One of the key components of your marketing is your messaging. And one of the key components of your messaging is knowing who your ideal client actually is. A common mistake made by small business owners is trying to reach everybody, but everybody is NOT your client. If you think they are, you’re deluding yourself — and your business will suffer.
Why Create an Ideal Client Profile?
Language contains limitations if it’s too broad. However, the right words in the right message delivered to the right audience in the right way can be powerful and make things happen. In order to find the right words, you need to know who you’re talking to.
For example, if you’re trying to reach professional, higher educated women between the ages of 35 and 55 working in cause-driven non-profits, the language and messaging is going to be quite different from what you would use to attract semi-professional skateboarders between the ages of 16 and 24 — they’re vastly different audiences.
Without identifying your ideal client, you’re essentially throwing the marketing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. But, when you’ve got it right, the message resonates so completely with that prospective client/customer that it’sEASY for that person to take action — which is the only reason we invest in marketing! Right?!
How to Create Your Ideal Client Profile
To start, there are 3 essential questions you must answer to determine if your product or service aligns with who you think your client is:
What does my client/customer face on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis? What are they trying to do? And does my product or service answer that need?
What problems do they want solved? What do they want to avoid? What bad outcome or risk is related to the client/customer jobs IF they don’t work with me?
This needs to answer the question that is at the back of the prospective client/customer’s mind — what’s in it for me? What are the benefits or “the GET” for the client/customer if they work with you/buy from you?
You must be able to answer the above questions or you need to look at the validity of your business OR who you’ve been calling your client/customer.
Who Jazzes Me Up?
Pay attention to the types of people you like being around — past and current clients, colleagues, friends … those with whom you look forward to interacting. Think about their qualities … WHAT about them makes you happy to be around them? Do they make you laugh? Are they goal-oriented? Do they possess a positive attitude? Something else important to you? Identify the “what” and then ask, “Are these qualities I want present in my ideal client or customer?”
Then take a few moments and identify the qualities you do NOT want in your clients and customers. For example, you probably don’t want to care more about the outcome than they do, otherwise you’re working harder than your client or customer! The process of elimination can be helpful in this exercise.
You’ve now got valuable information, but you need to finish it up by addressing any demographics that come into play. (At a minimum, they need to be financially stable enough to pay you for your service or product.) Keep it simple and specific. For example:
- Divorced women between the ages of 40 and 65, with an annual household income of $80-$120K who are experiencing empty nest syndrome.
If you’re selling a product vs a service, you need to think about things like geographic area or shipping costs. You know your product and you know what things need to be in place in order to have a successful sale and a happy client/customer … so identify those things and marry them to the above and you get your ideal client or customer.
Get Clear and Stop Wasting Time and Money
Wrapping your head and the correct words around your ideal client profile — or any of your messaging — can be a daunting task for many. (The sheer volume of tasks on the small business owner or entrepreneur’s plate often makes that the default.) Often, business owners just need a little help and guidance when it comes to filling in the blanks of their foundational messaging. If you need help, schedule a free 30-minute phone consult and let’s get your messaging and marketing aligned so your it’s speaking to your ideal clients and customers!