How to create an Ideal Client Profile
Is your marketing attracting loads of new clients into your business? Would you like to get more engagement from your customers? An Ideal Client Profile may be the answer!
Do you actually know who your target market is? If you said “everyone”, you ‘re probably wasting valuable time and money. Instead of trying to market to everyone with generic messages, you’re more likely to see results if you narrow your focus and target specific clients – your most profitable clients! You can do this by addressing their pain points.
Your marketing message needs to resonate with your audience, as if you are speaking directly to the individual, which motivates them to buy from you. You want the reader to say, “Yes, that’s me… I need your help!”
By profiling your ideal clients, you will ensure you are communicating value to them, so their purchasing decision becomes less about cost and more about how you can help solve their problem. This makes them a hot prospect, who is often ready to buy as soon as they make contact with you.
Think about who you are talking to with your marketing messages. This can be done by creating Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs) or Avatars.
An ICP is the collation of detailed information about your clients/customers, such as their wants, needs and habits.
Why create an Ideal Client Profile?
Let’s say I have a professional home cleaning business. Is everyone my ideal client? No, they’re not. Maybe we could say that all working Mums are our target market, but you can narrow it down further, as not all working Mums would want or need a cleaner on a regular basis.
If you have an existing business, base your Ideal Client Profile on one of your most profitable REAL customers, rather than a fictional character. This is important, as only real people can respond to your marketing and provide you with feedback so you know you’re on the right track.
My ideal client is Jane:
- Married mother of 3 children
- Works as an office manager for a professional services firm
- Lives in a suburb my business services
- Combined household income of $120,000 per annum
- On weekends, the family enjoy a busy social life and children’s sport activities
- She is a conscientious Mum who wants the best for her family
- Jane doesn’t enjoy cleaning the house
This quick outline of my ICP shows that my ideal client is a busy working Mum who has the desired level of income and the motivation to hire my firm to do her cleaning.
You may have more than one type of ideal client, particularly if you have more than one product or service, so an number of ICPs may be required.
You can just start with a basic profile, and it can be revised and updated on an ongoing basis.
How to gather the information for your Ideal Client Profile
Some business owners put off preparing ICPs because they’re unsure where to find the right information.
For established businesses, it’s simple – ASK your customers! Talk to the, offer them an incentive to take a short survey or get them engaged with questions on social media.
If you’re launching a new business, you really need to know who your target market is up front. You could think of a friend or a number of people who epitomise the type of clients you want to work with. You can then create an imaginary person from a combination of these traits.
What to ask
There’s some basic demographics every business will need to know, then there are hundreds of behavioural variables which can come into play, depending on the market you’re targeting.
Some of the basic demographics are:
- Age group
- Income bracket
- Marital status
- Number of children or no children
- Life stage they are currently in
- Academic background
- Holiday locations
- Social activities
- Sports and hobbies
- Pet ownership status
- What do they read? Where do they read it – online or print?
- Which social media channels do they favour?
- Wants and needs
- Likes and dislikes
- Short and long term goals
- What keeps them awake at night?
If you’re an established business, it’s also important to find out:
- How did they become your client? Referral, advertising, etc.?
- What they bought from you
- How often they purchase your product/s or service
- Why do they buy from you?
- What do they expect from your product/s or service?
- What do they like or dislike about your product/s or service?
- How do they use your product/s?
- What is your point of difference in their eyes?
- What is the basis of their purchasing decision?
Some people add a stock photo to their client profiles, so they can literally “picture” the person they are targeting in their marketing. If you’re a new business, you may need to use a stock photo, or a photo of a friend who fits your ideal client profile, until you’ve built a client base and you have a real client you can use to model your marketing on.
By taking the time to create an ICP, or a number of ICPs in this way, you’ll find you have a much more specific definition of your ideal customer. This will help you target them more effectively and gain greater return on your marketing investment.
Engaging your ideal client with your marketing
If you want your marketing to engage your ideal client, it’s vital to consider the information gathered in your Ideal Client Profile. Think about where your ideal client finds information – is it online or offline? Which publications (if any) do they read regularly? What are they searching for? What are their motivations? All these questions (and more) will determine whether your marketing message is successful.
Write as though you are speaking directly to that one particular person you’ve profiled in your ICP. By doing this, you’re aiming to form a personal connection with the prospective client and “warm them up” to buy from you.
When writing your marketing copy, it’s important to address:
- Their pain points – what keeps them awake at night?
- What issues do they need to overcome? Why do they need your product or service?
- Tell them how your product or service can help solve their problem
- Provide a clear call to action – tell them what you want them to do next
I hope the above tips on writing an Ideal Client Profile have been informative. The tips have been designed to help you to improve your marketing and bring more clients and customers into your business.
Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.