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‘How Do I Actually Reach New Customers?’

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Brit Morin shares her three key strategies for defining a target audience and communicating with it.

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Brit Morin was 25 when she left Google to start Brit + Co, a lifestyle and education company aimed at helping women cultivate creative confidence. Now — 10 years, $50 million in funding and 1.2 billion pageviews later — Brit’s passion is empowering more women to take the entrepreneurial leap. She’s a managing partner at VC fund Offline Ventures, host of iHeartRadio podcast Teach Me Something New, creator of Selfmade, a 10-week start-your-own-business course for women founders, and most recently — Entrepreneur advice columnist. Find her here on the first Thursday of each month answering the most personal and pressing questions of women entrepreneurs.

Related: Dear Brit: ‘How Do I Get Press Coverage for My Business?’

Have a question for Brit? Email it to [email protected], and she could answer it in an upcoming column!

Q. There are so many ways to reach customers, it’s overwhelming. How do I know where to start?

I wish there was a one-size-fits-all approach that I could share with you, but the reality is each customer segment behaves differently. So, let’s take a step back here. Before you attempt to reach customers, you have to take the time to define them. And don’t just define them in a broad way, like “women,” try to get as specific as possible. Who is this woman? Where does she live? How much income does she make? Where does she shop? Do your research on a demographic, psychographic and geographic level. Start to develop an actual persona of this woman — some brands even name their customer personas like an imaginary friend! (I’m on the board of a company called Life360 that caters to moms, and its persona mom is named Peggy.) By understanding your customer on a human level, it will become much easier to prioritize the channels you leverage when trying to connect with them.

Next, I encourage you to obsess over all the little details of how they are spending their time each day. Are they on social media? Which platforms? Which influencers do they follow? Do they drive a lot and look at billboards? Listen to podcasts? Read magazines or newspapers? Or watch TV versus Netflix? By understanding where they place their attention, you will be able to better understand where to spend your marketing time and effort so that you can grab it!

Once you know who they are and where to reach them, the key question is HOW to reach them. What might catch their attention? Having run a digital media company for 10 years, I know a thing or two about this topic. It boils down to two strategies: First, provoke an emotion, and second, teach them something new and useful. For the former, play to content that causes them to laugh, cry, get angry, get scared or project some type of other emotive response. Why do you think viral videos go viral? Usually because they are funny, fear-based, etc. If you’d rather go the teaching route, give them simple tips and tricks that will add immediate value and benefit in their life. If they feel like you are serving them, they will return back to you to learn more. 

So in summary: 1) Define your customer, and be as specific as possible. 2) Determine where they spend their time. 3) Catch their attention by using emotion or education. Repeat these things over and over again until your audience latches on. Then do more of it. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it gets once you start. Good luck!

Related: Dear Brit: ‘What’s an Elevator Pitch, and Why Do I Need One?’

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