How to identify your ideal customer in 4 simple steps [ + CHEAT SHEET]

how to identify your ideal target customer in 4 simple steps

Why is it so important to know exactly who your target customer is?

If you attract everyone, you would have more potential customers who could purchase your product, right? No. Not at all. In fact, by trying to attract everyone, and attempting to appeal to everyone’s taste, you’re in fact attracting NO ONE. And guess what, attracting no one means no sales.

No matter how great your product is or how well it’s designed, someone out there still won’t like it. And it has absolutely nothing to do with you or your product. Your product is just not for them.

You can be the most succulent, perfect, juiciest peach on the planet, and there will always be someone who hates peaches.

So let’s ask again WHY it’s so important to know who your target customer is. The problem with many new entrepreneurs selling new products or services is that they spend months and many times even years developing a product they don’t even know if their customers would want or like. They’re developing a product with no focus and no “end user” in mind.

When you don’t know who your customer is, what they need most from your product, or how to speak to them, it’s like being blindfolded, walking up to a stranger on the street and trying to sell them a product not knowing anything about them or their current situation. Chances are, they’ll just wave their hand and say “no thanks” and walk right by without even looking at your product (even if your product was exactly what they needed). It’s a bit like those guys who work at the kiosks at the big malls who just try to flag down anyone who will give them the time of day to sell some random product no one needs. No one likes those guys. Don’t be one of those guys. Haha.

When you don’t know who you’re talking to, you don’t know HOW to talk to them about how your product meets their needs, and that’s what makes or breaks your sale. A woman who just purchased her new home and wants to decorate it to show her style and sophistication is going to want a completely different product at a very different price point and design aesthetic than an 18 year old girl who is just starting her college career and moving to campus to decorate her dorm room. They both have different needs, different aesthetic tastes, different spaces, and very different budgets. You can’t expect to be able to sell the same product to both. Knowing which one is your target customer, and knowing exactly what she’s looking for, is what’s going to guide you in creating the product she wants to buy.

Every person is a customer looking for a specific product to solve a specific problem (even if that “problem” is finding the perfect pieces to fit her style when decorating her home). Your job is to find who your target person is so you can connect them with the product they’ve been looking for. Your product.

When you know who your target customer is, and understand their needs and desires, you’ll not only create a great product, but you’ll create the right product with the right features, benefits, designs, and price point that matches exactly what your target customer is looking for. Making it a very simple decision for your customer to buy from you instead of your competition.

Think of your customer profile as your “how-to-guide” to reaching your target customers, understanding what matters most to them, and knowing how to speak to them using the language they use to describe their problem and their desires for a better product.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS:

Your goal is to create 2-3 customer profiles and create a personality for each one. They can be entirely made up personalities or you can base each profile on a real customer you already have, who is a great fit for your product, and you love working with. Not every person in the world is going to be your ideal customer. You want the ones you connect with the most, who greatly appreciate your quality work and will gladly pay for it. They’re the customers who love your brand and keep coming back for more.

[BONUS BELOW: Be sure to scroll to the bottom where I’ve included a free workbook with all the questions listed below and more, just print it out and fill it in.]

1. CREATE A BASIC DESCRIPTION OF WHO YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER IS:

To start out, collect all of the basic information you can for your customer profile. These are the surface level characteristics to start narrowing down who your ideal customer is before we begin diving into their deeper needs and desires.

  • Start with their name (whether a real customer or fictitious)
  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What is their annual income?

2. IDENTIFY YOUR CUSTOMER’S GOALS AND WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THEM:
This is when we start getting into the nitty-gritty of who your person is and what interests them. You want to start listing what matters most to your target customer and what values they have. What problems is your customer currently facing and what are they using as a solution if any? You want to think about what their pain points are and what frustrates them. But you also want to look at what kind of content and what kind of aesthetic appeals to your customer the most. You want to start getting as detailed as possible. The following questions are a great place to start.

  • What’s important to them
  • What values do they have
  • What product are they currently using as a solution to their problem
  • What additional features or benefits do they want but are not getting with the current product they are using
  • What exact words does your target customer use to explain their problem and what they need
  • What kind of aesthetic appeals to your customer the most
  • What lifestyle does your customer want and desire

3. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER BUYING HABITS AND BEHAVIORS:
Once you start gaining a better understanding of who your customer is and what they value, the information you collect will start to create a pattern. You’ll understand their goals and why they purchase one product over another. Now you need to know where your target customer spends their time and how they shop.  What online stores do they search for products similar to yours? What are they searching online? What are their buying behaviors, and what motivates them to make a purchase?

  • Where does your customer spend their time
  • Where do they look and shop for products or services similar to yours
  • What websites or blogs do they visit
  • What social media channel do they spend their time on the most?
  • What search terms are they using to find products or services similar to yours

4. CREATE A VISION BOARD
This is the fun part. Now that you have a better understanding of who your target customer is and their needs and interests, you can create a vision board to refer to when working on your product designs during development. This is what you’ll also refer to when building your eCommerce and taking your product photos. But you’ll also need it for writing your copy for your product descriptions, social media content, and marketing material. Gather all your information for each profile together on one board. Add their name, and even a photo if it helps remind you of who you’re creating your product for (even if your customer is made up, having a visual of your customer reminds you that you’re designing a product for a real human). Add designs, inspiration, and colors that appeal to your customer. Whatever allows you to create a visual aid of the lifestyle your customer wants, is what’s going to keep you laser focused so you can create the perfect product your customer truly desires.

 

Now that you have all this new great knowledge of who your ideal customer is, you can start creating the best product possible for them. By meeting their exact needs and satisfying their wants, you can now attract your ideal customer much more easily and allow the product to practically sell itself. Who doesn’t want that?

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