How To Identify Your Ideal Customer


James Debono, 5 Small Business Marketing Tips to Sky Rocket Your Business, January 4, 2012 via Flickr, Creative Commons License

One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is to waste time on challenging customers. You know the ones – they don’t see your value; they’re difficult to work with, and they only buy once, never to be seen again. You may be thinking, “My business is so new that any customer is a good customer!”

Not true. While you’re dealing with the wrong customers, you’re missing opportunities to court the right ones. Ideal customers will see your brand as a perfect fit for their needs, remain loyal (and profitable) to you and tell others how great you are. If you create ideal customer profiles, you can more easily target the right customers and stop wasting your time with the wrong ones. Use the guide below to write comprehensive customer profiles that you and your staff can refer to in the future.

Step 1 – Demographics

Identify your ideal customer’s:

  1. Gender
  2. Age
  3. Place of employment
  4. Job title
  5. Income
  6. Level of education

If you’re a B2B brand, think about how many employees your ideal clients will have and how much annual revenue they generate.

Step 2 – Psychographics

Identify your ideal customer’s:

  1. Values
  2. Goals
  3. Joys
  4. Worries
  5. Frustrations
  6. Problems at home
  7. Problems at work

Step 3 – Behaviors

Identify your ideal customer’s:

  1. Favorite activities
  2. Favorite brands
  3. Internet habits
  4. Social media preferences
  5. Ways of working (methodical, creative, organized, messy, etc.)
  6. Buying behaviors (research, impulse buying, etc.)

Step 4 – Geographics

Identify your ideal customer’s:

  1. Location (local, national, global)
  2. Proximity to geographic features (water, mountains, etc.)

You may have several kinds of ideal customers, so create profiles for each of them. The key is to make each profile relatable. Give each profile a name and a corresponding photo. You can also create profiles for the customers you don’t want. Being as specific as possible will make it easier to market to the right customers and, ultimately, to grow your business.

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