The Importance of Developing Your Ideal Client Profile and Creating Personas
Posted by: Jennifer Woodard | on October 19, 2012
Operating a small business is difficult, especially when you are a solopreneur. Whether you are beginning your business or trying to grow your business, developing an ideal client profile and creating personas will help you to work with clients who are best suited for your business.
Working with clients who are best suited for your business will help you to remain focused and not scatter your talents trying to help everyone, causing you to lose motivation and desire to run your business.
What is an Ideal Client?
An Ideal client is someone who you connect with on deeper level beyond business. You share similar goals, values and beliefs.
Ideal Clients are:
- People you enjoy working with
- Like friends and not just business clients
- Appreciative and value the services you provide them
- Happy to provide referrals to help grow your business
- Understanding when you make mistakes and willing to continue working with you
- Loyal to you and your business
How Developing Ideal Client Profiles and Personas can Help Your Business
When you know who your ideal clients are and create personas for each of your ideal clients it will help you to understand where to reach out to prospective clients.
It helps you to determine what social networks they are engaged. How you can reach them offline, what periodicals they read, what groups they join and what hobbies they enjoy.
Personas will also help you to understand what topics prospective clients are interested in reading, what problems they need solving and how they like to receive the content, whether it is through a blog, email, podcast, video or the variety of other ways to reach prospects.
Each persona will be different and knowing what motivates and engages them, allow you to develop marketing material that will attract them.
Creating Ideal Client Profiles and Personas will help you:
- Save money by marketing to those that are ideally suited to your business
- Attract and retain the best clients for your firm
- Spend less time prospecting and networking looking for additional clients
- Enjoy your business because you are working with clients who are similar to you
- Receive referrals that are ideally suited to you and your business
How not Creating Ideal Client Profiles and Personas can hurt Your Business:
Non-Ideal Clients Will Cause you to:
- Work with people who do not value you or your business
- Spend less time working with ideal clients that you enjoy working with
- Be stressed and dread working with them
- Constantly have to seek out new clients who are more profitable
- Sort through referrals that are not ideal for you
- Have a hard time reaching the business goals you are trying to reach
Create your ideal client profile. Who are the ideal buyers of your products or services? In what industries do they work? Why are they ideal? Why do you like working with them and what do they have in common? What problems do you solve for them? What outcomes are you able to provide?
Questions to ask when developing your ideal client profile and persona:
- What is this person title and buying influence?
- What causes them work related stress that I can provide solutions?
- Are they familiar with the solutions that you offer or do they to be educated on your solutions?
- What will motivate them to take action?
- Where do they turn to for information concerning their problem?
- How do they go about making business decisions? Do they make decisions on their own; ask advice from colleagues, industry peers or others?
- What type of industry or professional organizations do they belong?
- How are they currently dealing with the problem? Have they hired help in the past to solve the problem? Is the problem new or reoccurring?
- How do they describe the problem they are having? What words do they use? What search terms do they use?
- What is their level of urgency concerning the problem? Can I address their level of urgency?
- What is the best way to move them through the sales funnel?
- What objections do they have to purchasing a solution to their problem?
- What objections will they have to purchasing their solution from us? How can I address those objections?
Joe sells life insurance and he has determined one group of his ideal clients is baby boomers. He looked at his favorite clients and wrote a list of everything he knew about them. He went through the list and circled all the things that they had in common.
When his research was complete, was able to determine that these clients are worried about providing life insurance for spouses and children and have an average income of $85,000 per year. They are professionals, with two parent incomes and an average of three children. Many are members of professional organizations and LinkedIn.
They do not have a lot of free time, but like to educate themselves on the product’s they are considering purchasing. They also read reviews and ratings provided by others online and talk to people they who have purchased similar products they are considering.
After creating his ideal client profile, he created a persona that represented the prospects he was trying to reach. The ideal client profile that he created allowed him to understand what their needs were, how to reach them and in what form to reach out to them.
He began creating his marketing material; he wrote the material as if he was talking to the persona he was trying to reach. He was able to determine what associations, groups online, and offline to become involved. What social networks to engage. Becoming knowledgeable about his ideal prospects allowed him to communicate more effective with prospects and increase sales because he showed that he understood them and their needs.
It does not matter what industry you are in, you can utilize ideal client profiles and create personas to attract prospects who will be ideal clients for you to work with.
Do you understand who your ideal clients are?
Have you created personas for your ideal clients?
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