Identifying Your Ideal Customer

With the advantages of social media and digital marketing, it can seem easy to find customers. The challenge is finding the right customers for your business.  

In sales, we know that prospecting is a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more opportunities present themselves. And while it’s important to get in front of potential customers, it’s even more imperative to get in front of your ideal customer.

But how exactly do you do that? 

First, you need to identify your ideal client. Understand who they are, their needs and pain points, and the best place to reach them. It’s a process that involves some time and effort, but the results are well worth the investment.  

What is an ideal customer? 

An ideal customer is the person who gets the most value from your products or services. They’re likely to purchase again and continue to use your products, which means it’s critical for the growth of your business to find and identify your ideal customer.  

Your ideal customer stands out from the average person because they: 

  • Happily pay for what you offer 
  • Genuinely appreciate what you do for them 
  • Are easy to communicate with 
  • Understand your brand and message 
  • Keep coming back for your products or services 
  • Recommend you to others 

So, how do you find the right people?

Let’s look at how to define your ideal client so you can better market your offerings to their wants and needs.  

Know your audience 

Casting the biggest net may seem like the best strategy, but the effort required to sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly will consume a significant amount of your valuable time. When you market to potential customers who don’t fit your ideal customer profile, you can hurt your brand.  

Have you ever received a marketing email that didn’t have anything to do with your interests or needs? Think about your first impression of that company. Probably, it was something like this:  

  • “Why am I receiving this?” 
  • “I can’t relate to this.” 
  • “Who are these people?” 

That’s not the reaction you want from your marketing efforts! Instead, you need to forget about the masses and focus on your ideal customer.  

Understand their pain points 

By focusing your efforts on your ideal client, you will naturally attract YOUR people. You’ll understand them exponentially better than any competitor, and you will instinctively create the perfect moments of connection. You know, those meaningful moments where the customer sees your solution, product, or service and says, “Me too!” or “This was made for me.”  

As a result of putting in the effort to find and reach your ideal customer, two things happen: 

  1. The customer feels understood, and you gain trust.  
  2. The customer becomes a part of your community, an ambassador who generates repeat and referral business.

The best customer is the one you know like the back of your hand, the one who connects with your product and brand and who will tell more of your people about you. They want you to succeed, and they’re an integral part of your success.

Build an ideal customer profile 

To reach your ideal client, you need to understand exactly what type of person you’re looking for, from demographics like age, marital status, and location to more personal details like values, interests, and passions.  

Your ideal customer profile will help you determine who you need to target and enable you to make better decisions about which leads to pursue.

Find out as much as possible and describe your ideal client. You can even interview previous and current customers to better understand what they all have in common. Ask questions like: 

  • What do you like about our brand or product? What do you dislike?
  • What made you choose us over our competitors?  
  • Why would you recommend our business to others? 

By gathering all this data together, you can create a profile of the exact customer you’re looking for and market specifically to their needs.  

Create a community, not a commodity 

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the work required to create an ideal customer profile or to go out of your way to find these people. But, if you do it right, you can put in less effort and get better results, helping your business grow naturally and thrive.

These ideal customers develop into your evangelists in everyday conversation. They are more than likely to work with or be friends with other ideal clients, simply because, as the saying goes, “like attracts like.” Your ideal customers will be part of a natural community that shares interests, and that community is the perfect target audience for your brand.

Here’s why it’s so important to focus on creating a community: 

  • Customer loyalty 
  • Awareness and branding
  • Product improvements 
  • Revenue growth  

Let’s examine each of these factors in a little more detail.  

Customer Loyalty 

Speaking directly to the people who understand your business and the unique solution you provide allows you to cut through the noise and reach the prospects who most want to hear what you have to say. They stop looking for alternatives, and they become your people.  

One study confirmed it’s anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer. The probability of successfully selling to an existing customer is 60-70% versus 5-20% for a new customer.  

It’s all about working smarter, not harder! 

Awareness and Branding 

Your ideal customer may be out there looking for the solution you offer, but they just don’t know you exist. All it takes is one person in their circle to mention your products or services, and you can tap into a community of like-minded people who are eager to purchase what you have to offer.  

In fact, 49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness. That’s because communities are eager to share awareness of events, services, and product offerings.  

Product Improvements 

By building a community of ideal customers, you can better understand their pain points and focus your new services or update products to meet their needs.  

Keeping an ear to the ground on the communities’ conversations can help you: 

  • Stay relevant 
  • Get feedback and insights on how to improve 
  • Understand why certain things are important to the community 

Revenue Growth 

So, how exactly do you contribute to your community?  

The answer is probably simpler than you think: Be genuine and offer value.  

Let’s say you’re a financial advisor and your ideal client is a family man, loves the outdoors, and exercises regularly. Don’t send predictable company branded gifts. Instead, give thoughtfully and generate a real connection by demonstrating an understanding of who they are. 

Send something that relates to their life, that will make their day. Guaranteed, you will stand out from the competition, and it will stimulate chatter in their circle of influence.  

Be sure to follow your customers and sincerely engage with their posts on your social media channels. They’ll love the interaction, you’ll discover more things that are important to them, and it will encourage them to engage with your content, increasing live conversations and how many times your business will show up in social media channels.  

“But what about my logo and company name?” 

Branded items are a dime a dozen and usually end up forgotten or in the trash can. It’s more organic and efficient to stay top of mind with thoughtfulness rather than branded swag. 

The true brand magic is connection, and if your community is well taken care of, you will see it in your business. Once you know how your ideal customers feel, think, and what interests them, creating this magic outside of your product and services will flow naturally, enabling you to future-proof your business.