Someone once said, “When you try to serve everyone, you end up serving no one.” You’ve probably heard this quote and its variations at some point. Have you considered how it applies to your marketing? Every business has an ideal customer. Who that person is will be different depending on what the business offers and how they provide that product or service. By figuring out who your ideal customer is, you can better serve them. You can also market more effectively to reach them.
Become a Specialist
It may be tempting to not pigeonhole yourself. After all, won’t you be missing out on customers who don’t fit your ideal client’s profile? Yes, you will, and that’s okay. It is far more beneficial to specialize. Consider the medical field. Most people will see a general practitioner for their check-ups and viruses, but when something goes wrong, it’s the specialist whom they trust. They see a podiatrist for foot pain and an ENT surgeon if they need their tonsils removed. A pregnant woman wouldn’t usually see a neurologist to have her baby delivered. She wouldn’t be their ideal customer. If she did go there, they would likely refer her to an obstetrician.
Here are some ways to find out who your ideal customer is.
What do you do best?
By finding your ideal customer, you will be able to do what you do best for the people who need those services and value them. That’s a good place to start. Grab a piece of paper and a pen to do a little brainstorming.
For consistency, let’s look at an example of how you would go about this if you were a medical doctor. You aren’t just any doctor, you are an oncologist. Your patients will be different from those of a neurologist, a podiatrist, or a rheumatologist. You’ll want to get more specific. Out of the many cancers that an oncologist treats, what is your specialty? Blood cancers, particularly leukemia. Your patients are of all ages, but you specialize in pediatric patients. They have scared parents who have a lot of questions and high expectations. The parents are your actual customers. They decide who will treat their child. You ultimately have to serve both the child who is the patient and the parent who is the customer.
Outside of this example, you may have this same complicated situation when it comes to figuring out your ideal customer.
Ask Yourself Some Questions
- What do you offer to your customers?
- What does your product or service do for your ideal customer?
- What problems does your customer have that you and your business can solve?
- Are you considering shifting your business plan to focus on a different market? How?
- What are your ideal customer’s age, education, and occupation?
- What is his or her financial situation?
- Where would you typically find your ideal customer? This could be a literal place or a virtual one.
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- Who actually benefits the most from your product or service?
- Who makes the buying decision? Remember, it may not be the person who benefits the most.
- Is your customer local, or can they be from anywhere thanks to the internet?
- Does your ideal customer rely on reviews to help them make their buying decisions?
- What time of year, season, month or week does your customer buy?
- Is there a life event that prompts them to seek your product or service?
- How does your ideal customer make their buying decision? Is it spontaneous or well thought out?
- Where does your ideal customer shop?
- How much they are willing to spend?
- How does your ideal customer talk? By understanding their lingo, you will be more relatable to them.
- What emotions does your ideal customer have that you can speak to? How can you connect with them emotionally on more than just a rational level?
- What are your ideal customer’s goals and priorities? How will your product or service help them reach those goals?
- How does your customer like to communicate? Do they tweet, text, email, or prefer snail mail? Knowing this will help you communicate with your customers where they already are.
Describe Your Ideal Customer
The answers to these questions can help you not only describe your ideal customer, but they can also give you clues to some of the best ways to reach him or her. Having a better understanding of how to reach your ideal customers is an incredibly valuable tool in your business marketing.