Idea Validation Challenge Day 3: Your Target Audience | Ina Coveney

Idea Validation Challenge Day 3: Your Target Audience

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Welcome to Day 3 of the Idea Validation Challenge!

This challenge is for those who have a great business idea, and they want to make sure it will WORK before you invest time and money into it!

It is also for people who already started a business, and they want to revisit their target audience to increase their reach.

Join the conversation at our Facebook Group:


Your target audience is the group of people who are going to LOVE, relate to and engage with your content.

Sometimes the answer is not obvious.

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For example, you would think that the target audience for high-power drills would be construction workers. They are the ones who need them, use them, and who understand the difference between a good one and a bad one. Target audience = identified. Right? Wrong!

Some drill manufacturer (true story) found that their product experienced a huge spike in the spring/early summer time. They thought it was perhaps because that’s when construction projects start to rev up. But it puzzled them that the people who purchased it were not construction workers. It was women in the 30-40 year old demographic. This got them to scratch their heads some more.

As it turns out, these women were purchasing drills en masse for their partners around Father’s Day.

Target Audience: not so obvious anymore.

Once the manufacturer caught on and started marketing it as the perfect gift for that special person in our lives who loves DIY works year-round, their sales EXPLODED.

So when you think of your target audience, you have to think of 2 things: who is the product intended for, and who is the product likely to be promoted by.

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You probably already have an idea for who would enjoy your content. In fact, you can probably think of a few people who would.

STEP 1: Start with a preliminary list of personas

The best exercise is to write up a list of 5 to 10 types of people who would enjoy what you are putting out there.

When you think of each type, I want you to go down to 3 levels of specificity. For example:

  1. Women (1) who work full time (2) who have children (3).
  2. IT Managers (1) who manage system security (2) for small/mid size firms (3)
  3. Women (1) who feels strongly about recycling (2) who are always looking for a bargain (3)
  4. Women (1) who work full time (2) and have big dreams (3)

STEP 2: Rank each one by how well you know their struggle

Once you have your list of potential target audience members, you are going to give them each a score: 1, 2 or 3:

  1. You are extremely familiar with this group. In fact, you are or have been in that group.
  2. You are not one of them, but you personally know people who are.
  3. You do not know anyone in that group personally

STEP 3: Strike off all ranked “3”

The next thing you do is completely strike out anyone with a ranking of “3” and then you are going to order your list with the 1s at the top and the 2s at the bottom.

The reason we strike out the 3s is because it is a lot easier to market to people you know and understand, than to assume you know their struggle. This also simplifies our exercise.

Now you have a preliminary list of your target audience.

STEP 4: Match them to someone you know

For each remaining persona, write down 1 or 2 names of people who may talk to you about their needs.

Feel free to reach out to them to see if they are available, but don’t talk to them yet until we cover our session tomorrow on HOW to run a market research interview!


Go through The Exercise and share a post on our Facebook group with your target audience members and their ranks.

Bonus points for telling us how you feel about asking them what they think about your product. Which group makes you the most nervous to engage with and why?

Then go to the Facebook group and post your answer with the hashtag #day3.

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