Why is an Ideal Client important?
One of the most fundamental aspects of your marketing, product development and business plan is knowing who your ideal client is.
Without this knowledge, you won’t know how to write your content in a way that’s attractive to your clients, and you won’t be able to tailor your products or services to their unique needs. When I talk about content I mean everything that you develop for your clients or potential clients to draw them to you and help you solve the problems that they face in their everyday lives, so everything hinges on this.
When you know who your ideal clients are, your client attraction efforts will become vastly more effective, because you’ll be able to pinpoint what they want, what challenges they have, where they’re looking for information about your industry, and what trends and mindsets influence the way they search for products and choose who to buy from.
In this blog post, I’ll bust some myths about having ideal clients that cost businesses thousands of dollars each year, and I’ll tell you the nine things you need to know about your ideal client, as well as how to choose your ideal client if you aren’t sure who they are.
Why some businesses avoid having ideal clients:
One of the costliest myths that businesses fall for is the idea that they don’t need an ideal client.
Some of their reasons seem sound, but they’re based on misconceptions about what clients want and how client attraction works.
Here are two of the reasons why people fall into that trap:
Reason 1: They’re afraid of driving clients away.
If you could potentially target a wide range of different demographics, why would you want to alienate some of them by narrowing your niche?
That’s a fear that many business owners have when they first start to consider identifying an ideal client. They believe that the wider the net they cast, the more clients they’ll draw in.
Reason 2: Their product could be used by anyone.
Some businesses could, in theory, serve almost any client under the sun. Life coaches who teach universal success principles that apply to anyone, chiropractors who could work on anyone who has a spine, and businesses that sell food are all examples of people with a very broad potential audience.
If you’re in such an industry, why would you want to narrow your client base?
Why not having an ideal client WILL cost you:
If you share these concerns about having an ideal client, here are four truths about client attraction that should put your mind at ease:
What’s attractive to one client won’t be attractive to others.
People are the most inclined to make a purchase when your marketing speaks to their exact challenges and needs. When someone looks at your offer, they should think “Yes – that’s EXACTLY what I need! It’s like that product was made for me!”
If you try to create and sell offerings that are meant to apply to everyone, there’s a good chance that they’ll be partly applicable to everyone, but ideal for no one. Your clients will look at your offer and think, “Some of that looks good, but a lot of it just doesn’t apply to me”.
If someone is motivated enough that they’re actively looking to buy, the chances are good that they’re looking for something in specific. An offer that’s only a partial match, or that seems to be designed with a different demographic in mind, will be rejected.
One excellent example I’ve heard a few times is that of a pharmacy. If you try to sell an “everything pill”, will anybody trust it enough to buy it? Probably not – and even if they did, there’s a good chance that they wouldn’t think to look for it.
If you have a headache, the chances are good that you’re looking for a pill designed to treat headaches. Unless you were already aware of the “everything pill” before your search began, it probably won’t even occur to you to look for it. You could walk right past it and not even register it.
When you know exactly who your clients are, what they need, and what they struggle with, you’ll be able to create products and marketing materials that are exactly what they’re looking for, and you can learn their language and phrase your marketing in ways that appeal strongly to them.
You don’t want to waste your time and budget on people who are less inclined to buy.
Your ideal clients aren’t the ONLY people who will buy from you, but they are the people who are the most likely to make a purchase.
If you were fishing, would you cast your line or drop your net repeatedly in random parts of the lake, or would you specifically target the areas where you knew you’d catch the most fish? Would you use bait or a lure that’s good for all kinds of fish, or the ones that will attract the specific type of fish you’re looking to catch?
The same principle applies to marketing. You’ll never have the time and budget to reach ALL the possible demographics at once, so you should spend that time and money on the demographic that needs and wants your product the most, and that’s the most likely to make a purchase.
You don’t WANT to attract every type of client.
Not every client is a good one, especially if you’re selling services as opposed to products.
If you’re going to have to spend any amount of time working with a client, you don’t want to attract the kind of people who are lukewarm about your services, and who will drag their feet, complain, nitpick, make unreasonable demands, hamper your efforts, and prove impossible to please.
You also don’t want to attract people who aren’t able to get the full benefit from your offering. If something outside of your control will prevent you from getting good results for them, then enrolling them despite that will only result in frustration for you, a disappointment for them, and possibly bad reviews for your business.
Just because you aren’t targeting someone, that doesn’t mean they won’t come.
Even if you’re targeting six-figure business owners because they’re the most likely to be able to afford your offering, that doesn’t mean five-figure business owners who really resonate with you and need your product won’t scrape together the funds to enter your program.
People who primarily target one gender or age group sometimes attract members of others. If someone is really a fit for your business, the fact that your marketing is tailored to another group won’t stop them from coming to you.
Having an ideal client isn’t about driving away clients who are a good fit. It’s about making yourself more attractive to the people who need you the most.
What if I’m not sure how to choose my ideal client?
If you aren’t sure who to select as your ideal client, here are some criteria you can use:
- Who do you understand the most?
Whose challenges, desires, mindsets, habits, needs, fears, and limitations do you understand the most?
Who do you relate to the most strongly, and who can relate to you?
The more you understand your client, the better you can serve them, and the more they’ll relate connect with and trust you.
- Who do you enjoy working with the most?
When you enjoy working with someone, it will show in your attitude, your energy, and the quality of your work. It will also affect your personal well-being and ability to be happy while doing business.
Because of this, it’s helpful to determine who you enjoy working with and to focus on attracting that kind of client.
- Who needs everything you have to offer?
If you specialize in offering a complete solution to a problem, you don’t want to focus your marketing on people who only need one or two steps or components. You want people who can get the full value out of your most robust offering, and who are willing to pay you as much as it’s worth.
- Who is strongly aware of their need for your offering, and ready to act on it?
Even if everyone needs or can benefit from your product, it’s still best to focus your marketing on the people who are aware of that need and are prepared to invest in getting it fulfilled.
5 Steps to Finding Your Ideal Customer
Now that you know what your ideal client looks like, you can figure out how to find them.
To do this, you need to ask smart questions that will help you narrow down your focus. This will help you identify the key audience you should be targeting with your marketing; this is the most important activity you’ll complete for your business.
1. What Are Your Target Audience Demographics?
Think about who needs your product or service.
- What’s their age?
- What’s their gender?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- What’s their income?
- Did they go to college, or are they high school graduates?
- Where are they right now in their lives?
- Are they married? Single? Kids?
Asking and answering these questions lets you define exactly who you’re talking to in your marketing. You can tailor your messages to speak directly to the person who will sit up and listen.
You may end up with a picture of your ideal client that’s incredibly specific, but this is good. This clarifies what your strategy needs to be, which will lead to more success.
2. Where Do These People Get Their Information?
Once you know who you’re talking to, determine where they hang out online and where they get their information. Are they Facebook junkies? Do they prefer news websites? Do they read blogs in a specific genre, like tech, lifestyle, design, or business?
This will help you understand where you should be publishing and promoting content to reach your audience.
3. What’s Their Budget?
Your ideal customer has a specific financial situation. Use what you’ve already determined about them to figure out what their budget would be for buying your product.
This is vital because if you’re priced too high, you’ll turn your customer away. Price your product or service too low, and you risk getting undervalued, which can hurt your bottom line.
4. What Has to Happen in Their Lives to Buy Your Product?
Figuring out exactly what spurs your customer to make a purchase is golden information. This tells you when you should swoop in and help them along the buying journey.
When you understand the impetus behind looking for a solution like yours, you can target customers precisely. This is powerful knowledge.
5. Which Benefits Do They Need Most from What You Offer?
Your product or service has plenty of benefits for your customers, but only a few are going to be of utmost importance. These will improve their lives or fulfill a pressing need.
When you know what problems your clients have and care about, this enables you to anticipate what kind of questions or phrases, also known as long-tail keywords, they’ll type into search engines, so you can design your marketing content to rank highly in those searches.
This will help you to stand out and get found amongst the approximately four trillion pages on the internet.
It also gives you the ability to tailor your products and branding to their challenges and desires, which makes you far more attractive to them than a company that doesn’t match their needs as precisely as you do.
Your decision doesn’t have to be permanent.
When you’re choosing your ideal client, bear in mind that it doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. You can choose a niche and “date” them for a few months before you decide whether you want to commit to them in the long term.
Discover Your Target Audience And Talk To Them To Boost Your Business
Your target customers are your ideal sells. These people not only want your product or service, they need it.
They have the means to buy it and the means to use it. Furthermore, they’re engaged with your product and your brand as a result. They could easily become repeat customers.
Finding out who these people are on a minute level isn’t as hard as it seems. You simply must ask yourself key questions to narrow down their traits, budget, preferences, and other factors.
Once you have the knowledge, you can go out and court that perfect customer. In fact, finding your ideal target is a little bit like dating. You should take the time to get to know them, present yourself in the best light, and discover the commonalities you share.
Approach the path to finding your ideal customer as a learning process. Take the time to do your research and tailor your marketing just for them. You’ll find that targeting people strategically is the way to success.