We proudly wear the moniker of Elevate, but our origins and our foundation come from…
Business Networking International.
The last word is pretty cool, but I think we all know what gets us up before the sun — growing the first by means of the second. We want more business, which for most of us means more clients. But does that just mean more people with money?
As a Coach, it isn’t quite that simple. Money helps of course, but there’s a lot more to what makes up my Ideal Client.
Perhaps it’s the same for you. Maybe it’s not a “one size fits all” solution. There are certain people who will absolutely love your product or service and rave about it to all of their friends and anyone who will listen. While others simply won’t see the point or value in what you’re offering.
It’s for this reason that it’s so important to identify your ideal client. But before you can focus on who they are, you first need to be clear about what an ideal client is.
Yes, your ideal client is someone who benefits from your product or service. But, they’re also someone you want to target with marketing and promotions based on your current business situation. Your existing customers may not necessarily be your ideal ones.
In a perfect world, your ideal customer will possess both of these elements — someone who sees tons of value in your product or service, and will also help push your business forward.
Kat Boogard wrote a piece for Audience Ops in which she describes five steps to identifying your ideal client.
Step One: Know Your Product or Service
First, you need to have a solid understanding of your business. That doesn’t just mean knowing your financials and memorizing the copy on your website. You need to understand your business from your customer’s point of view.
Take some time and write out exactly what you offer to your clients. What problems do you solve? Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What sets you apart?
Step Two: Determine Your Goals
Once you’ve identified who is currently buying from you, determine what your goals are.
Are you happy with this current type of client? Are they happy with you? Or, do you feel that you’re not appropriately targeting the people who would value your business the most?
Step Three: Analyze Past Interactions
Your past interactions with customers can reveal a lot — both good and bad. Combing through any major mistakes and successes can help you narrow your focus. First, look back on any failures that made your stomach turn. Did those incidents have anything in common? Also take time to review any big wins. Maybe those clients all had the same problem and you were able to address it with your product or service. Maybe they were even all in the same industry.
Step Four: Build a Customer Profile
Once you’ve done your research, and put in the legwork, you’re ready to outline everything that makes your customer tick. This is when you’ll build your customer profile, which shares all of the information about who exactly you’re trying to target. The process involves answering some important questions that cover everything from basic demographics to what influences their buying decisions. Find out as much as you can about your particular customer. The more you know, the more powerful you’ll be.
Step Five: Remember Your Hard Work
You created a detailed profile of your ideal customer. Now what? If your goal is to target those specific customers in order to continue improving your business, you should always keep that information top of mind. It should impact every move and decision you make.
Identifying your ideal client or customer can seem like a daunting task. But it’s an important step in improving and growing your business. Consider these five steps as another way to examine, explore, and clarify where you can find the greatest opportunities.