Creating your Ideal Customer Profile
The idea of creating an ‘ideal customer profile’ may sound a little off-putting at first. After all, why would you want to limit your business? Surely the more customers you have, the better! But this isn’t about excluding people from your business. It’s about understanding who is most likely to buy from you and how you can best serve them.
Get to know your customer.
The first (and most important) step in creating your ideal customer profile is getting to know your customers. Once you know who your ideal customer is, it becomes much easier to figure out what they need and want. And when you can see the challenges they face and their budgets, it becomes easier to create marketing campaigns that target them directly.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why knowing your customers is so important
- How you can find out about them
- The importance of knowing the needs, wants and challenges of your target audience
Determine benefits and value.
Your product or service has a purpose. It provides something that your customer needs and/or wants, and it does this in a way that is different from other products or services. So, what are the benefits, and how do they make things easier for your customer? What is the value of your product or service?
It’s important to think about what you can offer that no one else does. If you don’t have anything unique like this, then why should anyone buy from you? What is standing between them and buying from someone else who already has it? That’s where your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) comes in!
What are the common challenges?
The first step in creating your Ideal Customer Profile is to look at existing customers and see what problems they have. This can be done by surveying existing customers, or talking with them in person or by phone.
When you hear about these challenges, make sure you understand them fully. You might think that one customer’s problem is another customer’s opportunity—but it isn’t! For example, if a customer tells you she wants to be able to book appointments online and then pick them up in store later that day, that could mean she wants to avoid spending time on her schedule than if she had an appointment scheduled for the next week (and maybe even more). But if another customer mentions being frustrated when he has an appointment planned for tomorrow but gets stuck in traffic on the way there and misses his appointment entirely? That’s something different entirely; it means he needs better transportation options so he can be safe getting to those appointments!
Where can you find them?
Now that you know what your ideal customer is, it’s time to find them. This can be done in many ways, but let’s take a look at some of the most popular:
- Social Media
In addition to being one of the best ways for brands and companies to interact with customers (because it lets them better understand their needs), social media is also where many potential clients spend most of their time online—and therefore where they might be looking for solutions like yours! When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn will always be king. With 80m+ users and 50m+ companies (and growing!), it’s the largest database of potential customers ever to exist! Plus, the powerful LinkedIn search allows you to really pinpoint those in your ICP. You can also use a tool like Lix to export LinkedIn data and find email addresses for your customers, once you’ve found them. Great for research and outreach!
Events are a great way to find and meet your target audience. Now that Covid restrictions are easing, live events are slowing opening up again – alternatively online events can be just as fruitful. Again, LinkedIn is a great resource – head to the search bar, search your chosen topic and hit the ‘events’ filter!
What is your budget range?
When you start to create your ideal customer profile, think about how much money you want to make. The more expensive your product or service is, the fewer customers you’ll be able to affordably serve.
Before you can even think about how much money customers should pay for your product or service, though, make sure that they’re willing—and able—to pay it. If they don’t have any money at all (or if they have so little that they can’t justify spending even $10 on something), then charging them $100 would be pretty ridiculous. You’ll either turn them away entirely or end up with very few sales anyway—neither scenario is good for business!
Who is involved in the decision making process?
- Who is involved in the decision making process?
- The decision maker
- Anyone else involved in the process (e.g., decision makers’ boss, someone who works with them)
- What is their role?
- What is their budget and timeline?
- What are the pain points they are experiencing that you can help solve?
- What does success look like for this customer or client and their business?
Personality types are a great way to help you identify your ideal customers. The most common personality types are introverts and extroverts, but there are others as well.
- Sensors (observers)
- Intuitives (idea people)
- Thinkers (cognitive)
- Feelers (emotional)
The majority of people fall into one or more of these categories. If you don’t know which one(s), ask yourself: “Do I tend to be more of an observer or an idea person? Am I more concerned with logic than feelings? Or do I value both equally?” This will help you develop a better understanding of who your ideal customer is by determining what type of personality they have and how they think about things in general.
Check out the competition.
To start, you need to know who your competition is. If there are other companies in your industry, what are they doing? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they market themselves? What do they say about their customers, products and employees?
The answers to these questions will give you a clearer picture of how to set up the ICP for your business.
Target the right person, with the right message, at the right time.
While you may be interested in selling to everyone, the reality is that not every single person will have a need for your product or service. Therefore, it’s important to spend time identifying who your ideal customer is and why they are a good fit for what you offer.
When you take the time to identify your ideal customer, it allows you to target the right people with the right message at the right time. When you’re able to do this effectively, it can help improve sales by 10x!
We hope this information will help you build your own ideal customer profile, so you can spend more time marketing to those who are ripe for buying. Are there any other tips that have helped you create buyer personas? Let us know in the comments!