Your Ideal Customers and Why You Have to Be Marmite
It’s so easy to work in your business with just one thing on your mind: what you are selling.
Make that absolutely perfect, and success will follow. Right?
You know, it’s that whole “Build it, and they will come…” thing. (OMG, Kevin Costner has got a lot to answer for!!)
But business is about so much more than your passion and your products.
Believe it or not, success is not about you at all – it’s about THEM; your IDEAL CUSTOMERS.
It’s Not About the What, But the WHO
You may have fallen head-over-heels in love with your product or service; so much so, that you couldn’t imagine anybody not wanting or needing it.
The brilliant feedback you have had from well-meaning friends and family has all been about how great your product or service is and how it can’t fail.
After all, product quality is an easily seen differentiation point in a competitive, crowded marketplace. Think Dyson vacuum cleaners, for example.
By contrast, narrowing your focus down to the exact customer-type can seem both unnecessarily time consuming and – let’s face it – a way to sell fewer products because, think of all those other people out there who you are ignoring. While, if you’re just starting out, you may feel grateful for any customers at all!
So Who Are These Ideal Customers, Anyway?
Fact: your product or service isn’t going to appeal to everybody.
(Did I shock you with that sentence?)
It shouldn’t! There is no existing product or service on the market that really does, magically, appeal to everybody. Instead, every product or service has a natural ‘tribe’ – so who are ‘your people’ and what is the specific issue that your business is going to solve?
BECAUSE, JUST LIKE MARMITE – YOU EITHER LOVE IT, OR YOU HATE IT
Some people will love what you have to offer; some people won’t. But that’s OK because there are enough ‘lovers’ out there to make your business successful.
The more you learn about these ideal customers of yours, the better you’ll understand their wants and needs.
You’ll know where to find them (because you’ll know whether they prefer Facebook to LinkedIn, or Twitter to Instagram, for example), and you’ll know just how to talk to them – which means your marketing plan is much more likely to be effective.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
So now let’s get a little more specific, and create an ideal customer profile for your business.
Your Ideal Customer Profile
Trying to think about lots of different people can feel overwhelming, so as you begin creating your profile, imagine just one ideal person.
What problem do they have that your business is going to solve? How exactly will you do this; picture yourself in their shoes.
Now, try answering the following demographic questions about your ideal customer:
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- How much do they earn?
- Where do they live – and do they have a mortgage?
- Are they a country or a city type?
- How educated are they?
- Have they got any hobbies?
- Do they have children, or pets (or both?)
- Do they drive?
- What are their political views?
There are more questions you could ask, but hopefully you’ve got the idea! Meanwhile, if you don’t know any of the answers, go out and find them. Talk to people, send an online survey, or set up a focus group.
Oh – and if you think you don’t need to create a customer profile because you’ll be selling to other businesses, you’re wrong!
You may be selling to businesses, but for the most part you’ll still be dealing with a specific person inside that business (the HR or Purchasing Manager, for example).
So answer all the demographic questions for that person, then think about the problem their business is going to have. The one that your business is going to solve!
Once you’ve got all your information together, you could work on a Customer Problem Solving Statement (I talk some more about this in my ebook, Five (and a Half) Steps to a Brilliant Brand). This will help you really home in on exactly how your business is going to help your ideal customers.
What About Your Competition?
A key part of business differentiation – and ensuring your product or service is attractive to your ideal customers – is setting yourself properly apart from the competition.
So although it can be tempting to ignore the other businesses in your market, don’t stick your head in the sand. Make sure you know what your competitors are up to, what they offer, and how you differ from them.
Need more specific advice? A FREE Discovery Call with me could be just what you’re looking for. Get in touch to arrange yours now.