There are many ways to define the best “the one and only” person you have created your business for. This is your Ideal Customer who wants and needs the exact content, product, or service you’re creating and is willing and able to pay for what you’re offering.
If you are just getting started growing your brand online, then defining your Ideal Customer Profile is the most important thing you have to do to lay the solid foundation for building a successful business. Why is this so important?
When you have clearly identified the ideal customer for your product or service, you will save a lot of time and money by focusing all marketing, advertising, and sales efforts on people who have an interest in what you are offering.
Most of the time, we are not big brands with huge marketing budgets. Many newbie entrepreneurs believe that marketing is an art, not a science. I disagree. If we are not specific and confused about where to allocate our resources best, we lose.
How to identify your ideal customer? I am going to share an exact step-by-step process I have used to define my Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and I’ve created a super helpful worksheet for you to print out and use as you define your own ICP.
So let’s dive in! There are two parts:
- Your product or service
- The people you want to work with
First, let’s clarify what your product or service does for your ideal customer.
What problem does it solve? How does your product or service make the life of your customers better?
We are all in business because we provide a solution to a problem. Every single product or service you buy, you buy only because it solves a problem.
Define what your business does for your customers. What needs does it satisfy? Get really specific. If you want people to recognize and remember your brand, associate your product or service with the solution to the problem.
Do you help them to find peace of mind, or to overcome a writer’s block?
Maybe you help them to discover a new career path?
Or maybe they are shy, and you help them to become a fearless speaker?
Whatever it is that you do – get specific how you help your customer.
State the problem your clients face
Coaching: My clients procrastinate when they think about the looming deadline
Yoga Trainer: My clients feel emotionally uncomfortable in classes that require them to hold each pose for a few breaths.
Web Designer: My clients lack the time and expertise to build a stunning website
Offer the solution to that problem
Coaching: I have created a step-by-step framework that helps my client beat procrastination
Yoga Trainer: I start my classes with a mindfulness exercise to get in the state of mental calmness
Web Designer: I build amazing websites at an affordable price.
Now, when we are clear with our offer and how it helps our clients, let’s see who it is our ideal customer, we want to work with.
The Ideal Customer is a potential customer who wants and needs the exact content, product, or service you’re creating and is willing and able to pay for what you’re offering.
It is a potential customer you like and want to work with. You simply resonate.
There are specific ways to really hone in on who this person is: what they like, what they don’t like, what their aspirations are, and most importantly, what their fears are. And when you know all this, you won’t be sitting there frozen at your computer not knowing what to create or to say in your next social media post. You’ll be happily creating solutions to their wants or needs and something they will actually pay for.
These are some questions will help you to start creating your Ideal Customer Profile:
How old are they?
What is their professional background?
How much do they earn?
What language do they speak?
What books do they read?
As an example, I would take a recent conversation with a life coach. She said she wants to work with women in transition. But this definition is too broad.
So narrowed it down the following way:
I want to work with women in transition.
Where do they work? They are working in big companies.
In what capacity? They are in top managerial positions.
Why are they in transition? Because they are going to retire.
That is why they are in transition. I help them to adjust to this transition by understanding and changing negative attitudes toward retirement.
Ok, now we are getting somewhere.
Don’t worry about excluding people, they can still hire you. Your marketing needs to be very targeted. What you will find out – the more specific you get with the people that you are targeting, the easier your marketing will be.
Advertising – you need to know your people. Creating a website – you need to know your ideal customer. Then you will know what to put on the website that will resonate with your customer – words, images everything will fall into place!
But, please do not just listen to this and think about it intellectually. You’re not just building your business as a hobby, right? I want you to answer the questions in the worksheet to define your Ideal Customer Profile – get laser-focused and know how to serve your customers best!