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  • Writer's pictureRhiannon Louden

Five ways to identify your ideal client (and how to reach them)

How do you determine your ideal client and target audience for your small business?


Your ideal client is not "everyone who lives in [your city]". Or "everyone who needs [service/product your offer]". Your ideal client is the kind of person who not only needs (or wants) what you have to offer but who wants to buy that product or service from you specifically.


You aren't the only one doing what you do, but you are the only one doing it your way. Your style and approach are unique. Your personality is one of a kind. The way it is to work with you is different. No matter what industry you're in, you have USPs (unique selling points) that set you apart from others doing a similar thing.





How to IDENTIFY your Unique Selling Points


If you have yet to determine your USPs, check out this article where I walk you through a step by step guide on how to identify your USPs and communicate your message effectively to the right audience.


Speaking of the right audience, let's get back to that ideal client. So there's a lot more to it than just their needs and location. There is something about YOU, your brand, and your product or service that makes them drawn to you specifically. Let's figure out who these magical superfans are. If you're wondering how to identify your ideal client, work through the next steps and get your marketing back on track.


How to identify your ideal client


1. Look closely at your past/existing clients and customers


First, take a look at the practical stuff: age, gender, relationship status, kids or no kids, pets or no pets. Where do they live: not just general location but what type of home and neighbourhood? What do they do for a living? Where do they work? How do they commute?


Next, delve a little deeper into their habits (if you can).I'm not suggesting you start stalking your clients (probably bad for business) but you probably know more about this than you think. Social media is great for this! Where do they spend their spare time? What do they read? What causes do they support? What are their values? Where do they spend their money?





Finally, and this is the easiest part: how did they find you? You can ask them outright if you don't know already (and for future use it's helpful to add this question into your contact form).


Having a solid idea of who your past and existing customers are gives you a clear indication of who you re currently reaching- and from there you can decide if you're happy with this, or if you need to make some changes to suit your future business goals- or simply who you actually want to work with.


2. Look closely at your audience


Who is engaging with your content online? Who is opening your emails and newsletters? Who is liking and commenting on your social posts? Who is sharing your content or referring you on to friends?


Sometimes you might be surprised by this: and your audience isn't always entirely made up of your ideal clients. Sometimes the people who interact most with you aren't the ones who buy from you- but are still a valuable resource in growing your business awareness by sharing, recommending, etc.


Ideally you want more of your ideal clients joining your audience too , as often you need to build that trust through your marketing before they are ready to buy from you.


Is your messaging reaching the right people? Is your audience engaging with your content? Do you need to make any changes in either who you are targeting or the message you are sending out?


3. Identify their problems and fears


What problem can you solve for your ideal client or customer? What worry can you resolve for them? If you make bath products, you can help your customers to better relax. Or to treat their skin condition. You don't just make nice smelling bath stuff- you are providing a solution. If your ideal client struggles with confidence, you can offer them coaching sessions to improve their public speaking and feel more capable of creating great video content. You aren't "just" a coach, you are a coach who helps people overcome their fears.

Important to remember here that your product or service exists because people need and or want it. You just have to remind them that you're more than just a [job title]- you are solving a problem for them.


4. Identify their goals and what's important to them


Once you know what problem you are solving for your ideal client, think about the bigger picture: is that a small part of a bigger goal? Maybe your customer purchasing bath products are trying to make more time for self care and take better care of their mental health. Perhaps your coaching client is trying to reach a wider audience and pursue speaking opportunities. Find a way to relate to these goals and share content that makes your ideal client feel seen and understood.


5. Identify their values


Chances are, your ideal clients will share similar values top your brand, and probably to you too. They probably prefer to buy from small local businesses, for one- but there will be many less obvious things that drew them to you. If it's been a while since you formally identified your brand values take a quick read through this post on identifying your brand values and keep them front and centre in your marketing to reach more like minded people. Sometimes you need to remind your audience and your ideal clients what your brand values are, what's important to you and what you stand for as a small business and as a human being.


Knowing WHO you want to reach with your marketing and branding is the first step in thinking about your brand strategy- but it's not a "one and done" type task. This is something you should revisit somewhat regularly as your business grows and develops and your goals change. Once a year is a good rule of thumb- and/or anytime you are doing a bit of a rebrand or significant change in your offering.





Is it time for a Brand Audit?



And if you feel like you can't be objective (I mean, who can- your business is so close to your heart!) you may find it helpful to work with a brand consultant who can share their impartial perspective and give you experienced advice on what changes will help you reach your next business goals.


Let's work on your brand strategy together


I'd love to work with you on an audit for your branding and content, or help you create a new brand and content strategy if you're looking to make some big changes (or are just getting started in your business journey). Drop me a message at hello@smallfishglasgow.co.uk or book a discovery call in here.



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