Who are your ideal clients? And in what stream, pond, lake or ocean are they swimming?

Most of us have experienced the disappointment that comes with planning an afternoon of fishing, only to learn that we’re using the wrong bait, or that the fish aren’t biting, or that we’ve been fishing in a lake that doesn’t have the kind of fish we want to catch.

As you build a brand, you will be fishing. You’ll be fishing in the body of water that you choose for attracting the fish you want. Choose the wrong pond, and you’re not going to find what you’re looking for. Choose the wrong bait, and they’ll swim right past your brand.

Allow me to explain.

The Right Place, the Right Bait…to Build a Brand

As you build a brand, you must create an ideal client profile—or a detailed description of your ideal customer’s…

  • problems
  • pains
  • needs
  • fears
  • preferences
  • joys
  • career
  • salary
  • gender
  • lifestyle
  • personality
  • geographical location
  • family
  • relationship status
  • pastimes
  • and more

All of these things (that you’ll find with research and close observation of your ideal client) will lead you to the places where they’re hanging out. You will learn where they go…

  • to work
  • to live
  • on holiday
  • for help
  • to eat
  • to shop
  • to meet people
  • to learn
  • to be entertained
  • to grow their careers
  • for support
  • to complain
  • to praise
  • to have conversations
  • and more

And once you know where they’re conducting these crucial aspects of their lives, you’ll know where to find them.

You’ll know where to fish.

Then, as you look more closely into the lives of your ideal customers, you will begin to learn about…

  • the things they wish they knew
  • the things they wish they had
  • the things that make them happy
  • the people they respect
  • the things they enjoy doing
  • how they want their information packaged
  • the level of personal interaction (engagement) they desire
  • what time(s) of day and what day(s) of the week they prefer to interact
  • what problems are bothering them
  • what gaps they’ve noticed in current service
  • their pet peeves
  • the things they wish they could change
  • the type of brand they wish to see in the world

And after you’ve gathered this information, you’ll know precisely how to lure your ideal customers.

You’ll know what type of bait to use.

Here’s how all that translates in the marketing world:

  • Social Media: One social media network is rarely enough. And every social media channel is never right for every brand. As you build a brand, take note of the different flavours of social media available to you. Facebook has the most active users, but that’s doing you no good if your ideal customers aren’t there. According to Pew Research, Facebook is most popular with women ages 18-29. Twitter appeals to those of higher income, aged 18-29. LinkedIn is the choice of men that are highly educated and earn a higher-than-average income. Instagram is embraced by the young crowd, under age 29. And Pinterest is the choice of educated, high-income women of all ages. These statistics should not be your only deciding factors when choosing social media networks; however, they can give you a head start in finding your ideal customers.
  • Direct Mail: When email first came about, marketers almost unanimously predicted that direct mail would go the way of hoop skirts and handlebar moustaches. At first, it seemed that this would be the case. Then, email inboxes started becoming flooded and spam filters were put to work. Frustration with email grew and all of a sudden, a postcard or a letter in the mail seemed like a refreshing respite. Epsilon has found that the age group most responsive to direct mail is 18-34, with specific interest by those in the 22-24 age group. The 65-and-over crowd also appreciates direct mail[1]. Surprised? The younger group has been burnt out by spam, and a piece of “real mail” seems exciting and more trustworthy. For the older group, a letter or postcard is reminiscent of the good-news correspondence that postal carriers used to deliver.
  • Email: The effectiveness of email campaigns is greatly impacted by the industry you work in, with open rates being highest in the areas of hobbies and audio/visual and the lowest in areas like daily deals and gambling, according to MailChimp. As far as knowing who is opening, that research is best left to individual brands. The key here is to track your numbers through your email campaign analytics, make adjustments and track again. Find a formula that increases open and click-through rates…and continue to study, tweak, improve…or move away from email because your target audience isn’t responsive to it.

This has been just a taste of how you can find the places where your ideal customers are hiding, and what will most effectively lure them to bite. There’s just no way to get around the research. As you build a brand, you will be charged with keeping a close eye on your ideal customers’ behaviour, conducting surveys, asking questions, engaging them, and tracking the success of every line cast.

Interested in learning more about how to find your ideal clients and how to find the most effective ways to interest them with what your brand has to offer? Join us for the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, a full-day, fully interactive branding experience in which you’ll learn the three strategies for making your brand more credible, visible and profitable. Register here.

[1] Click2Mail

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