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Choosing a Stellar Audience for Your Next Online Course

After months of preparation, you're are finally ready to launch your first online course. The copy is beautiful, the slides elegant, and your voice captures the audience like Adele at Wembley Stadium. (Okay, may not Adele. But at least a solid Luke Bryan)

 The day of the launch approaches. You mount your favorite chair, sip your favorite beverage, and pound that publish key. But then something happens. No one visits your page. Complete and utter silence. You wait around for an hour. Still nothing.

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It’s then you start to remember the world outside of your computer. The actual people behind the technology.

So how do you attract the right people to your online course before you build it?

Start with building a rock-solid buyer persona.

What is a buyer persona?

If you’ve never created a buyer persona before, you're probably wondering what it is.

Buyer Persona Definition:
A buyer persona is just a way of creating an ideal customer for your course or product before you actually create your course or product.
Now I know what you’re saying. Is it really worth the effort to get to know my customer? Can’t a great product/course stand on its own? Of course not!

You need to know who your selling to so that you can create a product that solves their specific problems!

Consider this scenario. Your back in the 10th grade. It’s the first week of school and you're trying to figure out what class will be your favorite. How do you know this? Is it the class with the best books? Or maybe the class with least work? Possibly.

But most likely it’s the class where you meet your favorite teacher. What makes a teacher great? Their ability to teach in a way that students can understand and connect to.

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Building your course is a lot like teaching. You can have the best content. The best technology. The best marketing team. But if your audience cannot connect to the message and take away core solutions to their problems, none of that stuff will really matter.

Why do I need a buyer persona for my course?

Aside from building a real connection, here a few reasons why you need to create a buyer persona for your course:
  • More targeted content
  • More engaged followers
More targeted content: When you create a buyers persona, you define who you want your course to reach. When you know exactly who you want to see your course, you will have a much better idea of what to actually say.

For example, would you teach math the same exact way to a group of first graders and a group of rocket scientists? You could. But it probably wouldn’t work. Said another way, you wouldn’t start a blog about cupcakes and start posting about Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Knowing who will read your content helps you tailor your message to meet their needs. You then have the chance to become an authority figure for that specific niche.

More Engaged Followers: Is it better to have 5,000 lukewarm fans who interact with your message occasionally, or 500 fans who love your product/content so much that they will shout it from the rooftops?

I will take the 500 fans any day. “A small handful of invested blog readers can be more powerful than a huge list of lukewarm visitors,” said successful entrepreneur Dani Stewart.

Why is it that way? Because even a small group of dedicated people are more likely to buy into your ideas and products than a huge group of random strangers.

How do I create my first buyer persona?

If you’ve never created a buyer persona before, it’s best to start off small and branch out. Creating a buyer persona is a lot like widening the lens of a camera. When you first start off with your blog, you will be tempted to write about only what you think to be true. A buyer persona forces you to widen the lens, considering different points of view. When the spotlight is solely on you, you miss the bigger picture or the rest of the stage.

“At work and in life, we often pretend that we want truth when we are really seeking reassurance,” said author Chip Heath. Force yourself to see the big picture by talking to people about real-world situations outside the confines of your working knowledge. This is how you create your first buyer persona:

Step 1: Make a list of questions to ask people

Demographics
  • What is your name?
  • Where do you work?
  • Where do you live?
  • What is your age?
Backstory
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your neighborhood like?
  • Who raised you?
  • Do you have siblings?
Personal life
  • Do you have kids?
  • What is your marital status?
  • Where do you like to spend your free time?
  • What topics interest you the most?
  • What struggles do you have when it comes to learning about your favorite topics?

Step 2: Make a list of ideal people

After coming up with a list of questions to ask your target audience, make a list of people and write it on a piece of paper or computer screen. Divide the piece of paper in half, or split your word document into two columns.

Step 3: Define your target audience

On the other half of the paper, make a list of questions your ideal customer/reader should have. Why would they care about your blog or online course? What’s in it for them? What are they currently struggling with the most? What is the one thing they most want to learn and become? What’s holding them back from achieving their potential?

Step 4: Compare lists

Who on the first list meets the qualities of your second list? Ideally, you want at least one person who wants to know more about the topic you teach about on your blog or course. However, the more people you can reach out to the better.

Step 5: Contact one person

So now you have a physical name. It’s time to talk to that person and get to know them a little better with the questions from step one. After conducting an informal interview, really try to understand who they are, what they want, and what’s keeping them back from getting that.

Now that you have your ideal customer/reader, everything you do should be targeted to this one individual! Take what you learned here and plug it into a buyer persona template.

Have you ever wanted to be able to see and understand who you are writing to while you write? That’s the unique value of a buyer persona template. It lets you create a clear picture of who it is your speaking with. I’ve created a simple yet effective template that you can use for FREE!

https://mailchi.mp/ffcd53b8487e/free-buyer-persona-template
BONUS: Click here to download your FREE buyer persona template today!

SOURCES:

Did You Know You Can Choose Your Blog Audience? | Issue 03 | Blogging 101. (2018, February 26). Retrieved from https://convertkit.com/choose-blog-audience/

Heath, C., Heath, D., & Heath, D. (2014). Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work. Random House Business.

How to Create a Concrete Buyer Persona (with Templates & Examples). (2017, January 09). Retrieved from https://optinmonster.com/how-to-create-a-concrete-buyer-persona-with-templates-examples/#create

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