Lost about who is your ideal client is? Read on...
What's an Ideal Client?
"Ideal Client" feels like a sticky word that we can't get out of our brain these days, we hear it in every marketing post and this one! To be honest, it took me while to understand what an ideal client was, why should I only speak to one persona? It sounded scary at first, and I had trouble to know exactly who I was for. If you feel the same don't despair. My brand today looks a million light years away from when I started my photography business. After I left University after an MA in photography in 2011, I kinda had an idea of what I wanted to do; portraiture was what made my heart beat faster. I felt completely at the loss when the mentor I'd booked to help me navigate my directions told me no one would book a photographer who only focuses on women's portraiture. I thought maybe I should be a wedding photographer as it's an area where most photographers were venturing into. I'm glad; I took a fashion photography workshop in Paris with Eyes in Progress who featured Sasha Von Dorssen, a fashion photographer who had numerous covers of Marie Claire in the 70's and 80's. She instantly noticed my appeal for portraiture. It encouraged me to explore more about the type of portrait I wanted to offer; I mainly started to target women in business who wanted headshot for their LinkedIn profile. Not having a clear idea of who my client was, didn't help set expectations of the type of service I was providing and standing out in a very saturated market. There are zillions of photographers out there, I don't count the number of coaches I've met at network meetings, it feels everyone jumped on the waggon of the very successful few who reached the sky and made millions out of their business. How did they get there? Understanding and talking to their ideal client was certainly on the top 10 on their to-do action list when they've set up their business. What's an ideal client then? It's the perfect client to the solution you're providing for their problems and the best marketing in the world is to sell a solution to someone's problem. Still lost about who your ideal client is?
- Start with your solution what are you helping your clients with? I.e., if you provide coaching what is your solution, for which problem? If you're only serving women who have started a business then that's already a clear indication of your market, the languages you speak as well, if your content is mainly in French you will first target French speaking countries.
- From this information, develop your ideal client, you know she is a woman, where does she live, how old is she, has she got a family. The type of house and car she drives will not only give you an indication of her spendable money, also about her values and what she's interested in? If she has small kids she might not be interested to know about the wildest party in town?
- Continue the portrait with where she spends her free time, i.e., she could be a yoga devotee, which brands does she go for and gets value from, what does her business mean for her? How can you make a difference for this woman?
- Extend the research in the type of magazines she reads, which Facebook group she's a member from, where does she hang out?
- Once you have defined this persona, give her a name and start speaking to her. From then on keep her in mind for everything you communicate about in your business, on your blog, your social media. Add your experience to the mix and show what makes you unique.
- Focus on what keeps her up at night, the issues she faces and the ready-made solution she's dreaming about to solve her problem, and you've got just that! Speak about it, let her know, be of service and help, to start building the relationship and keep her as a client for life.
PS. Do you know who you ideal client is? Are you still challenged finding yours? Let me know about your challenge in the comments. Need help where to start branding your business? Get your free workbook