What is more powerful the sun or a laser?
You might be tempted to say the sun, because it’s bigger. It’s huge. In fact, the sun produces 386,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts of power. Yes, that’s 386 with 24 zeros after it! But you can stand outside on a sunny day and not be harmed.
A laser, small enough to fit inside a pen, produces 5 watts of power.
And it can cut a diamond.
The true power isn’t in the size. It’s in the focus.
Who you serve is no different.
When you picture who your business serves is it just a faceless person?
If so, you’re not alone. Most of the clients I work with are unsure with who exactly they’re serving. They just want somebody, anybody (with money). I understand the impulse.
We want everyone to want to be our client, just like how we want everyone to like us as people. But we have to separate what’s best for our esteem from what’s best for our business.
What’s best for our business is focusing on a specific “who.”
So what do we want to know about our ideal client?
You should be able to predict their gender identity, political views, income, ethnicity, age, and location. Knowing their key demographics will help you market to them (and just them) effectively. Think of these traits like the foundation of your client base.
A zip code can mean the difference between a reliable client and one who will pass. People have predictable behavior, so the more you can anticipate their habits the more specific your target market strategy can be.
These are the basic bricks that inform the more nuanced preferences and behaviors.
Those deeper layers are what we call "psychographics." These are the factors that influence the more abstract traits of a person like their values, personality, interests, and lifestyles.
These are harder to predict, but they have greater influence. That’s why it’s so important for your passions to reflect your client's.
If you both are driven by the same values (environmental, social, or charitable) it will be easier for you to appeal to the strongest pulls on their behavior and market your business as a means to directly service this value or moral.
Put together demographics and psychographics and you'll have a clear idea of who you want.
Now that you know who you want, you want them to want you just as much (or more) than you want them.
So how can you predict their level of desire?
Maslow theorized that human need can be mapped out onto a pyramid:
Base needs (survival: food, drink , shelter, etc.) are on the bottom and the remaining needs stack up.
He proposed humans won’t be able to move onto one level without satisfying the previous level.
Most businesses want to be in the top levels, bringing their customers self-actualization and esteem. The pro to this approach is that it satisfies a deep and sought after result for a customer.
The con is because these levels are near the top some people won't as motivated to reach them, because the urgency to do so is less powerful than lower-level needs.
In order to create increased urgency, don’t focus on marketing that fulfills the high level and more abstract concepts instead appeal to more base and immediate needs. The closer to the bottom, the urge to satisfy the need intensifies.
This is why marketing to a potential client that your service can provide essential and more base needs like safety can increase the likelihood they act.
You know who you serve, but do you know the "why"?
Many of us think we know what our problem is when it comes to our business.
For example, “my employees aren’t doing what I want them to do.” But is it really? That is what we call a front-door problem.
It’s something we see and recognize as a problem.
Unfortunately, usually our problems and our client’s problems are a little deeper. Those problems are an underlying issue that is going unresolved so it leads to the surface ones. Think leaking pipe vs. ceiling stain. Sure, we can treat the stain, but unless we fix the leak it will keep happening.
If we use the previous example: the employees aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing [front-door] they may not know what they should be doing because there is ineffective communication or unclear leadership guidance about goals and expectations [back-door].
Front Door Problem
Surface issue, easily identifiable and seen as needing to be immediately addressed.
Back Door Problem
Underlying issue that is responsible for causing multiple smaller and more immediate problems. If left untreated will persist.
Since a back-door problem is more serious we should advertise that we treat that problem, right?
Your client probably doesn’t recognize their deeper problem. So they won’t pay to fix it.
Our job is to anticipate our client’s unique problem as they see it and market a solution to the exact problem they think they have.
But how do I know that I am solving the right problem? Or I've even found my ideal client?
A lot of my own clients come to me because they’re having a hard time narrowing down who they want to serve. I get it, it's hard to think about turning some business away for better business.
The good news is I can help you.
I’ve helped many clients "unmask" their ideal client.
Together we can work through making a persona to enhance your marketing strategy and increase your impact when reaching out to potential clients.
Stop playing “Guess Who” with your clients and start going to them directly with a face in mind.
Call for a free consultation today.
Stop courting the wrong client. Let's get you focused in on exactly who's going to be right for your business.
Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.