave when they visit sites similar to your own or that are prominent within your market or niche.

Similar Sites has an especially useful Heat Map tool so you can check out how site design affects visitor behavior and tweak your own accordingly. It also tells you what people love and hate about the top sites within a niche – priceless information and you can get it here:

My Kindle freebie recommendation this week is a beginner’s guide to building a social media following (and therefore understand your target market better):

This week’s TED talk is another classic and one that I know will prove thought-provoking:

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