Why Create an Ideal Client/Customer Profile?
Whether you have a product or service based business, creating an ideal client/customer profile is crucial. Why? Because identifying the person to whom you’re selling your product or service will make marketing so much easier! 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 you’ll work harder and your business will suffer.
Who Are You Talking To?
The right words delivered to the right audience at the right time can be powerful and make things happen. But in order to find the right words to create that right message, you need to know to whom you’re talking. 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 professional male skateboarders between the ages of 18 and 28 — they’re vastly different audiences. That’s an extreme example, but it helps makes my point clear. Without defining and identifying your ideal client/customer profile, you’re talking into the wind and just hoping a word of your message reaches the right ears.
Clarity and specificity can become powerful allies in identifying your ideal client and then developing your messaging. Knowing who it is you are serving is the only way to create effective marketing. You simply can’t serve everybody — it’s impossible. When you can answer the following questions, you can begin to develop your ideal client/customer profile.
- With whom do I like to work?
- Who gets me excited when we talk?
- Who makes me feel truly accomplished and satisfied when I help solve their problem?
Does Your Message Resonate with Your Ideal Client/Customer?
When you are clear about who your ideal client/customer is, then you can start to talk to that ONE person. That one person represents all your potential clients. These are the people with whom you want to work, so these are the people to whom you’re marketing. When you do, that potential client is going to read or hear something you’ve said and it’ll resonate. That person will recognize themselves in the problem you say you can solve. That’s the true gold in creating your ideal client/customer profile. When someone resonates with your message, your service or product can almost sell itself because there’s already a connection and a recognition happening.
How To Create Your Ideal Client/Customer Profile
There are four questions I take my clients through when creating their Ideal Client/Customer Profile that happen before we identify demographic information:
1. Who Jazzes Me Up & Who Doesn’t?
It’s important to pay attention to the types of people with whom you like interacting. Think about your friends, family, colleagues, and customers/clients. Among this group of people, with whom do you like to spend time? Who are the people that make you smile? Or walk away energized? The people who don’t make you cringe when their name shows up in your email, text, or phone? Now, think about their qualities … WHAT about them makes you happy or jazzed up to be around them? Is it their humor? Their ambition? Their work ethic? World view? Etc, etc.
Identify those whats and then ask, “Are they qualities I want present in my ideal client or customer?”
It’s also important to be clear about what qualities you do NOT want present in your clients/customers and for many, it’s easier to start here first. Make a list of qualities you want and qualities you don’t want in a client. This will help ensure that your clients/customers are in alignment with your values and work style.
2. What Are My Client/Customer’s “Jobs”?
The “jobs” are what your client/customer needs to do on a regular basis. The “jobs” are the daily, weekly, monthly, or annual work problems that must be solved. In these jobs, there must be at least one for which you can offer a solution. If not, this person can’t be your ideal client/customer because they don’t need whatever it is you’re offering.
- What does your client/customer face daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly?
- What are they trying to do/accomplish?
- What are the problems they face that YOU can solve?
3. What Are My Client/Customer’s “Pains”?
The “pains” are the problems relating to their job. Where is the pain point for your client/customer? Is it a deadline? A manufacturing issue? Employee motivation? Etc. Somewhere in their pain is the opportunity for you to help. Here is where you can step in and help them solve their problem by offering your service or product.
Sometimes it can help to identify the pain by clearly identifying what possible negative outcomes exist if they don’t work with you or buy your product.
Ask yourself …
- What problems do they want solved?
- Where do they need help?
- What do they want to avoid? Describe the negative outcomes or risks if they don’t find a good, working solution.
4. What Does My Client/Customer “Gain” From Me?
The “gains” are the benefits reaped by your client/customer when they buy your service or product. This should be pretty clear to you and easily explained to your potential client/customer. HINT: The gains play heavily toward developing your Unique Selling Proposition.
Ask yourself …
- What are the benefits … or “the GET” if they work with or buy from you?
- What’s going to solve their problem?
- What will take the “pain” away AND make them happy?
Once you’ve gone through the above exercises, you do need to apply appropriate demographics. These will be specific to your business and the profile you’ve begun to create with the above. Some demographics to consider:
- Annual Income/Revenue (remember, if a prospect is ideal in all ways except there’s no money with which to pay you, that person is NOT your ideal client/customer!)
- Geographic location (especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses!)
- Buying habits/Triggers
- Other demographics/characteristics directly related to your product/service (ie: home owners, computer literacy/use, goals, fears, generation, etc.)
Ideal Client/Customer Profile is Key Piece of Your Messaging
Your ideal client/customer profile is a key piece of your business and marketing messaging and informs how you market your business. This process is about literally creating an IDEAL profile. You are painting a picture of your most perfect client/customer because that will be the person you talk to with your marketing and promotional materials. You decide in any given situation how far off the ideal line you are willing and able to go.
This process can sometimes seem overwhelming and it does require you, as a business owner, to be self-aware and honest with yourself. If you find yourself overwhelmed, contact me, I’m happy to help!