Before you can work with an ideal client, you have to know how to find them! This is a crucial foundation of any successful business but how do you know who they are? What they look like? What do they need?
Whether you have an established business or are just starting out, my tips for identifying, working with and nourishing your ideal client will reignite your passion for what you do and allow your business to flourish in the right environment.
1 - Start with your passion...
I've always being passionate about wellness. This translates into my using organic products almost exclusively. In 2014, I worked on a project that excited me, it was for a wellness/beauty spa. Shortly, after I worked on another project for an organic hair and beauty salon. While at that time I didn’t realise it but I was getting closer to finding who my ideal client was. At the very least, I was beginning to understand what my ideal projects were. Voila! It was working with women who owned small businesses in the wellness and beauty industry. The rest is history right? Well sort of, I took a lengthy hiatus (7 IVF cycles and eventually becoming a mamma to our miracle baby boy will do that). Three years ago, with my passion to get back to work and grow my business bubbling over, I sat my family down, looked into each of their eyes, wiped the snot from little Max’s nose and said “It’s time to reignite my business”! My husband was excited, so was Max (or it might have been because of the ice-cream I was scooping into a bowl) but most importantly, I was revving to get back to it. For a little while, I struggled to find my place in the market and who my ideal clients were but now I know those didn’t take long to work it all out. So who are my ideal clients? Simply, my ideal clients are mothers like me who are budding entrepreneurs seeking to make their mark on the world. We can understand each other, emphasise and relate. I know how important it is for those mothers to have a business that gives you a work-life balance, a business that gives you financial freedom, so you can spend more time with your children without being worried about money.
2 - Then drill down a bit...
Your ideal client is the person you REALLY want to sell to (it is not your average Jane buyer - it is the person you DREAM of working with). That person is loyal, a repeat customer and referral machine. That person is YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN! As the saying goes, If you try to appeal/reach to everyone, you can end up appealing to nobody or worse, reaching the wrong audience completely. You know the type, the bargain hunters, the client’s that don’t share your vision or your process. You know your passions (well I hope you do), you know your business and its offering, so you need to promote it to the right people. This is the start of the ideal client process. Before you know who they are, you must know what they want? What their struggles and pain points are? What problem does your business and its offering attempt to solve? Write it down, you’ll thank me. I should also point out, not only does this help you learn more about your who your ideal clients are, it will be an enormous help in creating focusses and pointed marketing content that is designed to address those pain points head on. The more value you will bring them, the more trustworthy your brand will become and the more people who will BECOME NUMBER ONE FANS.
3 - And don't stop until you have created a detailed profile
You read this far, at the very least you would have picked up that It goes without saying that knowing your ideal client is an essential and crucial part of your Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy. Spend some time and create an Ideal Client Avatar (ICA). An ICA is a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Treat them as if they are a real person with feelings, dreams, and real struggles. It will help you to better understand them and make them easier to find. Having trouble thinking? Maybe use a previous great client you or someone you know has worked with as the basis of your ICA. The secret here is specificity. Be specific, it’s crucial. Don’t base your ideal client on a “fairytale” version of the perfect client. They should look, feel and act like real people, not magical beings who appear at your door with lots of money in their pocket and no objections to buying from you. If they have questions (and they will) you must answer them from their point of view, not yours. Step into their shoes (not literally I hope) and see their struggle as they would see it. Avoid being broad and vague when filling in the prompts in the document. For example, when entering ‘age’ do not write 20-30. Be specific! A profile based on basic demographics is necessary but the psychographics (their attitudes, aspirations, interests, lifestyle, and other psychological criteria) is critical data ... A psychographic profile gives you a deeper, subjective understanding of who your Number One Fan is and how he or she thinks. I have created a worksheet to guide you through defining the demographic and psychographic traits of your ideal client so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Please use this guide, save yourself countless hours of wondering like I did before I created this tool. Defining your Ideal Client Profile, is just a sample of all the things we go through together in discovering your Brand Strategy, here’s some more information on my process. Want to learn more about how developing the perfect Brand strategy can set out the blueprint to your business' long term success and direct connection to your ideal audience? Let’s chat more about it. Hopefully these tips will give you a start in creating your Ideal Client Avatar. Download for free the worksheet to guide you.