Who are you talking to really? How well do you know your target customers?
Last week I had a series of great conversations with small business owners about who are their dream clients. It was part of an entire process of digital discovery for their entire business, but it is a crucial foundation of everything we endeavour to do in the digital space.
In fact it is so important that irrespective of what course I teach - I include a component in the program about your ideal client, so that we are brought back to why we are doing all of this work in the first place.
In the digital discovery workshop, we had a long in depth conversation about identifying the traits of our dream clients and putting together a persona/avatar/description if you will of who we see when we think about them and then what impact that has on our marketing choices. We looked at specifically the impact this might have in 2 key areas of the Digital Ecosystem - being
What social media channel is best for them, our dream client - not the one that you as the business owner or marketer understands best. A good example here was a discussion around the use of Instagram for Business. Many owners make the mistake of looking at a highly visual tool like instagram through the prism of what appeals to them as a person, without focussing in on actually - I am looking to attract this kind of client - and they want to see a different facet to my business. Not what I personally would like my instagram to reflect.
What content marketing method works best and resonates the strongest with our target customer. A great example was a conversation around winding back a youtube channel as the owners felt it wasn’t really being successful, but then a further discussion around how a dream client likes to absorb information was revealed, they like to watch videos. An obvious disconnect was discovered and now that reset has already started to be addressed in that small business in a week.
It is much easier than we might realise to let our communication efforts drift to what is easiest for us, rather than what is actually the focus of our ideal client. This is a challenge that I face regularly, I can get very caught up in the digital marketing bubble that is the space I operate in. Actually talking to real people - whether face to face, via discussion inside Facebook groups via social media or as responses to emails give you clues when your communication process and the way you are trying to talk to your dream client is either working or needs a reset.
And it all starts will critically looking at who are dream client actually is. We may have a few of them. I have put together a handy download that you can access here that will step you through how to identify your dream client.
We may so want to think that everyone is our client (because hey, why wouldn’t everyone want to buy from me!) but in reality, everyone isn’t. The internet has brought many things to life, but the clearest one for my by far is that it has shone a light on so many small niches, interests and just the huge diversity of likes and interests. So as small business owners in this digital world, we need to focus our energy on reaching those people who will most likely want to receive and buy our product or service.
We need to think critically about 6 things
6 things to help you find your ideal client
1. Start broad and niche down
This essentially means that whilst we might want and think that everyone is our client - in actual fact they aren't and in a global marketplace we couldn't possible focus our energy correctly, plus the actual expense to market to say just WOMEN would be ridiculous compare to say a more manageable group of Women - in AUD/NZ 35-45 who are SME's interested in social media. You can see straight away that, that is going to help you focus your message.
2. Who is our ideal or dream client - from our side
Think about why we want to work with them, how we like to help them, where we like to find them - in a dream world where all clients are 100% perfect! How do we feel when we work with them, when are can follow through with what we love about our work?
3. Put the focus on them, What do we want them to see in us & what do they actually see?
What are their problems or questions? How do we solve them and how do they feel when they work with us? Are they satisfied, uplifted, more confident, respected? Do we know why they might choose us over someone else?
4. Think about where they hang out online?
Often we are in an industry bubble and we make assumptions about what our clients actually do on line. We often make the wrong choices about who to target online as we are not sure the kinds of online activities our clients are actually focussing on.
5. Where do our competitors fit in this?
What is the online offer that your competitors are making. How are they addressing the needs of your ideal client
6. Who is not your dream client
Don’t hold back, think about client disaster stories and understand why they didn’t work. Then flip it - there is your ideal client!
I have a great worksheet to help you define your target client and if you haven't don't this exercise before I recommend you give it a go. It is a foundational element for ALL of my online training I offer in digital marketing, because it a key lynch pin for your success.
So tell me - are you speaking to dream client - or just some random you picked up along the way?