When I meet new businesspeople, I make it a practice to ask, “Who’s your ideal client?” Inevitably they reply with, “Pretty much everyone.” Um, no. Everyone is not your ideal client… and that’s why I came up with…
Marketing Rule #1: When You Market to Everyone, You Market to No One.
Have you noticed that people are distracted these days? The constant 24/7 news cycle keeps our minds spinning and our ears ringing. You have less than 5 seconds to get someone’s attention and engage them or they will turn their attention elsewhere… so how do you do that? Let’s take a look.
Understanding the “Everyone”
The first step in targeting your message is to understand who ALL of your potential clients are (yes, this might be your “everyone”).
In order to get people’s attention, you have to create a message that speaks to them. Let’s say you try to do this for “everyone.” As you can see in this diagram, it takes a lot of energy to speak to “everyone,” and each customer has different needs so your message becomes generalized.
This results in communicating vague or diluted information about your product or service, not targeted to anyone in particular, and that gets received as noise by your potential audience(s) and therefore, tuned out.
When your target audience nears information overload (and this is where most people reside for most of their day), any information that doesn’t speak directly to their needs or solve their problem gets quickly tossed aside.
Choose Your Ideal Client
So how, then, do you choose your ideal client? It’s important to understand that speaking to a primary target customer (your “ideal” client) does not mean you can’t work with other types of customers.
Ideal simply means this is the primary group your marketing message is directed toward, and if you catch other clients in your net in the process, well, great.
Back to your ideal client… choose 1-2 customers from your “everyone” group and determine: (1) what their need or problem is, and (2) how you meet their need or solve their problem. In this case, let’s use neck pain as the common denominator.
Potential client #1 may have neck pain from a car accident/ whiplash, and potential client #2 may have neck pain from stress and muscle tension. Both customers have neck pain of different origins, but it is still the same problem. You as the practitioner can solve their problem by relaxing tension and relieving their pain. Therefore your ideal client is ANYONE WITH NECK PAIN, regardless of its origin.
There are an infinite number of conditions you can target instead of neck pain, for example: digestion problems, sleep issues, headaches, stress during life transitions, self-care needs, and the like. Remember, when choosing your ideal client, choose one primary target group or condition to focus on.
Distill Your Message into a Simple, Targeted Description
Next, distill what you offer into a simple, targeted description that speaks to your ideal client’s need or solves their problem.
Example: “My [product or service] relieves neck pain and tension, providing you with increased freedom of movement, improved circulation and stress relief.
In just one sentence, you’ve given the potential client a clear idea of the benefits they will receive from working with you. If they’re looking for pain relief, increased movement, improved circulation or relief from stress, then you’ve spoken directly to their needs and proposed how you can solve their problem. When this happens, you have a greater chance of converting them to a client.
So, let’s review.
“Everyone” is not your ideal client. Why? People’s brains are full and information is aplenty. If your message is too general, it will get tossed aside or disregarded.
Choosing a specific target group as your ideal client helps to focus your message. If you want to authentically connect and engage with potential clients, you must appeal directly to their needs or solve their problem.
When you distill your message and speak directly to your ideal client (instead of “everyone”), your time and energy will be spent more efficiently, you’ll create greater impact, and you’ll have a better chance of converting that prospect to a new, and satisfied client.
First image from marketingland.com. All other images (c) Alternative Health Marketing.