Building Your Marketing Plan: Who’s Your Ideal Client?

Part I in a Series:  Marketing Planning

My husband collects baseball caps and at one time had at least 50 in his closet. If I asked to borrow one, he’d look at me, shrug his shoulders and say, “Which one?” But if I asked to borrow a specific baseball cap, such as a red one, or an Ohio State cap, he knew exactly which one I was after.

The same is true in business. The more specific you can be in identifying your ideal client, the one you most want to attract, the more successful you’ll be in your business. It’s that easy.

How Do You Identify Your Ideal Client?

Probably the easiest way to pinpoint your ideal client is to study your existing client base. Then answer the following questions with your client base in mind. (If you’re just starting your business and don’t have any clients yet, answer these questions by thinking about the types of clients you’d like to attract.) Is there a certain “type” of customer who represents the majority of your client base (e.g., young business owners, bankers, etc.)? What do your clients have in common? Who do you enjoy working with the most? What about the least?

One business owner I know in the insurance industry discovered that his ideal clients all owned storage units. He enjoyed working with these clients because he, too, had a background in the storage industry having worked in a storage unit that was owned by his family.

In addition, he shared many of the same values with these clients, such as family, independence and hard work. The business owner found that because he connected with these other business owners on so many different levels, they had excellent rapport. They became his best sales force!

The Business Owner Doubled His Income in Only a Few Years

How did he do it? First and foremost, he focused his energy on two or three types of ideal customers instead of trying to be all things to all people. He used some of the other marketing strategies outlined in this book to make himself visible to those two or three groups and became known to them as a friend, colleague and advocate. As they got to know him, his ideal clients began to buy from him and refer their friends in the industry. It was a very successful way to grow his business.

My ideal customers are highly creative, busy, independent business owners who value the expertise of other professionals. Because I have had a lifelong love affair with food, and got my start in the restaurant industry, I especially enjoy working with local, independent restaurant owners.

But all of my ideal clients share the same characteristics of having family values, passion for excellence and creativity, and vision.

The exercise below will help you to discover who your ideal client is. Knowing your ideal client will help you throughout this book as you develop the best marketing plan for your business.

Action Steps:

Who are your ideal customers that you have worked with in the past or are working with now? List them by name here:

What characteristics do these people have in common with you?

Why do you enjoy working with them?

What characteristics do these clients have in common with each other? You could consider points such as their values, hobbies and demographics.

How do these clients gather information when they have a problem to solve? Do they ask for referrals? Do they go to the Internet?

Do these clients use social media? If so, which platforms do they use? Twitter,  LinkedIn, Facebook or any others? Do they have blogs?

What television and radio stations do they like?


Note: This is a chapter out of my new book “How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity, and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business.”  For more information go to:  How to Build Buzz for Your Biz

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called “How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

Wendy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband Mike, and three teenage sons.   Her personal goal is to visit all of the Major League Ballparks in the US before she turns 49. So far she has been to 12.

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