Trying to be all things to all people is typically a losing business strategy. When you’re not clear on what you do best, your company’s identity and marketing message get so diluted they don’t resonate with anyone. That’s why it’s important to have a clear mental picture of your ideal client.
“The more your prospect sees a reflection of themselves in your website and other marketing messages, the more they will pay attention to what you have to offer,” says Mark Satterfield, author of the new book, The One Week Marketing Plan.
To identify your ideal prospect, Satterfield suggests you ask yourself these questions:
1. What fear or anxiety keeps my ideal client awake at night? Consider this prompt: John (or Jane) is my ideal client. He/she is __ years old. His/her three biggest frustrations are ___, ___, and ___. Sometimes he/she even wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about___.
“The key to this exercise is specificity,” says Satterfield. “Create a mental avatar, a true representation of your client.” You can run this exercise for different niche markets offered by your company.
2. What are their three big wishes? If your clients had a magic wand, how would they use it? What ideal outcomes or benefits are they looking for?
When you talk about benefits, you appeal to your prospects’ emotions. People make their buying decisions based on emotions and justify them with facts.
3. What keywords relate to their number one problem? “When you know what keywords your ideal client uses, you’ll know what keywords to include in your marketing messages,” says Satterfield.
4. What myth do they (wrongly) believe? This is a good angle to consider because when you know what myth your ideal clients have bought into, your company can present itself as a credible expert to set them straight.
An example is a successful report in the insurance industry titled “The #1 Health Insurance Myth: The More You Pay, the Better Your Coverage.” A company that used this report gets credit for enlightening the reader and also positions itself as the source for lower-cost but just-as-good policies.
5. Why would they choose not to invest in your products/services? Maybe they think your prices are too high, or maybe they’re not willing to drive that far to your location.
“When you’ve considered why they wouldn’t go with you, you can figure out how to mitigate those factors,” says Satterfield.
6. What is their biggest obstacle? If you can show him that you can help him overcome that obstacle, it will be hard for him not to hire you.
“In order to create marketing materials that will motivate your prospects to engage with you and to take action, you need to have a very clear vision of who they are, of their fears, hopes, and aspirations,” says Satterfield.