Strategy · Startups

What Ways Can You Target & Attract That Small Audience for Your Online Startup / Community?

Roxanne from SERPlified Founder at SERPlified, International Entrepreneur, Upwork Ambassador

August 5th, 2016

To be, focus is everything in a business, especially if your product addresses just that niche or a specific audience. It feels like generally selling or addressing a product can be the end of your success before it even began. 

What are the ways you use in targeting and attracting the right audience for your online business/startup/community? 
So far I've received confusing answers. Some experts say banners / visuals work better in getting the attention, and there's this article on Bannersnack's blog to support it: 

A bunch of community managers from CMX Hub have tried special events or special limited offers to attract the appropriate audience. 

Personally, and locally, I've found a good response rate to meetups that involve team activity, that makes them open to offering feedback and being part of the product development process. 

What's the best way you did it? Or what are you thinking of doing to get the focus you need and want for your services/products? 

Rita MA CEO Avanti Leadership Group - Executive Coach

August 5th, 2016


The number one step is deep discovery of your target audience. Creating a Customer Personna/Profile.
No marketing approach will be as effective as it could be without first taking the time to do deep discovery. Reading stats about customer groups is necessary but not sufficient. Use Design Thinking to go deep with your potential customer's needs. Walk with them, talk with them, listen acutely.

Bill Lennan Red Rope Social - everyone is an influencer.

August 5th, 2016

I like to talk with people. 
Interviewing them about their business helps me understand how they see the world, what their blind spots are, and often whether our value proposition has any resonance for them. 
To paraphrase Simon Sinek - "what is irrelevant, people always operate from the why". 

Kristina Libby Public Relations and Social Media Consultant; Professor (University of Florida); Big Idea Generator

August 9th, 2016

Hi Roxana,

The above answers are really good but I think there are some more specific tactics that you can look at too. 

First, understand your business goals in attracting this audience. What is your vision? Who do you need to attract and why?

Then, talk to them. Go out there and get real feedback from business owners and entrepreneurs. Understand how they will think about your product and then use their own words back at them.

Next, get crisp on social media, SEO, online advertising and in-person advertising. My book on social media gives you an end to end guide on what to do: I can send you a copy if you'd like.  For CEO I recommend this:

For digital marketing, this:

And, finally for in person events, I think the world is your oyster. From lunch and learns, to parties, to meet-ups, the trick is to do something that creates wonder, inspires people, and delivers on the proposed value.

The last step would be - how do you think about partnerships with organizations like the SBA or online influencers who already have been organizations. Influencers are your news funnel and the best way to grow awareness.

I hope this helps!

Roxanne from SERPlified Founder at SERPlified, International Entrepreneur, Upwork Ambassador

August 8th, 2016

Rita, Bill, thanks so much for your answers.