You may have already learnt that it’s easier to attract your ideal client than to pursue that ideal client. You may have also noticed that it’s easier to sell to someone who already believes in your brand, rather than trying to convert someone who may be sceptical.
These observations represent cases in which the easy way turns out to be the best way.
You may have also realised that it’s easier to market your brand to a broad audience than to identify, find and market to your ideal client (or target audience). In this case, the easy way is the wrong way. Sure, you may eventually find the people who are most receptive to your brand’s message, but the time and money you spend getting there may be too much for your business to bear.
The niche is where it’s at…in almost every market targeting situation. And for this reason, the creation of an ideal client profile is a must for reaching, touching and retaining all the right people.
The Ideal Client Profile: A Definition
What exactly is an ideal client profile? Or an ideal customer avatar, as some wish to call it?
An ideal client profile is the personification of the qualities of a person who will be most likely to value your brand proposition, listen to your message, invest in your brand, refer others to your brand, and remain loyal to your brand. You may already know someone who embodies these traits; or you may still be in search of this person. Either way, it's important to make this person as real as possible.
Your ideal client profile should be so real to you that you can turn to this "person" when you're writing text, creating content for a public speaking engagement, writing social media posts...and speak directly to them, feeling confident that your ideal client will read or hear what you've created and get the distinct sense that you've created it just for them.
"Wow! They're talking about me! They're talking to me. I'm sure of it!" should be a common reaction among members of your target audience. Each one should feel acknowledged, understood and listened to -- and all of that is possible only if you delve deeply into research about your ideal customer and use what you learn to create your ideal client profile.
Now it's time to talk about the different ways you can define your brand’s specific ideal client profile.
This is what an Ideal Client Profile should be to you…
An ideal client profile will look different to every business owner. The branding experts at How to Build a Brand have come up with the following points of reference—to assist you in grasping the concept of an ideal client profile, to help you to create one, and to help you to build your brand with the support of one:
- An ideal client profile is a portrait of someone who possesses all the characteristics of a client you dream of working with (or one you already work with). Draw a picture of your ideal client. Or, if your ideal client already exists, use a photo or sketch of that person. Make a list of features to accompany that image. Include things such as gender, age, career, salary, family situation, marital status, living arrangements, living area, type of house, food preferences, pastimes, activity level, health, routine, pet peeves, wishes, wants, problems, pains…anything that solidifies this image as a real person in your mind. Not all traits will directly qualify them to be an ideal client; however, it will help you to find them and deliver your message.
- An ideal client profile is an effective method for defining your niche. Many of us start off “focussed” on a broad market and struggle to find ways to narrow toward the niche that will be best for our brand. Many brand owners find that niche definition is a pleasant side effect of creating an ideal client profile. Two birds with one stone—or two tasks with one profile—we like to call it.
- An ideal client profile is the answer to the fantasy that goes something like this: If only I could create a person, just the way I wanted her. A person who would love my product, who would buy again and again, and who would tell her friends all about it. And wouldn’t it be even better if her friends were just like her? This fantasy becomes reality when you create an ideal client profile, build your brand to serve that person, and then market specifically to her.
- An ideal client profile is the best assistant you’ll ever find for drafting web pages, blog posts, articles, press releases, brochures and other marketing materials. Because this is a “person” you know well, you can speak directly to him or her as you write, increasing the chances that your ideal clients will read what you wrote and think “Wow, it’s like they’re talking specifically to me.” You will find it easier to stay in the head of your ideal customer and keep their interests at heart when you have a focal point…someone to tailor your language to.
- An ideal client profile gives you a model with which to build a relationship—a relationship that will deepen and become more significant as you go, just like the relationships you’ll forge with your actual ideal clients. The more you learn about your ideal client, the more qualities you’ll assign (and adjust) to your ideal client profile. Your knowledge of this person will grow and deepen, making all of your marketing and communications more meaningful to the people who matter most.
Without an ideal client profile, you will find yourself struggling to focus—struggling to feel at one with the person (i.e. people) you’re hoping to reach with your message. Use the profile you create as a listening ear, an attentive face…so that when your message reaches someone just like them, it sticks.
And speaking of sticky messages, you’ve simply got to enrol in our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp if you want your brand to experience the visibility that can only come after a full day packed with expert branding advice. Join us for this brand-changing day of brand-building wisdom. Seats fill quickly, so we recommend that you enrol now.