How do I identify my ideal client?
Updated: Apr 25
Understanding who your ideal client (also known as ideal client avatar or ideal client profile) is crucial to any new business owner.
Identifying your ideal client profile is something you should do as early on in your business planning as possible. Knowing who your ideal client is will help you focus your marketing strategy and assist in deciding on which social media platforms you should be focusing on etc.
Why do I need to identify my ideal client avatar?
Let's start with a no brainer statement. Your business relies on sales. Whether that's physical products that you sell or a service that you provide. Without clients or customers, your business is going to go nowhere fast.
For many solopreneurs and sole traders, finances can be a little tight in the startup phase of their business. Identifying early on who your ideal clients are will help you to streamline and focus your marketing strategy and spend to ensure you are targeting the people most likely to purchase your product.
Without an understanding of who your ideal client is, you are basically throwing a massive net hoping something will get caught. Not the ideal way to effectively spend your marketing budget.
And understanding your ideal client doesn't just give you clarity when spending money on marketing on Google or social media, but it also provides a focus for all posts that you put out on social media, and what text you use on your website.
Identifying your ideal client is probably the FIRST thing I recommend to any new business owner I work with before you even start putting together your business plan.
So how do I identify my ideal client profile?
Understand your product or service from the customer's view. Ask yourself:
What does my product or service do for my ideal client?
What problems or pain points does my product or service solve for my client?
What needs of my client does my product or service address?
How does your product bring value to your client by improving their life or work?
How is my product or service different from my competitors?
Identify the ideal client for what you sell. To do this, consider:
What is their gender?
What is their age?
What is their level of education?
What is their occupation or business?
What is their income?
What is their situation currently in their life?
Do they have children?
Are they married or single?
Identify the specific benefits your ideal client is seeking in buying your product or service.
How does your service or product benefit THEM? Perhaps you save them time? Perhaps you can get them more leads?
You want to go as far as giving your ideal client a name. An example ideal client profile could be:
'Sharon is a 48-year black woman, a married mother of 2 older children no longer living at home. She is the chief financial officer at an SME sized IT company in Cambridge. She now wants to start up her own Bookkeeping business due to a change of priorities in her life.'
Benefits of knowing your ideal client
Having established my ideal client profile I can now streamline my marketing efforts to target Sharon specifically. This doesn't mean that I don't work with younger or older people, or with men. It simply allows me to focus my marketing efforts.
And remember, by marketing efforts I mean everything that your business puts out. Whether that's your website, your blog posts or your posts to social media.
Identifying your ideal client also lets you reliably research which social media platforms you should be using to get in front of Sharon and others like her. Some social media platforms are primarily used by a younger crowd, for example, Snapchat and TikTok. So I'm not likely to put any/much time into these platforms as Sharon simply wouldn't be there.
When you design and write the content for your website, you can write it in a way that addresses Sharon. Addresses the issues that she may be experiencing that your product or service can address for her. You're essentially speaking directly to Sharon and any issues she may have that your product/service addresses.
When you post to social media, you're posting with Sharon in mind.
When you pay for an advert, whether that's on Google or Social Media, you're writing your ad with Sharon in mind.
Do you get where I'm going with this? Knowing your ideal client provides clarity and focus for you. So if you haven't already done so, sit down and give some serious thought to your ideal client. Write it down, give them a name. You can even give them a full back story if you want. The important part is that you know who your ideal client is from as early in your startup phase as possible.
What to do now
If you are struggling to identify your ideal client, or you feel you have more than one (a common problem for small business owners) and are feeling frustrated with the process, why not book a Business Clarity Power Hour with me?
Are you new to running a small business? Unsure of how to use social media for your business? Not sure how to put your marketing strategy together? Whatever your small business issues may be, I have created a group on Facebook with the intention of providing support. It's small at the moment but with your support, I hope it can become a great resource for small business owners. Come along and join us in the Small Business Support Squad group.
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