No matter how long you’ve been in business, at some point you’ve come across others talking about their ideal client.
You may be thinking, “Is there actually a benefit to marketing to one particular client?”
The answer is YES!
But before you identify your ideal client, you need to make sure you have the right mindset. You want to be sure that your focus is on serving those clients who would most benefit from what you offer, rather than marketing to everyone.
Focusing on one client does not limit what you can achieve in your business. In fact, putting your time and effort only into those clients that will directly benefit from your product or service will produce the greatest results and therefore the greatest profit.
Figuring out your target client is a key piece of the marketing puzzle. It is one of the first questions I ask as I start my branding process. I like to keep things simple – and you should too!
So what steps do you need to take when identifying your ideal client?
There are a lot of people you can help, but finding the RIGHT people boils down to asking yourself these three simple questions:
Question 1: Who do I REALLY want to work with?
You will be interacting with your clients on a regular basis, so you want to make sure you can connect with them. Take a moment to step back and ask yourself, “What kind of person do I like working with?”
Think about your past clients. Identify those with whom you had the best experience. What made that situation work so well? Do they all have similar characteristics? How did you meet them? Knowing who you loved working with before, will help you in creating that same experience over and over.
Have yet to work with your first client? Think about how you’d want that experience to feel. Picture the person or group you’d like to work with and do some research. Figure out what they like and where they hang out. This will help you to better identify your ideal client when you come across them.
A quick note: Over time your “ideal” may evolve, especially if you’re kind of guessing right at the beginning. Take note of what is ideal to you and what is not, and allow your brand to change to better attract and serve that perfect person.
Concerned about limiting yourself to a specific type of person right away? Find comfort in knowing that you are never locked in to serving just one person. It’s your business, you can serve or turn away whoever you want! However, for a more successful marketing experience, it is better to speak towards one type of person, than trying to talk to everyone.
Question 2: Who has a problem I can help solve?
In other words, who needs your product or service? You can also ask yourself, “Who does NOT need what I offer?” This question is just as important as asking yourself who would want what you provide. It can help you narrow down your ideal client even further.
Get specific. The more detailed the better. This will help you to begin to focus.
Think about what stage of life they are in. What would motivate them to seek out what you offer? They may already be using a product or service similar to yours, and you need to figure out how you can better resolve their problem.
Figuring out their pain points, rather than what makes them happy, will yield the best results. Pain motivates people more than pleasure.
Question 3: Who has the ability to pay for what I offer?
Although you may want to solve a problem for a specific person or group, you have to consider the fact that they may not be able to afford what you charge. No matter how much you can help, there is no benefit to marketing to those that don’t have the ability to pay. This is a conundrum that many new business owners experience.
Your time is valuable. Do not undervalue what you are worth. Only you know that value, and over time that number will change.Being confident in that number will help your business grow.
Once you narrow down your ideal client, you can then move forward, feeling confident not only in what you offer, but also in yourself.
Make sure to check back in as your business changes and grows. As I mentioned earlier, as you and your business change, your ideal client can as well!