If only Abraham Lincoln knew just how intuitive John Lydgate’s words were when he quoted, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time.”
Those are good words to remember when you’re trying to consider just who your ideal customer or client is. Are you clear on who that person is?
Something For Everybody is Rare
If I asked you who your ideal client or customer is, you would hopefully have a good, clear and concise answer for me. That would mean you’ve really put some thought into the task of defining exactly who needs your product and how you need to market to them. If you flip a quick “Everyone needs my product!”, I can tell you’ve obviously not put very much thought behind what you do at all.
We all like to think that what we have to offer is so spectacular that absolutely everyone on the planet just needs to have it, or they’re missing out. Very few can offer something everyone needs. Maybe the big retailers like Amazon and Target. Their selection is so varied, they probably do have something for pretty much everyone. Maybe you could argue that everyone needs soap, but there are thousands of different soaps that pose a variety of answers to problems that go beyond simply cleansing the dirt away. Someone with acne-prone skin isn’t going to be happy with the same soap used by a person with very dry, irritated skin.
That’s probably not you, though. Chances are, you’re not a “one size fits all” type of solution. That’s not to imply that what you have isn’t very good, or of great quality. What you bring to the table is probably fairly specific in what it does and the type of benefits it can offer. The sooner you become comfortable with that, the sooner you’ll be successful.
Believing that everyone needs your product or service and trying to market it as such will actually put you in the uncomfortable position of not selling anything to anyone. Your ROI will be zero, and you’ll have no traction.
By not narrowing your focal point towards the people that need you most, you’re doing a huge disservice to those people. Because you’re not focused on trying to speak and appear to them, they’ll miss out on what you have to offer. In the same breath, you’ll be wasting your time and energy focusing on attracting the wrong people. It’s time to redirect.
By determining exactly who your ideal customer is, you’ll be saving yourself heartache by knowing exactly how to market to them.
Figuring Out Your Ideal Customer
So how do you figure it out? By sitting down with your team and having a heart-to-heart brainstorming session. This works similar to how television creators brainstorm the new lead character for an up-and-coming drama. Picture them from head to toe. What does your target audience look like? What are their demographics?
- What is their age?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their income?
- Did they go to college? Graduate high school?
- Where are they in their lives right now?
- Are they married or single?
- Do they have kids?
- Who are their friends?
Those may be pretty simple to answer. Once you have those well-defined, you’re looking to now understand and define their psychographics.
- Where do they like to hang out?
- What do they read?
- What music do they listen to?
- What do they search for online?
- What makes them tick?
- What triggers them to decide to go looking for a solution?
Having answers to these questions can allow you to tailor your messages to speak directly to the specific person who will sit up, listen, and act on your offer.
If you wind up with a picture as clear as a photograph, that’s great! That will help you better clarify what your strategy needs to be, which can lead to more success for you. If you’re picky about knowing who your perfect customer is, the more likely you’ll be to actually find them, and for them to find you!
Focus on the Problem
You are looking to sell a solution to a problem, and people are looking to have their problems solved. The entrepreneur who can understand the problem the best is most likely the one that gets the business.
The sooner you can turn your mindset from selling your brand and products to your audience, the more successful you’ll be. The actual act of solving problems should usually be your primary focus of any engagement with a prospective customer. Your prospective customers don’t necessarily care about what you sell. They don’t want or need the specifics. At the end of the day, all they really want to know about is how can you solve their problem?
Having an understanding of their problem, inside and out, is key to making sure your solution gets heard.