Regardless of whether we’re selling a product or a service we’re probably all aware that it’s important to know who it is that we’re trying to sell to. We may all think we have a good idea of the kind of people who are interested in what we have to offer but do we really?
Why is it even important to know who our ideal client is?
Well, at the most basic level we have to know who our ideal client is so that we know where to reach them through advertising and online marketing. Beyond that though, we need to know who we’re actually talking to through any content that we produce, whether that be a blog or copy for our website, for any messages we’re trying to get across to have impact.
Everyone should create a profile of their ideal client (sometimes called avatars or pen portraits) and doing this really helps solidify in your own mind the type of person who’s most likely to want to be the first to hear about that new product you’ve just released or be the most in need of the help you can provide them through the service you offer.
Even though people kept telling me how important writing a pen portrait was, I was always skeptical. I was terrified of talking to just ONE client because what if I alienated all those other people and ended up with just one (albeit perfect!) client?
Over time though, I’ve realized that just because you have an avatar – someone I know even imagines hers sat on her shoulder when she’s sending invoices – you’ll still attract all those other people, it’s just that you’ll become very popular with those target clients who you know want what you can give and are prepared to pay for it.
Just because you’re a life coach who’s establishing a strong following amongst women in their 50s, it doesn’t mean you won’t still get custom from their husbands, sons and daughters. If we try and market to everybody, we won’t really resonate with anybody. If we’re laser focused on who we’re trying to attract, we’ll do really well with that group and still get clients who differ from our target client.
Time to meet Clare…
Clare is 48 and is married with two children who’ve flown the nest and are at university. She shops at Boden and has a passion for Italy. A few years ago they bought a small place so they can spend a few weeks of the year out there (with their laptops of course!).
She runs a well established and successful business with her husband. He is very hands on in the business and very much involved in the day-to-day ‘doing’ within the business, whereas Clare bases herself between the business premises and home and is responsible for all the business development and marketing side of the business.
She’s always enjoyed this but over recent years has become increasingly aware that they are falling behind their competitors, all of whom seem to have a very solid online presence, and are all creating regular blogs posts and are very active on social media. She’s set up a Facebook page for the business and occasionally posts on the page and has set up a Twitter account but doesn’t really understand it so has never done anything with it.
Clare feels increasingly frustrated and totally overwhelmed by the online world. She’s used to computers, and loves her iPad but feels she’s getting left behind in terms of marketing their business and attracting more clients. If she doesn’t do something about it soon, business is really going to start to be affected.
She’s started to lie awake at night worrying…
“How will I find the time to do all this online marketing?”
“Where do I even start?”
“Nobody’s visiting our website, someone said it might be to do with search engine optimisation but what even is that?!”
“I wish we could afford to take someone on who could just deal with all of this for us”
Problem is, Clare and her husband can’t afford to take someone on specifically to deal with the marketing of the business. What she needs is the ability to outsource some of the work that needs to be done and also some support in learning to do some of it herself… that’s where I come in.
Take some time write your pen portrait
I would encourage everyone to spend time thinking about their pen portrait. It makes producing blogs and other types of content much easier, you can start to develop a style and writing topics come much easier because you know the types of problems you need to address.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on pen portraits. Perhaps you already have one or maybe thinking now’s the time to create one. Either way, do share your experiences. We’d love to see you at our next LBN event and you can get full details on the events page.