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Your Ideal Customers and How To Find Them
Before you begin to implement any kind of strategy or advertising techniques, it is important to get a deep grasp of your ideal customer. Running an ad on Facebook or Google, performing SEO, or writing a blog will not have significant value to your business if you do not understand who your ideal customers are. Make it a point of your duty to start learning more about your customers immediately.
When you understand your customers, you can tailor messages directly to their needs. It’s the most basic thing most small business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups don’t get. Most businesses fall into the trap of believing they already know who their customers are because they’ve gathered data on their gender, age, location and even relationship status. Problem is, they stop there without pursuing the intimate details of those customers. Understanding these basic data of a customer, doesn’t mean you know who they are. As a matter of fact, everyone is already in possession of this data. So it will serve you well to go further and deeper, in learning about your ideal customers beyond the competition.
If you want your business or startup to remain average and do what everyone else is doing, you can settle with these basic customer data. But if you want to standout and outperform your competition by being an excellent business, you must uncover things about your ideal customers unlike never before. What are your customer’s deepest thoughts and desires? What are their dreams, hopes, fears and wishes? What are they thinking about and not necessarily sharing it with anyone else? How are they acting upon those thoughts or feelings? These questions will force you to dig deep into the lives of those you wish to serve. And yes, this is a lot of work but it’s worth it if you’ve never done it before. This is a chance to be different.
So how do you do this? If you are already in business, it means there are customers you are currently serving. Chances are these customers currently contribute 80% of your revenue. Using the Pareto’s principle of the 80/20 rule (The Pareto’s principle or the law of the vital few suggests that 80% of the effects of many events, come from 20% of the causes). This is an axiom of business management that 80% of sales comes from 20% of clients. So your ideal customers are essentially contributing 80% of your revenue. Within that group of contributing customers, lies the secret to deep learning. Drawing from a selected few of those existing customers, you can analyze them and find more customers like those. We call these “Your Selected Few”. It is in fact a science that more of your selected few are out there and waiting to earn you exponential results.
You need to learn as much as you can about Your Selected Few. Get to know the crucial details about them and be obsessed with their passions, dreams, fears and desires. You must know what makes them tick and go. We call this The Whole Nine Yards Strategy. This is perhaps the most powerful strategy of all the strategies that you must get right. Nothing else is going to matter if you cant get this.
Once you know Your Selected Few, you must start breaking down the common things they share. Age, location, education level, income level and the type of work they do. In addition to these, what products or services they inquired about to find you, and how did they find you. In other words, what channel did they use to get to you? Remember your goal here is to know as much as you can in order to find others just like Your Selected Few. This is valuable data you can now use to identify new customers.
The best place to begin discovering your ideal customer’s goals, dreams, pain and fears is to use two or three major keywords for your products and services that you learned from your selected few. Request a copy of the whole nine-yards strategy worksheet to document your findings.
Side note: Binge watch CSI: Miami or CSI: New York o even Law and Order to understand the psychology of detective work. It could be an enormous help in using those techniques to find your ideal customers.
In certain micro moments of your ideal customers, they use search terms and keywords to find your products and services. (Micro moments are the occasional times your ideal customers think about solving a problem in their day that you may have the solution for).
Search online and document where your ideal customers spend their time. Start searching blogs on Google, LinkedIn posts, reviews on shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy, mobile apps reviews, social media platforms, comments section on YouTube, Reddit and Quora. Check wherever they spend time. Read their thoughts and feelings. What are they pleased or displeased with? What kind of questions are they asking? Do you see any trends in repeated unsolved issues? What are they saying about the existing services or products they are using? If you are going to offer the same kind of products or services, you must know these things. What kind of language are they using to refer to those products or services?
When you are done with your detective work, organize the information by categorizing your findings into important sections, and pay attention to any trends or clues that stood out during this exercise. Lookout for loopholes and gaps in similar products or services already in the market. These are your opportunities to hit a home-run with your ideal customers. Now you can tap into their minds and hearts.
If you go on to your search engine right now (Google or Bing) and start a query, you will notice that the search engine gives you insights on your search. This is called auto-suggestions. So many people have searched similar queries that the algorithm for these search engines can now suggest what you could or should be looking for based on what others have already searched. This is an amazing tool to see what your ideal customers are querying. If you complete your search, the search engine gives you a list of queries related to yours. This is one way you can find out information on your ideal customers.
Another way to get deep insights on your ideal customers is this tool called AnswerThePublic.com. You can find valuable insights on what your ideal customers are thinking by simply entering one of the major keywords. Your keywords then result in a data visualization across multiple areas and allow you to see what people are thinking and saying about the subject. Once you know what kind of questions your ideal customers are asking, you can then provide answers.
For example, if you searched for the keyword “teas”, there are 189 questions that people are asking or have asked about teas. And each of those questions takes you to a listing of suggested resources on google for possible answers.
Here is what the results look like
Questions like, which teas are good for you? Which teas lower blood pressure? Which teas help you sleep? And the list goes on and on. These are actual questions your prospects are asking if you were in the business of teas. Answering these questions can help you engage with your ideal customers.
There are any number of other places you could look for insight from ideal customers. Facebook insight tools is another example as well as Google market finder. Don’t forget those tools that provides answers like Quora.
Next time we will dive into creating your ideal customer’s avatar or persona. Now that you have some tools on how to use the whole nine-yards strategy to learn about your prospects, you can literally build your ideal customer’s persona and place it somewhere where everyone will see it.
At MI Group we help startups, entrepreneurs, small and medium size businesses to understand who their ideal customers are in order to grow their business. If you need help with working through identifying your ideal customers, reach out to us for a free consultation session. We are happy to help.