Marketing and sales are less about what you’re selling and more about who you’re selling to. The better you understand your ideal customer, the easier it will be to make sales.
You shouldn’t even start trying to create your product or develop your service until you’ve got your target customers nailed down.
The best way to approach this is to create a profile of your target customer. Some marketers call this a Buyer Persona or Customer Avatar — I call it an Ideal Customer Profile.
How to Gather Insights for an Ideal Customer Profile
Below is a series of questions that you will answer to help you figure out who your ideal customers are and help you understand them better. For each of the following sections, you should create a list of insights.
For each of the following sections, you should create a list of insights.
How do they spend their time?
Getting to know your potential customers takes time because you need to perform deep research to really understand them and what makes them tick.
A simple Google search won’t cut it. Although, Google is a good place to start. I would also explore reddit, Quora, and Amazon reviews to see what people are saying about products like the one you want to sell. Forums and niche blogs can be goldmines for the right niche.
What books do they read? What shows do they watch? Where do they spend their time online?
Make a list of their favorite books, movies, shows, magazines, blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, Instagram accounts, etc.
Then go to those places to dig deeper and ideally talk to some of them.
Who are they?
Describe your prospective customer overall.
What are their demographics? What do they do for a living?
Describe their opinions, their values, and their personalities.
For example, in the health space, a type of customer could be young, health-conscious working professionals who shop at Whole Foods.
List several types of people.
What drives them?
What are their goals? What do they dream about? What do they hope to do or be?
For example, a weight loss customer might think: “I wish I had my college bikini body again.”
These are valuable insights because these are the things that your product or service should help them accomplish.
What stresses them?
What problems are they facing? What are their fears? What keeps them up at night?
For example, potential customers in the fitness space might say: “I’m consistent with working out, but I can’t seem to get the dieting part down.”
These are the problems your product should solve or the fears it will ease.
How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile
Once you have gathered all of your insights, you can start to recognize patterns in the customers for your product or service. These patterns help you identify the customers who are most likely to purchase what you offer.
Use these insights and patterns to create a profile of your ideal customer and one or two additional profiles of other target customers.
Here are a couple of examples of what an Ideal Customer Profile can look like:
There’s no need for any fancy design — a simple, organized document or sheet of paper works fine.
You should update your Ideal Customer Profiles each year and refer to them for strategic decisions.
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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