The question “Who is your IDEAL client?” seems to be one of the toughest ones for most business owners. I am very familiar with the challenge surrounding this question.
The questions I see come up in others – and myself – sound like this:
- “Our services (or products) can help so many. How can we restrict our offering to a limited selection?”
- “How are we going to make enough money? We must span a wide ‘fishing net.’ We cannot afford not to do that.”
- “Let’s say we aim the marketing of our offer at a select group of clients/customers. How are our existing clients going to feel about it if they don’t fall into that group?”
These questions are all great questions. To keep this blog short, here are quick thoughts:
- You can serve several well-defined types of ideal clients (market segments). The question is, how many can your marketing budget currently handle (time and money)? The idea that one marketing message is compelling to all potential customers doesn’t work.
- Spanning a wide net will get you less “fish” (money), not more. Who gets paid more, the general doctor or the specialist? Exactly. Also, targeted marketing is attracting the ideal client. That does not mean you can’t work with someone who doesn’t fit the description of the “ideal client.” Make sure you don’t accept the wrong client, of course, because they will chew up more time and energy than it is worth.
- Let’s assume we are talking about a high-end service. The clients you already serve may not even see your marketing. They know and love you. As long as you keep delivering top-notch results, they don’t care about you putting out a marketing message that is not aimed at them.
That’s Perfecty Logical But Not Easy to Do? A Quick Story …
My responses here are perfectly logical. I think we all know this is true. But it is still hard to do in a lot of cases?!
Here is a quick story.
A few years ago, I began working with a digital marketing agency, P5 Marketing. The owners, Robert and Irene Donnell, are brilliant marketers. They understand how to connect marketing and sales, content marketing, SEO, social media, strategy versus tactics, … the list goes on and on. Above all, they were producing impressive results for their clients.
Yet, the challenge was that their revenues were much lower than they wanted them to be. They were serving everyone. They lacked marketing collateral to show their brilliance to potential clients. Like so many companies, they were a “cobbler without shoes.”
We had the ideal client conversation. But it was hard to nail down a specific type of client. All three questions we talked about above came up.
We began to extract their brilliance and created several ebooks. They used the same material to speak at conferences. Within one year, the business tripled in revenue.
Next, we did more Brilliance Extraction™ to create simple training systems for more complex work steps. That way, the expert couple was able to outsource work that thus far they had to do on their own. The company grew more.
The message to the ideal client became, “We are a growth agency focused on scaleable high-expertise businesses.” That was much better than the implicit “We serve everyone” message.
The Story Doesn’t End There
For the past two years, P5 Marketing has become hyper-focused on growing cosmetic medical practices. All of a sudden, it became much easier to write very focused marketing messages. Revenues soared further.
The company works all across the country. P5 Marketing is giving clients geographic exclusivity for their ‘high-definition SEO’ services. Clients regularly refer P5 Marketing to their colleagues across the country.
What happened during COVID? The company grew.
That is the power of finding your ideal client. As the story shows, perseverance, Brilliance Extraction™, and a pinch of patience got the company to where it is today.
One more thing: Back then, P5 Marketing would never have been able to be sold. Today that is a possibility (the owners do not intend to sell in the foreseeable future, but they could). That is because today, the company has a well-defined market, and it has well-documented processes for executing its work.
Have you defined your ideal client or customer? How easy was that for you? What struggles, if any, did you encounter?
And by the way, my own story on finding my ideal client is coming in another Brilliance Nugget.