Yeah, yeah. I know you hear it a lot - knowing your ideal client is important. But what does that actually mean? And why is it so important?
If I’m honest with you, I never really wanted to commit to the whole ideal client thing. When I started my first business, my business partner and I had a great idea, we built a website, played around with social but we never really got any traction.
Don’t get me wrong...there were SOOOOOOO many things that were “learning opportunities” (which means we did a heap of stuff wrong!)...BUT! Definitely one of the big things was that we didn’t get right was we couldn’t decide on who we were really selling to. We had a half formed idea - our target market was start-up businesses but that was incredibly broad.
Let’s be super honest here, do you feel like if you get too narrow with your ideal client that you will be restricting how much money you can make?
Yup - that’s pretty much the problem that 80% of entrepreneurs face when they are working through their marketing plans - me included!! So let me tell you about the difference maker for me.
After a year or two of not making any real money in that first business, and having my second little girl - I fell in a heap - big time. It’s a story for another time, but as I worked through that time, I realised was that I love helping other working mums find their confidence and grow their own businesses. It was like figuring out the missing piece of the puzzle...and working on, and in, my business became simple - and profitable.
It will change the way you work in your business, how you market your message, and the type of business that you grow. Most of all, when you figure out who you are really talking to - your sales start going up because you are finally finding your peeps.
So I’m giving you three ways you can use to identify details about your ideal client. You can use all of them or pick one that feel most natural for you but do your business (and yourself!) a favour and spend the time to work out who your ideal client really is.
If you love to watch rather than read - check out this week's live training below! There is a free worksheet to go along with the training this week so grab that below as well!
1. Start with peeps you already LOVE to hang around with!
I go with the theory that it’s no good attracting a heap of people that you just don’t like hanging out with in your tribe! This goes especially for people that you work 1:1 with if you have a services based business. So start with thinking about your favourite people when you are defining your ideal client!
For many entrepreneurs, especially with mums - we often find that our ideal client is a lot like ourselves!! When you are using this method, you are going to be looking to document the following things:
Attributes: What are the attributes of your favourite people? Are they structured planners and super organised, giving and caring, driven, lackadaisical in their approach, honest, trusting, really direct… think about the things that make them who they are - they don’t have to be directly relevant to your business or the problem that you help them with, this is about the whole person!
Skills: What are the things that your ideal client are great at? Skills that are critical to their life, stuff they love doing and are great at. Do they love to cook, to garden, make things, write, knit, ride, are they a baker, a painter, great with numbers and admin. The list of things is endless!
Likes/dislikes: Do your ideal clients hate admin, or creative work, or maybe they love doing repetitive tasks...maybe they love having picnics in spring with their families, or skiing in New Zealand in winter...maybe they love a great cup of tea. Think outside the box when you are doing this because the more specific you can get, the more naturally you are able to talk to your ideal client in your marketing!
Demographics: This is the one that most people go to when they start looking at ideal client and it is important, but it’s not just about gender and age - maybe there is a country that they are from (perhaps speaking a particular language or close to your time zone!), do they have kids, a partner, how do they live (maybe they rent or are apartment livers)...you can do so much with the demographic characteristics to build your ideal client “avatar” up!
2. Get down and dirty with your EI (that's emotional intelligence ladies)!
It’s all about tapping into the things that your ideal client is really thinking and feeling! Have you heard them say that golden engagement is when your clients are saying “it’s like she was right inside my head!”? Yep. This is one technique that you can use to help you get there!
An empathy map helps you to get into understanding the things that your ideal client thinks, says, does and feels. To do this, you can think about the problem that you are helping your ideal client with and answer these four things, and you can do it in terms of their general demeanour.
It is really valuable for getting deeper into the feelings that you ideal client has, the type of language that they use, the thought processes that they work through and the types of actions that they are most likely to take.
I’ve done up a worksheet to help you do this exercise make sure you download it here >>
3. Tap into your inner data geek and get number crunching
If data does it for you then you are gonna love this one!! Now when it comes to market research for your product and client problem, you gotta get into your data - let’s be really clear about that. But there is more that you can use data and information for when you are building out your ideal client. Market research can be done in lots of different ways, here are some of the things that you can try:
Interview some people 1:1 (friends, family, former clients or people in your target market)
Take on some 1:1 clients to explore the things that help them best
Conduct a survey to your email list, a friend’s list, or in FaceBook groups/network groups that allow survey sharing
Do some data mining in a group that you know your ideal client hangs out (this means doing searching for key terms relevant to your ideal client, service or their core problem and copying and pasting the comments that come out into a google doc or sheet)
Think about some of the following things as you do your research and gathering of information for your market research:
Themes - what themes do you see in the information you gather?
Core problem - how would you describe the core problem that your ideal client faces now that you have more information?
Language that they use - gather a sense of how your ideal client speaks, what phrases do they tend to use?
Where do they hang out - what did you learn about where your ideal client most often hangs out online (what about offline? Is this something that will be important for your marketing?)
Who do they listen to - or read, what influencers are they following to get their content?
So there you have it. A huge collection of ways that you can get to know your ideal client a bit better.
It really does make a difference - think about it as getting to know a new friend. We all connect with people that we know like and trust, online - you just gotta do the discovery bit first so that your new business besties know to listen to what you have to say.
Don't forget to snag your copy of the Empathy Map Worksheet to get you started on a simple way to understand your ideal client better!
If you liked this, make sure that you check out the Thriving Business Roadmap. That is my simple six step process for creating your business - when what you really want is a business that you connect with, love, and that THRIVES right from the start.