Today, we’re connecting with Ren Jones, a top-notch personal trainer and nutrition coach who specializes in helping women (mostly moms over 30) achieve their fitness goals. As a man, Ren clearly is not a part of his target demographic—yet, he does an amazing job at connecting with his target market.
Here, Ren shares his top tips for connecting with your target market—when you’re not a part of that demographic.
1. Have cultural humility
When Ren got his start as a personal trainer, he struggled to connect with his demographic (like most of us). From mansplaining to taking the wrong tone with personal training clients, Ren had to learn from his mistakes.
Cultural humility is the concept of understanding that you will not understand a culture that you do not belong to. It’s key that you’re a fly on the wall when it comes to learning about your target market. Check out accounts that your potential clients might follow, learn more about organizations that support your target clients—hang out online where they hang out online.
Many of your challenges will come from understanding language, context, and nuance used by your target market. When you connect with accounts and media that your target market consumes, you’ll begin to get a better idea of where your clients are coming from. No matter how good your intuition is, you won’t be able to intuitively understand a group that you’re not a part of.
Be quiet, listen, and learn. Immerse yourself in the community you want to serve. Seek to understand instead of seeking to be understood. When you make a mistake (and you will), be gracious, take it as a learning opportunity, apologize, and thank your client for helping you gain a deeper understanding of where they’re coming from.
2. Be specific about speaking to your target demographic
If you don’t represent your target market visually or through your life experiences, it’s vital that you speak clearly to your target market. Get specific in your social media messaging so that your audience knows that you’re looking for them.
As you learn more about the needs of your target market, cater your content to your audience. Don’t be general, don’t speak on topics that apply to everyone. You’re meeting the needs of a niche, and you’ll attract more clients who are interested in working with you as an online trainer when you make it clear that you’re speaking directly to them.
It can feel scary to know that you’re alienating people who aren’t in your target demographic, but doing so is necessary to connect to your audience. You don’t have to constantly create original content—sharing information from your audience’s favorite creators can also help to build a sense of community. Your potential clients see that you’re authentically interested in learning more about their community, and they’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to you to talk about online training.
3. Make your demographic the stars of your social media
Highlight your clients! If you’re not a part of your target demographic, it may not be the smartest idea to feature yourself working out on your social media. Look at your clients, potential clients, and people you’d like to connect with and feature them often in your posts and stories.
Engagement matters—and you get what you give. When potential clients follow you, it’s key that you follow them back and engage with them online. If you want potential clients to engage with your content, it’s that you’re engaging with their content as well. Share other great accounts that offer beneficial content for your target market (and don’t worry—you’re not going to lose clients by sharing other great accounts with them).
When you highlight members of your community, you’re building positivity, helping people understand the niche you’re serving, and making the connections that matter when it comes to growing your online training business.