Your ideal client
Let’s chat about your ideal client and why it’s important to know who they are.
First I want to show you an email I got where I thought, “wow. They get me.”
I was looking for a tool to help me organize all my work and projects and had been through multiple trials with different applications and couldn’t find one I really liked. ClickUp followed up with this email. What makes it so great is that it sounds like they really are talking to just me. I was frustrated so when they said “Customer service in general sucks (along with other project management tools)” I felt like they understood me and only me. That is the power of knowing your ideal client and being as specific as possible. They probably have in their client profile; someone who has tried multiple project management tools, someone who is frustrated with finding a good tool, and someone who is okay with the word “sucks.” Not an email for your grandma (maybe).
So how do you create this client persona?
I have a few prompts to help you out.
If you have worked with clients, who were your favorites and why?
Be as specific as possible and they don’t have to be similar either. You can have multiple client personas. I know that my favorite clients have always been women, between the ages of 20 and 40, are entrepreneurs and value a work life balance. I liked working with them because they were passionate about their businesses and it was easier to relate to another woman entrepreneur.
If you haven’t had clients yet, I want you describe your best friends and why you like them.
Your best client is someone you can be friends with. I think it’s a common myth that you shouldn’t be friends with your clients. I don’t really understand why you wouldn't want to be. If you’re a service based company, you’ll probably spend a lot of time with them. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy that time. Remember why you started a business? I bet part of it is because you’re passionate about helping others.
What problems do your ideal clients have?
This is really important. You want to be able to help your ideal clients solve their problems. Especially if they all have the same issues. One way to do this is to ask for feedback from past interactions. Yes it’s difficult and yes it’s uncomfortable, but I promise you’ll get used to it.
Here are the three questions I always ask.
What did you like about the branding process with me?
What didn’t you like about the process or what do you wish was included? List any pain points here.
Do you feel as though I was priced appropriately?
*A couple notes about this question. I asked it when first starting out because price can be a barrier for a lot of people. Also, as a woman business owner, I know I probably wasn’t charging my worth. And I think a lot of women face that issue. Once I got feedback saying I was a steal, I knew to bump up the prices. Clients also associate quality with price so keep that in mind.
Your task now is to ask your past clients these questions. As many clients as you feel will help you.
You are now ready to build your client persona.
Below I have created an example of a client persona for a brewery. This brewery is creating craft beers for Dads. Now that they know and understand Christopher, they can always talk to him with any email marketing, web copy, or social media post. Their clients will feel like they understand them and are talking directly to them. For example, Christopher likes to play poker with his friends. There is so much you could do here. You could create a beer with a specific poker theme or you can use messaging around it. Something like; “Beer so smooth you’ll always keep your poker face.”
It’s important to get a picture of your client and put a face to the name. I use Unsplash, Pexels, and Burst to find a free stock photo of a person who represents my ideal client. Hang your client persona up above your desk so they are always in sight as a reminder.
Now the fun stuff. Let’s interview your potential clients.
Again, this can be a little nerve wracking but once you get to talking to someone who could potentially interact with your product or service, this will be fun. I promise. This is where you can get to know people who have the potential to buy from you and why they definitely would or why they definitely wouldn’t. This is where it’s also helpful to have your niche market identified. These questions will vary depending on the industry you’re in. Here are the questions I used for the potential clients of a craft brewing company above.
Where do you buy craft beer?
Why do you buy it there?
How often do you buy craft beer at the store vs at a brewery or bar?
What are craft beer brands that you don’t like and why?
What are your favorite craft beers and why?
What is the #1 need in the craft beer industry?
What is your email address?
That’s it. Super simple. I gave them all a $6 gift card to a brewery so they could buy a beer on me. You might need to give bigger incentives depending on the industry or product but most people are happy to be heard.
I would love to see your client personas! Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or concerns about this process.