The Perfect Client: Who Do You Want to Work With?
We’re all guilty of it: playing favorites with certain clients. There are always going to be clients that you mesh well with, whether that is due to compatible personalities, clients who pay well and on time, or clients who seem to understand you and your business better than anyone. The humanity behind business is truly what drives us and our decisions.
So think about your favorite client. Are they frequent buyers? Do they spend more than most clients? What attributes do they bring to the relationship? Are they courteous? Do they go with the flow when things go sideways? Or are they just fun to be around?
In most cases, the ideal client possesses several qualities that make them the ideal client. Conversely, you probably have clients that are never satisfied, are grumpy or annoying to deal with, or who upset your staff. How do you turn those miserable Karens and Chads into your dream customers?
To start, meet them where they’re at.
Identify and Analyze the Best Clients
The first step is to really analyze your ideal clients. Really reflect what their day-to-day looks like. Think about what they deal with in a day, and what decisions they face. If you’re close enough to these clients, it doesn’t hurt to ask. They know themselves best, and anything they tell you is data you can use to help them in the long run.
Things to consider:
- What industry are they in?
- How much money do they spend with you?
- What do they buy?
- How frequently do they come to you? Ask them what keeps bringing them back!
- What kind of profit do you see from these customers?
Identify Adjacent Markets and Go After Them
Let’s say you sell software that is for real estate agents. Look at all the adjacent fields surrounding a successful real estate agent: staging businesses, interior decorators, home inspectors, financial advisors, and mortgage brokers, as examples. Could your software serve all or some of those fields?
Look closely at the demographics of the real estate agents that you consider to be your best clients. Are they selling luxury properties, timeshares, cottages, boats, or local family homes?
Think about all the obstacles they face, and write down their pain points.
For example, your agents might be selling family homes. Their biggest struggles might include getting their clients together at once. Many families consist of two-income earners, and it can be difficult to get both parties together to sign documents or view properties. If you are a software developer, how can you make this easier for the agents AND their clients? Virtual tours, videographer services, and e-sign document software are all good ideas. Integrate that into your current offerings and you have a recipe for success.
Anything that you can do to make life easier for your ideal clients, do it. Not only will your marketing work for you, but you’ll also have the best thing of all: word of mouth. Every agent in the city is going to want your software, especially in this climate where it’s difficult to get people together.
Entice Similar Clients
Now that you’ve established your ideal clients, it’s time to find more just like them. Your current clients may be happy to recommend you organically, and that’s great, but you can’t count on word of mouth alone. You want your product or service to go viral.
Your marketing needs to address the struggles of the demographic(s) you have identified. Let’s say you’re in the supplement game and your key audience is women, 24-45, looking to lose weight. Your magic supplement is hot, and it’s working well for your current repeat customers. Every month they purchase their supply and overall, they are satisfied. In a case like this, you could offer affiliate marketing incentives, whereby you give a percentage of referred sales to anyone sharing your product with friends and family via an affiliate link that pays a small amount. This is always a great plan for both consumables and non-consumables.
Subscription-based vitamin company Care/of has been working with YouTubers, and offers an affiliate program to anyone interested, with a 10% commission rate. Since Care/of opened its business in the last quarter of 2018, they have seen astronomical growth using these models, generating $1.68 billion in revenue annually.
You could also reach out to influencers and do the same, but expect to pay a fee for them to promote your product. This is how they make their living, after all.
This approach provides tons of reach in many cases and can be very successful. It’s important to do your research and make sure you are targeting influencers in the health and fitness industry. These people have trusted followers and are approached frequently, so be leary of scams, and be sure to work with people who have reputable agents. This is not limited to health and wellness, obviously. Partymachines managed to gain 1.2 million followers by partnering with Tiktok influencers, and AdoreMe swimwear ran a campaign with body-positive influencer Remi Bader that yielded them a 25% increase in opt-in email subscriptions, with a 16% lower cost per customer than their regular Instagram campaigns. The sky is the limit on this type of marketing and can be lucrative if you play your creative cards right.
It’s not always necessary to provide a discount to potential customers, and oftentimes your current customers will be put off by discounts only offered to new customers. There are better ways to chase after the perfect client.
Study Your Competition
Market research is best when it’s free. Find out what your competitors are doing! You should take notice of the things they are doing right for their clients, as well as the things they aren’t doing. You can read reviews, study pain points, and take advantage of all the free information available online. Review sites, Yelp, Google reviews, Google news, and websites are all great sources of information.
Study Your Own Business
Things to consider:
- What do you do well?
- Keeping your ideal customer in mind, what can be improved?
- What is a realistic plan for achieving these goals?
- Identify your ideal clients and how you will reach them
If you’re able to, have an outside source evaluate these things for you. You can create a focus group of your favorite clients, send out surveys, or hire an outside company to evaluate your business.
The bottom line: Determine who you are trying to reach and what is important to them.
To design a business that works for you, you must define your market, target audiences, and ideal client. Understanding what you don’t want to do and who you don’t want to work with is just as important as knowing what you enjoy. By narrowing your focus to the right people, you’ll be able to attract clients and work you’re passionate about!
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