How to get to know and understand your ideal customer

To build a business that you can grow with intentionality, it’s very important for you to get to know and truly understand the heart and mind of your ideal customer.

What is an ideal customer?

Your ideal customer is someone who connects with your message and wants or needs what you’re selling.  It’s nice when friends and family like your social media accounts to be supportive of you, but if they’re not your ideal customer, their moral support can only get you so far.

When you build a business, especially when you’re just starting out, building a movement of people who want and need to listen to what you have to say is key. 

Why it’s IMPORTANT to find your ideal customer?

The reason you want to find your ideal customer is because once you understand them, you can work to find more of them.  The more ideal customers you find, the more you can serve them.  And the more you can serve them, the more impact you can make with your business.  And the more impact you make, the more money you will generate and the more lives you will touch.

What does an ideal customer do?

Your ideal customer will open all of your e-mails, take you up on all of your offers and tell their friends about you too!  It’s better to have 50 ideal customers than 50,000 Instagram followers who don’t translate into revenue for your business.

BUT, how do you identify them? How do you know where they are? Where do you find them? How do you connect with them?

How to find your ideal customers

Over the years I’ve read articles, watched videos, listened to e-books and done exercises about how to find my ideal customers.

Along the way, as each expert shared their method, I’ve often walked away a bit confused about what to do.  So, if you’re trying to understand your ideal customers, you can use what I like to call The Marketing Circle.

The Marketing Circle

The Marketing Circle breaks down the levels of inquiry you can make. You start with the innermost circle of yourself and move outward towards the outer circle.

Follow the steps below to start painting a detailed picture for yourself about your ideal customer. You can use this profile that you’ll create to help you

  • target online ads,
  • write sales copy,
  • understand what content to create,
  • direct your energy towards specific products and services,
  • understand what matters to your customers and
  • clarify what would make them buy from you.

Self Circle

Let’s start with the person you know best….you! First of all, are you in the same category as your ideal customer? Many times, business owners develop products or offer services because they experienced the same problem they’re now solving. If this is the case, you can use your experience to begin to put some details on the profile.

Use this initial information to create a detailed customer profile or avatar

Download our Customer Profile Sketch to get started with understanding your ideal customer better.

Inner Circle

  1. Identify an ideal customer you already have.  This person is your biggest cheerleader.  They open all of your e-mails, respond to everything you have to say and have even recommended you to friends.  Write out what you know about this person.
  2. Work with what you already know about your target audience through people you know

Middle Circle

  1. Go to forums, the comment section or groups to learn more about your target audience
  2. Use surveys and interviews to get to know your ideal customer better and what they say about themselves
  3. Visit groups and forums where you know your ideal customer hangs out. This way you’ll be able to observe them as their authentic selves.

Outer Circle

  1. Review the platforms of your competitors. Look for comments left by people on their blog posts, videos and social media posters. This will give you an insight into what your ideal customers are saying and how they’re reacting to content similar to what you would communicate.
  2. Review product reviews on Amazon that are likely purchased by your ideal customer. Use this insight to get a better understanding of your ideal customer, how they talk and what they value.

Complete Your Own Ideal Customer Worksheet

Are you ready to complete your own ideal customer worksheet? Download the Ideal Customer Worksheet and the Marketing Circle Customer Worksheet to help you. We encourage you to answer the questions in the worksheets based on someone you know, who is your ideal customer or with an educated guess about your customer. You can also research to answer each question. Feel free to update the form over time as you learn more information about your customer.

How to Get to Know Your Ideal Customer

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