Your target clients
How to decide on who you want to serve and why
Being clear on who your brand serves and why is one of the biggest branding secrets hidden in plain sight. Everyone talks about it, yet many struggle to clarify who their ideal clients are. Or you may call them your best-fit clients or your soul clients.
Once you’re clear on:
- Who you want to work with
- Why they matter to you and
- The benefits they get from working with you
Everything else flows – from your enticing service and product packages – to the clarity and conviction of your brand messaging.
So, it follows that when your brand demonstrates that it understands your audience better, consistently, you’ll:
- Create deeper emotional connections
- Earn trust
- Grow affinity and
- Expand your business.
Many small business owners resist defining their niche
Because they feel they’re missing out on sales opportunities
They may have the misconception that niche means small. It doesn’t. Your niche is your focus, which could be wide and shallow or narrow and deep.
Some business owners mistakenly think that niche means one product or service. Wrong again. Your business niche (focus) could unlock a range of profitable services or products that satisfy your clients’ needs and wants, over time.
Because when you’re close to your target clients you can evolve your marketing and sales offers in alignment with your clients’ changing circumstances and in doing so, grow their trust.
Who do you want to serve
Consider some practical (demographic) factors that could enable you to home in on who you want to work with:
- Age and gender – for example mothers with children under 5 years or women going through menopause.
- Income and education – you may want to work with men earning above a specific amount who are university graduates.
- Profession and role – you may want to coach people in leadership roles or newly appointed managers.
- Marital status, family life cycle and household size – you may focus on divorce or parents of children studying for exams or women decluttering homes prior to downsizing.
- Geographic location and language – you may help people who live in a town or city or those who speak English as a second language.
- Different generations – does it matter if your clients are Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, or Generation Z?
Next, you could consider psychographic factors. These ‘attitude of mind’ factors tend to feature more strongly than demographics in my own client target groups. They include personality traits, values, beliefs, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles, all of which get you closer to the emotional decision-making processes of your clients:
- Perceptions and attitudes – what brands / businesses do they relate to and why.
- Decision-making styles – are your target clients rational and logical in their decision-making or intuitive and emotional. Remember that this could vary according to the services or products they buy. Buying a car could be a more emotional process than buying orange juice (or vice versa).
- Cultural Influences and technology – background, social norms, and the influence of peers in using social media could play a part in defining who you want to work with and why.
Try starting with your existing clients
or with people you know, if you’re starting your business
It’s possible that your ideal client is based on you, as you were. Which means that your focus and niche is based on serving people who now have similar challenges to those you’ve face and resolved.
Many coaches and therapists started their business to help people like them and have expanded and grown from that foundation.
So, consider carefully who you want to work with and why, along with what you want to focus on and why.
- Your ideal client values align with your own brand values
- They’re open to paying the fees you have in mind
Because it’s important to reach your sales targets too!
How many types of people could you serve
based on what you focus on (your niche)
My advice is to keep it simple – for your own clarity and sanity. It’s OK to start with one client group, and then add another. As an example I’ve always worked with 2 or 3 client personas.
To help you explore, here are some examples of personas that clients have started with over the years:
As you grow your business and gain new clients, you could do some simple research to gain more insights into the needs of your client personas. This could start with a 20-minute call and a few questions. As you make connections and listen well, you can add new questions, deepen your empathy and understanding and serve your clients better. In time, you may choose to add a new client persona or replace one of your personas with a new one, because customer needs and markets are always changing.
Remember, the key is to stay close to your clients and allow yourself space to evolve new services and products so you keep meeting their needs.
Read more about brand values and affinity:
If you want to explore brand values and their role in building brand affinity a little bit more, try these blogs – the value of values, why your brand values are important and build your brand affinity
I’d love to stay in touch – so do sign up here for my monthly emails – to discover more secrets of branding that are often hiding in plain sight!