How to Identify Your Ideal Client

Any time I take on a new client, I put them through a basic interview process that helps me get more familiar with their brand and their business objectives. One of the first (and most important) questions I ask customers is “Who is your target audience? Be as specific as possible.”

Unfortunately, more times than not, the client gives a generic answer that basically says they want everyone to be their customer. They want their brand to appeal to all people. They want everyone to love their company.

And while that sounds nice in theory, the reality is that your company can’t be all things to all people.

See, when you try to create a marketing campaign that appeals to everyone, you end up with a watered down message that’s stale and ineffective. You end up with products and services that blend in with all the other crap that’s flooding the marketplace. And you end up competing against so many other companies for that huge slice of the pie that you have no chance at all of standing out and achieving success.

That’s why I prefer to take the sniper approach to marketing rather than the shotgun approach. I believe in narrowing down my target audience to a very specific type of person so that I can create more targeted marketing messages that truly speak to their needs and have stronger emotional appeal. It’s all about choosing your slice of the pie as carefully as possible.

So, how can you identify your ideal client?

  • Make a list of the characteristics of your best clients—I’m a firm believer in the idea that there are good customers and bad customers for every business. Bad customers are the ones who are never satisfied, want something for nothing, and show no loyalty. Good customers are the ones who love your products and services, refer business your way, and remain loyal. Identify the shared characteristics of your best customers so you can find more people like them.
  • Describe the demographic—What’s the age, gender, income, location, and general background of your typical customer? The better you know the demographic, the more effectively you can target them.
  • Determine the problem—What is the biggest problem(s) your product solves for your target audience? What’s their pain point?
  • Understand their values—What’s most important to your target audience? What do they look for when buying the products and services your company offers? What are some of their values?

How well do you know your target audience?

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