Knowing who your ideal client is in business is vital. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to discover your ideal client and why it’s so important.
When you’re clear on who your ideal client is, your marketing efforts will be drastically simplified.
Before I begin any design work, I always ask my clients a series of questions that helps to uncover who their ideal client is and who we’re trying to attract.
It’s important to mention that your ideal client, or ideal client avatar or ideal client profile, is not the same as your niche.
The niche in your business is what you want to be known for.
When someone lands on your website they should immediately know what you do and who you do it for, in other words: your niche. This is public information. Your niche is what you specialize in, it’s your focus area, the group of people you help through your business.
My niche, for example, is professional coaches. I build beautiful brands and strategic websites for professional coaches. However, within that niche, there can be a wide variety of people. This is when your ideal client avatar comes into play.
Your ideal client avatar is just one person and tends to be a bit more private.
It’s strategic. This is the one person that you think of when creating anything in your business.
One of my favorite tips from Marie Forleo’s B-School, when she’s walking through how to create an ideal client avatar, is:
“If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody.”Marie Forleo
So let’s think about that for a minute… let’s say you’re trying to send an email out to your list, would it be simpler to draft that email to one person or three-hundred? Or let’s say you’re launching a new coaching program, would it be easier to brainstorm the ins and outs of that program with three-hundred people in mind or just one?
Okay, so now that you understand the difference between a niche and an ideal client avatar. Let’s walk through how to discover your ideal client.
Quick note – to make this simpler, be sure to identify your niche or group of people you’re serving first. So who are your people?
To uncover your niche you might want to ask yourself these questions:
- Who are your dream clients?
- What do they do?
- How do they feel right before working with you?
- How do they feel immediately after working with you?
- Who do you want to serve in your business?
- What differences are you hoping to make in their lives?
- Who have been your favorite clients? Do you see a theme or pattern with these favorite clients?
So now assuming you’ve nailed your niche let’s uncover your ideal client avatar. And remember your ideal client avatar can evolve as your business evolves. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, let’s just focus on getting it done.
Answer these questions to identify your ideal client avatar:
- What is his or her name?
- Are they married?
- Do they have children? What are their children’s ages?
- Where does she live? Specifically. Name the town or city where she lives.
- What’s her annual income?
- What does she do for a living?
- What’s her work-life like?
- Does she have any pets?
- What does she do on the weekends?
- What are her family or personal goals?
- What are her professional goals?
- What’s most important in her life?
- What are her top core values?
- What books can you find her reading?
- What does she like to eat?
- Where does she shop?
- What brands does she love?
- What does her closet look like?
- What are her guilty pleasures?
- How does she feel the moment before she decides to work with you?
- How does she feel after you’ve worked together?
- How are you hoping your business will make a difference in her life?
Some of these questions might seem strange but they’re actually quite strategic.
Think about someone who lives in a penthouse in downtown New York City might differ from someone who lives on a large ranch in the middle of Texas. Or think about the type of person who shops at Saks versus those who shop at Old Navy. Neither of these scenarios is good or bad or right or wrong. However, the way you would market to these individuals would be drastically different.
These questions not only uncover the intricate details of who they are and how they feel, but they can also reflect what they value in life. Those Old Navy shoppers might value frugal living or being thrifty. Or maybe they’re in a small town and they don’t have access too much else. Those Saks shoppers might value high-end clothing, quality design, and the latest trends. See the clarity we get from this information? It’s priceless.
Once these questions are answered clearly you’ll have created your ideal client avatar. Which in turn simplifies every piece of marketing and every message you send out to the world about your business.
When you’re creating, you want to make sure you’re talking to her and only her.
A common misconception is worrying about the people outside of this ideal client profile you just created. Perhaps worrying about missing opportunities if you’re only talking to one person.
But the thing is when you narrow down your ideal client this specific everything becomes more streamlined.
And your potential clients? They’ll feel like you’re talking only to them. And when they feel like that, you know you’ve nailed it.