who is your ideal customer

 

Who IS your ideal customer, and why do you need to know?

Because if you’re trying to appeal to everyone, then in reality, you’re actually appealing to no one. You’re boring.

“Next…”

And because if your website conveys a vibrant, fun and youthful business personality, then that’s no good if your ideal customer is the mature, conservative bank manager type (OK maybe I’m being a bit mean to bank managers… I’m sure some of them dye their hair purple and listen to experimental electronica).

The point is, it’s vitally important to know who you’re selling to so you can gear the mood of your business personality towards them.

One method of getting to grips with your customer is to use a mood board (have you used one for your business personality as well? You should – just keep these boards separate – you’ll see why in a minute).

Now, I know there are lots of people who have a bit of a haphazard attempt at putting together a mood board for their biz via Pinterest and the like. However, it’s not just “whatever you like” – it needs to be more strategic and there is definitely a method to using mood boards in order to extract the information you need. That’s because you’re coming at it from two points of view – what you want your business to look like, and who your IDEAL CUSTOMER is. It’s like those Venn diagrams you learnt about in high school (you know, the ones where two circles overlap) – the area in which these two groups of things overlap is the sweet spot you should be aiming for. If you’ve got the right business for YOU, those two circles should have a pretty big overlap.

It’s most important to focus on your ideal customer, and what you want your business to look like will grow fairly naturally out of that – because you’re picking the pictures, right!? My best tip is to do this via Pinterest, because it’s so easy to find pics that suit. Better still, when you’re using Pinterest you can research things that are harder to investigate from the comfort of your own armchair (unless you’re a complete magazine/TV junkie…).

If you know exactly who your ideal customer is that’s great, but if you’re a bit fuzzy on them, that’s OK; you will probably know a little bit about them anyway.

Get a sheet of paper, and title it “My ideal customer”. Start with the basic demographics – stuff like gender, marital status and family situation, income level, education, and culture/race (if it’s important – for some products it can be).

Next, it’s time for a bit of educated guesswork about some other aspects of your customer’s likes and dislikes, and so you need to get into their head a bit more. Really, take a guess – because as we said at the start you need to appeal to someone. And as your business grows and you get to see more of your customers, then the more you will refine your ideal customer and figure out how to appeal to them. So have a think about these questions, and write down your answers.

1. What are their goals and aspirations?

2. What do they read? Magazines? Blogs? Books? You can list broad genres, but also get specific and list titles.

3. Where do they hang out – in real life, and online? There are some great infographics out there that match demographics to the different types of social media they use – for instance Facebook users tend to be a bit older because they like the chat as well as the pictures, Instagram tends to be a younger crowd; it’s more visual and faster.

4. What’s an average day like for them?

5. (And this comes back to the all-important connection between your product and your ideal customer!) What problem do they have that your product solves, and what do they hope to experience when they use your product?

 

OK! Still will me? Good.

 

Get on over to Pinterest.

Ask yourself, what magazines does your “IDEAL CUSTOMER” like to read? Are they likely to read Better Homes and Gardens? Or Frankie? Or the Renegade Collective? Or Country Living? Concentrating on these style magazines is great, because each of them has a very distinct aesthetic and focus, and you can get a very strong vision of what kind of lifestyle your customer is aspiring too and what they like to surround themselves with. You can soon figure out whether they are likely to live in an apartment in the city, or a comfy family home in the suburbs.

In Pinterest, search your magazine title, and pin a bunch of images from what comes up. Pin lots. What interior decoration images are there? What colours come up – are they muted and soft, or lots of neutrals with pops of bright colour? How does the style make you feel? For instance, Better Homes and Gardens is very comfy and family home oriented, while Frankie is younger and a retro feel with lots of ditsy floral prints in soft colours.

Work your way through the images you’ve chosen and try and pick out the common things you see – colours, patterns, textures, and how those images make you feel – heroic? glamorous? cosy?

Now go back to your “Ideal Customer” page, and go through those answers again. Is there anything that doesn’t fit? Cross it out. Is there anything you’ve missed? Add it in. Is there some new insight into their aspirations? Write some more.

Write it down. It’s your reference sheet, for whenever you come up with a new product idea, or a new marketing idea, or someone approaches you for a collaboration, or…    Then ask your ideal customer if it’s something they’d be interested in. If not, put the idea aside and move onto something that will be more to their liking.

And yay, look at those Pinterest boards again and you’ve got some great colour palettes to work with for your own branding as well!

 

I pinned a bunch of stuff from BHG - look at those colours!

I pinned a bunch of stuff from BHG – look at those colours 🙂

 

A last word from the wonderfully astute Tara Gentile.

People don’t buy because what you do is awesome. People buy because it makes them feel awesome. - Tara Gentile Click To Tweet

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Got any questions about your ideal customer?  If you do, pop your questions in the comments below. Do it! You never know who else might be wondering exactly the same thing but be too shy to ask.

Let’s help each other!

Julie x

(p.s. the launch of The Clarity Sessions – One on One Brand Coaching is only TWO DAYS AWAY! Get in on the ground floor and get a huge early bird discount on this service, by jumping on the mailing list below! {And there’s a free consultation as well} )

 

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