What’s your gut reaction when you hear the terms “ideal client” or “target audience”? I know I sometimes do a bit of an eye roll and I’m a marketer! But the reason it makes me cringe is that most of the recommendations out there about developing your ideal client are…lifeless.
I fully support and 100% agree that you should be specific with age, income, interest, likes/dislikes, and so forth. But what’s on this person’s heart? What about the thoughts or aspirations this person has? And what if I met this person on the street, what would I say to them?
I believe that’s where mindfulness and having the creativity to envision who this person is, are not only fun but also bring life and soul into your marketing strategy especially if you are a conscious entrepreneur or business owner.
I want to share with you 10 things you may not know about developing your ideal client on a conscious level.
1. It’s not about excluding people or niching down
Often times business owners know their ideal client loosely. Or they prefer not to define it to cast their net wider. In case that one person out there that didn’t fit the “ideal client” development wants to buy or sign up for one of your offerings.
Don’t be afraid to get specific, internally. Your messaging isn’t going to say verbatim “I only work with 29-year-olds female-identifying that live on the West Coast.” It’s not about excluding or niching down, it’s about clarity. When you are clear with who, what, when, where and how you offer your product or service what you put out as far as marketing will have so much more power and intention.
Clarity will have people gravitate toward your business.
2. Our minds sometimes want to fit or mold our ideal client
Sometimes we really want our ideal client to be or fit a certain something. Whether it’s age, income level, job, or going back to #1 cast the wide net of everyone.
Our minds can get in the way. So, how about clearing your mind of expectations, wants, and desires, and allow your ideal client to arrive to you.
3. It could be a version of you a few years prior
This is especially true if you work as a practitioner or a teacher — your ideal client is a previous version of you. Meaning that how you speak, communicate, and educate through marketing needs to speak to them in that particular state of mind.
Go back to the “beginners” mindset. Not that your ideal client or this version of you is a beginner in whatever modality you specialize in but what do they need to hear, learn, and understand to start the relationship with you.
Marketing is all about developing a long-term relationship. The keyword here is long-term. There is no way to bypass how long it often takes to develop your email list, or grow your audience or build consistent content.
4. If you don’t do it — it’s like providing directions to your house without street names
Birds are insect controllers. Did that sentence mean anything to you? It kinda makes sense but it’s so general and vague that it actually says nothing. This is what happens when you don’t have a clear ideal client.
When you’re speaking in general terms or without an ideal client in mind, it’s kinda like providing directions to your house but you do not include street names. You could get it across and some people might understand but for the most part, they’ll move on and go to the next thing that provides clearer directions.
When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.
5. You won’t explicitly say who your ideal client is
Part of the process I take clients in is finding a name for this person. We do this in that same process of “letting them arrive to you” but it’s not like you’re going to put their name on your homepage or about page.
It’s another way to get clear with yourself, have fun with the process, and feel like this person is an actual person. Because they are!
6. You may need to refine it every so often
Over time, your business may evolve and that means your ideal client may evolve too. Go back and refine it with the same intention. Brainstorm with your team or an external marketer to ensure you’re going in the right direction.
7. You will still attract people outside this ideal client development
This is where the power of storytelling comes in. Since it’s not explicit messaging like,
“Our products are great for 40-year-old new moms with an income level of $100,000”
How will you get your point across?
Most likely through storytelling, making sure you understand what you’re offering and at what “stage” this person is in. And because storytelling is so powerful, people that didn’t necessarily fit your ideal client will still gravitate toward your business.
Don’t underestimate the power of a clear story and understanding the market.
8. When thinking of a new service, check-in with your ideal client
Ask yourself, will this resonate with (insert ideal client name)? The answer will be quick so make sure you’ve cleared your mind.
9. There are tools that help you develop your ideal client but put soul into it
There are helpful tools out there like, HubSpot — Make My Persona that make it fun and interactive. It’ll prompt you through questions about age, gender, income, education level, etc.
But my recommendation is to also give this person soul. What would this person tell you on the street? How would your services or products support them? Write that down too!
10. And you’ll wonder, is this even working?
Lastly, your mind may creep in with doubt and at some point wonder, is this even working? And as the business owner, you’ll be the judge of that but it’s important to set up your own metrics or benchmarks to tell you if it is.
How will you know this is working? How will it feel? Is there a $ amount you want to tie it back to?
I hope with patience, practice, and persistence you start to see real results in developing your ideal client mindfully.