Your Ideal Client and what this means
In business, we want to work with the right people. We want to connect with people that will value what we do, that fit with our business values and who the brand/business was designed for. We want our ideal customer.
When you started your business and had your lightbulb moment for what you wanted to do, who did you visualise? Who did you see being the customer for your business? Knowing who they are is so important because not only does it mean you have created a product or service for the right person, but that your marketing will support you reaching this person.
How to identify them
Sometimes our thoughts on our ideal client can become foggy and you might need to spend some time checking in with who they are or who they need to be, depending on what stage you’re at with your business. A great way to start doing this is by creating what’s called a Persona. A customer persona is really useful in helping you focus on your ideal customer. They help you really identify your audience so that everything you do in marketing your business speaks to this particular person.
A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. This is based on research you have conducted in your business, data that you have about existing customers, relationships you have built – basically any knowledge you have about your customers. The more detailed you can make your persona the better. However, if you’re starting out you may not have that data to hand yet so you can begin by building a customer persona based on what you do know about the people you want to work with or want to buy from you, the customers/clients you want to attract.
Why is this important
Creating a customer persona is fun and the reason it’s fun is that you are outlining exactly who you want to work with and attract to your business. You are cutting through the noise and getting clear. We want people who are going to value what we do. You’re in business because you are passionate about what you do PLUS you want to make money using that passion, it is business after all. To do this you need to know who your ideal client/customer is. By outlining who they are you not only save yourself time in your marketing but you are also spending every effort speaking to the right people for your business.
That is gold!
In truly understanding your ideal client you will be able to create a truly personalised approach in marketing your business.
Creating your customer persona
Step 1 – Identity
We want to start with who they are and their identity. A great place to start is age – because if you know the age of your customer then you could do a cheeky bit of research into popular names of the year they were born. Then you’ve got a name for your persona. Once we give them a name they are already taking shape and forming an identity.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Give them a name
Where they live
Are they in a relationship?
What kind of house do they live in?
What kind of job do they have?
Step 2 – Their Life
After diving into who they are, we want to look at their life. When creating a persona you want to look at what their life picture. Almost imagining a photograph and this photograph can tell you everything about who they are and what they do. You know those quizzes when you its filled with clues and you’ve got to guess the song names or film from all these little clues? Think of it like that, you are piecing together the clues and solving the mystery.
Where do they work and how long have they worked there?
Where do they go every day?
What’re their daily routines?
How do they communicate?
Do they have phones/devices?
Are they on social media? What platforms?
What characteristics do they have?
What are their values?
Do they have hobbies?
What is their home like?
Step 3 – Their Challenges
Remember your business is providing a solution to your customer. You’ve identified that something is missing in your area of business or niche for example. You know there is a big problem to be solved and you want to be the business to do it.
Understanding and identifying your customers challenges not only help you understand them but you can speak directly to their challenges. You are bringing emotion and authenticity to your marketing. Note, however, it is never good to use people’s emotions in a negative way for your marketing, you want to support and encourage in a positive way whether you’re a product or service based business.
Have a think about:
What problems do they have?
What challenges are they currently facing at work? At home?
What do they want to achieve?
What are their motivations and goals?
Step 4 – Negative Personas
After spending time thinking of what you want your ideal customer to be like it’s also really good to spend some time checking in and thinking about who you don’t want to work with and attract to your business. This is called a Negative Persona.
Who do you not want to work with/attract?
What characteristics would a bad client have?
What do they no care about?
And Voila! You’ve just created an audience persona!
Once you have everything above you can bring that all together to shape your customer persona.
Don’t forget this is your starting block and as your business grows and evolves you will be updating this and changing it to suit you and your business. As you gather more data, have more conversations and more interactions with your customers and clients you can adapt and change your personas. Nothing is ever set in stone in business or marketing, things are always evolving and changing – this is why this your customer persona will also change, so don’t forget to check in with it every once in a while to make sure you’re still on the right track. Also if you ever get stuck with your marketing messaging look at this persona and ask yourself “Am I using the right voice to attract this dream person?” It can help you stay on track and make sure your marketing is always on brand and on message.
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