For any new online marketer, the holy grail is to find a niche market and attract ideal clients. The ideal client represents not only the person with a problem that your product or service solves, but also one with specific qualities and characteristics of a lifestyle, personality and profession.
The idea being that the more we understand the personal aspects of an ideal client, the more specifically we can tailor our products and services to a purchasing customer base. The marketing approach is that we don’t need to try and sell to everyone. By narrowing the focus to our ideal client type, we can have a manageable and profitable business.
The Ideal Client Dilemma
The ideal client dilemma arises when we define and describe this ideal client in detail as a single individual, and then we have to find them to market to.
Most often marketers will start with ideal clients they most identify with as to gender, age, profession and areas of interest. Or, they may idealize a client with a problem or issue they are most suited to work with or would love to help.
The recommendation is be as detailed as possible in identifying our ideal client. It is almost as if we perceive them as a character in a novel, where we would know them so well. The tendency then is to keep this ideal client in mind as we create products and services and develop marketing strategies.
This ideal client can be overwhelming and intimidating when it comes to finding them. Where is she or he on social media, what groups or organizations, what are the identifying analytics, or what joint venture opportunities may there be to others already marketing to them?
How Ideal Does Our Ideal Client Need to Be?
Maybe a better place to start is by asking – how ideal does our ideal client need to be?
The answer lies in what is the product or service being marketed. If you look at your inbox, you have email marketing campaigns coming in every day. Some of those marketers are offering how-to programs. How to write a book, how to do video marketing, how to build your email list more quickly, or how to improve results with this or that tool. From their perspective, the ideal client profile is limited only the person looking to satisfy a need by learning how to do the thing they are offering to teach.
Another type of email campaign is the tele-summit. Usually topics cover major issues and presenters are a mix of male and female experts in the field. They also can be limited to themes specifically related to gender, age or specialized areas of interest. However, because a tele-summit draws from such a large interested population a detailed ideal client profile isn’t as necessary.
Some marketers offer information products only. Topics can be general or more specialized within categories of interest. Here, the ideal client profile becomes a little more specific and focused with the need for more detailed information. The marketer’s ideal clients may be those who are interested in investing in money management funds, college tuitions grants, health and fitness after a heart attack, or travel to Eastern European countries.
Others prefer to market to clients by gender, age or very specific problems or interests. The more specialized the information, the more personalized the service or the more social the engagement, the marketer is better at understanding the expectations and needs of clients having already anticipated them from an ideal client profile.
When the ideal client doesn’t fit.
As great as it sounds to be able to find and attract a niche of ideal clients and be able to narrow your marketing focus, it’s good to remember that ideal clients are first and foremost “ideal.”
Some marketing efforts will suffice with a more general client profile; others will benefit from an ideal client profile when more personalized services are being offered. Most clients will have some ideal qualities, but there will be others who do not.
We may miss wonderful opportunities to work with those who don’t fit the ideal profile. They seem to be certain they want what we offer. Perhaps, our ideal client is not always be as ideal as we think, and maybe it’s time to listen to the market and let it tell us who really needs us.
Let’s chat about your experiences with ideal clients.
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