Guest blog: How to find out what your ideal client really needs
Your “ideal client”
Is the number one thing you need to be clear on if you are going to be successful in business. You need to know a) who you are talking to and b) what they need if you are going to catch their attention and prompt them to buy. But how do you know what your ideal client really needs?
If you’ve ever done a marketing or sales challenge on Facebook, ever worked with a coach or ever read a blog “3 steps to XYZ in your business”, you will be familiar with the concept of the “ideal client”. Every single one of these seems to start with the same question – “who is your ideal client” – and with good reason.
What is my ideal client – isn’t it just the same as my niche?
Your niche and your ideal client are slightly different things. Your niche is the broad group of people your products and services are aimed towards – this could be business owners aged 30-50 working in creative industries, for example. The term “ideal client” is often used interchangeably with “niche”. However your “ideal client” is special. This is one (fictional) individual who you will create who meets the exact description of the person you most want to work with. Because that is the person you want to aim your offering at, that is the person you want your marketing to resonate with, that is the person you want to attract.
But what about everyone else?
It is important to understand that by targeting everything at one ideal client you are not excluding people who fall outside of that persona. Others in your niche will still see what you do and will still come to you. It just means that there will be some people who see instantly you are exactly what they need. Without this, your marketing will be bland as you try to appeal to everyone but truly resonate with no-one.
The benefits of knowing your ideal client
- The biggest benefit has to be that, if you know your ideal clients’ struggles you can make sure your offering meets a genuine need – not just one you have assumed.
- In turn, knowing who it is that has this need means you know who to target your marketing at. And if you can target your marketing effectively you will start to attract the people you most want to work with! Doesn’t that sound great?!
- The more you know about someone, the more deeply you can connect with them in your marketing, from social posts and networking chats to your website and sales pages. You want to promote discussion and engagement in your marketing, and to do that you need to give them something they want to talk about. If you know what is keeping them up at night, what gets them out of bed in the morning, what TV they watch and what they do all day, you can make sure everything you say to them is of interest and that they can see themselves reflected in your messaging.
- And if they can see themselves in your messaging, they will know a) you understand them and b) your offering will meet their needs.
But how do you do that?
- Create your “Ideal Client Persona” (some call this an “avatar” but I think “persona” sounds less distant and more like a real person). Imagine the best client you’ve ever worked with (or the client you would most love to work with – this could be based on someone you know or a celebrity or completely made up) and use the worksheet shared in Beckie Sanderson’s blog last week to flesh out the detail – if you’re not sure what they like, just pick things you like – it’s your ideal client after all and you can always change it later.
- Find out where they hang out online. Search for Facebook groups related to the things they’re interested in, for example business, parenting, specific hobbies. Use the search function in the group to see what they are saying about the sorts of services or products you offer. Start asking some of your own questions and engaging in conversation.
- Invite people that meet your ideal client definition onto a call with you where you can talk. Ask them about their struggles with the area your offering addresses (for example “what’s the hardest thing about writing sales pages?”). Ask them about how this makes them feel. Ask them about their dreams and what the world would look like if they could overcome these issues.
There 2 rules of this, however: Number 1 – be very clear what you’re asking them to commit to (e.g. a 30 minute Zoom chat) and don’t over-run, and number 2 – DO NOT use this as an opportunity to sell – if they like what you have to say they can always look you up but if you try to sell on the call you lose their trust and potentially their custom.
It makes your life easier – and makes things enjoyable again
I can’t explain in words the way I see my clients transformed once they have this knowledge – this clarity. What they need to offer, how they need to offer it and who they are offering it to. It makes things…well…easy! They look “lighter”, like a weight has been lifted. All the noise and uncertainty is gone and they have a truly clear idea of what they need to do.
And when the people they want to work with most start actually approaching them…that’s the magic!
That is why all these challenges and blog posts start by telling you that you need to know all that detail about your ideal client.
Because there is power in connection – and when you connect with the people you most want to work with you can attract them into your world and make sure you are top of the list when they are ready to buy.
Katie is a small business market research expert specialising in helping businesses get to know their ideal clients inside out. You can find Katie in her Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/whatyourcustomersreallythink where she shares weekly training on how to engage with customers, ideas for questions to ask and all the support you need to learn about your ideal clients. Join now to be first to find out when her “Know your ideal client” free challenge launches!
If you want to learn more on this subject, take a look at Beckie Sanderson’s Guest Blog Tips For Branding and Rebranding