What problems do you solve?
Who do you solve it for?
What are their needs, desires, preferences and behaviours?
A deep understanding of your ideal client will help you understand who your customer is and, more importantly, what they need. Knowing their needs and desires determines your marketing content, and knowing where they spend time online determines which platforms to engage in. When your ideal client is attracted by your marketing efforts and becomes a prospect, our experience is that these leads are primed to make a buying decision because they already feel as though they know and trust you. After all, you understand them.
Have you heard the saying, “when you speak to everyone, you speak to no one?" It's easy to get caught up in the idea that you’ll miss out on sales by focusing on one niche. The reality is that your marketing messages will be more effective and less diluted if you focus on speaking to your ideal client.
Many of our clients initially express that it feels like an impossible task when they go through the ideal client profiling process. They have valid questions like, “how on earth do I know what blogs my ideal client reads or what social media accounts they follow?” If you don’t know, you’ll need to do some research to find out. More on that later.
"You get to choose who your ideal client is, don’t think of it as limiting your business – a clear ideal client profile empowers your business”
Your customer is not ‘the person in the mirror' (aka a reflection of you). Many businesses make the mistake of communicating ad nauseam about themselves. Customers don’t care so much about your business, they care about what your business can do for them. And as such, the ideal client profile is the foundation of your service offering and your sales and marketing strategy. Successful firms understand it’s imperative to identify the clients they love to work with. Ideal clients are not only great to work with, but they are willing to pay your fees.
What is an ideal client profile?
An ideal client profile is a semi-fictitious persona made up of demographics and psychographics to guide your business offering and marketing efforts.
Think of it this way: demographics explain who your ideal client is, whilst psychographics are the cognitive attributes of a consumer, such as their beliefs, values, and goals; they explain why they buy.
Think of ideal client profiling as an act of setting an intention for your business, once this is done, we find that the laws of attraction come in play. An analogy you may hear from Slipstream Group’s Director of coaching, Scott Charlton, that help illustrate this is called the Red Honda Concept. It works like this:
Let’s say you decided you’re going to buy a red Honda. Before you made the decision, you hardly saw any red Hondas on the street. Since committing to buying one, you start seeing more red Hondas than usual whilst out and about. Are there more? Probably not. What’s likely happening is your mind registers your interest and is keen to pick red Hondas out in a crowd.
Taking that same idea, let’s imagine your business as a place where red Hondas go to get serviced. Once you commit to only serving red Hondas, your business builds a reputation for being the best place for all red Hondas.
Finding your ideal client is a lot like focusing on that red Honda. Once you know how to identify your model client, you can pick them out in a crowd. More importantly, they can pick you out in the crowd, and come to you as the expert and the go-to person for their specific needs.
Building an emotional connection
Understanding psychographics and pain points of your ideal client can help you build a strong emotional connection with your audience.
Customers that have a strong emotional connection with you are more likely to do business with you and are further down the purchase funnel. They rely on their personal feelings and experiences rather than features and facts to make a purchase decision, making them less sensitive to price.
One thing to also note is that customers are looking for a relationship between their identity and their purchase decisions. If you want them to buy from you, you must align with their personal brand. A tip to put this concept into play when creating content is focus on what your ideal client needs to feel or know about the impact your service will have on their life. This steers your content away from 'features and benefits' (yawn) and evokes emotions within them and moves them towards conversion.
Why is ideal client profiling so important?
Remember, marketing is essentially targeting. Casting a wide net might catch more fish, but that doesn’t mean more is better. Think of it this way. Would you rather have 100 clients paying you $3,000 each for a total of $300,000 total income, or would it make more sense to have 40 clients paying you $10,000 each for a total of $400,000? With the second option, you’re earning more but doing less work, especially if the clients are in the same niche because you know it so well.
How do you get to those 40 clients? That’s where an ideal client profile comes into play. An ideal client profile can help turn ‘scatter gun’ (untargeted) marketing that scatters efforts everywhere, to ‘rifle’ (targeted) marketing with a more precise aim.
Let’s go back to our red Honda analogy from earlier. Once you’re clear on who your red Honda clients are, you identify more of them, attract them with your expert knowledge, and increase your profitability working with them.
What is the process of finding your ideal client?
Now that you know what an ideal client profile is and why they’re important for sustainable business growth, let’s explore the process involved with understanding your client archetype. To get you started, download a copy of our ideal client workbook.
Ideal client workbook.
Download the workbook to complete your ideal client profile.
Please note: your ideal client is not a person living in Australia between the age of 18 and 65. This is far too broad; you need to narrow your focus.
To get started, it might help to get the team together to brainstorm and open some robust discussion. When starting this exercise, many business owners start with understanding their existing clients. You can use the following resources to understand the demographics and psychographics of the audience you are currently attracting to your business.
Google Analytics: Will provide demographics and some psychographics in the form of interest categories.
Social Media Analytics and Insights: Facebook/Meta, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide varying insights into your existing audience and their behaviours.
Ideal profiles are often loosely based on an actual client. If this is the case for you, we recommend filling in any gaps by surveying your clients. You can also use association and industry data if your niche is within a specific industry.
A FINAL THOUGHT ON IDEAL CLIENT PROFILES
Profiling a consumer is slightly different from profiling a business. In the workbook, we have allocated questions for firms who are selling B2C and B2B. If you are profiling a business, there are questions relating to the business itself. In addition, it’s important to focus your energy on the business's key decision-maker/s. They are who you need to target, connect with, and win over with your marketing genius. You could also go one-step further and profile the other people within the business who are a part of the decision-making process; they are called influencers.
Finding your ideal client takes time and effort. Where you start may not necessarily be where you end. Your ideal client profile/s will evolve along with your business.
“It’s important to remember there is no finish line,” says Charlton. “There are always fresh insights, new ideas, and professional satisfaction to be gained by thinking creatively about your chosen market.”