In the fast scrolling world of online marketing, your advertising has less than a second to catch a client’s attention. You might think that you should tailor your message as broadly as possible, but targeting everyone is counter-effective. Serving everyone serves no one. Finding a niche is key, and you’ll need to find an audience that truly values you. This is why it is critical to better understand your clients. Many new businesses fall flat because they fail to understand exactly who their customers are and why they are coming to them. The better you can identify your ideal client the more focused and effective your marketing can be.
Knowing who you’re selling to is the first step in creating and implementing an effective marketing plan. By identifying your ideal client, you’ll gain a better understanding of their problems – and how your product or service is that solution.
Who are your clients? Look at things like age, gender, education, marital status, income, industry. Try creating a profile of your ideal client based on their identifying details. This can be achieved through simple surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. Interviews are the most effective. Real conversations are the most dynamic, people are freer and open in a conversation than in a survey. Identifying details can include:
- Age Range
- Marital Status
- Household Income
- Gender Identity
- Education Level
For instance, if you are a residential landscaper, your ideal client would most likely be someone in the age range most likely to be homeowners. If they are in need of your services, it could be assumed that they work longer hours and do not have time to do their own landscaping.
If you sell socially-conscious handbags, your ideal client is most likely in the 18-35 age range. They may like to shop local and be more receptive to being environmentally friendly with their purchases. Their gender identity may lean towards female. Their hobbies may be similar to other socially-conscious young people in your area. Then, do some research on where this group typically spends time within your community. Above all, use this information to your advantage!
This simple worksheet can also help identify your ideal client.
Where to Find Your Ideal Client
Where are your customers located geographically? This is important information for online sales. By analyzing the patterns of where your sales are coming from, you’ll be able to narrow this down. It is also important for brick-and-mortar businesses to know where their customers are coming from, which can help you direct more visitors to your business.
Where do they shop? How do they get their news? What social media channels do they use? To continue using the residential landscaper example, first, do some research on where your ideal client may spend their time.
A working homeowner may use their time to shop online more often than in a store. Someone in this age range with these details values convenience. If their lack of time continues to be a factor as you’re identifying your ideal client, think critically about where they’d get their news. Depending on the specific age range, they may get their news from watching traditional news or from local online newspapers. This information can help you determine where your business should grow its media presence.
Different types of people prefer different social media channels for a multitude of reasons. Younger generations tend to prefer short-form video apps like TikTok. Older professionals prefer to connect on LinkedIn. In addition to using this information to create a marketing plan, be sure to use it to build up your business social media channels that your ideal client is most likely to interact with.
Identifying their Buying Strategy
How does your customer buy your product and have they bought from you before? When does your customer buy? Is there a specific time of day, week, month, season, or holiday when your customers buy more often? Do they impulse shop or do they research?
For your clients that buy impulsively, make sure you have credit card payment capabilities built into your website, and a streamlined purchasing page for quick ease of use.
For your clients that like to research and gain assurance from other customers, include options for feedback and reviews. Granted, this means you also have to deal with bad reviews, but bad reviews provide useful feedback for you to improve your product.
Knowing why your customers purchase from you is an essential step in creating a marketing plan. By identifying your ideal client, you’ll gain a better understanding of their problems – and how your product or service is that solution.
Identifying Their Problems & Becoming the Solution
When buying, potential customers are looking to either fulfill a desire or to solve a problem. What are your clients’ goals? What are their needs? Finding your clients’ specific problems can help you explain how your product or service can solve them.
Identifying your ideal client’s problems can help you prove that you’re the solution! If your ideal client’s main issue is lack of time, emphasize how easy or convenient your service is. If your ideal client takes issue with being wasteful, highlight how your product can be reused or recycled.
Being in tune with how your potential customers feel about the world around them will help you target the right audience of loyal clients.
Now that you’ve identified who your ideal client is, next you can begin implementing marketing strategies that fit this persona. This will bring in meaningful leads that will lead to loyal customers.