In order to reach your ideal client with a very clear marketing message, it’s important to understand that if you are talking to everyone you’re talking to no one. You have to have a clear target and well-defined target for the marketing message to cut through the noise.
How do you define your target market, and what is a target market? Your target market is different from your ideal client. A target market is the broader section of the market that your business serves.
For example, my target is entrepreneurs, specifically, those that begin business with a phone call. They are also known as service based entrepreneurs. I run my digital marketing service to help other small businesses. My target is not individuals that are looking for a career change or those who are looking for health advice.
Stop Talking to Everyone
If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.
I’ll be honest with you. I made this mistake when I started my business. I started my blog, Young Finances, at the end of 2010. I had no idea what I was doing. I just said, “Okay, I’m going to make this work. I’m going to start making money and I’m going to write a blog.”
The information on my blog was very generic. It didn’t have a specific defined target. It didn’t specifically speak to a defined market with the exception of saying my target was young people but young people is very, very broad still.
And then I improved when I started saying, I’m speaking to young professionals. And that was better but young professionals as a target is still pretty broad. I needed to start speaking to a specific person and have a specific person in mind.
I improved again when I started my YouTube channel. I grew my channel from 25 subscribers to 9000 subscribers and over 200,000 video views. I was able to do that because I finally answered the questions, “How do I speak to a specific person?”
I started creating my videos imagining that I was speaking to my sister and I was trying to make her laugh. I wanted to make the information easy to follow. I wanted to make it interesting. And that’s when I realized that I actually had a target. It was someone who had recently graduated from college that wanted to get their finances together and they were looking online for how can they do that.
That was my target. My target did not like finance and they wanted to understand it in an easy, interesting, and fun manner. And once I realized that, that’s when I was able to create because I was speaking to a specific type of person.
If you’re talking to everyone, then you’re really talking to no one. In the above example, if I say “I teach finance for young people.” Then your listener might think to themselves, “Am I young? Maybe I’m not young.” Or, “She’s not talking to me because I can’t be young.”
On the other hand, if say, “I’m speaking to you if you just graduated from college and you’re looking to find your first job.” Then they might think, “That’s definitely me. I just graduated from college. I’m looking for my first job.” Or they will think, “That’s not me. I already have a job and I graduated from college 20 years ago.”
That is how you have to think about this when you begin to choose your target market. Remember to speak to a specific person.
Go through your content and everything that you’ve been writing, including all of your emails and blog posts. Read them from the perspective of the person you want to target. You might find that you do not have a clear and defined target.
Let’s say you have a blog post that talks about five ways to get in shape. Who is that for?
Is what you offer for the person who is trying to get in shape after trying everything and now, they’re sick and tired and fed up?
Or is it for the person who’s is making their resolution and they are ambitious and ready to go? That’s two different mindsets. One person is newly motivated while the other person is down and depressed, and you have to write differently for each of those mindsets.
Figure out to whom you’re actually speaking. What is the mindset of that person as you’re speaking to them? Write a little quick profile of that person.
Get Specific on Your General Market
The more you niche down the more you will earn. “The riches are in the niches.”
If I say, “I help entrepreneurs gain more clients online.” Well, there are a lot of entrepreneurs. There are entrepreneurs that run large companies, or small companies, there are entrepreneurs that have that entrepreneurial nature who work as CEOs of corporations, are those the people I help?
I have to get really specific.
When getting specific on your target market, first figure out the broad, general market that you target, then drill down into the next characteristic, then drill down into the next characteristic, and keep going until you have a slice of a larger market.
Now that you have your target market you can begin to present your services or your products and get feedback. For example, while creating my YouTube channel, I wanted to know what content I should create. And when I was recording the videos and choosing topics, I asked for feedback from my sister.
She gave me feedback saying, “Oh, wow. This one was really funny. I really enjoyed that. I really liked that topic. I want to learn more about this.”
I started creating content with her in mind. Was she an ideal client? I didn’t have that in mind yet, I was trying to figure out a target. Next I thought, “if she were my target, what are her general characteristics?”
For example, she has a career, she is trying to learn how to manage her money, and she is she’s a female, she’s this age, she likes X, Y, and Z. I began building a target backwards from a single individual who I would consider to be in the target for Young Finances.
If you are having a hard time and all you have are the demographics of your target market, like their age or gender then you can use this tool to help.
The tool I like to use is called Facebook Audience Insights. This is a really good place to start getting a general idea of your target market.
With this tool you can drill down to specifics in your target market. You might find that your target market includes people with middle income, rural households most without children, a few with some toddlers, preschool, and grade school children, home ownership dominates this cluster, along with their tendency to drive compact or full-size pickup trucks. That’s an example of a target market.
Then you’ll start getting into your ideal client and you might say, “Okay, they have upper to middle income, they live in this area, rural household, they do not have children,” which means they really like to travel and because they like to travel they like to actually drive for their travels because they’re outward bound. Like that’s an example of a general target and then turning that into an ideal client.
Go to Audience Insights and type in the age range and demographics of your target audience and read through the characteristics.
Get into the Mind of Your Ideal Client
Speak how they speak so they will understand you immediately
Now that you have your target market, it’s time to find your buyers. Your buyers are the ideal client that needs what you offer whom you can help with what you offer.
Your ideal client is the one for whom you get the best results. When that person finds out about you and they’re like, “Yes,” right away, “I want to work with her. I am going to sign up right now, and I’m going to give her all of my money. Let’s just go. Let’s get started.”
That’s an ideal client.
How do you figure out what your ideal client wants?
As a business owner your primary goal is to serve your audience with exactly what they want. In the past before the internet and all of the technology that we have now, the only way to do that was to test with small groups.
Businesses would test out a couple of different options. For example, if you were a drink manufacturer, you might test out four different flavors and then host focus groups where you would test with a small subset of people. And then you would determine which flavor did best overall, and then serve that to the masses.
The old-school style of marketing and the advertising aligned with that type of delivery because there was mass advertising on TV shows, radio and newspaper.
Today, it’s extremely important to specify not only who you reach but also specific with the message.
BuzzFeed is a perfect example. They create very specific and targeted content like “5 Things Only a Redneck Would Understand.” People who identify as a redneck would identify with that content.
With the internet, we have the ability to get directly to the person that we want to reach. While it’s easier to do that these days, it’s also more difficult because of all of the advertising and marketing noise. To cut through, you have to target your message to get into the mind of your ideal client.
How do you get into the mind of your ideal client?
3 Top Research Strategies to Get into the Mind of Your Ideal Client
1) Crowdsource Research
In order to speak directly to your ideal client, you have to know how they want to be spoken to. Starting broad is I would go to Quora.
Start searching Quora on your topic. Let’s say you are a personal finance coach, financial counselor or financial advisor, and you think you want to help people who are having issues with credit or credit cards. In Quora, you could type in the topic “credit cards.”
There you will see the questions people are asking, how they’re wording and phrasing what they’re asking.
Reddit is another good place to begin your research. You can also go to Amazon and look into Amazon reviews. If you’re offering a service, the Amazon book reviews are a really good place to be. Find someone who’s written a book about your topic and then look in the reviews and see what people say.
You’ll start seeing a recurring pattern. You see that people that are saying the same things and struggling with the same types of things, and you’ll have a better eye into your ideal client.
2) Direct Survey Research
If you already have an audience, you can directly ask what they are struggling with and what they need help with.
Copy and paste specifically what they say. If you say what are you struggling with right now? And someone says “I really wish I had more time. I feel like all day; I’m running on a treadmill.” Use that quote, “All day, I feel like I’m running on a treadmill,” because later you’re going to take those quotes and that research that you’ve done, and you’re going to put that into all of your sales.
Sometimes, you will have to incentivize your audience to respond in a survey, like giving away a small gift card, or a self-study course.
3) One-on-One Research
Free calls with those in your target market can give you specific insight. If you offer complimentary strategy sessions or discovery calls, this is the best time to conduct this research.
During those sessions, ask questions like, “What is it that you’re struggling with? What’s going on in your business/life/health/relationship? Just give me an idea of what you need help with.”
And as they’re talking take notes not only because you want to be able to help them but also so you can write down those quotes and specific phrases that they say.
Summarizing what they’re saying is the worst mistake you could make. Don’t summarize and type, “She says she wish she could have more time.” Specifically write, “I feel like I’m running on a treadmill,” and I keep those quotes.
Taking those quotes from those sessions, I copy and paste these phrases into a Word doc. Afterwards I go back and I scan through that Word doc looking for the pattern.
Creating An Ideal Client Avatar
A profile of the person you want to reach
How can we put this to use in your business? Let’s say you are a health coach and your end-goal is to get people who want a six pack. You already have an idea of the target market you would like to work with, you’ve been to a site like Quora, or Reddit, or Amazon Reviews you know what questions those people are asking, you’ve even done some research on your one on one calls and you have a listing of phrases that your ideal client says.
You’re going to use all of that to create an ideal client avatar.
Your ideal client avatar is going to direct all of your messaging including the specific words that you use and even pop culture references. For example, I use references to Beyoncé in my marketing because my ideal client avatar appreciates Beyoncé’s hustle. I attract clients that take action. I constantly call out my tribe, in all of my marketing because my ideal client is one that takes action.
In one of her songs she says, “I see it, I want it, I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.” That’s an a perfect example.
I remember one of my email subscribers contacted me and said, “I’ve been loving your emails lately. It feels like you’re in my head. I can’t believe you shared that. It really feels like you know exactly what I want to hear.”
What’s important to note is that I didn’t specifically speak to her but what happened is that she fits my ideal client avatar perfectly, because she has all of those characteristics that I’m looking for. And with the marketing and emails that I send, they do seem like they’re speaking directly to her because she has those fears and desires that I touch on.
When you have an ideal client avatar, you’ve identified their struggles, what they’re scared of, and what frustrates them.
And you’ve also identified the other side; their desires and their dreams.
In the profile you can include their job type. Are they working a full-time job? What level are they at in their company? What emotions do they experience related to the struggle on an everyday basis?
What values do they have? One of the values that my ideal client has is they really value independence and being able to achieve on their own. What social and cultural environment do you expect them to be in? What magazines are they’re reading? What type of music do they like?
What are the demographics? Age, sex, marital status. Are they married? Are they single? Are they male, female, older, or younger? My marketing tends to attract women around the ages 25 to 34, because that’s my target market. But those are not the only demographics that come to me seeking help.
As a service-based entrepreneur, you’re selling yourself. You’re providing that service and they’re going to work one-on-one with you.
To create that bond with your ideal client avatar, tell your story. You’ll know which stories to share because you have an ideal client in mind that would appreciate it.
For example, one of the stories that I share is how I overcame all of my credit card debt. And I paid off over $32,000 of debt in 3 years. I share that story with an emphasis on the discipline that it took for me to pay all of that off. Because I want to attract people who have that discipline, who are willing to take action.
Take your research and start listing characteristics and traits to complete an ideal client avatar.
Make Easy Sales To ONLY Your Ideal Client
How sales become easy when you have an ideal client avatar.
Because I have an ideal client avatar, any time someone wants to do a strategy session with me, or book a free call, they have to complete a questionnaire. The questions that are in that questionnaire are specifically designed to weed out those who are not in my ideal client base.
A successful call is one with an ideal client. You offer your services and then they say yes.
Sales become easy when you have an ideal client avatar. Because when you know who you want as your client, you’ll know exactly when to offer your services and when to hold off from offering your services.
I only hold off an offer when that person is not an ideal client. Because when that person is an ideal client, you know you have exactly what they need, and all of your marketing has brought them to you instead of you trying to chase after them, they come to you ready to buy.
You should only hold calls with ideal clients who have 3 characteristics, they are willing to invest, have the ability to invest, and you can help them get results.
They have to be willing which also means they have to be ready. There are some people that come to me ready, and there are some that are not.
For example, I had someone complete the application for a call and every question was answered with one word; yes, no, etc. So I cancelled the call. I sent an email and I said, “Hey, I’d really like you to put some thought into this application. Once you have I’m happy to reschedule your call.”
She never rescheduled. She wasn’t willing and unfortunately, that that call didn’t happen. She was not my ideal client.
Secondly, they have to have the ability. There are segments of the market that just don’t have the ability to invest with you. Everyone is not going to be able to invest thousands for a private coaching plan. You have a couple of options, you can segment your market and have a lower entry price points; a mid-tier, then a higher one. You can attempt to ask this on your application, but what I find works best is to mention the investment.
And finally, you have to know that you can help this person get results. Who gets the best results with you? What type of person are they? How can you create an application that will identify those people?
What questions do you need to ask on the discovery call to make sure you can help this person?
Gain clarity on your target market and then drill down to your ideal client avatar. Doing so will allow you to speak directly to the pain points of your audience and create marketing messages so clear, your ideal client will be knocking down the door in order to work with you.
Getting clear on your ideal client is the foundation when you want to gain more clients online. In my project based coaching program You’ve Got Clients, we begin with getting clear on WHO is perfect for your services. Then we craft a marketing message that they can’t resist. Launch your group coaching program using the You’ve Got Clients system. Visit YouveGotClients.com for more details.