Before you invest any money in marketing your small business, you should
know what your ideal client looks like. Otherwise how will you appeal
and reach them if you can’t clearly define who they are?
While the basic demographics (male or female, age, household income, family size, geographic location) are important, the real discovery happens when look deeper into who your client is.
What does he or she value? How does she spend her free time? Does he or she work? Does she volunteer? What is important to her? How does she spend her money and more importantly, how does she justify spending her money? What does a typical day in his or her life look like? What are the challenges in her life that she faces? What makes him or her truly happy?
If you’re just starting out in business and find these questions hard to answer, talk to other successful business owners who share your target audience to see what they know about their clients. Or reach out to your professional association for a mentor who can help you define who the person is who will invest in your services or products.
If you’ve been in business and need more clients like your top few, then sit down and think about what makes these top clients different than your other clients (besides the fact that they invest more money with you). What about their lifestyle, values and desires makes them different?
Write it down. Sketch a diagram. Post it by your computer or your phone so when you answer the phone and speak with prospective clients, you know who you’re looking for.
Once you have a profile of your ideal client, it makes it easier to say no. No to the advertising rep who wants you to spend $1,500 on a full page ad to bring in new moms. No to the charity who has a great mission, but doesn’t reach your ideal client. No to the new equipment and supplies that are shiny and fun, but won’t really help you get that ideal client in the door any faster or easier.
Do you know who your ideal client is?