Katelyn Bourgoin on Understanding Your Viewers


Welcome to the sixth and ultimate (for now) installment of Social Proof with Katelyn Bourgoin. Katelyn is an entrepreneur and creator who’s constructed a number of corporations and companies and even offered one efficiently.

She’s presently working because the CEO and Lead Coach at Customer Camp, an organization devoted to serving to its shoppers higher perceive purchaser psychology. Her wealth of expertise in advertising and buyer analysis has earned her the nickname of ‘Buyer Whisperer’.

On this interview, we discuss how she grew her private model, with a e-newsletter referred to as Why We Buy that has an viewers of 10,000 individuals and a Twitter account with eight instances that quantity.


This interview has been edited and condensed for readability

Q: I’m so excited to have you ever on for Social Proof, Katelyn! What do you consider private branding usually? And would you even name what you’ve gotten a private model?

Sure, I might name it a private model. I wasn’t very intentional about constructing a private model initially. What I knew was that I needed to develop my viewers past Atlantic Canada, which is the place I am primarily based and the place most of my shoppers are. However I did not wish to be beholden to solely working with corporations from one area, so it made sense for me to work on constructing an viewers past.

I selected Twitter as my first platform as a result of I like writing there – and I do some on LinkedIn now too. However I by no means went into it essentially pondering, “I want a private model.”

I simply began sharing issues that I believed have been attention-grabbing and interacting with individuals I admired and thought have been attention-grabbing. I discovered that it was such a enjoyable place to each create content material and meet people who I simply began spending extra time there. The viewers was rising after which finally was like, “Oh snap, I believe I’ve a private model.”

Q: There’s usually a lot combating for our consideration, which have to be much more outstanding for you operating an organization, publishing on LinkedIn and Twitter, and writing a e-newsletter. How do you stability all of these issues? Do you undertake a constant voice throughout all of your channels and cross-post content with a deal with one over one other, or do you’ve gotten a strategic method for every channel?

It is a combine that began with boosting site visitors for our enterprise. For instance, initially, I wasn’t working with sponsors or doing any revenue-generation with my e-newsletter. I needed to develop the e-mail record, however I used to be utilizing it as a channel to get the viewers to find the opposite components of our enterprise. I used to be additionally engaged on rising my social media following to develop consciousness of the corporate extra broadly. However I might say that since deciding to deal with rising the e-newsletter, I’ve grow to be way more intentional about my social channels than earlier than.

The place earlier than I caught to the identical matter of buyer analysis as a result of that’s our primary product, now I am discovering that I wish to create one thing extra like a hub and spoke model that extra broadly covers purchaser psychology. So I’m educating the e-newsletter’s viewers on purchaser psychology after which on why they should do buyer analysis on their very own buyer base.

Q: You already talked about that it was the necessity to discover clients exterior your rapid area that led to you specializing in rising a private model. So rooster or egg query: would you say that it was a must develop your online business that led you to social media, or did social media encourage your online business concepts?

There are alternatives that I’ve now due to rising my social that I by no means thought of a risk. I knew that constructing my social would permit me to open doorways that won’t have been open to me earlier than.

personal brand

However like with the e-newsletter, as an illustration, I by no means thought of rising my social in order that I might sooner or later have a e-newsletter that would grow to be a revenue-generating asset for my enterprise, however as a result of I’ve the social channels and following. I knew at a excessive degree that it will open up doorways, however I didn’t know precisely what doorways would open. It’s been a improbable shock to see all of it evolve.

Q: Which of the channels you’re employed with have been essentially the most useful for rising your private model?

I might say they every play a task. Twitter’s positively the place the place I’ve invested essentially the most time and vitality. And due to that, most of my e-newsletter development comes from there within the sense that it is somebody discovering the e-newsletter by Twitter after which recommending it there as nicely.

Then the e-newsletter permits me to deepen the reference to these individuals from Twitter as a result of I get to have this superb spot of their inbox each week the place I get their full consideration, versus being within the feed the place there are many different issues competing for consideration.

I’m lucky to have each, and I would a lot fairly work together with my viewers on Twitter than reply forwards and backwards by way of electronic mail – I believe it is extra enjoyable for us. The conversations are extra easy and informal. I believe that the 2 are utilized in other ways however are additionally symbiotic. They work collectively.

Q: There’s a query I wish to ask which is are you able to outline your private model in three phrases/phrases/phrases?

I’ve given some thought to this as a result of I used to personal a branding company. So we’re very intentional about my model, the Why We Purchase model. I would like individuals to consider me in three phrases: ‘geeky’, ‘enjoyable’, ‘marketer’.

three word method

I get excited in regards to the nerdy components of selling – purchaser psychology and understanding individuals, however I additionally wish to make it enjoyable. I wish to make it enjoyable for me, and I wish to make it enjoyable for my viewers. So I would say if I needed to sum it up, I am a geeky marketer, however I really need it to be enjoyable. I would like the individuals studying in regards to the typically dry and boring stuff that we train to be entertained.

Q: You will have the label “Buyer Whisperer” in your Twitter bio, which is so attention-grabbing. Is that an intentional private model label or a nickname that happened due to your work?

Nicely, any person referred to as me that, so I did not provide you with it myself. We provide coaching [at Customer Camp], and sometimes we’d do it by companions right here in Atlantic Canada. And one in all our companions works for a company that helps an entire bunch of various types of companies and helps them to export exterior of Canada. And he or she began introducing me to the workshop individuals because the Buyer Whisperer.

So I began utilizing it, and I believe it creates curiosity which is absolutely essential in advertising, however it additionally speaks to an evident need that individuals have which is that they wish to have extra clients, and so they know that they should perceive them to have the ability to have extra of them. I believe that it simply matches with every part that I wish to be about.

Q: That’s a cool instance of the ability of social proof in your private model – every part you’ve been speaking leads individuals to the conclusion you need them to have of you and your model. You’ve got achieved plenty of work with branding and understanding the shopper psyche. Has that impacted the way you talk your self and the tasks that you just work on or your achievements?

Completely. I do not contemplate myself to be a brilliant buyer researcher or purchaser psychology professional, however I contemplate myself to be extra like somebody geeky about it and all the time studying. Oftentimes the matters that we’re speaking about within the e-newsletter are introduced like I’ve a high-level understanding. However actually, we’re simply studying about it forward of instructing it to others. There’s loads that I am studying about solely weeks earlier than I am sharing examples in my e-newsletter or on social.

I really like studying about these matters after which testing them in our personal enterprise and seeing what works for us and what does not. It all the time makes me replicate again on our personal advertising collateral or web site or on messaging and see alternatives for optimization. We experiment and apply lots of the rules we cowl as a result of our viewers depends on our recommendation, and we would like it to work for our clients.

Q: Are you able to paint an image of actions you’ve taken to your private model as Katelyn Bourgoin and never essentially as Katelyn of Buyer Camp? And what alternatives have these actions gotten you?

I might say essentially the most important actions which have led to alternatives are partaking with individuals I love.

After we have been nonetheless producing our podcast, most of our friends got here by the interactions and relationships I’d constructed on social. I’d been partaking with individuals whose careers I admired, like Rand Fishkin and Bob Moesta, not for any ulterior motives however as a result of I admired them. So after I reached out to get them on the podcast, they stated sure. Then after we obtained to fulfill on the podcast, as a result of we had so many issues that we have been geeky about in frequent, we’d simply begin speaking, and that led to different alternatives to get to work collectively. Bob Moesta and I co-hosted an occasion collectively, and Rand Fishkin invited me to a founder retreat he was doing in Italy. All of this got here from attending to first begin with very small interactions on social and amplifying their work, supporting them, and getting enthusiastic about what they have been doing, which then led to actual offline friendships with individuals who I solely ever dreamed that I might get to speak to.

The profit for my private model was that the extra I obtained to type of be seen in affiliation with these of us – authority figures of their trade – it acted as a type of social proof: Oh, Katelyn obtained Rand on her podcast, that is superb, or oh, she’s doing a webinar with Bob Moesta, she should know her stuff.

The truth is it simply got here from beginning to construct a community on social after which turning that into a fast dialog and being enthusiastic about the identical issues after which turning these into friendships.

Q: Would you say that Buyer Camp depends in your private model loads, or have you ever been in a position to separate the 2? I ask this as a result of in my analysis earlier than this interview, I nearly fell into the lure of continually equating every part Katelyn with every part Buyer Camp.

When you requested me this query two years in the past, I might have stated very wholeheartedly, “I am a champion of Buyer Camp, however on the finish of the day, I would like individuals to know it is greater than me.” I had a bigger workforce on the time. And so sure, individuals will affiliate me with the model because the founder, however in the end Buyer Camp is what I would like individuals to think about, and I would like there to be a separation between us.

Within the final two years, my life has modified in lots of surprising methods, some good and a few troublesome. So we had a child, however on the identical time, my husband ended up having two surprising surgical procedures and was unable to work and carry our son. That precipitated me to make some adjustments to the enterprise, and I had some plans of how I used to be going to develop Buyer Camp that I reevaluated and altered.

Now I am truly within the means of specializing in rising Why We Purchase as a media model and me being the face of that. So I am okay with individuals associating Why We Purchase, our e-newsletter, with me as a result of I plan to develop that asset, and I wish to be the face of it in the identical means that – and it is a loopy instance I am not evaluating myself to him – Joe Rogan is the Joe Rogan Expertise. You’ll be able to’t simply pop him out and put any person else in and have the corporate be the identical. I wish to do this with Why We Purchase, however that wasn’t all the time the plan.

Q: With every part we have mentioned thus far in thoughts, what would you do if you happen to have been beginning your private model right this moment? What platforms or mediums would you determine to go together with?

I would in all probability I might nonetheless do Twitter as a result of it matches into my life and takes benefit of my private strengths with short-form writing.

I may also contemplate TikTok, however I might see myself stepping into the weeds and making an attempt to take advantage of elaborate TikToks ever. However I’ve deliberately stayed away from it as a result of I simply do not want one other factor to be hooked on.

And I might throw LinkedIn in there as nicely. The good factor is which you can repurpose most of your Twitter content material. Whereas I have not been as intentional with LinkedIn as I will begin being, I’ve been in a position to take years price of content material that I have been creating over on Twitter and modify it for LinkedIn.

Q: Have you ever skilled any downsides in constructing a private model?

I wrote a thread about this after I crossed 75,000 followers on Twitter, sharing seven classes I’ve discovered and 5 arduous issues that no one tells you about however rising your viewers.

For one, social media turns into addictive and never in a great way. You are continuously logging in and refreshing, ready for extra notifications – that is not good to your mind. It isn’t good to your relationships as a result of such as you’re means too plugged into what’s occurring in your telephone.

Additionally, as your viewers grows, it turns into tougher to reply to every part and work together with everybody. Typically, I get a whole bunch of notifications – hundreds if a put up goes viral. I used to have the ability to work together with everybody, reply each query, and reply to each remark. Now I am lacking issues, and it is arduous to make sure I’ve interacted with everyone.

You may additionally begin to have much more individuals attain out to you, asking questions, for recommendation, to your time, and sometimes individuals who you’ve got by no means interacted with earlier than. I would wish to get to a spot the place I can reply to everybody, however I do not see how except I rent any person to begin managing my private account. I do not see how I might sustain with all of it, particularly because the viewers retains rising.

And the ultimate factor I talked about within the put up is you begin to evaluate your self to different individuals. You evaluate your self to different creators. You see individuals which might be rising quicker than you which might be placing out much more content material than you, and also you surprise how they will do all of it as a result of they’ve a busy life too.

Q: What would you advocate for somebody that’s making an attempt to be intentional about not solely constructing their very own channels, whether or not that is publishing YouTube movies or writing a e-newsletter, but in addition making an attempt to deepen the reference to their viewers on social media?

I believe you need to go actually deep into one channel and construct an viewers there, get good at creating content material for that platform, and perceive what works together with your viewers on that platform. Upon getting an viewers – and it does not must be a giant viewers – it is perhaps time to get began getting individuals to enroll in a e-newsletter. Give attention to publishing that e-newsletter each two weeks and getting your Twitter following to permit you of their inbox.

personal branding

What I believe that individuals battle with is that they attempt to be on too many platforms directly with a too-small workforce. In case you have a bigger workforce, it is smart so that you can be throughout these completely different channels. However for a lot of corporations, they have one marketer, and so they’re anticipating them to put up to Fb and Instagram and Twitter and Tiktok.

Present up of their consideration, after which get their belief sufficient that they will come to the place you’re and really get worth over in your home.

Q: Lastly, I’d love to drag on the thread of going all in and direct that to the subject of choosing a distinct segment. Would you say that specializing in buyer analysis and purchaser psychology was a legitimate preliminary method to your content material?

It will depend on what you are speaking about and who your viewers is. For Twitter, I used to be actually centered on understanding the shopper – that was the factor I needed individuals to affiliate with me. However I additionally recognized my sub-topics in providing advertising ideas and usually sharing issues from my private life. I’m very intentional about staying on matter, however I pepper in different issues to see the response.

With the e-newsletter, I attempted to keep away from a mistake I usually see others make. They may decide a subject that aligns with the service that they provide or the merchandise that they promote, however their audiences aren’t desirous about studying about it day-after-day. Or one that’s solely related to them once they’re doing a related undertaking. I’ve seen individuals launch newsletters on writing gross sales pages, and it is like, that is a e-newsletter that persons are gonna join once they have to put in writing a gross sales web page. After which, three weeks later, they are not going to open your emails anymore as a result of it is not related.

So in my case, I might have written my complete e-newsletter about buyer analysis, however in most corporations, buyer analysis is a undertaking and never one thing they do day-after-day. It isn’t one thing that they all the time care about. However purchaser psychology is one thing that, no matter what you are engaged on, it’ll be related whether or not you are designing a brand new touchdown web page or whether or not you are making an attempt to persuade your boss to present you a elevate.

On the subject of individuals’s newsletters or YouTube exhibits, you wish to develop an viewers that is going to come back again to you week after week. You wish to be sure that the subject that you just discuss is one thing that’s going to be constantly related to them.


Katelyn’s expertise constructing a private model has developed together with her development as an entrepreneur. She’s grow to be so well-known for her information in purchaser psychology and buyer analysis that she earned the nickname “Buyer Whisperer.” Listed here are a few of the high takeaways from our interview with Katelyn about constructing a private model that speaks for itself:

  • Decide a distinct segment that has lasting relevance: Katelyn’s – and Buyer Camp’s – experience and repair is in buyer analysis. However each the founder and the corporate are recognized for a deep understanding of buyer psychology – a broader matter that has relevance no matter whether or not the viewers wants their service or not. Attempt to discover matters that your viewers will all the time come again to you for, no matter whether or not they want your providers instantly or not.
  • Begin with one channel and work your means up from there: As Katelyn stated, individuals usually attempt to be on too many platforms directly however find yourself being unfold too skinny. Develop an viewers and develop belief on one platform – then carry them over to different channels as you evolve your private model.
  • Undertake cross-posting to your private model: A sentiment we additionally heard from Jack Appleby is that you ought to be repurposing content material throughout your social media platforms. It saves you time and is a simple solution to join with a brand new viewers utilizing content material you’ve already created.

🔌 Do you wish to construct deep relationships together with your viewers and exhibit your experience? Begin publishing constantly to your chosen channels with Buffer today.

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