Some time ago, I read Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, which is one of the best marketing books for small businesses and solopreneurs. The first chapter covers identifying your ideal client, which is necessary for growing your business. If you don’t identify who would be most interested in buying your products or services, then you will waste a lot of time and resources on selling to the wrong people, or making less money than you should.
So, how do you identify your ideal client?
- Determine the characteristics of clients (demographics) that currently buy from you. Some might be more important than others, but that will be determined when you put the information together. Demographics can include everything from age to industry to geographic location, and should also consider their emotional characteristics (i.e., what they need, want and like).
- Determine what bothers your target market – identify their problems or needs.
- Answer the following questions when trying to find your target market:
Do they want what you have to offer?
Do they value what you do or what you are selling?
Will they pay a premium for what you have to offer?
- Determine if the market is large enough to support your business.
- Once you’ve done this, create a simple yet descriptive profile of your ideal prospect. It should be comprehensive yet easy enough to relay to someone who wants to know about your ideal prospect.
Track your ideal prospects using database marketing. Keep this information on file so that you know as much about your prospects as possible. This way, you can easily identify quality prospects and talk to others about the types of prospects you would like to meet.
My ideal clients in general are companies that product content on a regular basis – publishers, advertising and marketing agencies, training firms, etc. I can narrow this down further by focusing on companies in specific markets – human resources, corporate training, rental housing, branding firms (these are my current clients, so I understand them better than others). I could focus on just one of these areas, such as corporate training, and determine what they need and what they value. I can then focus on contacting people in these industries (through LinkedIn or people I know in related firms) and discuss how I can help them to achieve their goals.
Who are your ideal clients, and how do you go about determining how to address their needs? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.