If you’re running a business or planning to launch one, you’re likely to make or be making the mistake of not having a targeted enough audience.
This is like building a house without cement, you can do everything else right, but that house’s doomed to fall apart.
The first step to any successful business is to create an ideal client profile.
In fact, your product or service should be created with your audience in mind.
But don’t just create a general audience with the conventional demographics: “30 to 50 year old female who lives in the US and likes dogs.”
You should create an Ideal Client Profile. This will be the person you are passionate about working with and that definitely needs and wants what you have to offer.
This could be the difference between chasing down clients to pay the bills or having clients chasing you to give you money.
Imagine you love animals and want to do something related to your passion. You open a pet clothes shop, interesting idea, right? But who are you going to market to? Pet owners? Half of the world has a pet…
How likely is a cat owner to buy a dog vest?
What if instead, you decide that your ideal client is the proud owner of a dalmatian and you create a very specific profile for this person.
After a short google search, I found out that the Dalmatian is considered a very good family dog.
So now you also know this person is a father or a mother to whom family is the most important value, you can open a shop that sells vests that not only look awesome with white and black but with matching children’s vests.
Do you think “Lindsey”, who is the stay-at-home mother of 3 beautiful children and their adopted brother “Jack” (1yo dalmatian) is more likely to go in your shop or the random pet clothes shop?
This is very superficial, but once you know everything about Lindsey, every marketing message, including blog posts, ads, etc, will be talking to her feelings. How likely is Lindsey to pay attention to a picture on Instagram of a baby hugging a dalmatian pup?
Now that you understand the importance of having an Ideal Client Profile, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed not knowing how to create one.
During my research for this article, all the experts said things like interview your customers, look at website analytics, etc. But this is assuming you already have a business… Since starting a business without an ideal client profile is a great way to waste time and money, I’ll show you a few ways to find out who you’ll be doing business with, so you can start off right.
First, you’ll need to answer 3 questions:
Question #1: What’s your Niche?
A Market Niche is a group of people with a common interest, it can be very general or you can specialize (niche down), which allows for more efficient marketing.
The concepts I talk about here are not my own, I learned about the market division and niche creation in the book “Expert Secrets” by Russell Brunson. If you want a more in-depth understanding you can get a Free copy of the book by clicking here!
The marketplace is divided into three core markets which can be divided into submarkets.
Identify your core market and then the submarket.
Here are the 3 main markets and some examples of submarkets. There are many more submarkets, so you might not find yours in these examples:
- Strength training
- Weight loss
- And more…
- Real estate
- Dating advice
Once you’ve identified your submarket, dig one step deeper and create your niche, instead of just choosing an existing one, full of sharks.
Ok, now you’re calling me all kinds of crazy and getting ready to hit the back button…
But hold on a second. It’s not as complicated as it seems, stay with me.
After you answer the next question you’ll be able to easily identify your fresh new niche.
Question #2: What’s your UVP?
Your Unique Value Proposition is what makes you different from everyone else and answers the question in the customer’s mind: “Why should I do business with you instead of the other guy?”
New entrepreneurs are usually full of innovative ideas but fail in the path to implementation. The biggest problem is not lack of innovation, it’s trying to innovate too much.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, make a better one!
Start by looking at what others are doing successfully in your submarket and then think about how you can, through your experience or expertise, do the same in an unique way.
That’s where your creativity should come into play, twist what’s being done to make it unique, in a way that only you can do, and you will attract a very specific client that loves what you do.
I heard a story of this personal trainer who created a fitness program for petite women. She started posting helpful tips on Instagram and small women that were into fitness started to relate to her and follow her.
You are special! We all are unique in a way, find your superpower and leverage it.
Once you’ve identified your submarket and decided how to apply your uniqueness to it, you’ve found your Fresh New Niche.
Question #3: Where’s Your Ideal Client?
I know it feels counter-intuitive to think about where they are if we’re still profiling them, but that’s how we’ll find out the rest of the information and how you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Let’s find their hangouts. Everyone with similar interests gathers somewhere to discuss them, your job now is to join these communities and start taking notes of their desires, dreams, problems, and fears.
So far you’ve gathered demographic data, now you’ll get into psychographics, which is where most people fall short even with established businesses.
If you manage to correctly create your Ideal Client Profile with a good amount of psychographic data, you will be amazed at how smooth everything will feel.
Think about it, you’re creating your business, products, services, from the most reliable source of information, your ideal client. Can you see now how customers will beg to do business with you?
So let me show you a few resources that will help you find your ideal client:
- Facebook Audience Insights: Once you’ve figured the basic demographic data of your ideal client, you can introduce it into FB Audience Insights, this is a free tool you can access after creating a Facebook business account. You can see things like advanced demographics, page likes (which you can click and dig more into), etc.
- Facebook Groups: When you start exploring the pages you find in audience insights, look for pages with related groups and ask to join, then perform a few searches for related groups, blend in, and pay close attention to people’s discussions.
- Quora: After taking notes of some questions and problems your ideal clients seem to post on Facebook groups, try searching for these questions on Quora, you’ll find great answers and discussions. Set your profile as an expert in your niche and start helping out where you can.
- Reddit: Similarly to Quora, you want to join subreddits related to your niche and learn more about your ideal customer.
Leverage these resources to create your ideal client profile. It might take a while to learn how some of them work, but it’ll be worth it.
After a few days in these communities, you’ll know more about this person than they know themselves, more importantly, you’ll know their language.
The next step is to solve their problems, through content, products, etc. You’ll see how ideas will be raining from the sky, make sure not to get overwhelmed and focus on one or two of them at a time.
As you probably know, 97% of all new businesses fail in the first few years, if you start yours focused on your Ideal Client Profile by following these steps, you’re very likely to be part of the other 3%.
Actionable Steps to Create your Ideal Client Profile
Facebook Audience Insights
Now that you understand the process, let’s get into action, I’ll show you exactly how I do this.
To start with, let’s go back up to your submarket and do some research.
I’m researching Dalmatians, more specifically, a mother between 30 and 40 years old who owns a dalmatian dog.
Input this basic demographics into FB Audience Insights and you will find a lot of juicy information like this:
All of these are clickable and will lead you to the respective pages. From one page you’ll be able to find related pages and now that you know what to look for, you can hunt for important information.
You’ll notice that on my template there’s space for all this data for different interests. Once you finish researching one interest, you can jump to the next one, which you’ll find during your research.
When you’re happy with 3 to 5 interests, you can cross reference them and draw conclusions.
Take these and input them into the Ideal Client Profile tab in your template.
While researching these pages, remember to pay attention to groups associated to them and request to join.
Become One of Them
From your previous research, you should have joined a few FB Groups where your audience is.
Start paying attention to the conversations, reading their comments, you’ll begin to understand their ‘language’.
From these 3 sources you’ll be filling up the last tab of the template, called “Psychographics”.
Complete your Ideal Client Profile
Now you should have all the information you need to complete the rest of your ideal client profile, but more importantly, you’ve been ‘living’ amongst them and should understand them extremely well.
Just by paying attention to all the community hangouts, you now know your audience better than they know themselves.
I would even bet that you already had a bunch of ideas that could help them, products to create or promote, articles to write, etc.
Your next step is to start. Start with content to help them, you can even start answering some questions in the groups and engaging with the communities.
Become reputable and known within the community.
I hope this article helps you avoid the frustration I felt when trying to create my first and even second ideal client profile. Please leave your feedback in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions or add your point of view.