Where is my ideal client, and how can I get them to buy from me
Last week I ran a poll in my Facebook Group; I asked my lovely members what their most prominent social media challenge was. The top result was ‘I don’t know where my ideal clients hang out.
It’s a question I have been asked time and time again, and I know it’s a massive frustration for so many service-based business owners. They often explain it to me in this way:
- I know the type of customer I want, but I don’t know where they are.
- I spend loads of time creating social media content, but no one is buying from me.
- I am struggling to understand how to reach my audience online.
The good news is that all of these things are fixable, but you need to rewind and ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I specific enough? (You might be targeting female business owners, but one female business owner is very different from another).
- Who do you actually want to work with? (By trying to be all things to all people, you might miss out on the clients you feel excited about working with).
- What has worked for me in the past?
- Have you asked those people what they want and what they need?
Start at the beginning.
We spend so much focussing on our clients that we often don’t think about who we want or need to be working with. But once you take the time to do this, a lot of things will fall into place (although this won’t happen overnight).
Think back to when you started your business: Did you retrain, did you leave a corporate career and what were the reasons for doing so, what was your motivation and who did you want to help?
I work with a lot of therapists, coaches and business advisors (my ideal clients), and most of them tell me they started their business because they had seen the positive impact the services they now offer had on people’s lives and businesses. They wanted to be part of that journey and spread that message.
Firstly, ask yourself: Why do I do what I do?
You can brainstorm, you can write it down or even better, get someone to ask you and video/ record what you say (you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to quantify once you say it!)
Then you need to think about:
- What your values are?
- Who do you want to work with?
- How have you helped your customer?
Often we fail to focus on the values part, but if you were interviewing for a job and the company culture didn’t match your ethos or what you were looking for, you probably wouldn’t want that job! It’s the same in your business. Whether we know it or not, our values underpin everything we do, and if our client’s values don’t match ours, the chances are it’s not going to be a happy union!
Specific needn’t be scary.
There is a lot of talk around niching your business/ your audience at the moment. As a business owner, particularly if you have just started out, the notion might sound scary! That little voice in your head tells you that you might be missing out on a huge pool of people who might buy from you.
Not everyone will buy from you, and that’s ok; actually, it’s more than ok. Because it means you can focus on those who really need you, and there will be plenty of those people. The great thing is that this makes it much easier to refine your messaging and understand what works and what your customers need.
The good news is that niching doesn’t need to be about a particular industry or group of people. It can be about who you help and the problem you solve – but you need to be clear on this.
Ask your audience to help.
If you are developing a new service or proposition, it makes sense to do your research and ask potential customers what they want and need from you and what they like about your products or services.
But before that, you need to research your ideal client. If you are lucky enough to already have some clients you love or even contacts you love to work with, You can always ask if you can interview them to find out more about their:
- Daily habits and routine
- What is important to them
- Why they like your services
- Why they chose you
- What are their interests and concerns?
Most people will be flattered you to asked. This is also a great way to build relationships as it shows your customers you are interested in them and encourages conversation without selling!
Survey’s and polls also work well. Although these need to be more focussed and specific, they are brilliant for finding out how your audience consumes content, what they know about your services and, the challenges and struggles they have that relate to your business and your content.
If you are already marketing your business, make sure you analyse it to see what is working and what isn’t. What we see on the surface isn’t always the whole picture. You can learn just as much from something that isn’t working as from something that is.
Develop a User Persona or client profile
You have now uncovered a whole load of information about your ideal client, so it’s time to create a client profile. A client profile is a fictional representation of a real person that reflects your dream client (you can base it on an actual client). But it is essentially a profile of your target customer based on the research you have done.
It is recommended to have between 3-5, but one well thought out one will be much easier to create. You will need to include:
- Personal information: Age, location, gender, income, marital status
- Professional information: Job, how they get to work, what their day looks like, how they feel about their job.
- Values, fears and dreams: What is important to them? What do they value in their life? What influences them to make a purchase, and what stops them from doing so.
- Goals and challenges: What do they want to achieve, and what are their barriers to achieving this.
- Where are they: What type of media do they consume, where do they shop, where do they hang out, and where would they go to look for information on a business such as yours.
- Routine: What are their daily habits when are, they likely to be online and ready to take action.
Having clearly defined user personas will help you empathise with your customers and position your messaging to resonate with them.
How will this help my business?
- You will establish a clear tone of voice that resonates with your customers on an emotional level.
- It will help you price your product accordingly.
- It will help you develop a consistent brand strategy that clearly speaks to your customers and helps them understand what your product stands for and how it fits into their lives.
- From this, you can develop a clear content strategy that connects with your audience and solves their problems.
- This will help you establish what and where you should be focussing your marketing and sales efforts, which can be refined through careful measurement and testing.
- User personas will also help you to retain clients by creating brand loyalty and connecting with customers on an emotional level.
- It will also help you develop new products and services as you will have a much better understanding of what makes your customers tick.
Putting it into practice
By now, you will have a better idea of where your audience is and how you can target them. However, it is essential to remember that most people have multiple social media accounts and use each platform for different purposes. They may not have given too much thought to why they are using that Social Media Platform, so you’ll need to conduct your own research.
You could do the following:
- Look at your competitors and see what works well for them.
- Look at your ideal clients’ social media profiles see who they are interacting with, who they are following and what actions they are taking online.
- Conduct a review of your own social media; if something has worked well in the past, chances are it will again.
- Research the key demographics for each platform and usage stats for each platform and see if that fits with your audience and objectives. I have provided a quick overview below.
Social Media Platform overview
Facebook: Still, the Worlds most popular social media platform with 2.5 billion active uses per month. Facebook is excellent at identifying and reacting to what its users want, and it’s not going anywhere.
- 79% of users are aged 25-44.
- 94% of businesses have some form of Facebook marketing.
- The most popular reasons for using it are: Viewing and sharing photos, watching videos, group interactions, events and product discovery.
Instagram:Also owned by Facebook, Instagram originally started off as a photo-sharing site. It has 1.2 billion active users a month, and those who have an Instagram account are amongst the most active on the internet.
- : Globally 70% of users are under 35.
- 42% of users over 35 log in more than once a day
- 70% of people claim that Instagram influences their purchase decisions.
Twitter: Quick to use on the go and completely open to the public. Twitter is brilliant for interacting with brands, customer service, research and driving conversation.
- There are 145 million daily users.
- Twitter created the hashtag as we know it today, and it debuted in 2007.
- Widely used by academics, global celebrities and world leaders, it is brilliant for engaging in conversation and jumping on trending topics.
Linkedin: Seen initially as an online CV store. Linkedin has grown to be the no. 1 site for B2B marketing with a high-value client base who are actively looking to make business connections.
- Currently, Linkedin has 722 million members
- 76% of business decision-makers regularly used Linkedin.
- Content creation on Linkedin increased by 60% in 2020.
YouTube: 2020 was a massive year for Youtube as we consumed more video than ever before. The original video sharing site which boasts more than 2 billion logged-in users per month.
- YouTube is the Worlds second most visited website in the world (after Google).
- It is the World’s second-most used social media site.
- Viewers aged 18 or over spend 41.9 minutes a day on YouTube.
Pinterest: Not technically a social media site, Pinterest is more of a search engine as people intend to purchase products and goods.
- Pinterest has over 450 million active monthly users
- The number of users shopping on Pinterest grew by 50% in the first half of 2020.
- 89% of users are on Pinterest for purchase inspiration – perfect for those selling products!
There is also an entire module in my Unlock your Social Media Confidence course on telling your story, developing a user persona, and attracting your ideal client! As well as full demographics and a walkthrough of each platform. You can find out more here.