Talk to any successful business owner who knows their ideal client and they will tell you that defining their ideal client profile is the best thing they could have done. Trying to market to everyone, to create a message that resonates with everyone, to connect with everyone is not only extremely difficult, it is exhausting and ineffective.
But marketing to a specific group of people who share the same common traits, crafting a message just for them, and connecting with them at the events and places they frequent is much easier and more effective because your desired reach is smaller.
Here are 8 marketing tips for small businesses on identifying ideal clients:
Tip 1: To reach the clients you want, you need to be clear about who your ideal client is
If you want great clients, clients you love who love you right back, you first need to get crystal clear on exactly who those clients are. You need to know everything you can about them so you can clearly communicate who you best serve not only to your audience but also to your referral partners and strategic partners. It’s easier for someone to identify themselves as a good fit for your products, programs, and services if they know who is a good fit to work with you. Likewise, it’s easier for others to refer business to you if they know who would be a great fit for your service, product, or program.
Tip 2: Knowing your ideal client profile will make your marketing easier, most cost-effective, and it will take less time
When you know who you’re trying to attract or “catch” as a client or customer, your marketing gets easier because you can tailor your marketing message to speak right to them. The key is understanding their biggest problems, challenges, and needs, and knowing which solutions you offer to help them solve their problems, overcome their challenges, and met their needs.
Tip 3: Trying to figure out your ideal client? They’re probably a lot like you…
If you’re having trouble profiling your ideal client, look at yourself. In many cases, the ideal client for a service professional or consultant is very much like the service professional. Your expertise is based on your own experiences and journey, and the people you can help or serve the best and easiest are most likely those who are at the start of the same journey you experienced and want to achieve the same results you did.
Tip 4: Once you know who your ideal client is, don’t sit around and wait for them. Go out and find them
Just because you open your doors for business, launch a website, or print a business card, doesn’t mean that you will have any business. No one can hire you, buy from you, or pay you in any way if they don’t know that you exist. It is your job as a business owner to find your market, customers, and clients, and let them know that you exist and that you can help.
Tip 5: Defining an ideal client doesn’t mean that’s ONLY who you work with, it’s just the perfect subset of who you serve
Don’t be afraid to define an ideal client. Doing so doesn’t mean you’re immediately going to cut off everyone who doesn’t fit the profile exactly and turn down new business if you need it. Creating an ideal client profile just means that you know who is an absolute perfect fit for what you offer and you tailor your marketing and new business acquisition efforts to that specific profile. You may still work with clients and invite new customers to buy who fit just a portion of the profile. For example, you may be a coach who works with women entrepreneurs in the start up phase, and while women are you main target, you do also work with men starting new businesses who resonate with your approach and message.
Tip 6: The first step in defining your ideal client profile (who you want to work with) is knowing who you DON’T want to work with
Look at your least favorite clients and customers from the past year and identify the common traits between them — did they all say the same thing, think the same way, have the same skill level, work in the same industry, etc. Put together a “Red Flag” profile, the opposite of an ideal client profile, to help you identify the red flags of your less-than-ideal clients before they sign a contract. If one of your red flags show up in the sales conversation, dig a little deeper to uncover their story in that area before graciously ending the conversation and referring them elsewhere as they may be a good client but past experiences has made them jaded.
Tip 7: Know who your ideal clients are and what they need then craft your offers to deliver the right solutions
Once you know who you ideal client is and you know their biggest problems, challenges, and needs, you also know what types of solutions they will be looking for. Craft your services, packages, programs, and products to deliver the same solutions. Consider using the solution as part of the name of the offer and use the problem in your marketing to show them you know what they are dealing with or going through.
Tip 8: Understand what your ideal client needs to make the decision to hire you or buy from you & include it in your website
When researching your ideal client, find out what is most important to them when making the decision to buy. Do they need it fast, easy, cheap, in-depth, flexible, available at odd hours? Do they need to see examples, read testimonials, see videos? By knowing what is most important to them in the decision-making process, you can be sure to include those elements on your website, in your irresistible opt-in offer, on your sales page, and in the sales conversation.
What about you? Do you have any marketing tips for small business owners about how defining an ideal client can help make your marketing easier?