Know who your ideal client is and talk to them.
How do I know who my ideal client is?
You create them.
My ideal customer is a person who is familiar with massage and is seeking massage for very specific work.
I came up with this statement after years of being in the industry. This is the customer I enjoy working with and working on the most.
Why do I need an ideal customer?
An ideal customer profile helps you better direct your marketing efforts towards their needs. If you can do this effectively, you will increase your business with people you care to work with and build a loyal customer base.
Think about the places you frequent the most and why you return to them. Do you think it’s by coincidence that they have gained your business? No. Most likely you are their ideal customer.
Creating your ideal customer takes work. As simple as my ideal customer sounds, it took years of brain power to form that statement. Not to mention, the statement is always evolving and changing. And, that’s okay. Yours will too. Especially as we grow in our careers, our needs, wants and desires change. So will our customer. For example my original customer was anyone, then I focused on health insurance, to finally the above description.
Crafting our ideal customer
Crafting our ideal customer is a strategy that helps us focus on our goals. Let’s say the goal is making $100k/yr salary. This figure is going to determine how we reach, communicate, market, build a working relationship, design incentives and grow our skills. This is where it’s necessary to know who were are seeking as clients.
I recently had a massage therapist seek my help in growing her practice.
She had been in business a year but it was under performing.
My very first question to her was, “Who is your customer?”
You know what? She couldn’t answer the question.
I took her through this super simple but effective drill.
Try it for yourself.
- Take 2 minutes (time it if necessary) to write down all the characteristics you require in your ideal client. This exercise gets easier the longer you work in the field and with the more bodies you work on because you get a sense of who you connect with. Be brutally honest with yourself. No erasing or back spacing. This is for your eyes only.
- Take 30 seconds cross out all words you can live without. If you have to think about it, cross it out.
- Take 1 more minute to write down more characteristics.
- Now, narrow your list down to 3 characteristics.
- Write sentences for each item on your list. Start your sentences with
- My ideal customer is ____________________________________________.
- Now marry all 3 sentences together. You may find that you keep all three, or two and maybe just one. That is okay.
Congratulations you have done the first iteration of your ideal customer! Remember it can change over time.
The massage therapist that I spoke of above came up with these 3 sentences:
- My ideal customers are Jewish women.
- My ideal customer is over the age of 50.
- My ideal customer plays mahjong.
We looked at these statements, read them out loud and began to play around with the wording. She began to question her limits, values, demographics and eventually decided on:
- My ideal customers are women over 50 who play mahjong.
A winning statement
That there is a winning statement. It allows her to reach a wide diverse group of people in her community that she feels comfortable working with and on. Because you’ve taken the time to identify your target customer profile it will make reaching them much easier. Your messaging, branding should be speaking to them.