How to identify your Ideal Client and optimize your website
One of the cornerstones of any Internet Business is knowing who is your Ideal Client.
Almost all entrepreneurs and business owners make the serious mistake of avoiding this stage in the eagerness to have the site online as soon as possible, without even stopping to think about who will be directed to, what do they want, what problems they have and what solutions they need.
Who is an Ideal Client?
An Ideal Client is one who finds the perfect solution to his problems or needs in the services or products your company provides. The Ideal Customer complies on the loan, is loyal to your company, is recurrent in the use of your products or services and is constantly recommending you to all his friends.
So who is specifically the Ideal Customer 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. Perhaps you never thought about it, but when this question echoes in your mind, the answer is instantly triggered by your subconscious. THAT and no other is the time to take pen and paper, as in old-fashioned, or a blank Word for the more computerized and start taking note of all details and information transmitted by the little understood subconscious.
You may wonder: Why Ideal Clients? Supposedly a Web site is for everyone. Why do I have to limit to ONLY one type of client?
For every good question, there is always a good answer:
Please coldly analyze your business. Start by listing the number of customers you have that meet the condition of Ideal Clients. Now relate them to your total customers. Without being a fortune-teller, I would risk that they do not exceed the 10% of all clients. “I succeed, right? Calm, I’ll surprise you even more.
Now that you calculated the percentage of Ideal Clients you have in your company, estimate how much profits your earn from those Ideal Clients compared with the gains from the rest of your customers (i.e. ALL that are non-Ideal Clients).
I assure you that those few Ideal Clients you have, are the ones that leave at least 90% of your total income. Surprised, right? I told you I was going to surprise you even more.
Now think: 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 Customers?
Let’s take this to specific numbers to understand it better:
Let’s suppose all the customers you have now are 100, that leave a total income of $ 10,000 per month (let’s do the math easy). Of these 100 clients, only 10 represent your Ideal Clients that leave the 90% of your total income. Let’s take the previously said into numbers: $ 10,000 * 90% = $ 9,000
This means that your 10 Ideal Customers leave you $ 9,000 a month, while your other clients leave you a profit of only $ 1,000. Let’s assume now that your 100 clients are Ideal Clients, as a result you would gain:
10 Ideal Clients Ideal ___________ $ 9,000
100 Ideal Clients ______________ x = $ 90,000 profit
Translated: If all your customers were Ideal Clients, instead of earning $ 10,000 a month you would be earning $ 90,000 doing the same job or cost (as you would have the same number of customers, but all these would be Ideal Clients). Now that we have everything to numbers and you can see it more clearly: Do you understand why your website should be directed only to your Ideal Customers?
The profile of your Ideal Customer
Your Ideal Client came to light as soon as you started to think about it. Now is the time to put it under a microscope and examine his behaviour on the Internet: What is he looking for? What needs does he have? What websites or blogs does he frequent? Does he participate in forums? Which ones? Does he have a Facebook account? Does he use Twitter?
The creation of your Ideal Customer Profile will provide vital information for:
- Knowing what message should be transmitted on your website
- Knowing what services and / or products you will offer on the Internet
- Knowing the direction your Content Plan will take for your Business Blog
The way to create your Ideal Customer Profile is through a simple survey or interview. Think about those customers that fit accurately the description you did initially of your Ideal Customer and interview them, have a coffee with them, call them by phone. You can send a questionnaire by email, but it is not the most optimal thing since in a dialogue you have more dynamism, the client is not required to write, but he can speak and express freely. Most of your Ideal Clients will not have time, so they will write in a limited and rushed manner. It is different if you sit for a coffee while talking about their needs and problems, as you take note of this vital information.
We have created a questionnaire to identify your Ideal Client with the most common questions you should ask your customers. Certainly you will be tempted to add more questions specific to your business or category, but stop. Do not overwhelm your customers with thousands of questions. Try to be brief and direct.
Here are the questionnaire details we use to identify your Ideal Customer. Click here to download the worksheets.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 1) – Demographic Data
The classic data such as age, geographic location, family, work, income. These data will inform us who is that person that we defined as Ideal Client.
Let’s see an example of how could be the Ideal Client for a Salon & Spa in the city of Miami:
- From 40 to 55 years
- Lives to no more than 30 blocks from the location of the Salon & Spa
- Professional or entrepreneur
- With revenues of over $ 6,000 per month
- Active social life, with many events
- Married with children
- Has a little time for her, because of it she likes going to the Salon and Spa. Probably she really does not need any treatment, but she enjoys it because she relaxes while they offer her a complete service of manicure, facial treatment, waxing and color. She likes to stay an entire afternoon enjoying all the services. She does not like to wait for attendance.
As I said, the value of a personal or telephone interview is unique, since by not having to write, your Ideal Client will provide more information, littered with details. For example, we had not found out about the last item if we had not dialogued with this person.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 2) – Psychological Data
The demographic data told us who is that person that buys. Psychological data, however, will tell us why is she hiring or purchasing our products / services.
While this Part 2 will depend largely on your business / area, we can provide a simple guide of questions that will help you to create those your business deserves. Click here to download the worksheet of your Ideal Customer.
Ideal Client Profile (Part 3) – What do you look on the Internet? What problems or needs do you have?
At this point, your intuition and suspicions are of little use about what your Ideal Clients may be seeking or needing. They, and no one else , will let you know about it.
Encourage your Ideal Customer to describe you what is he looking for, what does he need to know, what topics of your industry is he interested on, what information is he looking on 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. Click here to download the questionnaire of your Ideal Client.
Going back to the example of Hall & Spa in Buenos Aires, let’s suppose that for this Part 3, you get the following answers:
- Internet connection schedule: between 18hrs to 23hrs. On weekends she connects only on Sunday night.
- Issues and Questions: She would like to know more about caring for her hair, as well as her health and nutrition. She is interested in receiving updates on all hair products coming to market.
- Preferred Browser: Google. Sometimes she searches on Facebook .
- Social Networks: she has Facebook only. She knows that Twitter exists but does not understand what it is.
- Subscriptions: she is subscribed to a newsletter of “Known-Journal-of-Beauty.” She also participates of “Forum- Example “, where she consults on various topics of health and personal care.
- Mobile: she reads emails from her cell phone and also tends to use Facebook in working hours.
From these results you already know when to send your newsletters (18 to 23 hours), what type of items you have to focus with your Blog, your positioning efforts will be directed to Google and you’ll have a page on Facebook. It would be very interesting to have a website compatible for mobile phones, and also for your newsletter. At first, you can make PPC advertising (pay-per-click) on the “Known-Journal- Beauty Salon” and / or “Forum-Example”.
Interview as many Ideal Clients you can and know.
Once all these surveys are done, you will have to unify all this information into a single report: Ideal Client Profile. This document is not more than an integration of all the answers. If you have made a good selection of interviewed, then the answers should be very similar except for subtle differences.
Hands to work: optimize your website!
At the beginning of this article we have explained the great benefits that an increase of Ideal Clients can provide to your company. Now that you have a detailed profile of it, it’s time to optimize your Internet business.
Message to transmit from your website
Optimize the message that flows from your website, its design, images, text and titles as well.
It is known we have 5 to 10 seconds to capture the attention of your visitors. If that message or words that trigger the attention of your Ideal Client are at the end of your home page for example, then you have little chances to captivate his interest on it.
What if, instead, we have a headline at the beginning of your homepage with the message that your Ideal Client looks for reading?
For example, let’s go back to the Salon & Spa in Buenos Aires. Your Ideal Client is a woman who has little time for her and wants a quality service. What do you think if, in the header of your website, you show a picture of a man and a young woman with the message “Unisex Salon? It is most likely she will not feel very identified with it, don’t you think?
Now, suppose that at the top of your homepage you show a stylish woman of 45 years, relaxing on a hairdresser chair while being served by two people, followed by a headline that reads “The relaxation that you need, Salon & Spa for today’s woman. ” It is natural that this Ideal Client will feel more identified with this site than the previous one.
Conclusion: Optimize your pictures, your headlines, your content, the WHOLE message that issues from your website as to fit with your Ideal Client profile.
What type of services or products to offer on the Internet
Now that you know what you are looking for or your Ideal Client needs: offer it. When developing your website, do not fall in 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 he wants, how he needs it and how he wants it.
You have to offer what your Ideal Client is looking for or needing. Returning once again to the example of Salon & Spa: do not advertise on the website a quick cut at reduced prices. That’s not what this Ideal Client Profile is looking for, what she wants is a high quality service, for which she doesn’t like to wait but relax completely from her work and daily vicissitude.
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 have investigated in more depth about the behaviour of your Ideal Clients on the Internet and what kind of needs or problems they have.
Here you should take that information and analyze it to provide them, through your corporate blog (either with news, articles, tips), a specific solution to all these issues that concern or characterize your Ideal Clients.
Each problem or need will have a key phrase by which your clients will access the Internet to find a solution. The moment is this where your Blog will provide you its major benefit: new Ideal Clients.
These key phrases used by your Ideal Clients will be the basis of an article, news or just some advice in your Business Blog. By an example you will understand it more clearly
Let’s return to the Salon & Spa in Buenos Aires. Talking with several of your Ideal Customers, they said they are interested in knowing how to care of their hair 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, without skimping on tips and experiences, as well as indicating that the products mentioned in the article, can be obtained in your salon at a special price for being subscribed to your newsletter. Likewise you will add a link to your online catalogue and also have a button that says: “Book Time “, for those who are thinking about a haircut or just relax in your salon.
What have we achieved with it? Through this article, correctly positioned in search engines, we have caught the new visitors who realized some search with that key phrase (hair care techniques) and we have made them enter our web site through our Blog. If they are Ideal Clients of your salon, they will be attracted by the message that you’ve optimized for them and will contact you.
Conclusion: Create and optimize articles and news in Blog Business specially optimized for your Ideal Clients.
Get to work then and start by identifying your Ideal Client. Download our questionnaire model, adapt it to your company and start with the interviews.
Any doubt or question you have with the survey or how to optimize your site then, here we are. Just leave your comment, we will respond promptly.
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