Discovering Your Ideal Client Audience as a Creative Entrepreneur
Today we’re talking about one of the biggest pain points I see when working with my angelic clients. “WHO IS MY AUDIENCE? Is it just a bunch of demographics? An age range?” Oh NO friend, it is so SO much more than that.
An ideal client or ideal audience/dream audience is a representation of the person/people who NEED your product or service the most. This is the person who is resonating with how and what you’re selling – the person that makes you go “wait, I get to do this for a living?!”
When you’re struggling to connect with your ideal audience (or don’t know who they are in the first place), it may be because there’s a disconnect between who you think you’re selling to and who your actual ideal client is. Many businesses try to be everything to everyone, but this causes them to have an unclear message that in fact doesn’t resonate with anyone.
Basically here’s what I’m saying – friend to friend. By having a clear understanding of who your ideal client is, you can focus your messaging, offerings, and marketing strategy on a certain clientele, to eventually make more sales, connect with people you actually want to work with, and have more time to do things that you love OUTSIDE of your business.
Sound good, yeah?
Here’s a breakdown of three steps to really hone in on who you’re speaking to.
1. Know who your ideal client is
2. Know what they want/need
3. Know and effectively communicate how YOU solve their problems
1. Deciding on Your Dream Client Audience
You know the phrase “you are not your ideal client”? I think that’s kind of bullsh*t.
Sure, there ARE going to be differences between you and your dream audience (after all, we’re not all carbon copies of each other just because we have similar jobs – humans are COMPLEX. But overall I truly do think that you can’t really sell a product or service to someone that you don’t understand, or don’t have similar interests and understanding of each other.
If you’re not entirely sure who you even want to serve, ask yourself these questions:
“What values do I want to uphold, that I also want my clients to uphold as well?”
“What things are completely non-negotiable when working with a client?”
“What qualities do I look for in a friend?”
These questions have helped shape the psychographics of my dream audience – female business owners between the ages of 25-40, passionate about honesty/vulnerability in their businesses and personal lives, making people feel comfortable, but also has a sense of humor and wants a lot of enjoyment out of life, loves making money and spending it on things they enjoy (like travel!)
Secondly, let’s get down to brass tacks with the icky numbers and strategy portion – Know what your ideal client audience needs through Market Research.
2. Knowing What Your Audience Needs through Market Research
To get all Merriam-Webster on ya, market research is defined as an “organized effort to gather information about target markets and customers. It is an important component of business strategy and a major factor in maintaining competitiveness.”
I WANT YOU TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE. And to do that, we’re gonna do some intentional polls with them.
I want you to round up 5-7 REAL, HUMAN clients that you’d love to – whether they were past clients or future clients. Offer them a $5-$10 gift card for answering a few questions, GET ON THE PHONE OR VIDEO CALL WITH THEM (this is important for open-ended discussions). While on this call, ask them these five questions (and feel free to stray from these questions, I just know these have really helped me when I wanted to know more about my audience). *
- If I could waive a magic wand and solve one problem for you what would it be? (open ended)
- If you were to describe my brand in three words what would it be (open ended)
- Why do you follow me? (could give a few this or that options and then follow up with a “anything else” open ended question)
- What do you struggle with the most when it comes to BLANK (branding yourself, creating high end copy, etc.)
- What’s standing in the way between BLANK and BLANK (where they are now and where they want to be, ideally hiring you for a beautiful brand, copy, image, etc)
By the end of your calls, you’ll begin to notice patterns within your audience, and therefore create solutions AND AN ENTIRE BRAND / BRAND IDENTITY based off of what your audience needs.
3. Effectively Communicate How YOU Solve Their Problems
This can be the most challenging portion of this exercise. How do we effectively communicate to your dream audience? My first piece of advice is to meet them where they’re at.
Where does your dream audience hang out online? Start there. Post consistently. Interact with your dream audience on those platforms (even if it’s for 5 minutes a day). Share actually effective and educational content that relates to the problems you found using the prompts above.
If your audience resonates more with TikTok/Reel style content (and you LIKE posting that type of content), stick with that! If they like more Pinterest-style inspo, go with that.
It’s all about meeting in the middle between what your audience needs and how you’re comfortable showing up.
It’s no secret that being a business owner is hard work, and the ever-changing algorithm doesn’t help with the whole “connection to your ideal audience” thing. I hope these tips help you discover different ways to identity and discover your true raving fans!
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*I did not create these questions. These were provided by the wonderful Carli Anna during her BMM Course and she deserves all the credit in the world for that.