If you were to ask twenty entrepreneurs and small business owners, Who is your ideal client? the majority of persons would likely say, Everyone. Unless someone has been exposed to the concept of developing a clear vision of your ideal client, they usually feel they can serve everyone.
While working in corporate America, my entrepreneurial spirit led me to become a Skin Care and Beauty Consultant, and I loved it! I loved the product; I loved working with women on a personal level; and I enjoyed the thrill of seeing the difference that great skin care made to a woman’s skin. However, we were taught that “every woman with skin” was our customer. I believed every woman was my ideal client.
It was not until I came online and enrolled in a training course, I discovered that while I could sell to most women, my ideal client was a 40-65 year old professional woman with specific demographics and psychographics.
After receiving that clarity, I examined the Client Profiles and found this to be consistent. It meant that I now had a clear picture of the type of customers or potential customers whom I should target. This also made it easier to know which products to focus on knowing the most about, and get clear on my message.
As a coach and mentor, I find this to be one of the most challenging concepts – identifying your ideal client – for entrepreneurs to grasp, especially if they’re marketing products that could benefit a cross-section of people, like nutritional products. They resist the idea of identifying their ideal client because they believe this will leave other buyers out of the picture. This is a mistake.
While your products could benefit most persons, it’s important that you have a clear brand message. If your message is too broad and untargeted, it will be diluted and will benefit no one. Think about this too. Say, you’re selling Vitamins. They would likely benefit everyone. But, can everyone afford those Vitamins? Your Vitamins may require an automatic delivery setup where they’re shipped, without fail, each month. Does everyone have the banking structure to accommodate that plan? It’s imperative to discover whom, of all the people you can serve, is your ideal client.
Keep in mind that YOU are your Brand, and while you’re marketing a product, you’re also marketing your brand – you. Regardless of how beautiful the packaging of commercial products on the store shelf is, not all products resonate with everyone. Some customers will bypass the beautiful packaging and go for the generic store brand. The same is true for your brand. It therefore means that it’s important for you to take the time to do research to find out just whom you should direct your marketing message to so that they can say, “Yes, that is for me!”
Where do you begin?
In order to identify your ideal client, get started with the following four points:
- Gender. Is your audience male or female? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your products—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women communicate differently, and they are affected by stories and branding in very different ways, so what appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman. Look around at some of the brands you buy, and you’ll quickly see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both.
- Pain Points: What is the pain that’s keeping your client up at nights? What are her biggest challenges and frustrations?
- Goals. What does your client hope to achieve, and how do your products and services help her realize her goals? Whether she’s trying to build a profitable embroidery blog so she can stay home with her children, or he’s working to create an online resource for muscle car fans, if you don’t know where they’re going, you can’t help them get there.
- His or her point in the journey. Is she a beginner or well along on the path? How you speak, how you write, what marketing methods you use, and even what prices you charge will all be determined by your ideal client’s level of sophistication.
You may be teaching a beginner how to take their business online and purchase their first domain, or helping to train someone for their first 5k. Their level of commitment (and willingness to spend) is far different from a long-time marketer who’s ready to expand her business with rapid product creation, or a runner working up to a triathlon. You will not effectively get your message to the market you’re hoping to make an impact on, if you don’t know exactly where your ideal clients are and what they need at this point in their business.
Of course, if you’re just starting out, you might not yet know who your ideal client is. Make a list of the qualities you’d like in your ideal customers. As you attract customers, they will tell you what they require. They’ll tell you through the products and services they buy. They’ll tell you by following you on social media. They’ll tell you by commenting on your blog and asking questions that are relevant to them.
Watch your interactions, study the businesses of those who contact you for help, and take a look at what your competition is doing, not with the view to copy them, but to learn from them. When all of these strategies are put together, the results will allow you to have a clear understanding of who your ideal client really is.
Your ideal client is waiting for you to identify her. Are you ready?
Image credit: pixabay.com via: mediamodifier