Ever make a joke about some ongoing fad to someone, and they stare at you waiting for the punchline after the delivery? You realize at that moment this was not the person who could or would ‘get’ your humor. Whe comedians make these types of cringe worthy mistakes, the simple critique is that they need to “know their audience.”
For comedians, the evidence of delivering jokes to the wrong audience can be immediate. However, for businesses, this error can actually cost a business – and the business owner might never even realize the reason the business died was because he or she did not understand their client or customer. Unforutnately, this is a problem that is all too common in the coaching and consulting business. Entrepreneurs sometimes work tirelessly at developing a new product or a breakthrough service, and their idea might even be groundbreaking – but they create a solution before digging in to find out who this product or service would actually be suitable for and provide value to.
Knowing the target audience for your product lies at the crux of your product’s ability to thrive and be viable to the market. Entrepreneurs who invest in the product first, often find that the interest for the product is small or that they have not considered the correct audience.
To cater to the right customer base, the fundamental principle is to recognize who you want to sell to. If your answer is everyone, you have committed the cardinal mistake of going for breadth over depth (narrowing down to your particular niche). To meet your sales numbers you need to make sales, and every product has a particular niche of customers that it applies to more than to anyone else.
Singling out your “ideal” customers is what will set your business on the right track to offering the product to the most interested buyer with the highest possible conversion probability.
So how do you identify this ‘ideal client
The best way to approach creating your “ideal” client is by creating a pseudo-client. This is your complete and total wishlist persona description for the perfect customer and to do this in the form of an avatar. Obviously, there may be few people who fit your exact client needs, maybe none, but it is a starting point.
Many successful coaches and consultants use buyer personas to help focus on their target customer as they create marketing campaigns. A buyer persona is a detailed example of the ideal customer in your target audience. Businesses with a broader customer base will have a list of personas.
Presented as a buyer profile, brand personas include detailed information about the target customers. A buyer persona includes the demographics, personal preferences, likes/dislikes, career, and any other necessary information about the person. The best buyer personas make the persona appear as if they are a real person.
Businesses that have more than a single type of customer will often make multiple buyer personas. Each one represents a different type of customer in your target audience. These personas allow you to get to know your customers better.
But wait, get clear on your niche first
Your ideal client should be like your best friend, you know everything about them, what they like and what they don’t, besides, they couldn’t be your best friend if they don’t adapt to you. But how can you know what suits you if you don’t know yourself first? Exactly. The key to finding your ideal client is to know your business, to find your niche.
You must remember that you can’t be everything to everyone; in the business world, going smaller is going bigger in the long run, and smaller does not mean you can be everywhere, it means you’re focused.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of wanting to embrace everything and everyone, trying to excel in everything they do when; in fact, they are making a mistake that can lead them to failure. That’s why you must define yourself to know who you are.
What is the difference between a target market and a buyer persona?
Think about it this way. The ideal buyer or customer is not only the one who pays for your product but the one who recognizes the value of what they are receiving and, at the same time, remains loyal to your business. They are part of your target market, but it is not the same.
Naturally, there is some confusion with these concepts so Let’s look at a practical example:
Imagine for a moment that your services are around marketing consulting, then:
Target market: Men and women, 25 to 40 years old, single, entrepreneurs who plan to start their own business or are struggling to take off.
Buyer persona: Samuel is 35 years old, an experienced architect, and seriously considering self-employment. He is married with 2 young children under the age of 10 and is the sole bread winner of the family. He will like to use his years of experience to prepare recent architect graduates for their first job. Samuel wants the freedom of being self employed so he can spend more time with his young kids while doing something he enjoys. He is looking for guidance on how to build a coaching business that is scalable and can generate the kind of revenue he needs to sustain his family.
After defining the profile of your ideal customer, your business will be ready to communicate more effectively with your potential customers. This in effect reduces your client acquisition costs.
How to Create the Best Buyer Persona
Creating the best buyer persona for your business is much easier than it sounds. After you do your initial research, crafting personas can be fun while also helping learn how to build an audience. Here’s how you can create a great buyer persona.
Gather Customer Information
The first step is to gather information about your target audience. You can collect most of this information from current and potential customers. There are many places where you can easily learn more about your audience.
You can gather a lot of information from your current customers. Gather information on your customers’ location, age, buying behavior, interests, and life stages. You can find some of this information in customer records and through surveys.
Your website and social media accounts provide a lot of important data about who is interacting with your brand online. Analytics tools can provide you with more valuable information about your customers and potential customers.
Also, check out your competition. You can learn about who is interacting with your competition and what groups of people your business is missing. Check out their marketing efforts to see what they’re doing that you can learn from.
Find Customer Pain Points & Goals
Social media is a great place to learn about your customers’ pain points without having to trouble them with an interview or survey. Using social listening and sentiment analysis, you can learn about the problems your customers are facing. You’ll also gain insights into your customer’s goals and what’s blocking their road to success.
Your marketing team will need access to some form of marketing analysis software. This software can find mentions of your brand, services, and competition on social media platforms.
Your customer service team can also fill you in with common customer questions and complaints. Salespeople can offer information about potential customers’ interests and goals. Ask for quotes as these can help your personas feel more real.
How Your Brand Can Help
Now that understand your customer’s goals and pain points. The next step is piecing together how your products and services can help solve these pain points. You may need to draft a brand persona or the list of unique values, traits, and characteristics of your brand.
To do this, put yourself in your customers’ position. Think about how your business’s products and services can help you if you experienced the same challenges as your customers. You and your marketing team will create meaningful marketing collateral that will interest your customers.
Go through each pain point and customer goal to find ways in which your business can help. What answers you come up with here will help form key ideas and messages for your marketing campaigns.
Converting Research into Personas
What do you do with all of the information you’ve collected? You start drafting your best buyer personas.
Begin by organizing your demographic research into groups based on common traits. These groups will make up the core characteristics of your personas. Have others in your team help group your research as well.
You may have one group of men in their 20s who enjoy the outdoors, are single, and live in small cities. Another group may be women in their early 30s who enjoy hiking, have a pet, and live in the suburbs.
With these groups identified, you can shape them into a people, or personas. Give them a name, an age, a job, and a location that fits with the demographic information you found. This profile should look something like what you would see on a dating site.
Add depth to your persona by including their goals, pain points, and successes. Include a little about who your personas are now, who they want to be, and how your business can help. A possible persona may look similar to this:
- Garret the Gamer
- 27 years old
- Works as a sales representative
- Has a lab named Dali
- Plays guitar
- Lives in Los Gatos, California
You want to create a lifelike description of a person and not a list of characteristics. It’s okay if your persona doesn’t fit every person who might be in this audience group.
The goal is to create a buyer profile that will represent one group of customers. Thinking of your target audience as a person with a name and interests will make connecting with your audience easier.
Create Your Best Buyer Persona Now
With these tips, you and your marketing team will create the best buyer personas to guide you through your future marketing campaigns. You’ll entice your audience once again and get your business growing once again.
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