The one piece of advice I give to all my clients from the outset is “don’t try to be all things to all people”. Narrow your focus and know who you’re targeting, that is who the ideal target client for your business is.
Most businesses I work with tell me that their target market is everybody. Big mistake!! (Unless you are a big consumer brand with a huge marketing budget.) For most small to medium business experts, advisors, coaches and consultants it is extremely ineffective to advertise to everyone because no one will listen. It’s like yelling ‘everyone!’ in a crowd, no one would turn around (unless they want to see what’s going on). If you’d yell ‘Peter!’, the guy called Peter would turn around! It’s exactly the same with your marketing.
In order to save money and to be more effective, you must narrow your focus and select the ideal target client for your business. (You know, that amazing client that if you had 20 more of them this year life would be great?).
Think about who has or would really benefit from your products or services and target them specifically. This could be women, parents, young adults, doctors, business owners, sports people etc. Or if you are in business, think of your best customer, the one you just love serving/working with or the one who paid on time. Ask yourself who are they? Once you’ve defined your ideal target client/customer niche you will be able to appeal to them much easier.
For example, if your target market is life coaches, it would make much more sense to advertise in a life coaching magazine rather than waste your money on an ad in the local paper. Or if your target market is mothers, you might want to advertise and partner with mothers groups, schools etc.
So let’s look at the top 5 things you need to consider when identifying your ‘ideal’ customer:
1. Who is ideal?
As I’ve mentioned, the first thing you need to work out: who is your ideal or dream customer? What do they look like? It’s a really simple question to answer especially if you are in business as you can ask yourself “who is my best client…the client that if I have ten more just like them, life would be great.” Think about those clients who would make your life easier, who you would love to serve. If you can stop and understand what it is about them that makes them so amazing, you’re well on your way to identifying who you should be targeting.
2. Look in the mirror
I’ve found that most service experts tend to attract and appeal to people with whom they share common characteristics. In other words your ideal customers are often people who are like you! As you start to sketch your ideal client, spend some time in front of a mirror and then answer this question – would you buy from you? Does your marketing speak to a narrowly defined ideal client in ways that let them know that you get them? Who do you share the same view of service, value and fairness?
3. Get in their head
The better you understand your prospectus client, the easier it will be to attract them. So, once you have an idea of who your ideal client is, get in their head and create as detailed a picture as you can of what they care about, worry about, desire, need and want. Look at their aspirations, desired end-goal and come up with as detailed a description as you can because when you understand your ideal targets needs and wants, you will be able to talk directly to them in their language, you’ll better serve them and you’ll ultimately stand out from your competitors.
There are a few different things you can do to research your target market. One of my favourite methods is to run a survey, (there are some fantastic free online survey tools such as www.surveymonkey.com ). Find out what their frustrations, desires, wants and needs are and then sell them what they really want.
4. Educate customers from day 1
Your whole business approach and marketing must also be designed to educate potential customers on your business. You need to present yourself in a way that will build trust, give value, demonstrate how your approach is different to your competitors, and show them why you are the right choice.
It’s your responsibility to position yourself as the absolute expert and someone who really understands them in the eyes of your target customer. The best way to do this is to create content that educates and shows that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to solve their problems and make their end-goal and aspirations a reality. As well as ensure every piece of content that leaves your business speaks the language of your client and focuses on their needs and wants.
5. Stop selling yourself short
Do the steps I have mentioned above and your ideal customer will begin to seek you out. No longer will you find yourself discounting and dropping your prices to get the client to say yes or spreading yourself so thin trying to be all things to all people that you end up being nothing to nobody. Take the time to identify your ideal target clients and then ensure that every piece of content focuses on their needs and wants, positioning you as the expert who really gets what they desire.
Thank you as always for reading. Once you’ve had a chance to digest, I’d love to hear from you. Which part of today’s post meant the most to you, and why? Leave a comment below and let us know.
To your success!
P.S. If you want to go a bit deeper on how to create the momentum you need to attract more clients, grow your profits and have more success…ON YOUR TERMS! Then grab a copy of my 6-Step Profit Plan to Six-Figures Fast Guide here.