Understanding Your Ideal Client
One of the keys to success in business, be it product or serviced based, is having a sound knowledge and understanding of your ideal client avatar.
What is an ‘Ideal Client Avatar’? An ideal client avatar (sometimes referred to as a customer avatar, buyer persona, marketing persona, customer profile or even just ‘ICA’ for short) is a representation of your ideal customer — the type of person you want to (and is mostly likely to) purchase your products or services.
One of the key reasons why it is important as a business owner to have a defined ideal client avatar is that it allows your business to focus and direct your marketing activities towards them. It ensures that your marketing spend, which Brand Sugar recommends should be around 10% of your revenue, towards getting the best return for your business.
A common struggle that many businesses face, is to clearly define who their ideal client avatar actually is. So many businesses take a “shot gun” approach and try to target as many possible customers as they can. However, this is often ineffective as you are wasting time, money and effort in pitching a product to the wrong person – people who are need interested in your product, people who don’t actually need your product. And we all know the age old saying that ‘selling ice to an eskimo’ can be tiresome and fruitless! By accurately defining your ideal client avatar, your business will ensure a far better outcome for your bottom line and result in a high conversation rate whilst marketing your products or services.
One of the best ways to determine your ideal client avatar is to look at your existing customer base and identify who your best 5-10 clients are. Who do you love working with and why? Spend time identifying the core qualities of your favourite clients and delve into the reasons why they rank so highly in your business. Once you have completed this task you should have a very clear picture in your mind of who you like to deal with. Our recommendation is to model your ideal client avatar on these qualities.
To assist you in identifying these key features and characteristics of your favourite clients and develop your ideal client avatar, Brand Sugar are sharing with you some important questions to ask yourself in order to clarify your outcomes:
Firstly you need to consider where they are located geographically. Dependent on the type of business you operate, you may have to consider whether your clients are people who you personally have to visit on a regular basis, or are they are business that you can interact with remotely. This may result in a geographical radius where you search for your next ideal client, and even affects how you set up paid advertising through platforms such as Google or Facebook.
Where to find them?
An additional question you can consider is how did you find your ideal clients, and where do they like to hang out? This will help you realise the successful platforms and avenues to locate future clients. For example, if you’re looking to target large corporate businesses, then you’d likely be looking at in-person networking events, business chamber networks, LinkedIn etc. Whereas if your ideal clients are stay-at-home-mums, then you might want to think about community groups, mums and bubs classes and Facebook groups. There’s not point in challenging your energy into one platform if your ideal client doesn’t hang out there.
The success to any business, when it comes to your ideal client avatar, is to identify what are their key challenges and pain points that you help them to overcome. Once you identify how your product or service solves the key pressure points of your ideal client avatar you will understand the client that your business desires, and be able to refocus your marketing strategy so that they understand what problems you solve for them and how you can add value to their business.
Stage of Business
You need to think about the stage of business your ideal client avatar is out. Are they are start up, in a growth phase or an established business as your product or service clearly has some correlation to that type of business. By understanding the type of business they are, or the mindset of the people behind the brand, you’ll gain a deeper insight into what drives their buying decisions. If you can understand why your unique selling points resonate with your ideal client avatar then you can get a clear picture of who your future customers could be.
Things in Common
As we know businesses tend to deal with other businesses, in addition to their product or service providing a solution, is that they like the people they are dealing with. If you can identify what characteristics or interests they have that they relate to your business you can laser target a strategy to finding future clients. Our hot tip for you here is to (as crazy as it sounds), develop an actual character or avatar for this person – give them a name – get to know them inside and out.
Who they are not
Finally, one last important area to consider when thinking about your ideal client avatar, is that you should also develop a picture on who you should not be looking for as an ideal client avatar. If you can identify the businesses that you do not want to work with and their key characteristics you will again be able to direct your marketing and sales strategies in a way to avoid getting enquiries from the customers that are not your ideal client avatar, saving you a world of headaches.
Once you have considered these questions on how to identify your ideal client avatar you can then assign the appropriate level of marketing spend to these types of potentials. These questions should assist you to identify the type of marketing material and social media content that interests and educates your ideal client avatar, as well as the best media platform to achieve the best result. You can then weave this into your strategy to achieve best results.