A while back we talked about why you need an ideal client. If you’re thinking, “that’s great Art, but how do I know who my ideal client is?” You are not alone. I got a number of emails asking that exact question.
There’s no easy answer
Unfortunately, while other “gurus” out there will tell you discovering your ideal client is easy, or you just know, that is not what we have found. Typically, the process to discovering your ideal client is filled with at least some trial and error.
Let’s face it, when you are first starting out, anyone that can fog a mirror and write a check (okay, even send you a payment through PayPal), IS your ideal client. After all, you are excited to “have one” and you likely need or at least could use the money.
So, how then do you really know to whom you should be marketing your product?
Let’s start at the beginning with how does your product or service help people or meet their needs? Yes, we subscribe to the theory of finding the market need, want, or desire and then creating a product or service that meets it. However, once you have that product or service, you then need to look at it from the client prospective and ask, “what benefit do I get from buying this?”
Now you know why this to-be-defined group of people want what you have. Sometimes this is easy to define (ice cold bottle of water at the crowded beach on a hot sunny summer day), other times not. Take some time and figure part out on paper. It will help you later when you need to create your sales and marketing material too.
Second, ask yourself who already knows that what you have is what they need. This is a critical step if you are not a “hard-core sales person.” You know the type of person who can sell anything to anyone (like sand to the crowd at the beach on that hot sunny day). If you are this type of person, more power to you can stop reading now. You don’t need this. Go make some money selling stuff.
For the rest of us, the key point here is: your ideal client already knows he/she needs your product and or service. This means that you don’t need to create the need in their mind, it’s already there.
For example, if you have a restaurant in a food court, it stands to reason that the people who come into the food court are already looking for food. Or they probably wouldn’t be there in the first place, right?
Another example is the weight loss market. Many people who are overweight want to lose weight and area more than willing to pay for the program, pill, or supplement that will help them shed those pounds with as little time and effort as possible.
If you have the product or service that fills their need, you have your ideal client defined. (Hint: this may be a clue to defining your product or service offerings – find the need and create a solution.)
So, are you getting a picture of the qualifications of your ideal client?
Next up, these people have to be willing and able to pay you for your product or service.
Especially when you are getting started you will be able to find a number of people who know they need your product or service but are unable (or willing) to pay you for your product or time. Sure, you can do some discounting in the beginning so that you can get testimonials and referrals. Just be careful to not make this a habit. It hurts your ability to have your business carry itself and if you charge below market rate for your products and services, it will affect your confidence.
Let’s return to our food court example. Since the food court implies that food is for sale, these people are already expecting to pay for it. This creates a near ideal situation for your business: people, who are looking for food, and expect to pay for that food. A very good match.
Now, your job becomes how to entice at least some of these people to choose your restaurant over all the other restaurants in the court. But, that marketing discussion is for another time.
I hope this helps. Let’s continue the conversation. You can comment below or once again drop me an email (art at KickItUniversity.com). Let’s get to the bottom of defining your ideal client!