One of the cornerstones of any Internet Business is knowing who your Ideal Client is.
Almost all entrepreneurs and business owners make the serious mistake of avoiding this stage in the eagerness to have their website online as soon as possible, without even stopping to think about who it will be aimed at, what they are looking for, what problems they have and what solutions they need.
Who is an Ideal Client?
An Ideal Client is someone who finds the perfect solution to their problems or needs in the services or products that your company provides. The Ideal Client will be loyal to your company, frequently uses or buys your products or services, and is likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
So who is specifically the Ideal Client for your company? To answer this, you don’t need a Ph.D. in Marketing or a Bachelor in Business Administration. Any entrepreneur or businessman KNOWS who his Ideal Client is.
Maybe you never really considered it too much, or didn’t realise how important it is.
Why Ideal Clients? Supposedly my Web site is for everyone! Why do I have to limit my focus to ONLY one type of client?
The first step is to analyse in detail and discuss with colleagues, to define the profile of your Ideal Client, i.e. who your online business is really aimed at.
Try to estimate the percentage of your customers who meet the profile of your Ideal Client.
Now relate them to your total customers. I could hazard a guess by saying that they are no more than 10% of all your clients!
Now that you have estimated the percentage of Ideal Clients you have as your customers, estimate how much profit you earn from those Ideal Clients, compared with the rest of your customers (i.e. ALL that are not Ideal Clients).
I assure you that those few Ideal Clients you have, are the ones that will provide at least 90% of your total revenue.
Now let’s imagine this: if these Ideal Clients represent 90% of your income and they are only equivalent to 10% of the total customers … What would happen if 100% of these customers were Ideal Clients?
Let’s play with some numbers:
Imagine you currently have 100 customer per month, who provide a total revenue of $10,000 per month (to make the maths easy).
Of these 100 clients, only 10 represent your Ideal Clients, and they provide 90% of your total revenue. This equals 90% of $10,000 – which is $9,000.
This means that your 10 Ideal Customers leave you $ 9,000 a month, while your other clients leave you revenue of only $1,000.
Now let’s imagine your 100 clients are all your Ideal Clients!
If just 10 Ideal Clients bring in a monthly revenue of $9,000, then 100 Ideal Clients could potentially bring in a monthly revenue of $90,000!
So if all your customers were Ideal Clients, instead of grossing $10,000 a month you could be grossing $90,000 for the same effort and outlay (as you would have the same number of customers, but they would all be Ideal Clients).
So by breaking down the numbers in a theoretical way, you can see why your website should be directed only towards your Ideal Clients.
The profile of your Ideal Client
The profile of your Ideal Client emerged after your initial analysis.
Now you need to put that profile under the microscope and analyse their behaviour on the internet:
- What are they searching for?
- What specific needs do they have?
- What websites or blogs do they frequent?
- Do they participate in forums? Which ones?
- Are they active users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media channels?
The creation of your Ideal Client Profile will provide vital information:
- What message should be transmitted on your website
- What services and / or products you should offer on the Internet
- What direction your Content Plan should take for your Business Blog
- What channels you should be targeting in your content marketing efforts
The best way to create your Ideal Client Profile is through simple surveys or interviews.
Think about those customers that accurately fit the description you initially created of your Ideal Customer and interview as many of them as realistically possible – have a coffee with them, call them on the phone.
You could send an email questionnaire, although a real conversation is more dynamic, and people can express themselves more freely.
Many of your Ideal Clients will not have time to write in detail – it’s different if you sit down for a coffee while talking about their needs and problems, and you can take note of this invaluable information.
We have created an Ideal Client Questionnaire with the most common questions you should ask your potential customers.
Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many questions. Try to be brief and direct.
Here are the questionnaire details we use to identify your Ideal Client.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 1) –
Classic data such as age, geographic location, family, work, income.
Let’s look at an example of an Ideal Client for a Luxury Salon & Spa in the city of Miami:
- Professional, entrepreneur, high-income
- Aged 30 to 60
- Lives within 30 blocks of the location of the Salon & Spa
- Busy and active social life
- Married with children
- Has relatively little time to dedicate to herself, due to family and work commitments.
- Going to the Salon and Spa is a well-earned treat and a chance to switch off, relax, and indulge herself .
- She likes to stay as long as possible and make the most of all the services on offer.
- She expects top-class service.
As I mentioned, the value of a personal or telephone interview is immense, since your Ideal Client will provide you with more full and intimate information by talking with them in person.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 2) –
The demographic data told us who our Ideal Client is.
Psychological data, however, will tell us why they would want to purchase our products or services.
Part 2 will depend largely on your area of business.
We have created a simple guide of questions that will help you to create profiles appropriate to your particular business.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 3) –
What are they searching for on the Internet?
What problems or needs do they have?
Encourage your Ideal Client to tell you what they are searching for online, what answers they need, what topics they are interested in related to your industry, what information they are looking for regarding your products or services.
As in Part 2 of this research, your Ideal Client will respond to very specific questions related to your industry or trade, but you can find in our worksheet a guide to create your own questionnaire.
Going back to the example of Salon & Spa in Miami, let’s imagine that for Part 3, you get the following answers:
- Internet connection schedule: She normally checks personal emails in the evening between 6pm and 10pm. At weekends she aims to check her emails only on Sunday night.
- Issues and Questions: She likes to keep up with the latest information about hair care and trends, as well as health and nutrition. She is interested in receiving updates on natural hair products that come to market.
- Preferred Search Browser: Google. Sometimes she searches on Facebook .
- Social Networks: She engages a lot with friends and businesses on Facebook. She also follows various feeds on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
- Subscriptions: She is subscribed to several Health and Beauty blog newsletters. She also participates occasionally in forums, where she consults on various topics of health and beauty care.
- Mobile: She reads emails on her cell phone and also tends to use Facebook during personal time.
From these results you can calculate the best time to send your newsletters in order to get the best chance of them being read (6pm to 10pm), what type of items you should focus on with your Blog. You have a strong starting point for Keyword Research, and you know what social media channels you need to be targeting.
Your website and newsletters must be 100% compatible for mobile devices (which is now standard for all cases).
You could consider Pay-Per-Click advertising on the websites to which the Ideal Client is subscribed, and the forums.
Interview as many Ideal Clients you can and know.
Once all these surveys are done, you will have to compile all this information into a single report: your Ideal Client Profile.
Now it’s time to optimize your website!
At the beginning of this article we explained the massive benefits that an increase in the number of Ideal Clients can bring your company.
Now it’s time to optimize your Online Business!
Your Online Message
Optimize the message that flows from your website: its logos, design, colours, images, text, layout and titles.
You have about 5 to 10 seconds to capture the attention of your visitors.
If the key message that captures your Ideal Client’s attention is right at the end of your home page, then you are obviously reducing the chance of capturing their interest.
What if, instead, you have a clear headline at the beginning of your homepage with the exact message your Ideal Client is looking for?
For example, let’s go back to the Salon & Spa in Miami.
We know your Ideal Client is a busy professional woman who wants top-quality service and is happy to spend money on it.
What if in the header of your website you show a picture of a family with the message “Unisex and Family Salon – Great Deals!” ?
Your Ideal Client is not very likely to identify with the image and the message, and will keep searching for other options.
Now, suppose that at the top of your homepage you show a stylish professional woman relaxing on a massage bed with 2 people attending her – and a clear headline that reads “Treat yourself – you’ve earned it”.
Your Ideal Client will feel much more identified with this message than the previous one and will be more likely to engage the website and purchase your services.
Conclusion: Optimize your pictures, your headlines, your content, the WHOLE message that your website projects to fit your Ideal Client profile.
What type of services or products to offer on the Internet
Now that you know what your Ideal Client is looking for: offer it!
When you’re developing your website, don’t fall into the common mistake of selling exactly what you commercialized in the offline world. Things don’t work like that on Internet.
If you correctly identified your Ideal Client, you know what type of product or service they want, and what solutions they are searching for online.
Going back to our example of the Salon & Spa: don’t advertise a quick haircut or massage at discount prices. That’s not what this Ideal Client Profile is looking for. What she wants is a high quality service, an opportunity to relax completely from her work and daily pressures.
Conclusion: Offer your products just like your Ideal Clients request. Simply listen to them and give them what they need.
Content Generation Plan for your Business Blog
In Part 3 of the questionnaire we analysed in more depth the behaviour of your Ideal Clients on the Internet, and what kind of needs or problems they have.
Now you need to take that information and analyze it in order to provide them with specific solutions to all their needs, by means of your Company’s Blog (with news, articles, tips, product and service information, industry advice etc).
Each problem or need will have a key phrase, or ‘Keyword’ via which your Ideal Clients will search the Internet to find a solution. This is the moment where your Blog will provide you its invaluable benefit: new Ideal Clients.
These key words and phrases used by your Ideal Clients will be used as the basis of an article, news or some information in your Business Blog.
As an example, let’s return to the Salon & Spa in Miami.
Talking with several of your Ideal Clients, they expressed interest in knowing how to take care of their hair easily from day to day.
A possible title of an article on your blog could be: “8 Simple techniques to pamper your hair.” In this article, you will explain these techniques in detail, with plenty of professional tips and experiences – and of course mentioning that the products mentioned in the article can be purchased from you at a special price as a reward for being subscribed to your newsletter.
You would also add a link to your online catalogue and have a Call-to-Action button that says: “Book an appointment“ to tempt visitors to visit the Salon, thus pushing to convert casual visitors into paying Clients.
By means of this article – correctly positioned in search engines by carrying out Keyword Research and optimizing the page – you have captured the attention of new visitors who have searched with that key phrase ( e.g. hair care techniques) – and who you have attracted them to your website via your Blog.
If they are Ideal Clients of your salon, they will be attracted by the message that you’ve optimized for them and they will contact you!
Conclusion: Create and optimize articles, news and useful information in your Business Blog, specially optimized for your Ideal Clients.
Start working now by identifying your Ideal Client!
Download our questionnaire model, adapt it to your company and start with the interviews.
If you have any doubts or question with the survey or how to optimize your site, we’re here to help and advise.
Just leave your comment, and we will respond promptly.
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