Clearly defining your ideal client.
So you own a business. You’ve come up with a brilliant idea you want to share with the world. That means you have a product or service you’re really good at making or providing, something you believe people will need or want. You have a foundational piece for building a successful business. But before you draft your plans for world domination, you should ask yourself a very important question: who are you selling to?
The answer is critical. Whether you’ve just started or you’ve been in business 5 years, taking the time to hash out exactly who your ideal client is will exponentially increase your success. Why? Because if you know who your ideal client is, you can focus all your resources on making sure your message reaches that group. These questions will help you define your ideal client and target market.
Who are your current customers?
If you’ve already been in business for a while, it’s likely that you’ll see a trend in your current customer base. Your product or service will naturally appeal to a certain type of person, whether you realize it or not. If the target market you identify from your current client base is in line with who you think your target is, then keep doing what you’re doing – but continue to hone your messaging for that specific group.
If, however, you discover that you’re appealing to a group of people that isn’t who you want to be your target market (for example, you’d like to do business with larger companies, but instead you’re primarily working with 1-2 person companies), then it’s time to reevaluate your marketing. You don’t necessarily need to change your actual product or service, but you probably do need to change how you package it and present it.
What makes your product or service unique?
In other words, why would a potential client choose you over the competition? What sets you apart? Why would you be more appealing? It might be one aspect of your services or a completely original product you offer. Whatever “it” is, ask yourself what motivation is behind your customers’ choice. For example, if you have an above-and-beyond customer support option included with your services that continues to draw new clients, you may have a target market base that tends to be more technically challenged and so your support attracts them to use your services.
What car does your ideal client drive?
No, seriously – what car do they drive? Having a general target market (“anyone who’s willing to pay for my product or services!”) won’t do you any good. Your marketing and messaging will end up being so broad that it appeals to no one. Having a clear target market means taking into account both demographic and psychographic information.
The demographics of your ideal client includes their age, gender, marital status, location, income, ethnic background, and more. The psychographic details of your target market includes what their hobbies, interests, values, lifestyle, attitudes, and behaviors are. The more specifically you know your target market, the better you will be at crafting your marketing, advertising, and overall messaging to appeal to your ideal client.
If you’re a new small business owner, now is the best time for you to determine exactly who your target market is so you can build your business around successfully reaching the people who will be ideal customers. If you’ve been in business a while but you don’t have a detailed answer for who your target market is, you’ll be amazed at the clarity having a detailed answer will bring to your marketing and advertising opportunities.