You own a small business and you’re probably pretty good at what you do if you’re still in business and making a living in this economy. You have a few clients who you absolutely love (and who love you), but you may be thinking, “How can I find more just like the ones I already have?” “Where do I find the right clients who are willing to pay what my offerings are worth?”
I learned very early in my career how important it is to dig deeper than demographics if you’re trying to truly connect with your ideal customer. As a media planner / buyer for an advertising agency I’d write out on paper a day in the life of the customer I was trying to reach. After all, how could I really understand how to reach this client if I didn’t understand what his or her life looked like? Sure I had ratings data from the tv and radio stations to refer to and help me make decisions, but until I grasped what the life of my ideal customer really looked like, I was missing some key opportunities to reach them.
If you’re thinking in terms of demographics when you are describing what your ideal client looks like rather than digging past the surface and getting into what really matters to him or her, you’re missing the boat. For example: Is your ideal customer a 40 – 50 year old woman with 2 children, a husband and a household income of $250,000 who owns a home in Colleyville and drives an SUV?
Or instead, are you thinking about your ideal customer like this:
What time did she wake up?
Did she wake up by a clock radio? A screaming child? Her husband’s alarm?
Did she turn on the tv? Read the newspaper? Look at her favorite blogs on her phone? Go to the gym? Does she have time to make her bed?
What errands does she run each day? Does she work? How long is her commute? Do her kids go to school? How do they get there? Does she have a nanny? A housekeeper?
What does her work day look like? Does she go out for lunch? Eat at her desk? Forget to eat because it’s so hectic? Squeeze in errands on her lunch hour?
How does she look at her mail? Does she pay the bills or does her husband?
What activities are her kids involved in? Does she pick her kids up from school or do they ride the bus? Who cooks dinner? Do they eat as a family or grab and go?
What time does she fall into bed? How does she spend her weekends? When does she find time to shop? Does she have any time to do anything for herself?
If you find that you’re having trouble connecting with your ideal client, it’s probably because you don’t understand what their life really looks like. And if you don’t understand her life, you aren’t going to connect with her on a level that gives her a thrilling experience that she’ll be willing to pay more for AND tell her friends about.
Finding your ideal client goes beyond demographics and generalizations. After all, what does age 40 to 50, 2 kids, married with a household income of $250,000, drives an SUV really tell you about the woman you’re trying to reach? When you understand more about your ideal client’s life, you understand where, when and how to make real connections that actually mean something to your clients. A whole world of possibilities on how and where to connect open up for you as a marketer when you drill down more deeply into understand just exactly who your ideal client is.
So sit down now, and write out what a day looks like in the life of your ideal client. And then look for places along the way you can reach out and attempt to form a meaningful connection with her. For more ideas on attracting the right customers check out our posts on our small business blog.