How to reach non-tech audience online

Hey there,

I'm currently working on an info product for a relatively niche audience (I'm part of this audience): German-speaking radiology residents/registrars.

The Idea is validated, there are similar products in adjacent niches. I developed a prototype that I believe already provides value. Now I want to get the word out, gather feedback and develop the product further.

The problem is that my audience does not have an online "watering hole" or "water-cooler", a place where they hang out:

  • They may use Instragram/Facebook privately, but they are hard to identify there and I'm kind of tired of these platforms.

  • Quora/Reddit is not really a thing in the German language and definitly not used professionally.

  • Personally, I'm a big fan of twitter, but while it is popular with (academic) physicians in the US, in Germany it is not that widely used, especially not professionally.

  • Because of Corona in-person conferences, which are huge in my field, are obviously not happening right now.

  • LinkedIn and Xing (german LinkedIn) are used sporadically and I thought about creating an account there and see if I can reach prospects there.

Do you have any other tips for me how I can move forward and find my audience online?

  1. 1

    A couple more thoughts.

    First off, you could start a watering hole yourself, for example by setting up a Slack channel or a discussion board. This, however, takes time and may work in the medium to long term.

    For his upcoming book Audience First, @arvidkahl is soliciting reader feedback on what topics to cover. Finding and reaching out to audiences who don't have easily identifiable watering holes is something Arvid may want to also write about.

    1. 1

      Thank you for pointing me to "Audience First", sounds really valuable :)

      1. 1

        You're welcome, the book seems quite relevant.

  2. 1

    You mean to say German-speaking radiology residents have no online life, not possible.

    1. 1

      No professional online life...

  3. 1

    Have you tried to find any radiology Facebook or WhatsApp groups? I know a lot of junior doctors have these groups

    Then once you have found those communities share a email newsletter link to keep in touch with them

  4. 1

    I had a similar issue with an earlier iteration of my startup where I tried to find out where certain non-technical users hang out. I got the impression that we developers are rather unique in the sense of communities and mixing work life and private life.

    Why are you looking for such a watering hole in the first place? For ads, for understanding them better, for getting first users? My guess would be that in your situation the best you can do is to grab a phone and cold call them. Sucks, but maybe it’s the best channel to this kind of user?

    1. 1

      Thank you for your reply.

      I'm looking for a watering hole because I want to see how I can provide value to my audience there and how to earn their trust.

      Cold "calling" is not really an option, since no resident has its telephone number publically on the internet. Furthermore, I'm super annoyed if somebody calls me at work to sell me something. Especially if it is someone I don't know/trust.

      Cold email would be possible but quite honest I hate it myself getting cold emails. The emails we receive from HR agencies, financial advisors or shady market research agencies are ridiculed and deleted immediately. And I fear losing my professional reputation by doing such things, which are regarded as sleazy and aggressive in my niche.

      I'm looking for a softer approach to marketing. The product isn't that expensive, It does not need a complicated sales processes. It can be bought as an impulse buy (one time fee < 10 €).

      It’s entirely possible that I’m stuck in my own head here

      1. 1

        Ah I see. Do you know of any popular software/platforms that’s used by your target group and that have support forums or communities?

        I remember when I was trying to get into the head of a potential user group (customer support team managers), I got one of them on the phone and when I asked her about places to meet colleagues online, she told me about Zendesk community forums and that was super helpful to me. Maybe there’s something similar.

        Also one last idea: How about not limiting your user group to German audiences but (at least for initial user research) see if you can find a better channel globally?

        I think cold emails/calls really depend on the industry. I hate getting calls (millennial problems...) but maybe that works on an older audience. Just because your/my industry is so saturated by this, doesn’t mean that it’s also true for the target group. Maybe some radiologist gets super excited when they get an email from you asking to interview them. I’m sure it doesn’t happen too often.

        1. 1

          Translating the product to English would definitely help and that’s what I also thought about. I think I will do it after I gathered some feedback from my colleagues.

          The forums are indeed a great idea. I think I can dig a little bit deeper there.

          Other idea: What's about SEO? I’m fascinated by this channel and everybody uses google obviously 😂 The only thing is that this is a little bit more long term...

  5. 1

    Any watering holes of adjacent audiences, such as newly graduated medical professionals looking for jobs or internships?

    1. 1

      Yeah, I might look into it further :) Thank you

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