HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMERS
The types of client you work with, ultimately define your business. In more ways than one, clients can set you up for success or doom you and your projects to failure. Every client you take on is like beginning a brand new relationship.
An affair with the right person can turn into a rose colored romance for years. A tryst with the wrong person leads to a complicated, difficult, and hurtful experience you will be trying to forget for a very, very long time. Clients work in just the same way.
Customers and clients who share your passions, match your style, attitude, aesthetic, and standards, give you the tools to be awesome.
FIND YOUR NICHE AND STICK WITH IT
People gravitate to other people that share similar interests, lifestyles, and enjoy the same things. Working with the right clients, on projects you want to work on, sets you up to start collecting referrals that will bring you more, similar clients.
Realizing this was a huge turning point for me. It makes complete sense when you think about it though. People hang out in circles that share common interests. Creative entrepreneurs can’t help but attract and communicate with other creatives. Quirky, edgy people attract other quirky edgy people. Delicate and feminine ladies who build their brands on a sweet aesthetic will surround themselves with other ladies who do exactly the same thing.
Taking on clients that fit your dream profile is the best way to build up your client base with projects that are exactly in line with your vision.
YOUR CUSTOMER PROFILE
The first step in identifying perfect clients is to learn exactly what you’re looking for. Start by building your client profile. Use the demographics, lifestyle indicators, and tastes and preferences to understand this perfect client and make it possible to find other people that fit the description.
Understand your client’s wants and needs, where they turn for information, who they trust, and how they make decisions.
Facebook is a killer resource for understanding the most relevant details about your target market. Take some time to stalk some of your existing clients that fit your profile, as well as a few total strangers that fit the bill.
Check out their profiles to uncover what groups they belong to, what kind of photos are they reposting, and how they phrase their comments and questions.
Look for patterns that you can take advantage of and be open to adopting some of these markers for your own content.
Pinterest is evolving into a really valuable tool for business. By following your clients and people you would love to see become clients, you can learn a lot about how your target audience responds to content on the web.
People re-pin content that is important to them, and organize their boards in ways that offer insight into their values. People collect photos they like, from websites they trust, and they follow people who they care about.
Using Pinterest it’s easy to see what inspires and motivates people. Be aware of how your best clients are using the social pin board and start to learn what they post, what problems they are trying to solve, what things are important to them, what kind of visuals they respond best to, and what kind of websites they trust the most.
Find patterns in the styles of photos they are repinning and draw inspiration from those for your own photos, websites, and custom content.
If Facebook can tell you all about your client’s demographics, and Pinterest can demonstrate their tastes and preferences, Instagram can unearth their search behaviors.
Of all the information you’ve collected so far, your target market’s search behavior is some of the most useful. These are the ways your clients go about finding you. Instagram, because of the close knit community, ease of use, and ubiquity in daily life, can show you everything you need to know about your audience’s search techniques. If you listen carefully to the right users you can learn what hashtags prospective clients are using, who they follow, how often they are using social media, what kind of businesses they own, and what types of content they respond best to.
GET TO WORK
Now that you’ve got a comprehensive profile, reverse the process to find more clients that fit your brand.
Use each of these social networks to locate other people using the same hashtags, repinning the same content, and participate in the same groups as your ideal customer profile.