Why You Don’t Really Know Your Ideal Client And What To Do About It
Today, we are going into the reeds on your ideal client. Most of the people that I talk to have an idea of who their ideal client is, but they don’t really KNOW who they are. It makes a BIG difference in how you talk to them, so we are getting into the nitty-gritty today.
When I decided to talk about ideal client this week, I was wondering if it was too soon, I talked about ideal client several weeks ago, and how you can start to get really specific about what their real core problem is.
But I realised recently that the missing part most people struggle with—most important part actually—is being able to get down in the trenches with them.
Think about your closest friend. The one that you always go back to, and it doesn’t matter how long or short a time it’s been, it always feels like you saw them yesterday?
She’s someone who GETS you. She’s there for you when you need her and she absolutely calls you on your BS. This is the friend who doesn’t let you get away with the stories that you tell yourself. And she forces you to be honest with yourself.
Now think about that for a bit. You’ve also got friends (probably really close ones too) who you absolutely love, but they aren’t the ones that you go to for the tough love. They are the ones that you go to to make yourself feel better. To hear the encouragement and platitudes that make you feel better. And when you don’t want to be faced with the truth…it’s a great way to avoid it for a bit.
There’s nothing wrong with that—we all need all sorts of friends. They all play an important part in the web of support and relationships that we have—it's absolutely not the point I'm making.
The point is this: When the chips are down and you know you need help, you need to pull up your big girls' panties and get through whatever it is that life has thrown at you…which friend do you call?
The one who you know will support you with lots of positive feel-good vibes that don't really compel you to change anything about your life? Or the friend that you know is going to deliver the hard truth that you really need to hear? The one who will force you to face up to the stuff you already know deep down that you need to change?
Yeah, when the chips are down, you go to the tough as nails chick who will have your back no matter what and demand that you show up for yourself too!
So, what the heck has this got to do with today's topic?
Well, when you really master what is going on for your ideal client - you become the first type of friend. The one who your ideal client will go to when they finally accept that they need help. The one that they KNOW is going to help them—give them the assistance that they need to finally create change, get the transformation that they are looking for.
TAKING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT AVATAR DEEPER
What we are talking about today is taking your ideal client avatar deeper. To not only understand what their core problem is in intellectual terms but to understand it at a visceral level.
The only way that you can do that is to crawl down into the hole with them and really understand what that feels like.
Knowing your ideal client is not a new concept—everyone is talking about it these days.
But what that means is that the marketing that is out there is a lot smarter than it used to be. The whole "if you aren't speaking to someone specific, you aren't speaking to anyone at all" thing doesn't really take it far enough because there are dozens of people (maybe hundreds!) teaching how to understand your ideal client, talk to them and even do paid marketing to them.
So how do you stand out in a world like that? Standing apart from the crowd takes more than it used to. It means knowing your ideal client (and their core problems) at a level of intimacy that is next level.
Truly understanding and empathising with them and being completely self-less when you do it.
Some people get pretty bad at getting a bit lazy with their marketing message sometimes. I know I get that way sometimes!
But you fall back into the trap of writing your marketing messages from the perspective of what you want your ideal client to do (purchase, download something, book a time, etc.) and that is where you are going wrong.
FIXING YOUR MARKETING MESSAGES
So today is to give you some inspiration on how to fix it. Now, I'm going to start with something that may make you groan.
Have you done market research?
If you have (and you did it properly!) then you likely understand how powerful the insights can be … if you ask the right questions.
But most of us, when we do that research for the first time (or the second or third time…) we ask INTELLECTUAL questions. Not the questions that really help us get down in the trenches with our ideal client when they are hurting.
We are trying to be too clever.
Let's face it, market research is probably one of the least favoured things that people do in their business. And the result of that is that when we do take the time to do it, we tend to do one of two things:
You try to cram too much into it and answer too many questions at once…
You focus too much on what YOU need to know about them
When you make mistake number 1, you are trying to both understand all the different characteristics of your ideal client; what their core problem is; how they feel about it; what they want instead of their problem; what they would pay for a solution; what the solution needs to look like….
Well, you get the idea.
But the impact is that you end up completely watering down the results that you get because you write all of your questions, realise that there are way too many of them, then try to simplify it back so that you are balancing the number of questions and getting the answers that you need and you end up with basically nothing valuable.
(HINT: people can tell if you are being self-serving in your research)
When you make mistake number 2, it means that you are so focussed on what YOU need to know to create your signature product that you come at the questions all wrong.
Again, this doesn't mean that you don't have your ideal client's best interests at heart, I know for sure that you do! In fact, that is what usually sends us off on the wrong path.
It's because you care deeply that you focus on your solution and how you can best improve it and show them that they need it.
The problem is that you come at it from the wrong perspective.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Unless you are trying to truly get down and understand where your client is at in their most difficult moments, you will be asking questions that aren't really going to inspire them to tell you what you need.
What you need is to understand exactly how they feel when they are at their most stressed/unhappy/in their worst moments (related to their core problem that is).
You want to be able to tell a story of those moments and exactly how they feel, what is going through their mind, what they are wishing for, what is keeping them stuck there…the whole merry-go-round.
And ideally, when you are seeing to understand that, you won't be asking what they need to fix it, you'll be asking how they want to be feeling.
Again, knowing this in their words is really valuable for your marketing message.
I just want to recap here—the difference is in taking the perspective of understanding exactly how your ideal client is really feeling in their words, NOT seeking to understand how you can best help them.
I want you to go out there and write a first-person story as if you were your ideal client. I want you to feel what they are feeling, see what they are seeing… embody the swirling thoughts and emotions that are winding through their minds and hearts … and then create from there. It is a truly powerful place to come from when you are building the transformation that you know that they truly need.
And that is what I have for you this week, my friends! Join me in the Tribe to continue this conversation and I'll see you next week on the Mums in Biz Show—and don’t forget to go and subscribe to the new podcast too!