How to pinpoint your ideal client

Posted on: March 25th, 2011

A crucial part of your marketing plan is working out what kind of clients you want to attract. So here are three important questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

Q1: Who is my target audience?

Think hard about exactly who you want to aim at. Don’t be vague with statements such as ‘women’ or ‘SMEs’ or ‘design agencies’.

Instead, refine it down to something like:

  • ‘Working mothers aged 30-45 who want to improve their cooking skills.’
  • ‘Technology businesses in the Thames Valley with a turnover of £1-£5 million.’
  • ‘Web design agencies with between 5-20 staff located in the London postcodes of SW and W.’

Q2. What does my ideal client look like?

It’s only when you start to build up a detailed picture of your ideal client that you can start to talk to them on a one-to-one basis. Take the example of the target audience of working mothers aged 30-45 who want to improve their cooking skills. Ask yourself:

  • What do they earn?
  • What kind of home do they live in?
  • What do they drive?
  • Where do they go on holiday?
  • Which travel company do they book with? (eg: Thomas Cook, Trailfinders, Kuoni etc)
  • What do they like doing at weekends?
  • Which shops do they buy their clothes from?
  • Which supermarket do they buy their groceries from?
  • Which magazines and newspapers do they read?
  • What’s their favourite TV programme?
  • What other details can you provide to build up a detailed picture of the ‘ideal customer’ you want to attract?

Once you’ve built up a detailed profile of your perfect client, find a photo of someone who typifies her and stick it on the wall near your computer. Better still, give her a name. Let’s call her ‘Julie’.

From now on, everything you say in your marketing messages, you are saying directly to Julie.

Q3. What messages do I want to communicate?

Ask yourself:

  • What problems/issues does Julie face? What keeps her awake at night?
  • How does what I offer help solve her problem? What value do I bring?

The answers to these questions will form the basis of your message. And make sure you talk directly to Julie. Don’t say ‘I do this, ‘I do that‘. Focus on words like you and your not I and me.

Who is your ideal client? Let me know in the comment box below.

Related articles: Are you staying focused in your marketing efforts?

4 Responses to “How to pinpoint your ideal client”

  1. Joanna Gilbert
    March 25th, 2011

    Great Article!! The perfect structure to help me identify them! Will get on the case now, thank you!

  2. Douglas Holland
    March 25th, 2011

    As always useful

  3. Freelance FactFile
    March 25th, 2011

    Hi Joanna and Douglas

    So glad to hear you found the post useful.

    Happy weekend

  4. [...] detailed research? I have so many resources to point to, but I’ll start with this one link how-to-pinpoint-your-ideal-client by Carole Seawert. Her website is well worth a look if you have [...]

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