In our last article we covered What’s All the Fuss About Targeting Your Customers, now it’s time to dive even deeper.

Knowing, and speaking to your target market is a great start to effective marketing, but what if I told you there was an even better, smarter way to market your business?

Regardless of what stage your business is at, you need to know at the very minimum, who your target market is. The one clear fact about marketing that we know to be true is, if you try to market to everyone, you will fail to be relevant to anyone. The clearer you become on your target market, the more you uncover your ideal client, and that is where the true marketing power lies. So what is the difference between your target market and your ideal client? Some seem to use the terms interchangeably, however there is a crucial difference. Let’s explore this further…

Your Target Market

Your target market is, in broad terms, the general group of people who may be interested in your products or services, or for whom you may have carved out a market for. You may know their geographic location, their broad demographics and psychographics. For example, you know they are women, aged between 28 and 40, they live in a city, with a family, and they enjoy the outdoors, you know they are on Facebook, but aren’t particularly sure about Instagram. This is a great start to narrowing your marketing to the right general audience. This should be the minimum level of knowledge you have of your audience. Knowing even the highest level of information about your target market allows you to target and tailor your messages to be even slightly more relevant to them.

Your Ideal Client

Your ideal client is peeling the layers of the ‘target market’ onion further to really get to the core of who you are in business for. Your ideal client is that dream client you just love working with, or your dream to work with. They pay you on time, they buy the products and services you love providing, they do what you want them to do, they know, like, trust, buy and even refer you. They are your advocates, they love what you do too These are the types of clients that make your heart sing, they make you want to get out of bed in the morning. You may have them already, or you may not just yet, but once you get clear on who they are, the real magic will begin to unfold.

Why are your ideal clients important?

They travel through your customer experience in the ways you specifically designed. They do everything you could dream of for your client. You help them solve their problems and you love doing business with them. These clients are the ones that will shape your business and allow you to have a very specific offering. You can perfect the products and services you offer to turn this group of clients into a group of your raving fans, which will attract even more of your “tribe”. They will refer you to their friends, family and colleagues, and so your market grows, filled with the people you love working with.

What should you know about your ideal client?

As much as you can. They may be an existing client, or they might be an elusive client you have yet to find. You should know as much as possible about them. Where do they live? Where do they shop? What are they buying? How do they like to pay? Do they have their own family? When they are online – where are they? Do they have pets? (Or other relevant questions) What do they love? What do they hate? What do they trust/distrust? You should know these people like you know your friends. If they are already your clients, ask them about themselves. The more you know, the more you can tailor your offering to suit. Whether it be targeted specials and offers, or the entire way your business runs. Ask them!

How will you find your ideal clients?

If you are an existing business, look at your client base and find those clients who you love to work with, who travel through your sales funnels just like you had dreamed they would, they might already be raving about your business, they are keen to work with you or buy your products. If you don’t have any clients yet, or you don’t have any of your IDEAL clients yet, craft out a fictitious ideal client, design them yourself. Then start marketing to them. When you start marketing with highly relevant information and communications that contain solutions to their specific problems, your ideal clients will begin to identify themselves. Your Ideal client will only respond to directly relevant information. Your marketing will cut through all the other “noise” hitting them in a scattergun approach, it will speak to them, and they will listen. It will be what captures their attention and makes them take action. Your ideal clients will identify themselves, you just need to know who you are looking for and then be aware.

Be prepared to adapt

So, you think you might know who your ideal client is, and you are ready to conquer the market with your fantastic new marketing. But all of a sudden, the market you thought isn’t responding or the people who are responding aren’t prepared to pay for your products/services. Something in the mix isn’t quite right. Often a few small tweaks will turn your messaging into the right ones for your ideal client. Otherwise, sometimes you need to be prepared to tweak your offering into a something that the market is feeding back to you that they are prepared to spend on. You need to be open to adjusting and adapting to have something that really solves your ideal client’s problems. Ask for their feedback, take it on board, and adapt your offering or messaging accordingly. You could even try doing a soft launch of the offering to a select group of your ideal clients if you are wanting to test a new offer.

Apply your findings

There is absolutely no point in finding out who your ideal client is, if you don’t use the information to your benefit. Make sure that your business message, products, services, marketing and support (your customer journey) attract and serve that narrowly well-defined customer group.

When you discover who your ideal client is, it should impact the way that you run your business. That is why it is so important to know who you should be targeting. All great marketing strategies are customer focused. Your customers are the ones that are going to be buying your services. Make sure you are targeting the ones willing to spend with you by defining your ideal client.

Get relevant with your marketing, get intentional about who you are talking to, where you are talking to them and how. Make your marketing matter, to the right people – your ideal clients.

In the next article we will take the next step on our journey with our ideal client and how to market directly to these people, by Creating Your Ideal Client Personas.

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