It’s common business practice to identify your ideal customer. For some people, this leads to developing a client avatar or persona, but it’s not always easy to do.
In a perfect world you want every aspect of your business, from your website to your elevator speech, to connect with the people who need you most and can pay you [what you deserve]. For so many, this level of clarity is elusive because we are too close to our businesses and we overthink even the simplest questions – there is just so much pressure to achieve perfection in all aspects of our businesses. For some, the idea of planning their business around the idea of just one type of persona is a scary thought, because it seems like such a limiting concept.
Here’s the thing about marketing and messages – if you confuse, you lose. So, not having a clear direction, or not making someone feel like you’ve designed an experience specifically for their success, can lead to failure. By trying to be too generic in the hopes of capturing a wider audience, you’re actually harming yourself because you end up not appearing to be the expert that any of them need.
If the thought of planning your marketing around the core understanding of who your ideal client is, makes your nervous or scared – you may not be asking yourself the right questions. The process of identifying your ideal customer will help challenge and solve business issues from marketing to promotion, and effective speaking, to networking.
Brian Tracey, in an article from Entrepreneur.com, put it like this – every entrepreneur should be intensely focused on their prospective customers. The ability to find a customer, sell your product or service to that customer, and satisfy the customer so that they buy from you again should be the central focus of all entrepreneurial activity. The greater clarity you have with regard to your ideal customer, the more focused and effective your marketing efforts will be.
Let’s be honest, we’re all in the business of customer satisfaction in some way or form. The most important activity of any entrepreneur is to clearly identify the very best customers for their product or service, and then focus all marketing, advertising and sales efforts on this particular type of customer.
This will take some time and reflection, but here are 25 questions that will go a long way to helping you identify who your ideal client is, what they need from you and what is the best value you can give to them. Done the right way, this is the key to allowing your message and marketing to win with your ideal customer.
- How would you describe your ideal client, and why do you enjoy doing business with them?
- What does your ideal customer need to know about you?
- If you wanted your ideal customer to ask you one question, what would it be?
- What’s the life cycle of your ideal client as it relates to your business?
- When you reflect on your success stories, what are the things that have been highlighted by clients as the reasons for a successful working relationship with you?
- What are the client pain points (challenges) that you are perfectly positioned to solve?
- What has been the most frequently asked service or product issue that your company receives?
- What are the success factors that indicate you have met the client’s needs?
- What does your business do that no one else can? What makes you different from everyone else?
- How are you making your customer’s life easier and what problems are you solving for them?
- What social media platforms are your customers a part of?
- In general, do your customers find a specific expert knowledgeable or do they listen to advice from various different people?
- Can you please provide the website links to your three (3) direct and indirect competitors?
- What does your current business sales funnel look like?
- Which touchpoints with your future customer does your company have at its disposal?
- How do you see your website fitting into this system?
- Why would a customer buy from you over your competition? Why would you lose a deal to a competitor?
- What objections during the sales process do prospects have? What objections do they voice about the competition?
- How many appointments (leads) and sales (conversions) has your company acquired from your marketing channels, e.g. website, blog, social media, Pay Per Click (PPC), traditional marketing etc.?
- Which media channels have appeared to be most successful and not so successful?
- What areas of your business are performing strongly (product quality, customer service, website, etc.)?
- What areas of the business are underperforming?
- What’s the dominant personality trait that you need your customers to associate with your business?
- What is the simple 10-word core message that can explain your company/ service/ product and will excite your customers?
- What are your goals and expectations for your marketing project?
Your ability to clearly define and focus on the customers who can most quickly buy your product or service will be essential to your business success.