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If you’re like any other business owner, there is only so much time and money for marketing. Not marketing is definitely not an option either. In today’s busy world with messages constantly flying at consumers, they are tuning out more and more often.

It’s like when you were trying to get your parent’s attention (or your kids are trying to get yours): the constant hounding fades away like white noise, but the moment there is no noise at all, parents spring into action. I knew the moment my kids were quiet, that was the time to worry. They were probably doing something they weren’t supposed to. Business owners and marketers are often so focussed on joining the noise, shouting louder than the rest, that they fail to remember it’s in the quiet moments that our audiences will hear us best.

Why do you need to know who your ideal client is?

So how do we find the quiet? How do we get their attention when the world is so noisy you can’t even hear your own thoughts? We build relationships. Healthy relationships. As with any other part of your life, you won’t have a healthy relationship with everyone, so you will want to be selective. I hear it often from my clients “this doesn’t apply to me, I sell to everyone.” It’s okay to “sell” to everyone, just don’t market to them all.

No matter what industry or what product a business is selling, there is always a specific customer that is ideal to work with. If not, we would only have one brand and style of car to drive, or one style of restaurant to eat at. Instead we have many options. Even with grocery shopping, specific customers are attracted to each brand. While some customers are going to overlap, they are anticipating different experiences from each store.

Understanding who your ideal customer is goes far beyond simply knowing an age range, gender, or an interest that they may have. It’s understanding how they think, what makes them tick, and most importantly, what keeps them up at night. When you can speak clearly to their needs and anticipate their problems, wants, and desires, you can build meaningful and deep conversations that your customers won’t be able to miss.

Marketing as we head into 2020 is all about going deeper rather than wide. It’s about having connections and relationships that attract people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. If you can take the objections of your ideal customer and create marketing around that, take the inner thoughts that they haven’t shared out loud and put it into your marketing, you’re going to get the “are you reading my mind?” comments. Those are the comments that start deep conversations that lead to conversions.

We aren’t looking to collect followers in 2020, but rather to convert them to customers. By knowing exactly who we are wanting to have a conversation with, we are able to speed up that process.

How to identify your ideal client

So where do you start? How do you get to know who it is that your ideal customer should be? If you already have an existing business, start with the top 10 – 20% of your best customers. Write down who they are, the things you know about them, the struggles they have, their background, etc. Then start to see which attributes and demographics overlap among them all.

From there (or if you don’t already have an existing audience start here) take a good look at the products or services you offer. What problem do they solve? Of those people who would do you feel the most drawn to help? Why? What do those people look like, where do they live, what other store do they shop at, what does their social life look like, etc.

When you have an ideal customer in mind that you are marketing to, you should know them so clearly that you can imagine what they look like, what they are wearing, and how they will answer the questions that you put out on social media. When you have a vision this clear of who they are, your marketing will reflect this, because instead of speaking to the masses, you will be speaking specifically to one person.

The good news is, that conversation will be deep and it will be real. It will cause others around your ideal customer to lean in and want to know more as well—after all, humans don’t like to be left out. Get deep with your customers, talk so personally that they feel as though you are only talking to them, talk as if you are the only one who really knows what they need and how to get it.

Getting to know your ideal client isn’t something you’re going to do in just a couple of minutes, but “knowing” your ideal client will allow you to market to them in moments. There are already enough people trying to shout over each other trying to be heard, yet no one hears a thing. How will you become the stillness of the quiet that speaks volumes to the right customer?

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Glenda Beagle

Glenda is a business coach who works with bricks & mortar business owners to help them maximize their marketing return on investment while reducing time and money spent on mediums and platforms that don’t work for their ideal customer. In addition to one-to-one private coaching, Glenda also offers her signature workshop Marketing Main Street virtually online & through in-person workshops across Canada and has recently launched a podcast called Rediscovering Main Street, all focused on the small business owner, helping them to have a bigger impact in their community.