Would you know your ideal client if they walked through the door?
If your ideal customer came walking through your door, would you recognize her?
Ideal clients are a bit like the Holy Grail of marketing.
You can spend lots of time and resources searching for them, but they can be hard to find if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for.
Creating an image of your ideal customer enables you to narrow your marketing efforts as you seek to reach those most likely to buy.
1. Become a Specialist
If your target market is “everyone,” then you not only have a business model that will likely limp along or fail entirely, but you’ve also misunderstood the goal of marketing.
Your marketing efforts don’t need to convince everyone that you’re the solution to their problems. They simply need to identify the people who need or want what you have and convince them. To do that, you must narrow your focus by becoming a specialist.
Find a niche that hasn’t been filled and become the very best provider of that product or service.
2. Do Your Homework
Do you know how your ideal customer looks, feels, and thinks?
- What she reads
- Where she shops
- How much she makes
- How old she is
- What movies she likes
- What music she listens to
- What does she do in her spare time
- What are her secret dreams
- What’s her darkest secret
- What does she love about her job or business
- What keeps her up at night
- Why is she looking for your type of business
Flesh out a picture of your ideal customer. Study the demographics and psychology of the people you are targeting in order to determine what motivates them and how you can best present your business in order to grab their attention.
3. Write a Description
I’m taking an ad writing class from Howie Jacobson. As part of the class, we had to create an avatar which we will use as we write our ad copy.
Once we’ve described our avatar, Howie is having us each write a diary entry from our avatar’s perspective – using their words – to describe the feelings and emotions compelling him (or her) to start a search for our product/service.
It’s a really interesting exercise, because it forced each of us to take off our marketing hats and pretend to be our ideal client. To walk in their shoes, think like they might think, and then express it in a diary or journal entry sounds easy, but inhabiting your ideal client is hard work.
You don’t necessarily need to write a journal or diary entry for your ideal client, however you should be able to write a very clear description – capturing both their external and internal selves.
4. Create Different Personas
Remember that within your target audience, you will find a number of different buyer types, or personas. Take the demographic information you’ve identified and flesh it out using different psychological profiles in order to create a variety of customer personas. Then, use those personas to determine how you should present information on your website and in your ads.
Your ideal customer may be just out of reach. By taking these four steps to identify him or her, you can bring that customer within the scope of your marketing efforts, increasing conversion rates and earning the right to be heard.
Related Articles: Target Market – Defining your Niche