Trying to sell your business without figuring out who your ideal client is first is like shooting fish in a barrel; sure you’ll hit some targets but they may or may not be the right ones and you’ll waste loads of your valuable energy on shooting duds.

Want to get inside the head of your ideal client? First you’ve got to figure out who they are!

Start by answering these two questions:

What problems do you/your company aim to solve? E.G. We help our customers/clients to….

And

Who are the people who typically have this problem? Who struggles with the issues you aim to solve. (Writing “everyone” doesn’t count, be specific)

Now, out of those people you’ve identified above, who is your IDEAL client? Who do you really want to work with?

Here’s an example…

What problem do you solve: “I help my customers to get more attention, create more connections and sell more products and services by teaching them how to write copy that their audience love!”

Who might need this service? “Entrepreneurs in all industries, SME’s, PR companies, magazines, newspapers, solopreneurs, other writers and big corporates.”

Now let’s get really specific…

Who do you really want to work with?  “Solopreneurs as I feel that’s where I can make the most difference and I love working with women, so that’s who I’m aiming for – women who run their own business.”

If you wanted to you could narrow it down even more, for example: women who run wellbeing businesses. It’s not always necessary to do this, but it can help if you’re finding you lack focus in your marketing messages.

Sometimes of course, it doesn’t work like that.

Let’s say you’re a massage therapist and you specialise in relaxing Swedish massage. It can be pretty hard to nail down a specific customer! So instead of focusing on who they are, focus on what they want.

What are their needs or desires?

In this case it might be to de-stress or perhaps have some me-time? Once you’ve figured out what they want, create your marketing campaigns around those messages and how your services bridge the gap between the need and the results.

Once you’ve worked out who your ideal client is, what they like, what they want and where they hang out it becomes much easier to target your products, services and marketing to them.
Speaking of which, step two is…

How to: Find your ideal clients

Pumping out generic advertising across a range of media outlets or social channels is not going to get you the clients you need to make your business a success. So, now that you’ve nailed who your ideal client is, you need to dig a bit deeper to figure out where they are hanging out.

Take a walk through the day of your ideal client and ask yourself:

  • Where do they go?
  • What do they like to do?
  • What sort of hobbies do they have?
  • Where might they hang out on the weekend?

The aim is to start making yourself really visible where your potential clients hang out. If you’re passionate about what your business does then chances are you might already be active in several key areas, great! But be prepared to get out there and make some new connections too.

Here are a few examples of specific client hubs:

Target: Mums and mums-to-be
Twitter, Facebook, parenting magazines, websites and forums, children’s centres, soft play areas, local coffee shops, yoga studios and gyms.

Target: Design Students
LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, design magazines, websites, social media group pages and forums, art galleries, museums, music events, local colleges and universities, wine bars, coffee shops.

Once you’ve found them, it time to grab their attention and start to make that all-important connection.

How to: Get your ideal clients to connect with you

Ok, so you know who your client is and where they hang out. You’re super clear on what you’re going to offer them and, most importantly how it’s going to solve their problems and make their lives simpler/easier/faster/more fun.
Now you’ve got to tempt them in. Here’s how

Invest in an awesome website: Great design and content is what nabs potential customer’s interest, draws them in and then makes them fall head over heels in love with you. And that’s what you want right? Research finds again and again that making a small to medium investment in your online presence is vital to getting your business off to a flying start.

Be helpful on social media: Get up close and personal with potential customers by sharing advice and solving problems in relevant forums and Facebook groups. Skip the direct sales talk and aim to be friendly and helpful, if someone asks what you do then seize your chance to introduce yourself!

Consider guest bloggingApproach blogs and online businesses that are popular with your target market (like this one!) and offer them a free guest post filled with expert tips and advice in return for a by-line and link to your website.

Want to write for MeMeMe? Find out how here…

Want to write for MeMeMe Means Business? Find out how here…

Get interviewed: Pitch yourself as an industry expert to other people’s blogs, podcasts, local magazines and newspapers and popular websites.

Start interviewing: Got some high profile contacts up your sleeve? Interview them, post the write up on your blog and them promote the hell out of it on social media. If you’re short on contacts but big on confidence them put together a polite interview request and approach a few experts via their website or social media pages. There’s no harm in asking right?

Remember, marketing yourself takes time so be patient and stick with it. The more you learn the better you’ll be able to target your efforts in the future.