It’s the marketing term you’ve probably heard over and over again: “ideal client”. But what the heck is an ideal client? What does that mean and why is it important?
I’m going to share the answers to these questions and help you figure out how to create your own ideal client profile so you can grow your business. Ready? Let’s do it!
What is an “Ideal Client”?
If you’ve been in business for a while, think about your favorite past client or customer. What did you like so much about him or her? Why was it so enjoyable to work with that person? How did they find your business?
If you’re a newer business owner, think about the types of people you would love to work with or sell to. What’s their style? What type of things do they care most about?
The person you’re thinking of, or imagining up, is your ideal client. They’re a joy to work with, love your business, and can’t get enough of your products. If every single customer was like this person, you would truly feel like you were running a dream biz! Every. Single. Day.
By creating a firm idea of who your ideal client truly is, you can really hone in on everything from your products and services to your messaging, pricing, and branding. Your business will be marketing and speaking to this one single person.
That might feel scary, because there’s a chance you’re not speaking or relating to everyone. I’m here to tell you: that is 100% ok. Your business, product, or service isn’t for everyone. It would be impossible to think otherwise.
Once you know who you’re selling to, everything else falls into place. Your ideal clients will find you, relate to you, buy from you, and sing your praises – they will feel understood and like your business was made for them. Pretty intense (in the best way), right?
Solving a Problem
Whether you realize it or not, your business solves a problem. If you’re thinking “I sell scented candles, it’s just a product, I’m not solving any problems” then you’re looking at the wrong way.
I get it, it took awhile for me to understand and shift my mindset. I sell wedding invitations, so I never considered I was solving a problem. Just pretty paper, right? Then I dug in and it all started to make sense. I speak to one type of person through my business branding and messaging. It’s led to a majority of my clients being pretty idealistic which not only makes my job easier, but customers are always super satisfied!
- You’re not just selling jewelry, but beautiful pieces for clueless husbands searching for a perfect anniversary gift.
- You’re not just selling candles, but a relaxation tool for a busy mom who isn’t afraid to treat herself!
- You’re not just a wedding photographer, but an experienced luxury photographer who helps couples start their wedding planning by recommending other dream vendors.
- You’re not just a website designer, but a website designer who improves the online presences for local small businesses.
See the difference? Get clear on what problem your solving and who you’re solving it for – download my Ideal Client Worksheet here to get started! After you define these two things, you can start setting up your business to speak to a particular person.
Your Dream Customer
Think about the qualities of your best or dream customer, especially in a shopping sense.
- What are his or her favorite brands?
- Where does your dream customer hang out online?
- What things in a product or service are important to him or her?
If you know (or imagine) that your ideal client loves Anthropologie, spends time online on Instagram, and values products that are sustainably and locally sourced that gives you a great starting point for your own marketing.
In the same sense, your ideal client could love Target, Reddit forums, and value items with quick shipping which would create an entirely different plan for messaging and branding than the first example.
It might feel a bit silly and unnecessary to create this ideal client profile, but I can almost guarantee it will not only help grow your business, but make your marketing even simpler. ‘Cause you’re not trying to appeal to everyone, just one someone.
Speaking to your Ideal Client
After you create a profile for your dream customer, it’s time to set up your business so it’s truly speaking to that person. From the branding colors you use to your pricing model, keep this person in mind – would would appeal to them, what would make them click the “buy” or “book” button? Use the values from other brands they relate with to help devise your own biz.
The copy in your messaging, from social media captions to product listings to emails, should all relate to your perfect customer. Once you get familiar with speaking directly to them, it will become natural and your ideal clients will connect.
Whether you’re just starting a business or working to pivot, this exercise can be super helpful in getting clear on where you’re going (and growing!) The ideal client profile doesn’t have to be set in stone, because it will likely change as your business evolves.
Print out the Ideal Client Worksheet, fill it out, and hang it by your desk or workstation so you can keep it in mind while you develop your biz!
Define your Ideal Client
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