How to define & attract your ideal customer
Remember the 1983 hit, "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. It goes something like this... Every breath you take. And every move you make. Every bond you break. Every step you take. I'll be watching you."
Ok, maybe a little stalker-ish for the times - but the obsession is real.
And that should be the same sentiment our audience - when targeting the RIGHT AUDIENCE, should have for our brands too.
While I see so many small businesses trying to appeal to everyone - what they don't realize is that they are ACTUALLY appealing to no one.
Trust me when I say it’d be a HUGE mistake to try to build a brand that appeals to everyone.
Narrowing in on who your ideal audience is is one of the most important things you can do to grow a solid business. It becomes the foundation of all of your business decisions, from the names you give your products or services to how you market your brand. Once you’ve defined what your niche is, you can position yourself as an expert in your industry and become the go-to brand with a loyal, ride-or-die tribe that is ready to binge everything you're putting out and buy every product & service you're offering.
In this post, I'm going to share some of my best tips on how to become a "tribe whisperer," and how to create the right products & services that help them overcome their challenges & live the life they desire.
Let's start by defining what exactly is an ideal audience...
What is an Ideal Audience?
Your ideal audience sometimes referred to as your target audience or target market, is the specific group of people you want your business to work with. In a simple sense, it’s the people who are going to buy from you, whether you’re selling a product or selling a service.
By defining your ideal audience, you can understand the best products and services to create, the best content to create, and the best channels to use to reach them right where they're at.
Now, while you want your ideal audience to be strategic and targeted, it’s important to target people at all stages of the buyer’s journey within your niche or industry. Rather than focusing just on people who may need your product or service right now, extend it to people who may need those products or services in the future.
It's also a good idea to consider ways to create a ladder effect of products and services that meet people at the various stages of the buying process.
For example, while a small business may need brand photos for their business, they might not be at a stage of business that affords them the opportunity to hire a photographer for a full brand photo shoot - but they would be able to buy a $37 guide on how to take their own headshots. And if the guide is juicy enough, and you continue to market to them through social media and emails, offering them your mini course for $99 on how to do your own photo shoot and edit photos - and then, when they can afford it - you'll be the first person they call for a custom brand photo session with you as their photographer.
Now that we understand what an ideal audience is, let's brainstorm some ways we can identify your ideal audience, understand their challenges & pain points, and tailor our services and offerings to speak directly to them.
01. Analyze the Data.
Chances are you already have some sort of audience, so pay close attention to who you've worked with, who's following you on social media, who’s visiting your website, and who are actually converting to paid customers. If you use tools to schedule and analyze your social media presence, chances are you already have access to data about your consumers. Here are some tools you can & should be using to analyze your data:
Tools like Instagram's Professional Dashboard or Plann's Results tabs give you great insight into the best performing Some of the data points you want to look at are age, location, and interests. The more you can get to know about your customers, the better you can target new potential customers.
Flick.Social's tools allow you to see insight into your audience and engagement statistics while researching the best keywords to use for your industry. Once you find a handful of juicy keywords, search them on Instagram and see who's following them, who's engaging with posts under those keywords and write down any questions or comments that resonate with your business.
Next, take a look potential leads and current clients or customers you've already worked with. Analyze their demographics, psychographics and behaviors. You can send out surveys or go back through your client notes to consider things like:
How are they finding you?
What about you, your product or services, or business helped them make the decision to work with you or not?
If you worked with them, what feedback did they give you upon completion of working with you?
If they went in another direction, what didn't they like or find useful to want to work with you? Who did they work with instead?
02. Check Out the Competition.
Let first start by saying targeting your competitors engaged following isn’t the smartest business strategy, but gaining a better understanding of who is buying and using products or services like yours definitely is. Researching your competition can help you better understand your specific niche and how you can narrow in on the differences in your products, services and offerings - and specifically, where there are gaps in the industry that people are searching for. Here are some ways to conduct competitive research and what to look out for:
Identify a list of 5-10 direct and indirect competitors in your industry. Direct competitors are those who offer similar products or services as you. Indirect are those businesses are those who offer alternative products or services, or who serve a like audience but aren't focused on offering the same products or services (for example, a website designer vs. a social media manager could have the same audience with different offerings to help them.)
Define their products, services and offerings. What are some key features and unique selling points they have? What are some ways in which they have differentiated themselves from other competitors? Consider things like their price points, what's included in their offerings, their timelines, design style, etc.
Evaluate their social media following, engagement, and the posts they are sharing. What platforms are they on? How often are they posting? What kind of information are they posting? What kind of client testimonials or transformations are they sharing? Do you have alternative ideas, opinions or valuable information that you can share that they aren't?
How are they acquiring new customers? What kinds of sales channels or funnels do they use? What partnerships or affiliate programs do they have? How do they retain current clients or customers?
Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for each competitor. This will help you consolidate the information gathered and identify strategic insights.
03. Build Your Ideal Customer Profile
Once you think you have a good idea about who your ideal audience is, write out an entire profile on them. Get specific! What is their gender? How old are they? Are they married? Do they have children? What is their income level? Where do they live? Etc.
Once you’ve built out exactly who your ideal audience is, give him or her a name. It may sound silly, but when you’re stuck trying to come up with new content or figuring out how best to share something, you can think, “What problems is Claire facing?” or “What platform is Claire connecting with me on?”
Want to fast-track your research? Snag a copy of the Bingeable Brand Duo! This 2-part workbook series will help you amplify your message and tailor your business & offerings to captivate, connect and convert the RIGHT audience to paying & loyal customers. Snag your copy here >>
Your ideal audience may shift and change as your business does, so pay attention to what your data is telling you about your customers, what's working and to what isn't. Continuously checking back in with who your ideal audience is opening up the opportunity to continue narrowing in on exactly who your brand is resonating with and who you should be positioning yourself toward them. Use this data to strategically build your products, services and offerings tailored directly to their challenges and desires.