Landing pages: Visualize your target audience

One of the biggest challenges that you face as an indiehacker is to visualize your target audience (who are they, where do they hang out...) and figure out how to reach them.

Once you figure this out (it's very hard if it's your first time doing it!) you go ahead and create a landing page to target that audience.

Unlike the venture capital backed companies, you indiehacker, bootstrapper or whichever term you want to call yourself... don't have a lot of "time" to run trial and error marketing campaigns on various channels. This becomes a costly sink-hole, especially when you're looking at advertising [1].

Getting hard profit is your number one priority and you want to get there fast.
So how do you get profit? You try to sell your solution to people that have a problem - that's why what you write on your homepage, landing page, marketing material, tweets needs to resonate and touch the hearts of your audience.

A lot of people tend to forget to check who their target audience truly is and make assumptions about their audience at the start that costs them a lot of time and efforts.

As you develop your product the target audience slowly shifts to a more and more defined group of people, or it spans across multiple new plans.

For example...

You're a developer.
You've worked for many years on a specific market/vertical - ecommerce advertising - and you know everything about it. You know the challenges so, so well, that you decide to create a solution to address them.
You spend a few months to create a platform called eBannerFactory (I totally made this name up btw I hope it's not a real company) which allows anyone with a .csv .xls file to upload it onto your platform and it creates the perfect banner for you, using A.I. that will work with any advertising platform you dream of. Beautiful images generated from your data with 1 click. Great!

First you think your audience is only people that have advertising needs. You've worked so much in ecommerce that you know they NEED your solution.
It becomes hard to sell to them, you've tried to contact many ecommerce solution providers but it's so much effort. Ugh.

As you explore more your options you realize that your platform can offer a solution also to biz people who have a marketplace like Airbnb and Craigslist.
They need to generate interesting/captivating images of the properties and items they sell so that their users have more information at a glance, with rating, price and icons.

Your audience has grown.

A couple of months later you realize that your favorite code repository platform (totally not Github ;)) could probably need this too, but not for selling houses but rather to show how popular certain projects on their platform are when shared across the web.
Real Life Example

You're shocked, you're not selling only to advertisers and marketing agencies, but also engineers (front and back-end) now! ...and you're also selling to growth hackers who are trying to improve the influx of visitors on their platforms


What are you gonna do?

You realized your audience is wider than you expected, you know WHO you're new audience is comprised of, but you don't know how to target them so you open Indiehackers.com and you start reading what people are saying:
@zerotousers from zerotousers has a lot of good advice

  • SEO
  • Ads
  • Word of mouth
  • Building your audience

To do that right, you need to learn how to reach your target audience effectively. (Emphasis on reading Darko's material!)

A couple of days later, you've read everything you can about targeting audiences based on their platform and you give it a go.

A couple of months later, you see good results coming in: your SEO strategy is starting to work because you've optimized multiple landing pages to capture the traffic from a subset of your audience.
At the same time, all that work you've put into creating twitter threads is also turning out for the best: your targeted tweets are now engaging front-end engineers and designers who are curious about "What can I build using eBannerFactory"
The hours spent on engaging with redditors in your targeted sub-reddit has allowed you to have enough credibility to share insights into eBannerFactory without looking like a suspicious hit-and-runner (they hate that on reddit btw!)

You're getting more traffic, more sign-ups, you're getting more leads and finally customers!

Your business' profitability is closing in.

-- The end

I think this story - can be summed up with these parting thoughts:

  1. Figure out what you're building and for whom
  2. Don't put all your eggs in one basket - sometimes you're potential customer audience is wider than what you think
  3. Study various marketing channels and think where can your audience be and what do they spend time doing? Is it reading twitter threads? replying to reddit comments? making videos?
  4. Develop a strategy to engage with your audience to build trust and clearly explain the benefits of your solution to their acknowledged and unacknowledged problems
  5. Analyze your audience again, figure out which channels are working for you and how your efforts are worth/not worth it for your business goals

[1] That being said sometimes it's worth running short bursts of paid marketing to test your assumptions.

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