Identifying your ideal customer and why it matters
Being able to relate is a powerful marketing tool and one that will make a huge difference to your budget and your business…
Why you need an ideal customer
It goes without saying that the more you know about somebody, the more you can relate to them. It happens in real life and it happens in the online marketing world too. By focussing on a particular – albeit imaginary – person, you can fine-tune what you want to say to them.
By getting to know your ideal customer, you can shape your communications and key messages around them. It means that what you say and how you say it will be relevant to that person. It’s a way of building connections.
Why this isn’t everybody
If you talk to everyone, in essence you are actually talking to no-one. You may worry that by focussing on one person or group of people you exclude others, but this isn’t the case. By talking to one group of people, you are creating content that is relevant and meaningful and that will actually make a difference to the person or people you are engaging with. If you take a product or service to the wrong market, it simple won’t sell. That’s why you need to know your ideal customer.
Can I have more than one ideal customer?
Absolutely. You may have different products or services that suit different groups of people. The key is to understand who those people are. But, best to start off with one product or service for one ideal customer and grow from there.
Who is my ideal customer?
The best way to discover your ideal customer is to imagine them. That’s right – get out a pen and paper and throw down some words and thoughts, cut pictures out of a magazine and create a mood board. Build a picture in your mind – what is their name, how old are they, what is their family status, where do they go on holiday? Think about where they work, what they do at the weekend, what their hobbies are. Try to build as full a picture as possible.
You might already have someone in mind, in which case making a start to identify your ideal customer is even easier. On the other hand, you may know who isn’t your ideal customer – knowing who you don’t want to work with is an equally good starting point.
How to find your ideal customer
In order to talk to your ideal customer you need to know where to find them. Write down what inspires them – do they read newspapers and if so, which ones? Will they listen to local radio? Do they get their information from industry magazines or from podcasts? What about social media – where do they like to hang out? Is it Instagram, Facebook or Linked In? Which social media channels are they engaged in, both for work and for pleasure? Where do they hang out IRL – do they network at all and if so, where would they go? Would you find them at trade exhibitions or Chamber of Commerce events? Would they prefer to attend an evening social event with plenty of food, wine and chat or do they not network at all?
Picture their problems and fears
When thinking about your ideal customer, try to understand any worries they might have that relate to the product or service you want to offer them. For example, if you are a builder, perhaps your ideal customer is worried about reliability, about making a mess, or about hidden costs. Now you know that these concerns might be a barrier to business, you can address these issues in your marketing.
If you’re an acupuncturist, your ideal customer might be afraid that the procedure is going to hurt or if indeed it will help alleviate their symptoms. You can allay these fears by posting videos of other clients talking about their experiences. If you specialise in new tyres, your ideal customer might be worried about the process – how long it will take, where they will wait while the work is being done, whether there is a courtesy car available. All of these details can be addressed in your marketing so that the ideal customer has nothing stopping them from doing business with you.
Using the information
Fundamentally, knowing your ideal customer in this way allows you to connect with them. You wouldn’t talk to your granny the same way you’d talk to your daughter. You wouldn’t talk to a professor the same way you’d talk to a gardener. Knowing how to relate to someone is the first rule of marketing, so the more you know about your ideal customer, the more relatable you can be when you talk to them.
Knowing your ideal customer also helps you to focus on putting out the right messages. Remember, the content isn’t about you, it’s about your ideal customer – does what you have to say make a difference to them? If not, there’s no point posting it.
When you know where your ideal customer is likely to hang out, it can save you hundreds of pounds in advertising in the long run. If he or she doesn’t listen to radio, then you know there’s no point putting out a radio advert.
Creating targeted content for specific media which you know your ideal customer looks at will also save hours of your time. If he or she doesn’t do Facebook then don’t waste time creating a Facebook post. And if you know which networking events your ideal customer attends, it means you won’t have to go to every event in the hope that your ideal customer might turn up!
Creating your ideal customer may seem slightly awkward at first but I urge you to stick with it because it really does save you time and expense down the line. If you want more tips, join my Facebook Group where I’ll share lots of advice or take a look at my 6-week marketing programme where I go into more detail about the importance of identifying your ideal customer.
If you would like to learn more about identifying your ideal customer listen to the full Podcast go to: http://www.simply-marketing.net/2020/02/28/how-to-find-your-ideal-customer/