This one is for all of you who are struggling to find more ideal clients
Understand your ideal client
The first order of business is understanding your ideal client. Who are they and why would they benefit from your specific services? If you’re unsure about these answers, it would certainly explain your overwhelm. Not knowing where to start can be an infuriating feeling.
Sit down and write a profile of your ideal client. Start out broadly by identifying their demographics and get more specific into how do your products or services fit into their lives. This is important because different services have different customer mindset to be aware of. To give you an example, I sell my services to other businesses. A profile of a CEO who wants to improve their website is hella different than a shopper buying a purse than a design team who needs graphic illustrations for their branding.
If you genuinely have no idea how to go about this I recommend you download the Building Your Brand Demand Workbook. It’s a free PDF with no strings attached. It asks you a series of vital questions to help you jumpstart this process.
Research the market
Doing thorough market research is a critical component in understanding your target audience. Market research is a great tool that allows you to speak with your ideal clients directly to find out more about them. It will inform you of the problems they are facing that your services are solving, where they hang out online and when. The best part is that they will tell you all the answers you’re looking for. It’s ideal to hear it from them directly instead of speculating or, worse, guessing.
If you don’t know where to find your ideal clients, start by focusing on WHO that ideal client isChala Dincoy, Coachtactics
Most people are more than happy to help answer some questions. Of course, tailor these questions to your industry and specialty. Here are some things you could be asking them about:
- What content are they consuming and when?
- What are they working on right now?
- What’s their next big business goal?
- What conferences, trade shows, or events they attend regularly?
- What charities do they support?
These kinds of questions will give you an in-depth picture about themselves. It may also provide you with insight into a lot of things you didn’t realize or misunderstood.
Understanding their experience and mindset
There is one line of questioning that will be a big game-changer for you. Ask them about the last time they purchased a product or service that you offer.
For example, if you’re an illustrator or a graphic designer. Ask them the following questions:
- When was the last time you hired an illustrator?
- Where did you find them?
- Why did you choose the specific person over the others?
- What did you hire them for?
- What did you like and dislike working with them specifically as well as illustrators in general? Why?
- What value did you receive from hiring them? How did they impact your business?
- What ROI did you receive? How did you measure this? Was it below or above your expectations?
Here’s a set of questions for a handbag retailer:
- When and where did you last purchase a handbag?
- Was this purchase planned or on a whim?
- Why did you buy that specific one?
- How often do you use it? Why?
- What do you like and dislike about it? Why?
- How often do you go shopping and how often do you buy handbags?
- How do these bags make you feel?
The idea here is to understand the circumstances of their last purchase. This way, you’ll know exactly where and how to position yourself. Lastly, the more people you talk to, the better insight you will receive.
What if they never bought products or services like mine before?
There are two cases to consider here. First is someone who never buys handbags might not be part of your ideal target audience. I never do, so no matter how amazing your product may be, I will never buy it. You shouldn’t be speaking to me as part of your target audience research.
Second is someone like a first-time entrepreneur who hasn’t yet hired a marketer, an illustrator or a coach before. Depending on the specifics of your target market, they still might be a good fit. This specific distinction will depend significantly on your user profile.
If you’re speaking with someone who hasn’t purchase your type of services or products but still fits your target audience, that’s okay. You’re just going to have to reframe the questions if you speak to them during your market research. Focus on why they haven’t yet purchased a product or service, why they think they need you and how they think a service or product like yours will affect their lives. Understanding what’s stopping them from buying and what’s intriguing them to is crucial for your market research strategy.
Side benefits of market research
I want to quickly point out that speaking with your target audience might affect who you’re targeting. Depending on the information you’ll gather, and how you feel about it, you might reconsider who you’re targeting. Ain’t nothing wrong with that as long as it gives you better clarity on what you want to be doing with your business or who you want to be working with.
Crafting your strategy
Here’s the thing, there are so many different approaches out there. But the truth is that different things work for different people. With your newly found understanding of your target audience, you should have high confidence in where to start. The best way is to just try and do.
Use the information you’ve obtained to figure out the best place to start reaching out to your target audience. If you learned that most of your target audience converts from email marketing campaigns, you now have the right direction of where to start. If they hang out at local meetups, now you know where to show up. If they don’t use Facebook but a combination of LinkedIn and Instagram, well there you go!
However, that’s only half the battle.
The second half comes from resonating well with them when you do show up. That’s why I suggested you ask your ideal clients about their past purchase experience. Use this information to relate with them as you’re crafting your landing pages or blog posts. Push their pain and pleasure buttons. Some people buy to avoid pain or a problem (such as hiring a business coach ). Whereas others buy for happiness (such as buying a new dress). Knowing the circumstances surrounding their purchases is the key to understanding how to sell to them.
Start showing up. Make yourself seen by providing valuable offers and content. Keep trying, keep experimenting. See what feels right for you, your business and for your target audience. If things aren’t resonating as well as you’d like them to, keep talking to your target audience and keep trying new things. Whatever you do, don’t give up before you see it through. The more you show up and the more regularly, the better and quicker results you will see.
The best piece of advice I can leave you with is to stay in constant contact with your target audience, especially past clients. These conversations are invaluable in getting a good grasp of your market and how to thrive in it over time. Just because you did some research this week doesn’t mean jack if you don’t continue talking to them. It’s the only way to understand what they want over time.
Struggling to find new leads and clients is a horrible feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting out or struggling by; It’s stressful. The good news, it doesn’t have to be. Use the Building Your Brand Demand Workbook to jumpstart your marketing approach and follow it up with good, old fashioned market research. The easiest way to know where to begin and where to focus is simply having a good understanding of your target market, their problems and habits.