brand basics: identify & understand your ideal client
To build a successful business you have to know WHO you want as your customers (and who you don’t!). Discovering who your ideal client is and what their specific needs are will help you serve them better, easily get repeat and new clients and charge what you’re worth!!! Understanding your ideal client better also streamlines your marketing efforts and can save you money. You can eliminate frustration, guesswork AND wasted money when you take the time to identify exactly WHO you’re targeting and WHERE to find them.
What is an Ideal Client?
An ideal client is an exact outline of the type of person you want shopping in your store or hiring you for your expertise. These are people you LOVE working with. They “get it!” They make you love getting out of bed in the morning to run your business. They are the people who sing your praises from the rooftops and refer friends, family or anyone who will listen. These are the people who gladly pay full price and see the value you bring to the table. An ideal client is exactly that…ideal.
Whether you’re selling boutique products online or offering services like coaching or home repair it’s vital to the success of your business to understand who, exactly, your ideal client is.
Ideal Client vs. Target Market
Your ideal client is a specific avatar of who you love working with. This is a specific personality profile and outline of a single, fictional, person. This character represents EVERY good trait you’ve encountered over the years working with people. Clients who are easy to work with, refer business to you, love what you do and are loyal.
Your target market is a little more generic, but based on your ideal client profile. This is an extrapolated list of people who might fit some or all of your ideal client description. These are REAL people out in the world you need what you’re offering. They are people searching Google and perusing Facebook, their values align with your values, they have a problem you can solve, but they haven’t found you yet. Understanding your ideal client will help you more accurately build your target audience and ultimately improve the efficiency and efficacy of your marketing efforts.
What does my Ideal Client have to do with my brand?
So many businesses skip from legal paperwork directly into selling their products. They are concerned about making the next sale and they don’t set themselves up for long term growth and success by understanding their ideal client. Before your business can have a huge following and grow, there are VITAL steps that need to be taken to build your brand. Some business owners start with a fill-in-the-blank business plan, but most only assess what a business is going to sell and who they are going to sell to in the most general sense. They don’t take the time to drill down to the heart and soul of their business or take time to develop a strong brand that connects with people the WANT to work with.
Your brand NEEDS you to understand your target audience for 3 reasons:
- You can serve your clients better (and generate an enthusiastic following) if you know WHO they are and WHAT problems they need solved.
- You can eliminate the frustration and guesswork from your marketing efforts if you know WHERE you can find your ideal clients and HOW to talk to them.
- You can (almost) immediately transform your business into a profitable, fun-to-run machine because you know exactly WHY you’re what you’re doing, every day.
How do you determine who your Ideal Client is?
- Conduct a client brainstorm. List out past clients you’ve LOVED working with and identify any common, amazing things about them.
- Get into their head. Think like your clients think and start to identify reasons they may have chosen to work with you, over your competition.
- Create a Personality Profile. Identify what is important to your ideal client and outline what their personality might be like.
- Values & Alignment. What about your business aligns with your ideal client’s own values and personality traits? Why should they fall in love with you and why are they your ideal client?
- Danger Zone. What personality types do you absolutely not want to work with? What are your dealbreakers? If you see these red flags, then this is NOT your ideal client!
- Understand their goals and fears. What is your ideal client is trying to achieve? What terrifies them or holds them back? How can you help them overcome their fears and reach their goals?
- Identify opportunities and benefits. What are some ways you can help them? What benefits are the most valuable for them? Why are you the best fit?
- Bring it together. Pull all of your great brainstorming, research and hard work into one, easily accessible document and print it out! Pin it to your wall or hang it up in an inspiring space so you can refer to it everyday and not lose sight of who your ideal client is!
We’re here to help you discover who your Ideal Client is so you can build a better, more successful business!
Need help to determine who your ideal client is and how this can help your business be more successful? Connect with us! We’re here to answer questions and help your business THRIVE.