In your quest to get clear about your ideal client (or customer), you’ve probably come across this: Finding Your Ideal Customer – 32 Questions You Should Ask.
That list has made it a very popular post.
It’s pretty clear that thousands of business owners are trying to find clarity around the identity of their ideal client.
But here’s the thing – when I talk to business owners I keep hearing things like this:
“I attended a workshop and created my avatar. I know who my ideal client is – and I don’t need to do it again.”
Yet that 32 Questions post has been read tens of thousands of times. Which leads me to wonder if people are as sure about their ideal clients as they say they are.
Which begs the question…
How many times have you changed your mind about your ideal client? Once? Twice? A gazillion times?
You’re Leaving Money On The Table
After 15+ years as a business owner, I’ve learned a few things. And the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is this:
To build the business you really want you must get totally clear about your ideal client, find out exactly what they’re thinking about, and build your business around that person.
If you haven’t been able to settle on one ideal client don’t feel bad – it’s NORMAL. You don’t want to leave anyone out. I get it. But you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table.
Here are three examples of how a small business had big wins when they aligned their businesses around their ideal clients and customers.
A Headshot Photographer
Carol knew she had something unique to offer in headshot photography and she loved her profession. But she was working really hard and not making the kind of money she dreamed of. That’s because competition forced her to charge a standard rate. When she decided to get totally clear about her ideal client she realized that person was in front of her face all along. She then aligned her entire business around that person and today people travel from all over the country for Carol to do their headshots and they pay top dollar, too. Win!
A Home Services Company
A home services company was in business for over 30 years. The owner was never happy with his marketing messages even after hiring various branding companies and copywriters. He decided he had to do something, especially because he was planning to expand into a new area. He made the decision to finally get totally clear about the company’s most ideal customers and aligned all the marketing around that person. Within three months the company experienced a 40% increase in revenue. Win!
A Financial Coaching Company
This company was ready to rebrand and repackage their financial coaching services for business owners. In preparation, they put in the time to re-evaluate their ideal client. During the process, they were amazed to discover a hugely lucrative business opportunity they had not recognized before (and would never have recognized). And not one of their competitors had discovered it, either. Win!
Global Brands Can’t Afford To Be Changing Their Minds About Their Ideal Clients Either
You may not look at global brands when making decisions for your business, but you can learn a few things from them. Global brands spend millions of dollars conducting focus groups and market tests in order to totally be clear about their ideal customers.
Let’s examine how this plays out in the marketing from two big auto manufacturers – Lexus and Hyundai:
Lexus deeply understands their ideal customers and is adept at making an emotional connection with them in their marketing.
The Lexus customer believes they deserve “the best”. They want to impress their neighbors. They love feeling special. And, they are all about prestige and privilege. Their attitudes impact all their buying decisions – the homes they buy, the neighborhoods where they live, the restaurants they choose, the places they travel, who they socialize with, and, of course, the car they drive.
This ad gives the viewer a glimpse into the world of a very affluent couple that has emerged from a private jet and is just seconds away from sinking into the quiet luxury of their Lexus, idling softly nearby.
If the photography isn’t enough, the perfectly composed ad copy seals the deal. It precisely MIRRORS what’s going on in the head of their ideal customer, which is (right from the copy):
“I want to have it all.” and “I demand the best.”
Purty darn effective!
For contrast, let’s take a look at Hyundai. It’s likely Hyundai’s marketing department spends as much time and money to be totally clear about their ideal customer as does Lexus.
So what does Hyundai’s ideal customer care about? Affordability, economy, and longevity. They want to make a smart purchase on a vehicle they will own for a long time. And, it’s probably true that they’re not worried about impressing their neighbors or care about having it all.
What are they selling here? Not luxury. Not even affordability. It’s all about the warranty.
For Lexus and Hyundai, it’s critical to deeply understand their ideal customers and mirror what they are thinking in the marketing. They wouldn’t be the powerhouses they are in the car business if they constantly changed their mind about their ideal customer.
Lexus and Hyundai are not about to leave money on the table…and, neither should you.
PULL OUT YOUR PERHAPS LONG-FORGOTTEN IDEAL CLIENT AVATAR – profile, prototype, target market worksheet, etc. Then, align your marketing around that person, get inside their head, be IRRESISTIBLE to them, and stop leaving money on the table.
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