Increase leads by speaking to fewer people – introverts rejoice!
One question my clients continuously ask me is, “how do I grow x,y and z?” They want more customers, sales, readers, followers, engagement… pretty much anything that has to do with growing their business.
Now I could spew out the most sophisticated digital marketing strategy claiming to make increasing leads a breeze. But simply put, the key to any good strategy is speaking to the right people.
If you go to a party, you might chat with everyone in the room, find out their name, and share a laugh. But expecting to create a meaningful connection with every single person is just not realistic (especially after COVID). The same goes for your content; if you aim to speak to everyone, you are bound to get lost in the noise.
This article will provide you with some tips and tricks followed by four critical questions you can ask to help you identify your ideal customer. Be sure to read to the end, as I’ve included a handy (free) download to make your life easier!
What’s my name? Building your ideal customer profile.
Let’s say you own an online business, and you have a repeat customer, let’s call her Claire.
Claire just gets you. She values you, your brand and all your service offerings. She follows your business on social media, interacts with your content and identifies with your brand’s message, values, and purpose – a true ambassador who frequently advocates for your business.
In a perfect world, you would clone Claire and only work with customers like her. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, which means you have to do a little investigating to create an ideal customer profile to help you better connect with all the Claire’s out there.
Your ideal customer profile outlines the characteristics of your perfect customer, usually involving an avatar, which helps brings the segment to life. It includes all kinds of information, including demographics, lifestyle, interests, social media habits, etc.
An ideal customer profile is often found in a customer journey map, which is the process a customer goes through as they attempt to solve a need with a product or service. By looking through the lens of the customer, we can understand their questions, apprehensions, and concerns, along with their wants, motivations, and goals. This allows us to understand their needs better and proactively develop content to help them through the process.
You aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. Not everyone will fit into your ideal customer profile.
Now I know what you’re thinking… if I zero in on one target segment won’t I lose business in the long run? Well, I am here to tell you the exact opposite is true. Since creating my own ideal customer avatar and mapping out my customer journey – I have actually increased my leads tenfold. Plus, they are exactly the type of customers I want to be working with.
Think about your brand and customer experience. How many different touchpoints can they have with you?
If you are trying to cater to everyone, your marketing efforts will most definitely be lost on some. If your social media sometimes connects with person A, but your website and emails sometimes speak to person B, and then your ads target person A, B and C… your efforts are essentially split, the message won’t be consistent, which will confuse the customer, and you likely won’t see results. Sounds exhausting!
Now think back to Claire.
Your Instagram content speaks directly to her every single time. Your entire website is tailored to her. Each email you send resonates with her, making her want to act on your offering almost every time.
Instead of trying to be everyone’s cup of tea, your customer experience can now serve a purpose and intentionally connect with and provide value for your ideal customer.
If this is news to you, don’t feel bad. Even the big guys get it wrong. Do you remember the McPizza?
In the early ’90s, McDonald’s introduced pizza to the menu to try to attract more customers and compete with the big pizza chains. By trying to expand their audience, they forgot about their OWN ideal customers – those who want traditional McDonald’s burgers and fries. Sidenote: there is no scenario where I would order pizza from McDonald’s… gimme that double cheeseburger with extra pickles please and thanks!
By the end of the ’90s, nearly every McDonald’s in America had removed pizza from the menu, deeming it a failure. But on the flip side, they continue to sell 6.48 million burgers daily.
Crystal Clear: ask yourself these four questions to help identify your ideal customer.
All good businesses solve a problem or a need. And all good businesses have products and services that their customers can’t live without.
You have to start by identifying what your business does that makes your product or service a MUST HAVE.
- What need or problem does your product or service solve?
- Who has that need?
- How will your product or service help them?
- Why should it matter to them?
When answering the above questions, try and answer through the lens of your customer so you can have a better understanding of how to help them. Be as specific as possible and avoid using generalized statements, as a person’s reason to purchase a good or service is always goes beyond because they want or need it. Your product or service might solve multiple problems, but to begin, focus on one problem at a time to help guide you through their experience.
Now back to that online business that you run. Suppose the product you sell is swimsuits specifically designed for people like Claire, who want to look cute and trendy without being too revealing.
Claire is a fashionista. She loves staying on top of the latest trends and designs but doesn’t love showing a lot of skin. She has struggled to find swimsuits in the past that makes her feel confident and comfortable. Quality is important to her; she doesn’t want her swimsuits to feel cheap but also doesn’t want to break the bank. She values brands that promote body positivity in their campaigns, going out of her way to avoid traditional swimwear marketing.
Your product solves her problem by delivering an affordable swimsuit that is modest without sacrificing style or quality. Your brand is body inclusive, which shows throughout your content, making it easy for her to endorse your business. Are there other swimsuits like this on the market? Of course, but she should buy YOUR product because it feels like it was made just for her.
Bring your customer avatar to life!
After you’ve answered those four questions about your product or service, a few clear segments should emerge. If you solve multiple problems, do they all relate to the same person? If not, you may have multiple segments, which you’re going to want to speak to independently.
Once you’ve chosen a segment, you’re going to bring them to life as customer avatars (hi, Claire!). It’s important to be as detailed as possible; it will help you reach your customer and speak to them more effectively.
To help you out, I’ve created a free checklist of questions to ask and ideas to bring your ideal customer to life. So download this now, and get clear on your ideal customer profile. Then refer back to it whenever you are creating content and initiating new marketing tactics for your business.
Creating an ideal customer profile is just the beginning. The next step is to map out your customer journey. This helps you better understand your ideal customer’s questions, and create an effective content strategy to help move them from discovering your business to paying you for your products / services.
If you’re ready, we can help! Check out our Customer Journey Content Strategy Guide.