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Not every client is suited to your business
When you’re running a business, it’s tempting to think that any client is a good client, especially when you are just starting out.
But it pays to understand who your “ideal” client actually is, which is what I will talk about in this blog post.
Get to know your ideal client
A key component of a robust marketing strategy is developing a profile of your ideal client, also referred to as a Buyer Persona.
This will allow you to create your messaging, products, services and even support tailored to this ideal client base.
You need to understand who they are, their job/business, their goals, challenges, interests, where they hang out, how they consume media and what social media platforms they use regularly.
If you’re just starting out in business, identifying who your ideal client is can be even more critical. It can spare you months of haphazard attempts to be all things to all people – a strategy that seldom proves effective.
So how do you find out all of this information about your ideal client? Well, you need to do your market research.
5 steps to identify your ideal client
1. Start small
By starting with a small customer base and type of client that you want to work with, this will allow your business the opportunity to focus on quite a specific demographics.
Without extensive resources this means you can give more to a select few – and later focus on growing your customer base to become a bigger player in what may be a niche market.
Discovering your niche is really based on your skills, experience and kind of knowledge that you have.
2. Know your value proposition
Quite simply, know the answer to “why should customers choose your business over a competitor?” Know what it is that you offer, what makes your business special, and how you are able to fulfill customer needs or help them solve a problem, in a unique way.
Potential customers don’t care about what you are selling.
They want you to solve their problems. If you can’t pinpoint this yourself, chances are your prospective customers won’t be able to either.
Do your research to identify your point of difference.
3. Test your products/services
Established businesses have the advantage of being able to gauge customer feedback – even if it’s just through daily interactions, to know what works and what isn’t working. If yours is a start-up business you probably don’t have this luxury.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t gain a deeper understanding of who your product appeals to. Industry and trade groups can provide a wealth of information as well as mentors who may be able to deliver feedback.
Or simply do some market research with a group of your ideal client.
The main point is that you need to understand who your product appeals to, why it appeals to them, and where it could be improved. There needs to be a demand for your product/service, a gap in the market.
4. Operate with your ideal client in mind
Once you discover your ideal customer, and map our your buyer persona, you can start to develop an effective business model, and from here, a business and marketing strategy.
Why? Because your business needs to be customer-focused. Remember, your customers don’t care about your business, they care about how you can provide solutions to their challenges.
A business mantra should be “always be helping”, rather than always be closing/selling.
Building your range of services
Having identified your ideal customer you can drill down to the basics of products, service and pricing.
More importantly, you can plan for how you will reach this market, how you can create impact, and what businesses; you can strategically partner with to grow your customer base.
The process of identifying your ideal client never really ends. It’s a process of evolution and discovery that continues as your business itself grows and evolves.
But take the time to understand your ideal clients and their needs. The rewards will be amazing!