Who do you like to work with?
Who are the people you can serve best?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself after you know your market.
Customer profiling is one of the first and essential tasks you need to do. And yet, a lot of bloggers overlook it.
If you don’t really understand in a specific way who you’re marketing to, then your marketing will sound generic; it will sound flat and thin.
On the other hand, when your marketing efforts (including your blog posts) are well-targeted to one ideal customer, your message becomes more compelling and attractive to your ideal customer.
Until you know, specifically and precisely, who your perfect customer is, you will never be able to communicate your marketing message in a powerful and compelling way. ~ Sonia Simone
Most of the 22 experts said that identifying ideal reader is a very important step to build solid anti-earthquake foundation.
If you profile your ideal customer right, you’ll be able to get rid of all the clutter. Tweet this.
You’ll start focusing and narrowing your efforts to what actually resonates with them.
Customer profiling is one of the topics that a lot of other blogs either don’t care about, or make needlessly complicated.
I’ve read a lot of posts about customer profiling, and most of them are complicated. That makes people ignore the advice.
That’s why I’ll try in this post to show you the importance of customer profiling and how to do it right. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Check out this slide deck to get a sense of what this post is about:
Let’s start with why to do it.
Your prospect thinks that his problems are unique
It’s a habit in every one of us to believe that our problems is unique. We feel alone in our challenges and problems.
Even if it’s common, we secretly think that no one else in the world has the same problem.
We are then looking for a person who gets us, who could solve our unique problem.
It’s an interesting thing.
If you could be the one who really gets that person, then you could easily convert that prospect into a customer.
You need to profile your customer
You need to know more about that customer, so that he/she resonates with your message, believes that you know them carefully and that you could solve their unique problem.
Customer profiling helps you to learn more about your customer so that they think that you’re speaking to them personally, and that you can solve their unique problem.
You need to have customers to build business online. Profiling them, and keeping their image in front of you, makes it easier for you to attract the right audience and convert them from prospects to customers. Tweet this.
It’s that simple.
But there are many more who could be my customers…
Yes, you’re right.
But when you try to appeal to everyone, your message will be diluted and not effective.
However, when you speak to someone directly, your marketing will be more compelling and your message is more likely to resonate with your prospects.
And even if the prospect doesn’t fit your customer profile, they’ll respond to the more personal tone that feels like it’s aimed at a very small, intimate group.
Let’s take Marie Forleo as an example, her ideal customer is a women who wants to build a life and business she love. But does she has women only?
Of course, no. I love her blog and wait for each new episode every week and there are many others who follow her.
But how to create your customer profile?
Let’s dive into the meat of this post.
How to create your customer profile
Now you know how important customer profiling is. But how to do it?
That’s what we’re going to talk about next.
But first, grab…
I’ve created this worksheet to help you identify your ideal customer.
Just enter your name and email and click on the sign me up button to grab it. Even if you’re subscribed, you’ll get it without you get new messages.
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1. Define their demographic and psychographic
Demographics and psychographics are a great way to help you have a clear picture of your customer.
But what are demographics and psychographics?
According to Wikipedia:
A demographic…is a term used in marketing and broadcasting, to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment. This typically involves age bands, social class bands and gender.
A demographic profile can be used to determine when and where advertising should be placed so as to achieve maximum results.
Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Because this area of research focuses on interests, activities, and opinions, psychographic factors are also called IAO variables.
Psychographic studies of individuals or communities can be valuable in the fields of marketing, demographics, opinion research, futuring, and social research in general.
They can be contrasted with demographic variables (such as age and gender).
In other words:
Demographic is all about describing your customer from the outside–like age, gender, income and so on. Psychographic is all about what’s in their head–like their fears, desires and so on.
Should you do both?
Yes, you need both.
A lot of experts don’t recommend that you do the demographic thing, because they think that knowing what’s in your customer’s head is enough.
Maybe you can also relate to this. Still, you should get both done.
Here’s why: if you focus just on psychographics, you may end up focusing only on how they relate to your products and services, ignoring other elements of their personalities that will help you make your marketing message more appealing to them.
Getting both helps you to understand your customer better. It ensures that who you’re targeting isn’t just an imaginary group of people—they could also be found in real life.
How can you learn the demographics and psychographics?
By now, you’re sure that demographics and psychographics are essential to learn more about your ideal customer.
Still, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you with your customer profiling.
Note: These are real people, so don’t use ranges. There is no person whose age is 20-35 years old. There is a person whose age is 27 years old. There is no one who has $20-50K in annual income; instead, that person has $35K in annual revenue.
Keep this in mind while you answer the questions.
Now, let’s go to those questions:
- What’s her age?
- Is he/she male or female?
- Where is she located? (This is important if you work locally.)
- What’s her income?
- What does she do to make money?
- What’s the number of children that she has?
- What books does she love to read?
- What’s her greatest fear?
- What’s her goal after 5 years?
- What’s her biggest aspiration? What does she want most of all?
- What are her dreams? What prevents her from reaching them?
- What wakes her up in the middle of the night at 2:00 am?
Did you notice that I used “she” or “her,” not “their” when I asked the questions?
You need to be specific in the same way when you answer the questions. You’re profiling just one customer.
You could also use “he” or “him” instead of she/her. It all depends on the gender of your customer.
Feel free to ask more questions after these. The more questions you ask, the more help you’ll get from them.
I just want to say that you don’t have to have every detail covered either, but you need to have enough details that will help you sketch a clear image of that person.
Now, after you answer the above questions and you know your customer’s demographic and psychographic, go to the next step.
2. Locate them
After you know what your ideal customer looks like and how he or she thinks, you need to identify where she hangs out.
You need to know where she is so that you can learn more about what she loves/hates, and how you can make your blog and marketing resonate with her.
You could ask yourself questions like:
- What does she read?
- What does she listen to online?
- What does she search for?
- What’s her favorite blog that she turns to when she has problems related to your market?
Again, you can also substitute “he” for “she” here. Bottom line: knowing where your customers spend their time and money will help you more in the long run.
3. Understand them more
What? You mean there’s still more that I need to know about my customer?
Well, the answer is yes.
Everyone thinks that demographics and psychographics are enough to identify your customer. Yes, they help you to have a clear picture about your customer, but we want it to be clearer. We want it to be crystal clear.
This step will help you to learn what makes them buy a product. After all, this is the reason why we do business :)
Well, to know what makes them buy, you need to know 2 things:
- Timing triggers: What’s happening in their life now that makes you the best fit? Some things like marriage make them enter your market. Try to learn more about that.
- What motivates them? Find the motivation that makes them hire you. So, if you’re a designer, your ideal customer wants to have a design that increases their lead conversion, which makes them more money. Think about it from the end goal they want to reach. Then identify how they could reach it, and use that as a motivation for your ideal reader.
Having this in your mind is important as you go through the next step. You need to know when you’re the best fit and what makes them want your services.
After you’re clear with all this, go to the next step.
4. Sketch them
No, I don’t mean that you should draw them, but I encourage you to do so, if you’re a good artist.
What I mean is that you take all your answers and create a persona for your customer. Sketch them.
Write a paragraph that describes your ideal customer.
You don’t need to include everything. You need things that evoke an image. I want you to give me a lot of details, and put a picture that ideal customer in my mind so that I could tell you if I know someone who is exactly like that.
Here’s what you could include in a customer profile:
- Goals (what they really want to accomplish by working with you)
- Their current motivation (Are there things in their life right now that motivate them to work with you?)
- Greatest frustration
- And other stuff you could add from what you did above.
Now, start sketching them using the above details. You need to be crystal clear about that person.
5. Iterate as you go
As you develop and grow, your customer profile needs to be changed. You start to appeal to other groups of people who are more ideal.
That’s not a problem. It’s natural for every business.
So, as you go along, especially in the first year, go back and change the picture of your customer profile.
The main function of customer profiling is to know who you want to go after. That’s why you need to iterate it as you go.
Don’t Forget your Worksheet:
The worksheet will help you with all the above steps. It’ll make your job much more easier.
A simple exercise to help you with the above steps
Getting through the above steps is very hard.
That’s why you need some help.
Here’s a simple exercise you can do to help you learn to more about your customer and to profile them right.
Get on the phone with others who you think might be your ideal customer.
Get to know them, what their problems are, and what they’re struggling with.
If you can’t find any, offer free coaching sessions for people and try to show your expertise. People love free.
Here are some of the questions you could ask:
- What are you struggling with right now?
- Why do you think that’s a struggle for you right now?
- What frustrates you most about it?
- Have you tried looking for solutions before, and where did those solutions fall short?
- In relation to (struggle), what’s one thing that you think would help you?
- What do you need help with the most?
Don’t forget to go as deep as you can with the inquiry. Here are some phrases you could use to get deeper:
- Could you please tell me more?
- What else?
Try doing more than just a call. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it and will find it easy to obtain your customer profile after that.
You’ll be able to learn more about them, how they think and feel.
Begin by focusing on just one customer
A lot of people get into the mistake of trying to appeal to more than one customer in the beginning. This leads to jumbled messaging, so you end up appealing to none.
That’s why you should focus on just one customer profile in the beginning, and match your messaging with your customer profile.
You’re now compelling to your customers
By now, you’ve profiled your customer and are clear on whom you’re targeting. Communicate everything you do after that with your ideal customer, and try to make it resonate with them.
Your messaging will be more effective.
You’ll be that person whom your customers think knows their unique problems, and can help them get past those problems.
You’ll be able to turn prospects into sales and get paid for what you do.
It’s your decision now to make.
You could choose to ignore this post, not do the work and be like any other guru in your market.
Or you could find your ideal customer, speak just to them and be that person who they want, i.e. the authority.
The choice is yours.