Whether you call it an avatar or a buyer persona, actually identifying and finding your ideal customer is not always an easy task. 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. But you’re often too close to your business to be in a place of total clarity. Moreover, it’s sometimes too scary to think about your business being built around one type of person. But there’s no time like now to shed your resistance and dig into this stuff.
Most businesses that are not clear about their ideal customers are simply not asking themselves the right questions.
So, today is your lucky day because I’ve compiled a list of important questions you must ask yourself to find your ideal customer. Answer them all and you’ll discover it’s not so difficult after all.
The process of identifying your ideal customer will help you solve tons of business challenges from marketing to promotion, to effective speaking, to networking. It takes some time in the beginning but it keeps on giving!
Bonus: Download my free workbook to get started identifying your ideal customer >
Finding Your Customer – Tips From Brian Tracy
Way back when I was in sales I discovered Brian Tracy. He was the first motivational speaker I had been exposed to and I still think he’s a great source of ideas. In an article in Entrepreneur Magazine, Brian wrote:
“The ability to find a customer, sell your product or service to that customer, and satisfy the customer so that he buys 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.”
I’ve pulled out five of Brian’s tips and put them in question form. Here’s a good place to start if you’re just starting to dig into thinking to this stuff:
- What does your product or service accomplish from your customer’s point of view?
- What are the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product?
- What is the location of your exact customer?
- When does your ideal customer buy your product or service?
- What is your customer’s buying strategy?
If You Market Online
Online marketing has made it urgent to know exactly who your ideal customer is. It’s now estimated you have only one-twentieth of a second to make a connection that sparks interest online. I went to a trusted digital marketing source for more tips on finding your ideal customer.
Finding Your Ideal Customer – Tips From Digital Marketer
In the Digital Marketer blog, Russ Henneberry made this terrific analogy: “…your customer avatar is The Swiss Army Knife of Marketing”.
Russ recommends you ask yourself these five questions:
- What are your ideal customer’s goals and values?
- What are the demographics of your ideal customer? (BK: such as age, marital status, income…)
- What are his or her challenges and pain points?
- What would be his or her objections to buying your product or service?
- Where does your ideal customer get his or her information? (i.e. books, magazines, etc.)
Finding Your Ideal Customer – The 32 Questions To Ask
I’ve dedicated my business to provide guidance and coaching in this area. Over the years my process has evolved and the amount of questions my clients must answer has grown. This exercise takes time (and sometimes a lot of angst), but the payoff is totally worth it (you can read about successes here).
My process contains more than 40 questions, but here are the most important:
- What is this person’s age?
- What is this person’s gender?
- What is this person’s marital status?
- What is this person’s level of education?
- Does this person live in an urban, suburban, or rural community?
- What religion or ethnicity is this person?
- Does this person have children?
- Do the children live at home?
- Is this person the children’s primary caregiver?
- Is this person caring for aging parents?
- What is this person’s annual income?
- What type of work does this person do?
- Is this person self-employed or does he/she work for a company?
- If this person works for a company, is it a corporation, a small business, etc.?
- What are his/her passions and hobbies?
- Where or what was the last vacation and why did this person love it so much?
- What type of neighborhood does this person live in?
- Where does this person buy groceries, and why?
- Where does this person buy clothing/shoes and why?
- What are some of her/his favorite clothing brands?
- What kind of car does this person drive – and why?
- Is this person active with his/her church, belongs to a country club, etc. country club, church, charity events?
- What brand or product has so changed this person’s life that he/she now could not live without it, and why?
- Where does this person get information? Newspapers, blogs, books – online or print
- Does this person watch television? What are his/her favorite shows?
- Who does this person admire the most?
- What would people be surprised to find out about this person?
- What makes this person stay up at night worrying?
- What makes this person stay up at night worrying about that directly relates to what you have to offer?
- How would you characterize this person’s relationship with his/her immediate family
- What recently happened that made this person search for information as it relates directly to what you offer?
- What did this person already try that didn’t work and is the reason he or she is coming to you; or are you introducing something never tried before?
I hope this article helped you get closer to finding your ideal customer. But even if you’ve answered every question, you may still need help sorting it all out. And, if you discover you have some resistance to this process, you’re not alone. We All Do!
That’s where I come in. I have become a sort of an authority on this stuff! So, in my 6-Step Find Your Ideal Client program, I can really support you in this effort. We’ll create a prototype (or prototypes, if need be), develop a marketing bible containing the actual words and phrases you will use for your marketing, website, and everything else. We’ll perfect your elevator speech and create sticky, wonderful content for your website. All of it designed to make an instant emotional connection with the people you want to attract.
Intrigued? Schedule a free 30-min. conversation with me and I’ll tell you something about your ideal customer you never thought of before. Choose a day and time below: