20 Questions to Ask before you choose an ideal client
What is an ideal client? And why do you need one? I am so glad you asked! I believe it is the most important step of starting a business, creating a course or writing a book. Yes, it is that important. Let's dive in, shall we?
1. Are you trying to appeal to everyone?
I’m sorry to tell you this, but if you appeal to everyone then you appeal to no one. You can’t advertise to the whole world, right? Even Facebook ads will tell you if your target is too broad and will ask you to narrow your choices. here’s a tip - they are totally made up based on the person you were or thought of when creating your product or service. You will always get outliers, but for marketing purposes, you need to start with a specific demographic. This is called your ICA or Ideal Client Avatar.
2. Whose problem are you solving with your product?
Every product or service that is available for purchase solves a problem. If what you are offering does not solve a problem then odds are unless it’s just a fun doodad, it will unlikely sell the numbers you are dreaming about to get you to early retirement or in first class on your next holiday. Knowing what problem you are solving is important when it comes to marketing. So think hard about this one.
3. Is this product or service something that would be purchased as a gift?
Meaning is your IC the gift giver or the gift recipient. Is it something that the person using it would purchase or their mum would purchase for them for example, which would make mum possibly the IC?
4. Will you be happy to serve the same person for the foreseeable future?
It doesn’t matter if it is a product or a service, you will be interacting with this person on a daily basis, so if you are a middle-aged man and don’t want to deal with grandma’s every day then make sure your ICA does not reflect this. Do you think if it’s a product you won’t actually speak with them? Think again… they will contact you for returns, support and all kinds of things, so you will be interacting with them for the lifetime of your business.
5. Were you this person at some point?
Often we start a business because we have found a solution to a problem we had ourselves. If this is the case, then your IC can be based on who you were at the time. Often that is 10 years ago, but sometimes it can be something you solved now that you know others would want. Although your IC is fictional I can guarantee that there will be hundreds of thousands of people out there that fit your IC.
6. What gender are they?
This is not as simple as it once was, and while just “male or female” might be all that is necessary for some products and services for others you may need to know what all those letters stand for in the LGBTQ world… probs good to find out even if it’s not relevant to what you are selling right? To be a good global citizen?
7. How old are they?
Don’t think this one needs explaining, but you can go a step further and find out their generation… Gen X, millennials or baby boomers perhaps?
8. What is their marital status?
Are they married, single, divorced? Are they too young for that or have they been married 5 times? Or do they not believe in marriage and prefer to just shack up?
9. Do they have kids?
If so, how many do they have? How old are they? Do they love hanging out with their kids? Do they live far away from them and that is part of the problem you help to solve?
10. What do they do?
Do they work, have a career or are they a student? Are they a workaholic, or someone who can’t wait to retire young, or someone who still doesn’t know how they are meant to contribute to the world?
11. Where do they live?
Are they local or a global audience? Can you find them in every state of every country or only in certain places?
12. What is the weather like where they live?
Do they live in a hot climate where they are outside doing outsidey kinda things or do they live in a cold climate where they do lots of insidey kinda things (yeah, I’m claiming them as words so don’t judge me)
13. What do they do for fun?
Do they like skateboarding, knitting, gaming, play a sport, watch a sport, go to the movies, are they adrenaline junkies? Is fun to them simply laying around watching Netflix or Youtube and having a cocktail? Some might say that is a regular pastime in the Wolfig House!
14. Where do they hang out in real life?
Are they skateboarding teenagers that hang out at the local Youth Club or Young Mums that meet for coffee every Friday morning? Are they Grandmas that get together and knit for charities or bodybuilders that spend their lives at the gym?
15. Where do they hang out online?
Are they Instagrammers, Youtubers, Pinterest mums, facebookers? Who do they follow? What private groups are they in?
16. How do they speak?
Are they prim and proper and use all the correct grammar and punctuation or is everything shortened to letters and emoji’s? Knowing this is vital to your marketing plan.
17. What is their income bracket?
Do they live off some kind of benefit, do they get an allowance from mum and day, are they a CEO of a fortune 500 with cash to splash? Do they live week to week or have savings, investments and shares? Are they an empty nester housewife with plenty of money but no time on her hands?
18. What is their education level?
Are they still in school? If so secondary or tertiary or mature age gone back to change their career? Are they trade qualified or have a PhD? You may not think this is necessary to know, but you will need to know it if you ever run a Facebook ad.
19. What is their favourite colour?
Is your IC a fan of fluorescent colours? They are goth and live for Black on Black? Your brand colours are going to attract your IC so they need to colour they gravitate towards.
20. What is their favourite symbol?
Are they into skull and crossbones, nautical themes, or fantasy? Are they dreamy girls who sit around drawing hearts and stars or are they men who scribble circles and fill them in while talking on the phone?
Let’s finish with another little talk about why knowing your ideal client (IC) is so important, in case you didn’t figure it out through these questions...
Your IC is the person who is going to pay you for what you are selling. So wouldn’t that make them THE most important person in your business world? I think so! Therefore everything you create in your business needs to be for your IC. There is no point in using your favourite rock band graphics on a website if your IC is a middle-aged woman with a cat. There is no point using swirly hard to read graphics if your IC is an older man who possibly needs glasses to read as it is.
This step in starting your business is the one I consider the absolute foundation of all branding and marketing. This very topic is so often skipped over and considered eye-rollingly boring by most starting out in business. I mean it’s much more fun to just plaster your own favourite colours, hobbies and interests everywhere, chuck a few products up on a website and wait for the money to roll in right?
Trust me when I say… get this bit right, and then, maybe then the Cocktail Money will appear…
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