When I consult other business owners, one of the first questions I ask is “who is your ideal customer?”.
Often times this question is answered with a head tilt and a “hmmmmmm…ideal whhhhat?”.
The reason I ask this question first is because it is THE most important question to answer for a truly spectacular marketing plan. That’s because, for a marketing plan to be truly successful it NEEDS to resonate with your ideal customer.
Marketing to your ideal customers is a lot like dating.
People want to date someone they find charismatic, inspiring, intellectual, seductive….
Would you go on a second date with someone you found straight-up BORING on the first date? Zzzzzzzzz.
Defining your ideal customer helps you market smarter because it:
- Improves your content
- Helps you discover where your customers are hanging out online
- Provides insight into your customers’ future needs & wants
HERE’S HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
You want to paint a clear picture of your ideal customer profile. This allows you to get more strategic with your content marketing.
Let’s use Sprouts Farmers Market as an example.
Pretend Sprouts identified their ideal customer as:
- People who love eating healthy foods
Baaaaaaaaahhhhh! (buzzer noise)
This is a horrible example of an ideal customer profile because the criteria is too broad.
Now, let’s pretend Sprouts identified their ideal customer as:
- Females + Males
- Age 35-65
- Lives in the southwest region of the United States
- Income Level $50K+
- Has some college education
- Interested in gluten free eating
Woo hoo!!! (crowd applauding)
In the second example, Sprouts is more specific about who their ideal customer is. This will make it easier for them to discover 1) where their audience is hanging out online 2) what content they’d be interested in.
STEP 1: ASK QUESTIONS TO PROFILE YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
The best way to get to know someone on a first date is to ask questions.
Think about it. First dates are often riddled with questions like “Where did you grow up? Do you have siblings? What do you do for work?…”
You have to ask these questions to see if you’re compatible.
Here’s what you’ll need to answer:
COMMON DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
- What is your ideal customer’s gender?
- Where does your ideal customer live?
- What is your ideal customer’s age?
- Did you ideal customer graduate from high school? Attend college? Graduate from college?
- What is your ideal customer’s family unit like? Are they married? Single? Do they have children?
- How much income does your ideal customer make each year?
He told readers to use Alexa.com to perform demographical research. #Genius
I’ve used Alexa.com over the years to perform research on my competitors’ websites, but I never considered using it to obtain research about ideal customers.
Here’s how you do it:
- Go to Alexa.com
- If you don’t have an account, sign-up for the free 7 day trial (this unlocks additional demographic information on your competitor’s website audience)
- Click on “Site Overview” in the left side navigation bar.
- Type in the address of the website you would like to analyze.
For this example, let’s use melyssagriffin.com (since she teaches content simlar to mine).
Under Alexa.com’s analysis, there is a section titled “Who visits melyssagriffin.com?”. This is the section you want to pay attention to. It will give you a demographic breakout of the audience that visits Melyssa’s bomb dot com website.
Demographic information is great data to have because it narrows down your ideal customer profile. However, you also need to answer questions about your customer’s background information. This background information will help you understand what your ideal customer is thinking.
- What is your ideal customer’s profession? Job title?
- What other brands is your ideal customer interested in?
- What does a typical day look like for your ideal customer?
- What are your ideal customer’s goals?
- What are your ideal customer’s biggest challenges?
- What kinds of challenges does your ideal customer have that they are not aware of? (You can find an example of this in on STEP 4 of this blog post)
- How can your product/service help them achieve their goals?
As you are answering these questions, you may find that you have more than one ideal customer profile. That’s perfectly fine. In fact, some companies have 10+ customer profiles.
Consider Sprouts Farmers Market. They could segment their ideal customer profiles based on diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo… and create content for each one of these segments.
NOTE: Start small by coming up with ONE primary customer profile you’d like to target. Then, over time you could add + segment your customer profiles further.
STEP 2: USE FACEBOOK ADS TO TEST YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE
When I was rebranding my marketing agency, I realized I had two potential ideal customer profiles.
Potential Ideal Customer #1: Marketers who worked for large sized companies
Potential Ideal Customer #2: Female entrepreneurs (like myself)
Once I narrowed it down to these two potential ideal customer profiles I used Facebook Ads to test these audiences. Here’s how I did it:
First, I create an awesome piece of content for my ideal customer groups. You could create a blog post, free download, video…. or try turning an Instagram Post or Facebook Page Post into an ad.
Second, I went into my Facebook Power Editor and set-up one ad campaign. Within that ad campaign I had two different ad sets. One ad set targeted Potential Ideal Customer #1, and the other ad set targeted Potential Ideal Customer #2.
Third, I let the ad run for 3-5 days and went back and looked at which ad set was receiving a better cost per click, cost per view or cost per conversion.
I ran multiple ad tests for these two ideal customer profiles. Each of these ads featured a different piece of content. Overall it cost me less than $100 when all was said and done (Budget: $5-10/day).
Verdict? I found that “female entrepreneurs” was the better ideal customer profile for camberleywoods.com. This is my primary ideal customer profile.
STEP 3: CONDUCT A SURVEY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE
Once I determined who my ideal customer was, the next step was learning more about their goals, challenges, and needs.
THIS step is CRITICAL.
You have to continue to provide valuable content for your customers so they will want to your relationship to the next level… If you’re lucky, you may get to homebase. 😉
This is done by understanding your customer’s goals, challenges + needs and creating content around these topics.
Now you may be thinking, “Cam… my woman… I’m just started marketing my business. I don’t have an email list or a large social media following. How will I get people to take this survey?”
Here are a few ideas:
- Turn on a facebook ad for your survey and target your ideal customer. You may need to test out an image ad, carousel ad, or video ad. Create a couple versions. It doesn’t have to be super fancy. For instance, you could shoot the video ad with your phone.
- Post the survey to your personal profile and ask friends that fit your ideal customer profile to take the survey.
BONUS ROUND: MARKETING MANIFESTATION
When I have clients to apply these manifestation techniques to their marketing practice, it helps them connect to the needs of their customers more quickly.
If you really want to amplify your marketing game, try one of these exercises.
Exercise 1: Give your ideal customer a story
This exercise is as simple as it sounds.
Open up a journal (or google doc) and simply write out your ideal customer’s story. Give your ideal customer a name, like Julia. Write a typical “day in the life of Julia” story. Write about the weather she woke up to, what she ate for breakfast, how she dressed for work… Don’t be afraid to get creative and crazy with it.
Exercise 2: Create a vision board of your ideal customer
I recommend taping this vision board up in your office where you I can look at it. If that doesn’t float your boat, then try creating a virtual vision board on pinterest. Remember to set this Pinterest board to private. It will keep you from looking like a creeper.
On your vision board include your ideal customer’s name, words that describe them, images of people that fit the description of your ideal customer, images of brands your customer loves, et cetera.
Exercise 3: Meditation for Manifestation
If you watch my Facebook Live or Instagram Live Videos, then you know I love myself some manifestation.
A couple months ago I listened to a podcast that Amy Porterfield did with Gabby Bernstein. On this podcast, Gabby shared a creative visualization meditation she did for her ideal customer. This was a meditation she focused on doing every day for about two minutes.
Here’s how you do your own meditation for manifesting ideal customers.
- Sit down in a quiet spot.
- Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths.
- Picture your customer “Julia”. Imagine she is going about her typical day. Now, during her typical day, imagine she is using/consuming your product.
- As you picture this image, send “Julia” feelings of love, joy and gratitude.
Before you create any piece of content your ideal customer needs to be the central focus. Educate, motivate, or entertain them. Help them achieve their goal or conquer their challenges.
Employ the following tactics to determine who your ideal customer is:
- Answer questions about their demographic & background information.
- Test your ideal customer profile audience with Facebook Ads.
- Conduct a survey to find out what your ideal customer is thinking.
- Manifest that shiz!
If you haven’t determined who your ideal customer profile is, then I encourage you to take this next week to really find + understand them. Knowing this piece of information will help you create better content.
WARNING: people will fall head-over-heels in love with you.
For those of you that would rather watch a video version of this blog post, click the video below!