If I asked you who is your customer, what would you say? If your answer is EVERYONE, then I am writing this just for you.
The problem with a business that is trying to serve everyone, is that you end up talking to no one. It is a common mistake that entrepreneurs make when they are starting out. When Social Bee began, and someone asked me who I helped, my answer was, of course, everyone. Sure I could help the hairdresser, the life coach, the local Indian restaurant, the university. The problem is, trying to attract the decision maker in a University with the same message as my local freelance hairdresser is HARD. If not impossible. In fact, scrap that, it just doesn’t make any sense at all.
When you niche down in your business, and identify your ideal client, everything becomes a little easier. You know who you are trying to reach. Your messaging is clear. People start to refer business to you.
So how do you identify your ideal client?
Grab a pen and paper (or better still, download this template and use it).
- What do you offer?
- Who do you like working with?
- Who has money they can spend on your services?
- What problem are you solving?
If you are starting out in business, I suggest you try to survey the people you think will be your customers. You can create a survey on SurveyMonkey and share it with your friends/family. If you are in a Facebook group, ask your fellow members if they would fill in the survey. IF you are finding it hard getting people to complete your survey, think about offering a voucher as a prize for filling it in.
You might have a skill set and an audience – but you have to find out if people will buy the service you want to offer. I read a brilliant business book a few years ago that talked about The Mom Test. The gist of the mom test is – if you ask your mum if she thinks your business is a good idea, she is likely to say yes. What you need is a bunch of people to ask who are happy to tell you without fear of hurting your feelings!
Next step, write down a list of the demographics of your ideal customer. Include the following:
- Age group
- Family status – married/single/family etc
- Interests and hobbies
- Income level
How do you find these people? Where do they hang out online? One way to find out is through Social Listening.
Spend time on social media networks e.g. inside Facebook groups or Twitter chats where you think your client is. What questions do they keep asking that you can help solve?
You can go al little deeper with this, and check out what questions people are asking in websites such as Quora.com
What if you are already in business and want to identify your ideal customer
This is the time to dig into your analytics. You can get analytics from all of your social media accounts – Facebook analytics for example, will share all of the demographics of your current followers.
Can you look at your current customers and see what they have in common? How did they find you? Survey your existing clients. Look at what is working in your business, and do more of that.
You might find yourself working with a few different customer groups. If you want to niche down, then think about who you like working with the most. If this group also is willing to pay for your services, you are good to go!
To dive a little deeper into this topic I have created a free 4 page download to help you work on identifying your own ideal client below.