Finding your ideal customer is one of the most important steps in developing a marketing plan for your business. In fact, aside from fine-tuning the passion behind your business and understanding its purpose, finding your “people” is what will drive your marketing messages.
What is an ideal customer?
Your ideal customer is someone you speak to in every piece of communication coming from your business. Whether you’re promoting a product or a program or even a blog, your ideal customer is at the core of your creation. I find it easier to think of this “someone” as a character or an avatar, so that you can really visualize and picture them. This character could be based on an actual customer that you have, or someone that you’ve worked with, but it’s generally someone that you would love to have as a customer, and someone that makes you think: “If all of my customers were like this person, I would have my dream business.”
So why do you need an ideal customer?
First, without an ideal customer, you’re really not going to sell much of anything. How can you sell something to someone without considering what he or she truly wants? In order to ethically and honestly sell to someone, you have to understand them, and they have to feel like you do. How do you expect to engage with and persuade others to buy from you if you do not understand their fears and their desires?
Second, if you don’t have an ideal customer, it’s very likely that you will attract less-than-ideal customers. And we’ve all had a few of those experiences before! These are the customers that don’t value what you do, your pricing, or your time, and it’s all because they weren’t meant to be your customers in the first place.
Third and lastly, if you’re not clear about who you are targeting, then your marketing, your sales efforts, and your content creation will likely be too general and too generic – all ending up as a complete waste of time.
A Few Things to Consider…
Now, many entrepreneurs are afraid to get too specific with their ideal customer. Either they feel like they’re missing out on possible leads, or they’re afraid that they are labeling themselves as a provider for only one particular group. I cannot reiterate this enough – one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is trying to sell to everybody. Expert after expert will tell you: if you’re trying to sell to everybody, you will sell to nobody. Your messaging will be bland, basic, forgettable, and lost, and any type of promotion will be entirely ineffective. The truth is, there is no product or service that is right for everyone. There are always subsets and subgroups in every market. Furthermore, having an ideal customer doesn’t limit who you reach. If you end up having a wide range of customers of different genders, ages, and income levels, that’s absolutely possible. However, you can still achieve that by starting with one character in mind.
I promise you – the clarity that you will feel when you recognize your ideal customer is so refreshing. The subsequent writing of content, messaging, branding, and marketing you will do for your business will come to you quickly and easily. You will save a tremendous amount of time and energy marketing to a specific group rather than get overwhelmed marketing to everyone. You are going to serve people that are genuinely a good fit for your business and in turn, running your business will be a lot more fun and more profitable!
So, take this advice and go find your ideal customer. They are waiting to be discovered! Need help? Contact me for a worksheet that will jumpstart the process for you.