Asking yourself one simple question can help make your business a magnet for new customers, says marketing professional Madeleine MacRae, owner of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting. “That question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’” In her Oct. 16 Expo session on distinguishing yourself in the marketplace, MacRae says answering this question is the key to driving new business. “Once you know who your ideal client is, you can move in their direction and they can move in yours.”
According to MacRae, an ideal client is one you can consistently and easily serve well each time. “These are clients who love working with you and you love working with them. It’s a win-win.” Once you identify your ideal clients, they can help you hone your marketing message and attract even more ideal clients. MacRae says you can learn who your ideal clients are by finding out what keeps them up at night and what they are worried about relative to your service or product. She says companies need to think from their customers’ perspectives and learn what their clients need, desire, fear and value.
“How old are they?” What do they do each day? How can your business solve a problem that keeps them up at night?” MacRae says knowing these things about their clients can help businesses choose images and stories for more effective marketing. She also points out that happy, well-served clients tell others about their experiences and their reviews, emails and comments on social media are like gold for a company.
“Ask your happy clients why they like you and then use their words to propel your marketing,” MacRae says. She suggests interviewing clients to help you identify trends, and then leverage that data to deliver a message about your competitive edge. “Once you know how you’re different than your competitors, you can tell your story differently in a way that will appeal to your ideal clients.”
Although some business owners say they’re afraid that targeting a specific audience will scare off potential business, MacRae rejects this. “If you’re targeting everyone, you’re essentially targeting no one,” she says. “Telling stories in your marketing that really relate to the specific problems people are trying to solve is the key to finding ideal clients. You won’t repel people, you’ll attract people who are well-suited to you.”