How is finding your ideal customer like your favorite Rom-Com?
It always amazes me in romantic movies, when the boy and girl find each other across a crowded room. Or when Tom Hanks finds Meg Ryan atop the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle? How is it that in a city with over 8.5 million people and another 3.5 million who visit the Empire State Building each year, these two strangers run into each other? And although they had never met, they were looking for each other?
They found each other because they were looking for each other. They were in the right place at the right time when they knew the other person would be there.
Now imagine if you and your customer could “bump” into each other at the right place, at the right time, in a crowded space. It can happen when you know who you’re looking for and you show up where your customer hangs out.
How well do you know your ideal customer?
Knowing and understanding your customers is one of the most important things for your business, and unfortunately, it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of the company.
If you could create your dream customer, who would it be? I know what you’re thinking. “Everyone is my customer.” In very rare cases, is EVERYONE your customer. Narrowing down your audience to the specific niche you serve doesn’t limit your audience; it tells your perfect customer that you’re for them. When you’re for everyone, you’re for no one.
Imagine you sell dog food. Is everyone your customer? Think about who ISN’T your customer. Children. Cat owners. People who don’t own any pets. In this case, your customer isn’t everyone. Your customers are adults who own dogs. Now you can build a persona or avatar around that customer.
Developing buyer personas or understanding your ideal customer avatar will allow you to get a better understanding of the type of person buying your products or services. Are they male or female? Young or old? Are they well educated? Employed? Have hobbies? What keeps them up at night and how will your product or service help to solve their problems. Make your marketing efforts about them, not you. And knowing who your customer is will help you to understand what and where to market yourself.
Whether you call it a Buyer Persona, Ideal Customer Avatar, or Perfect Customer when you are crystal clear about who they are, you spend less time and money trying to reach them. You show up where they are, and you speak their language.
Imagine if I told you your perfect customer is in Costco. You don’t know where in the store they will be or what time they will be there. But you show up and fight the crowds of people stocking up on paper towels and tasting all the free samples. Would you go in there with a megaphone and shout your message? As loud as you are, your customer won’t hear you. It’s too crowded of a space and just too noisy.
Now, what if I told you your customer is a woman and she will be at Costco on a Saturday and she will be wearing a blue hat standing near the frozen food section. And there between the lifetime supply of meatballs and the pre-cooked bacon is your ideal customer, wearing a blue hat.
I gave you enough information to find your ideal customer in a crowded space:
Where: Costco in the frozen food aisle
Who: Woman in a blue hat
By knowing personal information, known as demographics, about your ideal customer, you were able to identify her. Do you understand this kind of information about your perfect customer?
- Is it a male or a female?
- How old is he or she?
- Where do they like to shop? What kind of hobbies do they have?
- Where do they work?
- Did they go to college?
- What is their marital status? Do they have kids?
- What keeps them up at night? What are their pain points?
Most businesses have between 3-5 Buyer Personas or Ideal Customer Avatars. These are fictional representations based on actual data of your target audience. When you can identify these characteristics you can find them and speak their language. You’ll know which social media platforms they use most, what their preferences are, their problems and challenges. You will see them everywhere you go thanks to your Reticular Activating System or RAS. Your RAS is a system of nerve pathways that raise your level of consciousness.
Have you ever bought a new car and remember how excited you were to be one of the only people you know to buy that make, model, and color of the car? And then lo and behold, you see YOUR car at every stoplight! When did everyone run out and buy YOUR car? They didn’t. They’ve always been there, but now, thanks to your RAS you see it more clearly.
This will happen when you identify your ideal customer avatar too. To help you define your ICA, I’ve created a worksheet that will guide you through the process of getting to know your customers. For added clarity, I recommend talking to 5-10 people that fit this category. Ask them questions about their challenges and pain points. You’d be surprised by the information you will learn!
Once you create your ICAs or buyer personas, you can now create a strategy to create content, products, and services for how you will solve your customers’ problems, AND you’ll know exactly what marketing strategies will work. No more throwing marketing ideas at the wall to see if they stick. Creating your Ideal Customer Avatar profile will make you a more effective and efficient marketer and business owner.