Who’s your ideal customer?

If you’re reading this, chances are you might run your own business, you offer a range of services and/or products and you have a customer in mind that you like to sell to and they love to hear what you have to say. Or are you struggling to find the right people to work with?

Okay, I’ll admit it. When I started my business three years ago, I really didn’t know who I wanted to target. I went into business purely as a lifestyle measure at the time, as I no longer wanted to return to the traditional workplace after my children were born, but I still wanted to earn some money. I didn’t really have much of a plan although I knew I was good at what I did, but I also didn’t really know how I was going to get my clients. I realise now that I should have asked myself questions like:

  • What sort of VA business do I want to have?
  • What sort of services do I really want to offer (not just what I think people might want or what other VAs are offering)?
  • Who do I want to sell to in particular?

And most importantly…

  • How am I going to target the people I really want to work with?

It took me until about a year ago to realise that I didn’t have to target absolutely everyone. I was introduced to the phrase ‘spray and pray’ marketing, whereby you fire your message out at random and hope someone (anyone) will buy. If you’re trying to target all and sundry, however, then at best you’ll get a load of work that takes up all your time for not much return and at worst you’ll get the nit pickers who are incessantly demanding, query your rates and often pay late (if at all). I know, I’ve been there!

So where do you find that ideal customer? What did I do to narrow down my search?

What’s worked for me is narrowing down what I offer to a more niche market. After all, if you’re a jack of all trades you’re a master of none, and if you’re a specialist in something, you can market yourself as such and thus get yourself known in the marketplace as the ‘go to’ person for that particular service or product. It also helps enormously to be much clearer on who you really like to work with by thinking about your ideal client as an actual person who has a problem he or she needs help with. You can then try to get inside the mind of this person in order to focus on the problems and issues you can help solve.

 Your ideal customer will see and appreciate the value in what you’re offering, will come back for more and will refer you to others.

What could be more ideal?

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