Defining Your Ideal Customer

In today's marketing landscape, the importance of identifying your target audience is frequently emphasized. This typically involves defining the market segment most likely to be attracted to your business.

However, what can be bothersome about this simplistic approach is its lowest common denominator aspect - who can we attract?

Instead, I prefer to adopt the perspective of - who do we truly want to serve?

This shift in thinking led me to the concept of delineating an ideal client based on both behavior and demographics. Identifying this ideal client from the outset can save you significant time that might otherwise be spent trying to cater to a broad and diverse audience.

This approach is a game-changer, and I'll outline how to get started:

Selecting Your Ideal Client Have you ever considered the following question? - What qualities would your ideal clients possess? Reflecting on this can be quite liberating, isn't it? After all, don't you deserve to work with clients who genuinely appreciate the value you bring to them?

While this may sound somewhat self-assured, it truly isn't. Ultimately, to work with the people you want, you need to enhance your offerings so that you merit their patronage.

I recommend defining the types of clients you do not want to work with. Until you know who you do not want to work with, it becomes challenging to discern who you must work with, and, most importantly, who you aspire to work with. This strategy can help you avoid accepting projects and clients that divert you from the work you genuinely deserve to be doing.

Consider these steps to identify your ideal client best:

Step 1: Determine the fundamental prerequisites for a client - these are criteria that naturally narrow down your list, such as being over 18 years old or owning a home, for instance.

Step 2: Identify the generally sought-after attributes - these are not obligatory but are preferred qualities. They may include factors like age range, geographical location, or specific interests.

Step 3: Define what makes a client ideal - consider attributes that make them the most promising prospects, such as a particular business model, unique challenges, or a specific stage in life or business.

Step 4: Understand the behavior that distinguishes them - do they belong to industry associations, engage in philanthropic endeavors, or have particular reading preferences?

I suggest beginning with the smallest viable market. You must find a group of clients who genuinely value what you offer, and then you can expand from there.

Understanding and Addressing Your Ideal Client Now that you've precisely outlined who your ideal client is, it is essential to invest substantial time in understanding them to integrate them into various strategic aspects of your business effectively. Knowing who constitutes your ideal client enables you to structure your entire business, messaging, products, services, sales, and support around attracting and serving this precisely defined group.

Upon thorough profiling of their common characteristics, start asking yourself meaningful questions about these individuals:

  • What brings them joy?
  • What are their concerns?
  • What challenges do they encounter?
  • What do they aspire to achieve through our services?
  • What goals are they striving to accomplish?
  • What experiences excite them?
  • Where do they seek information?
  • Whom do they trust most?

Having answers to these questions empowers you to better address their desires and requirements in every interaction and communication. Once you have this profound understanding, you can tailor your efforts to communicate most effectively with them.

Refocusing Your Message Matching your message to your ideal client is imperative in today's marketing landscape. An impactful message should center around addressing what your ideal client desires most - which is a solution to their problems.

You must convey your understanding of what they genuinely desire. Here's a little secret: People aren't inherently interested in what you sell; what they truly seek is the resolution of their issues.

I recommend composing a list of the problems you solve for your most satisfied clients. If you're having difficulty pinpointing your client's problems, consider the issues they discuss with you.

For instance, many prospective clients might express a desire for more incoming phone calls, so that's what we emphasize we can provide for them (without immediately diving into a discussion of our SEO and marketing services).

This is how you realign your message to center around your remarkable clients and the problems they seek to solve.

Creating Trigger Phrases Your clients may not understand how to address their issues, but they often recognize what these issues are. If you can effectively demonstrate that what you offer is the solution to their problem, they typically don't mind what terminology you use to describe it.

Break down every solution you offer and every benefit associated with your services, and align them with a few key "trigger phrases."

These phrases can be questions, statements, or anecdotes, but they must be expressed from the perspective of the client.

Crafting Website Headlines By this, we mean creating a prominent and compelling statement that could be the first thing visitors to your website encounter. Ask yourself - would this statement captivate the attention of your ideal client more than something as generic as "Welcome to our website?"

Jeff Hecht

Jeff Hecht

Jeff is the Founder and Managing Director of the Aronson Hecht Agency. He grew up in the advertising industry at his father's' agency. He has over 40 years in sales and marketing experience. Jeff brings that experience to every client and every project we work on.