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5 Steps to Choose the Right Audience for Your Online Course or Offer

5 Steps to Choose the Right Audience for Your Online Course or Offer

How do you choose the right audience for your online course, coaching, or consulting offer?

When you choose the right audience for your online course, coaching or consulting offer you can dramatically increase the success and impact of your offer. Whether you are creating an online course, coaching program, or you’re working on a next level workshop or retreat, choosing the right audience can make creating and launching your online course or offer so much easier.

5 Steps to  Choose the Right Audience for your Online Course or Offer

A couple of weeks ago, I was working with Sarah to build her business launch strategy. Sarah is a brilliant woman who has powerful experience and skills that could easily be packaged into a course, coaching, or consulting. Sarah was struggling with how to narrow her focus and choose the right audience.

The struggle of deep knowledge in a thing is real. The problem is that when you have deep experience and a broad set of skills, it makes it harder to figure out who you should focus on serving.

Step 1: Review your past experience, talent and passions.

Choosing an audience can be hard because it feels like you could help many people with your expertise. Your first step to stand out in a crowded space is to analyze your strengths including your talents, skills and past work experience.  We began to narrow Sarah’s focus by reviewing her strengths.

choose the right audienceSarah’s experience, talent and passions included:

  1. Background in résumé development and coaching
  2. Deep experience in social media
  3. Strong background in online marketing
  4. Love of helping people access resources they need to create what they want

When you look at Sarah’s experience in résumé coaching, social media, and online marketing, how would you choose the right audience for Sarah? If you were coaching Sarah, which audience would you recommend that she focus on?

The tendency might be to say “Wow, Sarah could work with all businesses,” right? The challenge is that when you target every business in the universe, it’s really, really hard to stand out. Marketing to everyone is a guaranteed way to stay invisible.

Marketing to everyone is a guaranteed way to stay invisible. Share on X

Step 2: Identity Your Unique “Experience Factors”

Once you review your strengths, you can often see how the overlap of your talent, skill and passions can help you stand out.  I call these your “experience factors”.  When you look at them all together, you can start to identify the type of problems you can help people solve.

Sarah has a unique knowledge of how people search on Linkedin and how people get found on Linkedin. Understanding how Linkedin is used on both sides of the fence makes Sarah’s experience highly valuable.

Step 3: Choose the Right Audience by Focusing on a Problem You Can Help them Solve

When thinking about a potential audience, ask the question, “What kind of problems can I help people solve”?  If we go back to Sarah as an example, there are lots of problems that Sarah could help solve.

Online marketing, resume writing, job hunting, recruiting, social media marketing, career counseling are some of the many angles Sarah could pursue.

Instead of going broad and trying to be everything to everybody, Sarah focused on one dimension of her online marketing and social media experience: her knowledge of LinkedIn. She chose this because she has led several workshops on how to leverage Linkedin and received great feedback.

Once you think about an audience you might want to work witth, make a list of the problems you can help them solve. The problems Sarah’s audience has might include how to find a job, how to hire people on Linkedin, how to get introductions, or how to sell products or services on LinkedIn.

Step 4: Choose the Right Audience that is Willing to Invest to Solve the Problem

Sarah could choose between several audiences including  job seekers, job hunters or businesses trying to sell on Linkedin.

Sarah chose businesses trying to sell on Linkedin. Your ideal audience has a problem that is urgent and they are willing to invest to solve it.  Sarah decided to narrow further.

When Sarah asked this deeper question related to who would actually invest, she immediately realized, “Well, you know, one audience I see that could really use help in marketing on LinkedIn is coaches like me. I could absolutely work with solopreneurs or people who have small teams who are trying to figure out how to leverage LinkedIn because they need to sell their services.”

This smaller audience is motivated to invest in learning how to use LinkedIn. They have small marketing budgets typically and often rely on referrals or one-to-one calls to sell.

This is how Sarah identified her ideal audience. She narrowed her focus and identified a sweet spot where there’s an overlap of an audience that has a problem that she can help them solve and an audience that is ready and willing to invest.

choose the right audience

When you create an offer that solves a problem for the right audience, you can generate fast wins.  Sarah narrowed her audience and  launched a coaching offer that generated several 5-figure clients in 30 days. Immediately after generating that revenue, she switched her focus to building an online course that would enable her to serve many clients at once while also filling her high level coaching work.

Examples of How to Choose the Right Audience

You might think that you have to focus on audiences that want to make money in order to create an online course or other offer that is successful. In our Create 6-Figure Courses® community I see thousands of people creating online courses, events, and coaching packages. They are creating offers around meaningful work they want to share in the world, and it is definitely not all about making money.

We have experts building courses for all kinds of audiences like…

  • Interior designers who want to learn advanced color theory
  • Athletes with Type 2 diabetes who want to be able to control their diabetes through diet
  • Freelancers who need to learn how to set better boundaries with clients
  • Artists who want to do their deepest work
  • Educators who want to help all children reach their potential
  • Haircutters who want to create predictable results
  • Tech start-ups who want to penetrate the US market
  • Manufacturing teams who want to implement Six Sigma
  • Parents who want to connect with their teens
  • Writers who want to finally finish that book
  • Parents who want to land scholarships for their kids
The secret to choosing the right audience: think about your particular set of skills & align those skills to help an audience solve a problem. Share on X

The bottom line: Choosing the right audience for your online course is about identifying a problem you can help your audience solve with your unique experience.

Next Steps

What is the meaningful work that you want to do? How might you choose the right audience that:

  1. Has a problem you can help them solve
  2. Has urgency and is willing to invest to solve that problem

I’d love for you to share with us in the comments below. I’ll be tuning in.


  1. Denise Recker says:

    Hello! I have been facilitating a class on healing the wounded soul of childhood. I have been doing this in brick and mortar style teaching, since 2011.It has also been for free. I know the market is huge and there is one of me. The program has been developed and I am great at connecting the heart and making sense of why we as adults are stuck in our emotional development. I am investigating putting it online as a course. This is as far as I have gotten. The marketing piece and structuring on line is the next step. ????

    • Hello Denise-kudos on doing this important work. Yes, your next step would be to transfer your “method” into an online course. We use a “Content Storyboard” and I work with our members to translate that organic experience in an live workshop to an unlimited experience. There are so many ways you can simulate the dialogue, insights and feedback you give in your intimate workshops. You can see our program for creating courses here> . Cheers!

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