Is it just me or are people in the habit of pitching only what goes right and never reveal what might go wrong? However, whenever the suggestion or advice is actually tested, more often than not, it goes wrong.
Yes, I know last week, I talked about defining your ideal client, but after some serious thought, I figured I made it sound too easy and the chances of you hitting glitches is an absolute “yes”. So today, I’m going to throw more light on the things to avoid when defining your ideal client.
I will be sharing with you things that held our business back and roadblocks we at the iVEN Team ran into while defining our ideal client.
So sit back, relax and be prepared to avoid a few marketing hazards.
1. The Ideal Client Versus The Dream Client
Since your business took off, I can bet my life on the fact that you definitely want that dream client who gives your business loads of cash before you even ask for it. You’ve dreamt about this great, friendly, easy to get along with, no drama, type of client. If my guess is right, you’ve gone as far as speaking them into existence and your every waking thought is “today might just be the day I’ll meet that star-studded client”.
So when executing this exercise, you scribble down all the dream attributes and characteristics you want your ideal to have while ignoring the facts.
The facts should be based on the type of person or business you are currently making money from. Did you get that? Who are you currently making money from? Once you figure that out, write out their similarities…anything from age to gender, occupation, education etc.
For new businesses who haven’t got clients yet, this might be a bit tricky, but you need to clearly define who your products or services serve best. And who it serves best is NOT “everybody”.
Allow the persona of your ideal client to be data-driven and don’t base it on your opinions and beliefs. Dig into the data of your current client, look out for new trends and send out surveys to your current and past customers. For new businesses, you can always glean this type of information from your competitors clients.
2. Your Ideal Client is NOT an Individual
It is a fact we think in pictures, so once you hear the words “ideal client”, your mind goes to one person. Yes, it is true that we are to treat each client as if they were the best and only client. But for the purpose of this exercise, we want to pull out similarities of people willing to exchange “hard earned cash” for your products and services.
The similarities will help form your marketing message to them and when a client connects with your message, you’ve got them.
The aim is to have a collection of the challenges, desires, characteristics and behaviors of your ideal client, that will be injected into your marketing to help unsuspecting prospects become aware of their need for your product and services.
A good example is a persona “Sade“.
Sade is a mum with 5 extremely active kids who take up all her time, she is constantly looking for quick fixes when it comes to preparing meals. Sade also plays the role of a career lady who has a tight schedule and needs quick meals and finally she is a post-graduate student who also needs fast meals because she needs all the reading time she can get. A good product to answer the needs of the persona we just described is Indomie. Quick meal.
So, your ideal client persona should be an individual, albeit fictional.
3. Identifying your ideal client is for Marketing purposes only
This is one thing I want you to erase from your mind right now, because defining your ideal client is not for marketing purposes alone, and it’s not a one-off exercise you will just do at the start of a business and then you forget about it, NO!
You have to integrate the persona of your ideal client throughout your entire marketing strategy, and also let everyone working with you know who they are dealing with especially those in sales. So everyone can be in sync with the persona of your ideal client.
4. Less is More
Creating a long list of persona’s might seem like a brilliant idea, but the chances are, with many personas, you won’t have a clear difference between all of them; and this makes it really hard for you to actually attract engage or even convert them into paying customers.
Start with a core persona and then build up from there, the moment you are able to analyse your data based on the most successful customers, then you will see where one persona ends and where another persona begins.
Don’t waste time and energy trying to create the perfect persona. Always remember to let the data guide you. Who are your best current clients and what similarities can you point out. The goal is to create an experience that resonates with each of them which will lead to sales and more sales.
5. It’s too Hard
And the saying goes “nothing good comes easy”, but I assure you this(identifying similarities, characteristics and behaviors of your ideal client) is much easier than blindly trying to market to anyone and everyone.
While you are at it, don’t aim for an overkill by becoming obsessed with the details. There is always room for adjustments and you can’t get it all at the first or second try.
And that ends today’s conversation. Let’s know if this was useful to you and what questions you might have by dropping a note for us in the comment section. We look forward to discussing this with you.