Benefits of Writing Multiple Ideal Client Profiles
Creating an ideal client profile can help you understand what you offer your clients and what it is that your clients really want from you. Unfortunately, you may miss some things if you only write one.
The ideal client is the persona of the person who you would ideally like to work with. Identifying this person’s traits helps a business owner understand how to best serve this person. If you already have clients, you should look at the traits of your best clients in putting together this profile. If you don’t have clients, you need to honestly consider the traits of people who need or want what you offer.
My original experience with developing an ideal client profile had a problem: there were traits that I wasn’t sure about or didn’t think were particularly important, but because I was supposed to know everything about my ideal client, I ended up agonizing over them. And guess what? At the end of the day, the decisions I made regarding those traits felt forced and unnatural and ultimately didn’t really provide me with any useful insight into my ideal client.
Now that I am working on a new venture and once again I needed to learn more about my ideal client. This time, I have found a solution. Instead of writing one profile, I wrote three and plan to write more. Each profile includes a name and general statements about that ideal client’s goals, plans and challenges. As my business progresses I plan to provide more details, as I discover them.
It took me less time to write all three of them than I had spent trying to write one perfect ideal client profile and they have already proven much more useful. I was able to quickly identify five things that the three different ideal clients had in common and all five of them are relevant to my marketing.
To write your own ideal client profiles, I recommend the following formula:
- Give your client a name. The only rule is that the client’s name needs to feel like it fits the client.
- What does this person want that would lead them to your product or service?
- How will this client get what they want? Think about what they will be doing beyond buying your product or service. How does your offer fit in with their plans or life in general?
- What challenges does this ideal client face?
- What other traits does your client have? I put this one last to help avoiding adding demographic group related generalizations to your profile. Your client may not fit the stereotypes.
After you write your profiles, look for similarities between them. Are those similarities things that you would like in your clients? If yes, congratulations for being on the right track! If no, do some personal investigating into why these non-ideal similarities have popped up. Once you have a list of similarities that you agree fit your ideal client, start considering what those things tell you about the purpose behind your mission and how you can better reach out to and serve your ideal client.
P.S. Remember to update your ideal client profiles from time to time! As things change in your business, you may identify more traits of your ideal client or your ideal client may change. Updating the profiles, or writing new ones from scratch can help you identify changes and new information.