The Branding Pen Series – Article 4
I remember the first time someone asked me who my ideal client was. My answer was “small businesses”. I could not have been more wrong. Looking back now, I feel so silly for having said that!
Needless to say, I have since learned exactly who my ideal client is, and that has been largely responsible for my success as a freelance web & graphic designer.
Think about it. How can you possibly focus your marketing efforts to the masses? They all like different things, delivered in different ways. Some will resonate with your message and some will not. So why not super-target your efforts by knowing EXACTLY who will “get” what you’re saying and buy from you?
For example, let’s say that you offer horseback riding lessons. Ask yourself some questions so that you can determine who you want to work with the most. By targeting those you WANT to work with, as opposed to just anyone who wants riding lessons, you will connect with those people on a more real level and they will understand what your message is, because you are speaking directly to THEM.
So, is Olympic level show jumping your thing, or do you love to teach beginner kids how to ride and take care of a horse?
Do you jump up and down at the thought of being able to chase a steer down the fence, or do you prefer the quiet ride of a Western Pleasure show ring?
Answering these types of questions is the first step in creating your ideal client avatar so you can direct your marketing efforts specifically to them, and in places where they hang out. Obviously if you’re a dressage trainer, you’re not going to put your adds into Western Horseman magazine, necessarily. Even if you’re a multi-talented person who can train in numerous different disciplines, figure out what you like to do most, then set about figuring out exactly who your client is. The clients that don’t quite fit into your ideal will still come along, but by focusing your efforts, you’ll reach more people than you would if your marketing is too vague and non-specific.
And regardless of what business you’re in, this is a critical part of fine-tuning your business for success! Part of the reason we entrepreneur types work so hard at this, is to be able to hand pick our customers at some point, right? This is a large part of what makes it possible for us to really enjoy our work and love what we’re doing, and then it doesn’t seem so much like work. I’ve said many times, “I can’t believe people actually pay me to play on my computer!” And it’s true, I still pinch myself because I rarely get up out of bed and have to drag myself to work.
As we get further into this series of articles and talk about identifying your niche, this will all begin to come together for you and make much more sense. In the meantime, download your free Client Persona Worksheet to identify the people that you really want to work with and help, so you can begin to focus your marketing on those that will see and understand your message.