Over my 25 years in a variety of different businesses, this was not something I always defined with absolute clarity, but as I continue to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, time and again I see the importance of being more clear on just who I want to serve.
Often times we get excited about selling something or providing a solution (usually it is because it was something we needed or wanted for ourselves) but we don’t really know who we are trying to help. “Surely there are lots of people who want this!” And yes, there are, but you have to have a little more focus than that.
There is a saying in the marketing world, that “if you try to appeal to everyone, you’re actually appealing to no one”. I have definitely seen the hazards of trying to make too many different kinds of people happy. You just end up just making yourself miserable.
So…let’s talk about what your ideal customer looks like?
First of all, I’m going to say she probably looks a lot like you, just a few steps back. She is someone you would love to spend a lot of time with. Almost like a close friend or a sister, but not exactly (because sometimes, those closest to us don’t always represent our ideal client - more on that in another article).
So how do you make your ideal customer come to life? Give her a full name, a specific age (not a range), a family (single, married, kids? - give them a name too!). Decide where she lives, what kind of dwelling, where she works and how much money she makes (this is a big one!). Where does she spend her free time and with whom? What are her shopping preferences, favourite tv shows or podcasts favourite food and drink? Get really detailed and give her some personality!
I know this sounds a bit silly, but any time I have skipped this part in any course I’ve taken (guilty) I end up circling back to it anyway. Why? Because when you start to speak and serve and sell, it will help so much to have a picture of who you are trying to connect with.
And it’s not to say you will only appeal to your ideal person because obviously we want and need MANY customers to have a successful business but the sooner you can get clarity on who you want to work with, the better it is.
Because I have many different businesses, I have defined my ideal customer as separate people for each. They have some similarities but also some key differences. They have also evolved over time, as I have, and my businesses have needed to pivot with changing situations. This is all okay and is, in fact, absolutely necessary. While you want to be clear on your ideal client, expect them to evolve.
For instance, in 25 years of doing hair, my clientele has changed with me. Some of my clients I have been taking care of for 20 years so I have seen them (and they have seen me) through school, marriage, babies, divorce, second (and possibly third) marriages, new jobs, good times and bad. I joke with many of them, that our love is truer than with their husbands. It’s funny but it’s true!
All my messages to my clients are said in a way that I am speaking to a dear and trusted friend. Mostly conversational, always caring, definitely putting their interests first, delivering value every time.
In the catering business, I had different ideal customers for each of the catering we did. I had one ideal bride, one corporate executive, one event coordinator and one woman who threw family gatherings, that I spoke to in all of our messaging. That way people who found us knew whether or not we were the right caterers for them. Did we get a whole range of clients? Yes! But it helped people self-sort and sell themselves on our services, so you don’t have to wade through a bunch of people you’d rather not work with. Many times it comes down to their budget (more on this in other articles), similar tastes and style, and your reputation (I can show you how your ideal customers can become your raving fans!).
In the worksheet below I give you some tips to create your own Ideal Client Avatar. Have fun with this and give it lots of detail. Keep this posted close to your desk and any time you are creating content you can refer back to it and make sure you are talking to your favourite person in the world…your perfect customer!
I'm Sharon. I help beauty entrepreneurs style a life they love by teaching them how to make 6-figures (and beyond!) through my proven online and off-line strategies. Join me as I share my 25-year entrepreneurial journey to becoming unstoppable in beauty, business and life.