To reach your ideal customer — the people who need your services the most — and help them find you, you have to be able to define who that person is.
I know what you’re thinking, you work with all kinds of people on so many types of issues!
I hear that from business coaching clients all the time. But if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re reaching no one. You’ve got to define your ideal customer so you can speak directly to them, and so they are more likely to see themselves working with you and getting the benefits and results you can provide.
Here are 3 ways to define your ideal customer:
- Create a picture of who you ideally want to work with in the future.
- Describe someone specific you loved working with in the past.
- Think about who needs the solution you offer.
Picture Your Ideal Customer
Let your imagination loose and completely describe who you’d like to work with. Decide their gender, age, location, issues, habits, work life, family situation, interests, and needs. What will this person get from working with you?
Describe Someone Specific From The Past
Whether it was a friend, practice client, or paying customer, describe in detail who this person was and what you did for them. Add what their reaction to the work was and things they said before and after.
Think about Who Needs The Solution You Offer
And don’t say, “Everyone.” Be specific. You have to know the benefits of your work to be able to talk about it in a way that people will resonate with. One way to explore this is to make a two column list, Facts and Benefits. For every fact about your work, write one or two benefits, thinking about it from the client’s point of you. What’s in it for them? Then describe the person who needs that.
Most important in this whole process to define your ideal customer is not to be afraid of being too narrow. Don’t worry, lots of people will resonate with and see themselves in your offer IF you are specific. If you’re too general your message will get lost in the millions of generic bits of information we’re all bombarded with every day.
Stay away from jargon and overused phrases and be specific about working with YOU. Even if a thousand other people do what you do, NO ONE does it like you. No one has your combination of background, training, life experiences, and perspective.
Believe in your uniqueness and don’t be afraid to delve into the uniqueness of your ideal customer. You can always expand your reach later (although you probably won’t even have to!)
Thank you!! When I was in massage therapy school they told us to imagine who we wanted to work on, who our ideal client was, and of course I couldn’t get beyond “everyone”. I feel like everyone can benefit from massage but there are so many therapists in my area. I guess I have to really sit down and decide who it is that I would really like to work with. Thank you for the timely reminder!
I’m so glad this helped, Joslyn. Thank you so much for writing!
I found this column so helpful. Although I’ve heard similar advice before, this was so detailed and specific. I needed that as I’m relaunching my business after a very traumatic year and feel hesitant about who my ideal client really is.