It has been incredibly beneficial for our business to focus on targeting our dream clients, not just any clients, with strategic marketing efforts. Our business has grown enormously from this simple change of perspective.
But what if you're not quite there yet?
What if you're just getting started? Or what if you're re-evaluating the path you've been heading down? What if you're trying to decide which direction you want to take your biz?
How do you narrow down your target audience to your dream client? How do you go from a crowd of people you'd like to reach to finding that one person who's your absolute ideal?
For us, all of those questions added up to a looong journey that had lots of twists and turns. But now that we've nailed down our dream client and our strategy to reach out to them, we can look back and say...
Damn! It would have been super helpful to have a guide to point us the way years ago.
And that's where this blog post comes in.
'Cuz we recognize a shot at good karma when we see one! 😉
So we've created a few easy questions (and a downloadable guide to finding your dream client you should go snag ASAP!) to help you get started down the strategic path that led us to a more successful, less stressful business.
We boiled the whole process down to the first three questions you need to ask yourself to really figure out who your dream client is and what you can do for them.
Ready to get started? Let's go!
1. What is it you love doing in business?
Running a small business often means doing everything yourself. And it can be exhausting! When you're the production office and the PR department and the manager and the head of technology and the CEO, you're left feeling pressed for time all the time.
But there's at least one thing you offer, one product you create, one thing you sell that you love working on.
And it's probably the reason you started your own show in the first place!
For us, and for many of our consultation clients, those things they loved to do were, in fact, the things that brought in money reliably. The two were distinctly related. Which makes sense: Of course you like working on projects that are lower-stress and higher-profit than ones that drive you crazy and make you next to nothing!
So what is it? What do you love to do in business?
Our answer to this one?
We love creating branding and small business strategy.
Now, what's yours? Write it down and commit.
[Need help? Get our step-by-step dream client guide.]
There you go!
With that answer, you've taken the first step toward determining your dream client by narrowing your own focus down to what you really love doing in business.
Onto the next question!
2. Who is it you love doing that for?
Alright, so after #1 you know what it is you're passionate about doing.
But let's take it a step further: Who is it that you love doing that for? Which customers make you want to absolutely hug them on spot?
Your answer might be tied to emotions – like fulfillment or satisfaction. For example, one of our consultation clients told us that she loves selling her artwork to families that feel a spark of nostalgia when they connect with the subject matter. It feels good to see that spark of connection right away on customers' faces. So her answer would be families who love quirky nostalgia. That is a 100% legit answer to this question!
Or, your answer might be tied to developing relationships with your clientele. For us, we narrowed down our services with question #1 to recognize that what we love doing is creating branding and small business strategy. But!
When we pressed further, we discovered that we almost always developed our best relationships with women business owners. We have great male clients too, but it's always been the female clients who we want to work with again and again and again. Part of what we love about our business is this ability to develop long-term relationships with our clients and help other female small business owners achieve success. 💪
We love creating branding strategy for woman-owned small businesses.
What's your answer? Who is it you love doing the thing you do for? Solidify that thought by jotting it down!
Now that we've got #1 and #2 covered, you've identified what you love doing and who you love doing it for. So what's next?
Let's move onto our final question before we put it all together:
3. What do you wish every one of your customers in #2 was like?
Think on that clientele you've just narrowed down.
What are some characteristics that the best of those people share? Likely, these characteristics relate to how they interact with you and your business. They could be focused on attitudes, opinions, commitment, artistic tastes, or something else. Ask yourself...
What characteristics would make those clients practically perfect in every way?
A little stuck?
I'll give you an example of what this question helped us discover:
We dug deeper and identified a few key characteristics of our dream client based on their attitudes toward branding and conduct in business.
Here are some of the key characteristics of our dream client we identified using this question:
- Understands the importance of branding
- Trusts our expertise
- Is committed to the process (ie: gets revisions in on time!)
- Is passionate about the business she's creating
- Has good communication skills in person and via email
- Has a long-term vision for her business
The characteristics you identify will, of course, be related to your own business, not ours!
For example, good email communication skills are super important to us because we often use email to communicate with our clients. But that point may not be key in your business. So what is key for you?
Think about how you interact with your customers. What traits and attitudes would make that interaction awesome?
It can be a whole list like ours, or maybe it's just a few points. Whatever it is, bring that info onto the next section, where we'll combine everything together to get a clearer vision!
⚡️ And now you're ready to put it all together ⚡️
So, here we go. Your first big leap into figuring out a marketing strategy targeted toward your dream client is to make a concrete statement using those three answers you've assembled already.
We've got a handy format figured out for you! Use your answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 to string together a statement that goes something like this:
I do ...[answer #1]... for ...[answer #2]... who ...[answer #3]...
That's it! Once you've completed this statement, you've got a solid foundation to help you move forward on your journey. Write it down, print it out, and commit to it!
For us, our responses helped to point us in this direction:
We create branding strategy for small businesses owned by women who understand the importance of branding, trust our expertise, are committed to the process (ie: get revisions in on time!), are passionate about their business, have good communication skills in person and via email, and have a long-term vision for the future of their business.
Now, are all of your customers going to fit this profile right off the bat? No, no way, unless you literally manage to snag Mary Poppins. BUT! The point of this exercise was to get you thinking about exactly who those dream customers are and what service you provide them.
And I think you've done just that, so hats off to you! 😄
The key point to take away from all this is:
The people who do fit your description are the customers you need to spend your time and energy pursuing.
They're the ones who you love working with! You want to land your dream customer every time, as much as possible, so throw your energy into targeting them, just them – not the much wider range of people you could kind of sort of work with on projects you'd kind of sort of be okay with taking on.
You know that the customers matching your description are right for you and what you love to do.
Now the task is to convince them that you're right for them. Chase after them and prove it! And to help you out? Check out our post from yesterday on exactly why you need to be actively courting these dream customers.
And that's how to start building a marketing strategy driven by your dream client!
Until next time,
We're working hard to show you what five years in business looks like. Comment here or on Facebook with topics or questions you'd like to see us cover. Or maybe just links to your favorite GIFS. You can also tweet us your feedback@hootdesignco or @averyenderle, follow us on Insta, come check out our Pinterest boards, and keep up with us on BlogLovin'!