The Underground Marketer Podcast

Episode 11 – Get Your Audience, THEN Get Your Product

The Underground Marketer Podcast
Episode 11 - Get Your Audience, THEN Get Your Product

It’s not WHAT you know, but WHOM you know.

In business, we say that 80% of sales come from 20% of the clients. Therefore, identifying your top buyers is the key to growing your business. You have the power to choose your audience, so you need to invest in the customers that will do the most for you and fire those who won’t.

In today’s episode, I will share my tips and tricks for finding and appealing to the right audience. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of spending their time and resources developing the perfect product or service. But the truth is, it doesn’t actually matter. Your product or service is very often already good enough. The number one factor to achieving success is identifying the best customers to focus on. 

3 Big Ideas 

  1. Your ideal customer is (a) someone who has money, (b) is hungry for a solution to their problems, and (c) has previously bought products that solve a similar or the same pain-point. Don’t try to cater to people who can’t afford your product, who don’t need your help, or who aren’t buyers. Instead, use your marketing strategy to appeal to the right audience. 
  2. Know your audience before developing your product. Collect and analyze data to understand your potential customers. Figure out their needs and frustrations and look for a way to solve their problems. 
  3. Focus on your top buyers and get rid of the bad buyers or the non-buyers. Build your business strategy around the minority of people who buy the most: identify what they have in common, find new similar customers and create tailored offers for them. Also, get rid of problematic buyers!  

Show Notes

[1:45] Tudor starts by introducing an audience-first approach to business. 

  • The right audience is the #1 factor in success because it’s what helps you sell more.  
  • If you don’t have a business, start with the audience in mind. Find the people who need something and then provide them with the product or service. If you find a good market, it will be much easier to sell your product because there is demand. 
  • Suppose you already have a business and you created your product without first thinking of the audience. In this case, you are now probably chasing after a market. Many start-ups make this mistake. They spend a lot of time creating and developing a product, and then they realize that they don’t have a target audience. They don’t even know if people are interested in buying their product. 
  • If you create your product before figuring out your audience, this might result in unnecessary expenses. You will need to invest more in marketing, and you might even have to re-design your product to appeal more to your audience. 

[05:31] Tudor discusses the top 3 mistakes that entrepreneurs make when choosing their audience. 

  • He says that there are 3 qualities that you need to look for in an audience: (1) buyers who are (2) hungry and (3) have money.

[05:49] Mistake No.1: Pursuing people who don’t have money. 

  • It is true that the most challenging part in business is finding people with money. But the biggest mistake you can make is chasing after people who can’t afford your product. 
  • A lot of inexperienced entrepreneurs pursue the wrong audience. For example, they try to appeal to college students who don’t have much money. Even if they really desire your product, it doesn’t matter as long as they can’t actually buy it.
  • When choosing your audience, think of people who can afford your product and who want your product. 

[07:29] Mistake No. 2: Pursuing people who are not “hungry” for what you have to offer. 

  • Don’t chase after people who don’t NEED or DESIRE your product. If they don’t experience these primal feelings, they are unwilling to spend money on your product. 
  • Your goal should be to discover the people who are “hungry” – those who have a burning problem, frustration, or desire. Those are the ones willing to spend money on a solution. 
  • Gary Halbert, the most successful copywriter ever, used to have the following discussion with his students. He would let them choose any competitive advantage over him – better location, more resources, etc. Nonetheless, he would still “whip the pants off” all of them as the only advantage he needed was a STARVING CROWD
  • Go out and find an audience that is starving for your product! 

[10:03] Mistake No. 3: Pursuing non-buyers or bad buyers. 

  • For example, let’s say you’d have to choose between two lists of people with the same demographics and psychographics. Suppose that the only difference is that one list is proven buyers and the other is non-buyers. You should always go for the buyers’ list because they are more likely to buy again and again. 
  • Bad buyers are customers who waste your time or resources. They are a hassle to deal with and you are better off dropping them. 
  • Focus your time and resources on rewarding your best customers instead of dealing with the bad ones or pursuing non-buyers. 

[12:25] Tudor states that the fastest way to grow your profits is to start tracking your audience. 

  • Collect and analyze data. Collect information about demographics (age, location, etc) and psychographics. When you examine this data, you’ll realize that one segment of your audience is buying most of your product or service. Identify what these people have in common. 
  • For example, you’re likely to discover this asymmetry where 20% of buyers account for 80% of the sales. In economics, this is known as the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. It states that roughly 80% of consequences result from 20% of the causes. 
  • Once you identify these valuable customers, focus on them. Figure out what they need, what makes them different from the majority. Then, start looking for other people like them and develop products specifically tailored to this group. 
  • You’ll realize that what matters most are just your top buyers. Not all buyers are created equal, and they are not paying you equally. Allocate your resources accordingly! 

[15:35] Tudor says that once you start looking at the data, you’ll realize that a small part of your audience is actually bad for you. 

  • For example, 70-80% of the complaints come from the same few customers. These bad customers are wasting your time. It’s better to fire them than to try to cater to them. 
  • You don’t need the majority of your customers. So instead, focus your resources on your loyal customer base. These are the buyers responsible for your business growth. 
  • Optimize your product and your marketing strategy around your audience. You do this by getting rid of the bad customers and creating tailored offers and marketing campaigns for your top buyers. Narrow in on the message that is specifically relevant to them. 

[19:57] Tudor advises those who don’t have a business yet. 

  • Find your audience before developing your product or service. To do this, ask yourself these questions: who are the people that you want to help? What sort of problems do they have? Are there things that they are already buying to solve those problems? How can you better help them? 
  • Look for online groups, analyze their reviews about other products, and even interview them. Reach out and try to understand them. 
  • Remember the 3 qualities: proven buyers who are hungry and have money. These are the things you should be looking for in an audience. 
  • Another effective method to find your customer base is to find somebody who has already built an audience. Then, strike a deal with this person to advertise your product or service to their audience. For example, reach out to influencers who have built a loyal base around an issue you can help solve (such as body image issues). 

[23:30] Tudor summarizes this episode by highlighting the main points.

  • It’s essential to have an audience-first approach, whether you already have a business or not. Design your product or service with the audience in mind. 
  • You should focus most of your effort on understanding your customers and their issues. 
  • Start tracking your audience and identify the top buyers. Appeal to them. 
  • Avoid the 3 mistakes: pursuing people who don’t have money, are not hungry, or are bad buyers or non-buyers. 
  • The fastest way to grow your profits is by optimizing your business and by targeting your best buyers.  There is much untapped potential in this approach. 
  • Fire the bad customers. 

Recommended Resources: 

 The Boron Letters by Gary C. Halbert 

Full Transcript

Read The Full Transcript

Introduction   00:00:03    Marketing explosive growth and revolutionary secrets that can catapult your business to new heights. You’re now listening to the underground marketer podcast with your host Tudor Dumitrescu. The one podcast devoted to showing new businesses how to market themselves for high growth.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:00:24    Welcome to The Underground Marketer Podcast. This is the place where we deliver the real truth of our marketing and explore big ideas that can help new businesses thrive and  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:00:35    Grow into big ones. I’m your host Tudor. And today we’re going to discuss the topic of choosing the right audience. So the fact here is that a lot of people mistakenly invest most of their time perfecting their product or service. And what I mean by that is that they tweak the product. They go to get more education, get a certification. If they’re offering a service, work on improving the website, and so on. And the truth of the matter is that most of that stuff doesn’t actually matter. You know, it doesn’t really move the needle. So most people are already good at their product or service and any improvements that they bring to it only bring about minimal returns. You know, so if you’re looking to get maximum returns, your attention should be elsewhere. And the number one factor when it comes to marketing or really selling anything is choosing the right audience.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:01:40    So that’s where the big returns are coming from. So basically the question is who are you going to go after? And in direct mail, which has a lot of experience and a lot of data built around this, we know that the audience is basically the number one factor in success. You know, it’s the number one factor that’s going to help you succeed and make more sales. So why is that? Well, if we look at direct mail, right, we know that people who make their living from direct mail and who get all their sales from direct mail, the only thing or the thing they care about most is the list. You know, they’re always about the list of buyers. You know, I want a list of buyers. That’s what they really focus on. So the idea is that you want to find a hungry market and to do that, you have to start from the audience and the audience has to be number one from the very beginning.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:02:42    You know? So that’s why it’s basically not what, you know, you know, what service or what product you can give so much as it’s about who you know, and how you’re going to target those people that is going to be responsible for your success. So if it’s possible at all, you know, if you don’t have a business, for example, or if you’re going to start from scratch, for whatever reason, then you want to start with the audience in mind. You know, so first find the people who need something, who have some problems and then worry about providing them with a product or a service that’s going to help them out. And that’s going to help them deal with those problems that they already have, because the truth is, if you find a good market, it’s going to be much easier to actually find products or services and to sell them.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:03:38    And you’re already going to know that these products or services are wanted and they’re in, they’re in demand. So if you start the other way around, or if you maybe already started your business and you find that you’ve already created a product and basically trying to go the other way around, you didn’t start from the market. You didn’t start by finding people with certain problems and so on. You started by, for example, thinking about what sort of products would be cool to have. And then you just went ahead and created that if that’s how you started, then you’re pretty much going the other way around. And what it means is that now you have a product and you’re in chase of a market. You know, you’re basically searching for a market of people who would be interested in the product that you have. And a lot of startups, they make this mistake, you know, and they, they spend all this time developing a product and creating a product.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:04:38    And then they realize they do not know who actually wants this product. And moreover, if there are actually people who are actually going to be interested to buy the product, because I mean, searching for a market is hard. It’s going to cost you a lot of money, trying to find a market after the fact like after you already have your product. And sometimes, you know, you’re going to find out that it’s not even possible. You know, at least not without changing the product and investing even more time than you already did to create the product in the first place. So if at all possible start from the audience. If you already have a product, the only thing you can do is to try to search for the market and find the best market that there is. And we’re going to cover exactly how to do that.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:05:31    But first I wanted to say that the mistakes people make when choosing the audience that they pursue, those are like the biggest mistakes in marketing. So if I had to say what the top three biggest mistakes in marketing are, I would basically say number one, pursuing people who don’t have any money. And the reason for that is simple. Broke people cannot buy your product. And I mean, you can have something that’s the cure of cancer, you know, amazing value basically. But if they’re broken, they don’t have any money. They simply cannot buy your product. Even if they have the deepest desire to buy it. So finding people with money, that’s the hard part in business. And especially with new entrepreneurs, I see them chasing people a lot of the time who simply do not have money. You know, like you have, you, a lot of entrepreneurs are trying to service.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:06:29    For example, college students and college students don’t really have a lot of money. They don’t have cash available except from their parents or working a job, maybe. So a lot of them, they don’t have a lot of money. It’s very hard to create products, even if they find them really cool that they’re going to be able to invest money in and to buy. So pursuing such an audience, you know, pursuing basically people who don’t have money is a no go. And I would say, it’s the biggest mistake. So if you don’t already have a product, and if you have all the freedom in the world, and even if you do already have a product, you know, try to ask yourself who the players with money are and who would basically be interested, uh, to buy your product and try thinking along those lines. And you’re likely to actually discover an audience that’s going to be a lot better for your business.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:07:24    So that would be number one, the biggest mistake. The second biggest mistake is basically pursuing people who are not hungry for what you have to sell them. You know, that may be because, for example, they don’t have the problem or the problem isn’t sufficiently annoying for them to, for them to be willing, to spend money on it. You know, because very often it can happen that we have some small problem, you know, but we’re not actually willing to spend a lot of money to solve it because it’s like an inconvenience, you know, it’s not something that’s so painful that you just have to get rid of it. So, um, that’s the second big mistake. And your goal here is to discover the people who are hungry. You know, they have a burning problem that it’s not letting them sleep. That’s always on their mind.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:08:18    That’s frustrating them. You know, those are the people who are going to be willing to spend money for a solution, if you provide it for them. So, the second question you want to ask is, do I have an audience who is hungry for whatever product or solution I have? Do they have the problem that it solves? And is that problem strong enough? So, as an example here, Gary Halbert, the famous direct mail master, you know, he used to say with his students, he would teach and he would say, you know, you go ahead, let’s have a competition who builds the biggest and who makes the most money with a hamburger stand. And he would tell them, you know, you can pick any business advantage that you want, you know, the best location, the best product, the best beef for the hamburgers, you know, whatever it is.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:09:18    Uh, but he would say, I want just this one thing, and I’ll beat you every single time. And that one thing was a hungry market. You know, just give him hungry people. And that’s all he needs to make more sales than you. You can have all the other advantages in the world. And this short example, this short vignette, you know, it really goes to show the power of people who are hungry. You know, people who are frustrated, people who are ready to do whatever it takes to change. So, you definitely want to ask yourself if your market is hungry or if the audience is hungry and they really want to solve this problem. And finally, the third biggest mistake that people make when it comes to marketing is also something that has to do with choosing the audience. And basically it involves pursuing non-buyers or bad buyers.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:10:18    And we’re going to go briefly in what this basically means. So, basically from the clearest standpoint, if you’re given an alternative between two different lists, you know, that you can have the same psychographics, the same demographics in both lists. And the only difference is that one list, they are proven buyers in a specific niche, and the other list, they’re non-buyers, at least they’re not proven to have bought in the past. So the statistics, in this case, show that in every case you should, beyond any reasonable doubt, choose the list of buyers. You know, even if the characteristics are otherwise the same, because we just know from statistics and from past experience that a buyer is likely to buy again. And again and again. So, that’s why, that’s why I called the third big mistake, basically trying to pursue the non-buyers.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:11:21    And, I also include bad buyers here, which are basically customers who waste a lot of your time, for example, or a lot of your resources. You know, you can have customers who call into customer service every one hour, for example, and they also spend little money with you. You know, there are bad buyers, they, they create a lot of hassle for you. And there’s more percentage of your revenue. You know, you’re better off basically firing the bad buyers, than keeping them on because you invest all these resources, which you could otherwise invest serving your best customers, which is your actual goal. So, um, these three qualities, you know, being a buyer, being hungry and making sure that you’re pursuing people with money, those are the qualities you want to look for in your audience. And this brings us to the next point.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:12:21    And the next point is that really the fastest way to grow your profits, especially if you already have a business, is to start tracking your audience and look at the different segments. You know, you can look at the different segments by age group, by psychographics, by other forms of demographic information, such as location and so on. And when you start looking at this data, you’re likely to discover that one segment of your audience is buying the majority of your product or service. You know, so it’s not uncommon, for example, to discover that 20% of your buyers account for 80% of your revenue, you know, and when you actually look at the data, you can identify what things they have in common. You know, what characteristics do they all share together? And once you identify this, you can actually start focusing on these people. You know, you can look into more depth in what they need and what their specific needs are and how they’re different from the other people.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:13:33    And you can produce products that are specifically tailored to them. And you can also start looking for more people who are like them, and this is actually the fastest way to grow your profits if you already have a business. And it’s all about identifying this data. First, you have to collect it and then you have to identify it. So you identify who the buyers are, and basically you can focus your product or additional offers on just that particular audience of your best buyers. And when you do that, you’ll see that your profits pretty much can jump through the roof and in a short time. And when you do that, you’ll learn that what actually matters the most to your bottom line are just your most important buyers. So the point here is that not all buyers are created equal, you know, uh, in economics and in social sciences, we have Pareto’s law, which basically tells us that in nature, you’re likely to find that 80% of the results are generated from 20% of the inputs.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:14:47    So for example, 20% of the people own 80% of the wealth. And so on this kind of thing, the exact numbers, whether it’s, you know, 80-20, or 70-30, or 90-10 or 99-1 is less important. You know, than the fact that there is an asymmetry, you know, the, basically the point here is that not all your customers are equal and you should not think of them as being equal because then you’re, you’re basically squandering your time trying to cater to everyone equally while they’re not actually going to be paying you equally. So, um, when you do this and when you start looking at your buyers and your audience in more detail in this manner, you can start actually identifying that part of your audience is actually bad for you. And for example, I’ve had cases when I went in with customers and we looked over their data and we found stuff like just giving a random example, 80 or 70% of the complaints are coming from just a few customers, you know, and the same customer, you know, he calls again and again.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:16:03    And he always has problems with the product. He’s always calling about the deliveries or whatever it is. And I mean, isn’t it easier to just fire those customers rather than, you know, just keeping your customer service, getting bigger and bigger and bigger just to cater to them, you know, because you spend resources in your customer service department and you want to make sure in the end, and that’s your goal as an entrepreneur, that those resources are well allocated. And I mean, if they go to serve just a few of your customers and the majority, they don’t really need them. The people who spend the most money with you, they’re happy. You know, why do you actually want to keep those bad customers? I mean, it’s much wiser to try to identify the buyers who spend the most and who complain the least and see where they’re coming from, see what common characteristics they have, and then focus just on them.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:17:10    You know, after all, they are basically your best patrons, they are responsible for your business growth or for most of your business growth. And they also don’t give you the most problems. So, um, when you start looking at your audience, asymmetrically and you start going into details, you’re going to discover all sorts of things, exactly like this. And the point is that you want to start optimizing your business and your marketing around your audience, around your best audience, the people that you are just learning about basically. So after you start gathering the data, then you can start optimizing. And how do you optimize? Well, we talked about firing your bad customers. You can also optimize by, um, creating offers for your best customers. You find that they have perhaps more refined needs or their needs are more extensive, and you can provide a more extensive solution for them.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:18:16    Uh, and of course, they’re going to also be happy to pay more for that. So once you identify who they are, you can also identify these sorts of things, which allow you to bring new offers to the table and make more money, basically maximize the lifetime value of the audience even further. And apart from the offers that you, you can make to, to this audience who are basically your best people, you can also create your marketing so that you actually focus specifically on them. Because again, their needs may be more refined. The marketing messages that really resonate with them. Maybe it’s just a subsection of the general marketing message that you’re already putting out there. So, uh, if that’s the case, then generally you want to narrow in on that message that is specifically relevant to these people because when you do that, and when you have a message that’s narrowed down specifically to them, you’re going to be able to attract a lot more.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:19:23    And if you notice that they have certain commonalities in terms of demographics or psychographics, you can certainly focus on them and try to target more of these people. You know, after all, they’re your best buyers, they’re the ones who need you the most. And they’re the ones that you have to focus your resources on serving, because especially unless you’re a huge business, you know, you can’t serve everyone. And so you have to decide who you focus on and your best buyers are where you actually want to place your focus on. And for those people who are listening and they don’t have a business, what we’ve been talking about also applies to you, except that, of course, you’re actually going to find your audience first, rather than, you know, going about developing a product or a service or whatever, and then searching for the audience. So the way you do that is you start asking yourself some questions, some questions that I generally find useful here are basically, you know, asking who are the people that you want to help?  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:20:31    What sort of problems do they have? Are there things that they are already buying to try and solve those problems? How can you better help them? Uh, and all the questions like this. And it’s very useful to search for online groups or, um, look at reviews that they leave of other products, or even try to interview some of those people. You know, if you join a forum or a group, you may be able to reach out to those people, interview them and try to find out what motivates them. You know, how pressing is the problem. Remember the criteria that we talked about, they need to have money. They need to be hungry for the solution, and they need to be proven buyers. And when you interview them or when you check how they interact in groups and so on, these are the things that you should be looking for.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:21:22    So if you’re looking for an audience, this is a very effective way to do it. The other way, that’s the second way. Basically, that’s very effective to find an audience first is to go to somebody who has already built an audience, and the audience has already come to him and you can try to strike a deal with him where he basically lets you advertise a specific product or service to his audience. You know, so it may be, for example, an influencer and they have built an audience around self-esteem for introverts, for example, and you have a product, or you’re thinking to create a product that can really help that audience. So you search, and you find that there is such an influencer, and you can contact him and reach out to him and try to strike a deal where he basically gives you access to these customers or sends your message to these customers, your sales messages.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:22:22    And you can basically begin with a list of buyers that already exist. And it’s very useful if he has already sold stuff to them, because, you know, then they are people who are basically proven to buy. And these lists that people build and a lot of businesses don’t realize this, but this list of customers is super, super powerful. You know, even if you already have a business, your list of customers is super powerful. You know, you can probably make a lot of money right off the bat, just by reactivating customers that have been dormant, you know, whatever happened. And for some reason, they’re not purchasing anymore. Maybe they forgot about you. Maybe they’re putting it off for whatever reason, but if you contact them again and you reach out again and you show that you’re interested to help them out, they will be very likely to buy from you again.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:23:19    Especially if you give them a discount or you come up with a new offer or with something that’s going to be even better for them. So, um, that’s basically what we’re trying to cover with today’s episode. We’re trying to cover the, the importance of having an audience-first approach, whether you already have a business or whether you’re starting a business from scratch. So, um, to summarize briefly, remember what we discussed the big point is that most of your effort, when you’re starting a business needs to be on discovering your audience, who they are and what problems they have and that sort of thing, designing a product and creating a service comes second. Okay? And if you already have a business, then you need to start tracking your audience and segmenting it so that you can identify, which are the best segments. And remember that the three big mistakes that we talked about in marketing.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:24:23    So the biggest mistake is pursuing people who don’t have money. The second biggest mistake is pursuing people who are not hungry. The third biggest mistake is pursuing non-buyers or bad buyers. So we talked about these mistakes and how you actually want to avoid them. You know, we also discussed, uh, which is very important that the fastest way to actually grow your profits in an existing business is by actually looking into your audience. And we discussed that most buyers are not created equal. And you’re likely to find when you study your audience, that some people buy most of your product or service, and you want to start optimizing your business around fulfilling the needs of those people and targeting them even better so that you reach more easily to them. And the same thing holds true also in the case that you don’t have a business.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:25:20    So you want to discover these best buyers from the get-go and actually reach out to them. So that’s pretty much a summary of everything that we have discussed. Remember, if you are trying to grow your business, look into your audience, there’s likely a lot of, um, unexploited potential in there. You know, a lot of potential income that you can make just by reactivating buyers there, or identifying your best buyers and presenting them with better offers or just targeting more of them, you know, and diverting your resources that way, or even firing the bad customers who create a lot of time waste for you and for your team. And a lot of headaches, uh, very often. So that’s pretty much it for today. So stay tuned for the next  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:26:09    Episode. And until next time, remember, keep growing your business and providing massive value to the world because you are the reason why we’re all growing richer. Our freedoms are expanding and we’re all leading in greater prosperity. Thank you and see you next time. 

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