Building a love-based business is a unique endeavor. It’s not like building just any business. When you’re consciously building a business into one you love, and that loves you back, there’s one really important thing to consider: in order to have a business you love, it’s essential to have clients you love (rather than just marketing to a general target market).
Those clients you love, the ones who love working with you and who sing your praises while you solve a problem they’ve struggled with, are your ideal clients.
On this blog, I’ve talked about writing love-based marketing copy, plus you can learn more about the philosophy of doing when you pick up your own copy of my “Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites .”
One of the key principles of writing love-based copy—and to building a successful, profitable, love-based business—is to define and understand your ideal clients.
Now, you may be thinking, if you know who comprises your target market, or what your niche is — you’ve done this already.
But an ideal client is different than either a niche or target market.
The concept of an ideal client is unique because it’s based on internal factors: values desires, and hopes.
Where a target market is a broad demographic, and a niche is a subsection of that demographic, an ideal client is a specific person … and you know exactly what keeps her up at night. You know what motivates her, what inspires her, and what she truly wants at her core.
As the owner of a love-based business, you have a genuine desire to provide a solution for the people who buy your product or service, right?
If you can’t communicate effectively with the people who you’d best serve, then they won’t buy … and you won’t have the opportunity to help them. Not only are you missing out on a sale, but they’re missing out on a potential transformation (likely one they very much desire).
So, that being said, here are three reasons it’s so important to define and understand your ideal client:
1. You See a Better Return on Investment When It Comes to Your Marketing Efforts.
Different people are motivated by different things, right? Even two members of the same target market or niche may be motivated by different things. For example, if you sell shoes and your niche market is girls ages 10-12, half of them may be motivated by shoes that look awesome and stylish, and the other half may be motivated by shoes that help them run fast. It seems pretty obvious that you’d market to each of these ideal clients differently … efforts to market to both of them at the same time will likely fall flat.
If you’re trying to sell to everyone, you’re probably getting pretty generic. The more generic you get, the less people will recognize their specific problem in your marketing materials. So when you dial in on your ideal clients’ pain points and the transformation you can help them experience, you position yourself as an expert or specialist, and your ideal clients recognize YOU as THE solution they’ve been looking for.
Therefore, you’ll generate better results in terms of client attraction, conversion, and longevity.
2. It’s MUCH Easier to Market to One Ideal Client Group Than to a Target Market or Niche Market.
The more people you try to market to, the more messages you need to squeeze into your marketing materials, which means if you’re not careful, it can get very confusing. Plus, you’ll likely end up spending even more time writing and creating your marketing messages than you really want to.
You’ll also have more than one place to market. In the above example, girls who want to run fast are probably hanging out in different groups than girls who want the trendiest shoes. So, to reach both groups, you’re going to have spend time and energy in both groups, which again increases the complexity and number of hours you’re spending on your marketing.
Now, in contrast, consider what it’s like to focus on ONE ideal client group. It’s so much easier to craft messages that speak directly to their soul. You’ll also be able to laser focus on the exact places they’re hanging out.
See why it’s easier AND a better return on your investment to market to one ideal client group?
3. Attracting Ideal Clients Makes Your Business More Profitable.
Even if you have a small group of ideal clients, you’ll actually attract more of them if your messaging is specific to their unique pain points, desires, and hopes. The more specific your messaging is, the more likely your ideal clients will recognize that you’re talking to them, that you understand them, and that you can solve their problems. Therefore, the more likely they’ll be to buy from YOU.
When you do land several ideal clients (rather than a wide range of client types), you’ll be working with folks who love you, and who YOU love. They become raving fans and tell their friends about you.
The less “ideal” a client is, the more of a challenge it becomes to work with him or her. Less-than-ideal clients are the ones who demand the most attention from you and/or your team, as you try (endlessly) to make them happy. They may also be more likely to ask for refunds, or worse, openly badmouth your business.
And, that doesn’t even cover your personal energy level — less-than-ideal clients are likely the ones you dread talking to, who make you shudder when the phone rings and you know it’s them, and who cause your total exhaustion.
I suspect you didn’t start a business because you want to be drained … and working with less-than-ideal clients will do precisely that.
Now, when your business is filled with ideal clients, you’re much more likely to be “filled up” when you work with them. You’ll love getting on the phone with them, and they’ll energize you. Everything will just flow.
And, don’t worry if you feel like your ideal client group is too small — in most cases, there are more than enough ideal clients to fill your business, and you can always “add” ideal client groups later if you really feel like it’s too narrow.
To sum it up, identifying and getting to know your ideal clients is a huge must! And because it’s so important, here’s a quick exercise to get you started.
Take a moment to paint a mental picture of your ideal client. Spend some time with her. Really get to know her. This way, when you begin to write your marketing materials, you’ll have someone to whom to write them.
And get really detailed. Give her a name and a favorite coffee drink. What car does she drive? When she wakes up at three a.m., what’s on her mind? What is she worried about?
If this concept resonates with you, I’d love for you to pick up your own copy of my “Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites.”