How to Develop Your Client Story to Help You Guide Your Marketing Plan
Do you know your client’s story or why you might need to know their story?
Because if you don’t know their story, you may land up marketing to them in ways that they will never find you!
For instance, have you ever caught yourself saying to your 80 year old parents “you don’t need a phone book, you can look it up on the internet”. Or how about “you don’t need those maps, just use google maps”.
Well guess what? They probably do still want those maps and phone books!
Because that generation does not use technology the same way you do.
And you probably do not use it the same way as your teenagers.
So if you don’t pay attention to your audience and their story, then how will you market to them correctly? If you don’t take the time at the beginning to define who they are and where you will find them, then you could spend precious marketing time and money on platforms that don’t work for your audience.
In the marketing world, the term used most frequently to describe your audience is your “niche market” or “ideal client”. Basically that piece of the market that you want to serve or sell your product to. We like to refer to this as our client’s story.
The trick here is to develop a very detailed client story. Please don’t say “I want to serve everyone”. No products can do that! You need to actually focus on one specific group and work through this exercise to ensure you develop an effective marketing plan.
Tell us about your ideal client
You have a business idea or you have a business that you are ready to market to the world. But first you need to figure out exactly who this client is.
So grab an hour of free time and jot down everything you can think about your ideal client –
who they are?
how old are they?
are they female or male?
are they married, have children?
do they like to exercise?
where will you find them during their free time?
do they have hobbies?
what are their favourite shows, music, books?
where do they work?
do they like to dress up or dress casual?
do they use technology on a regular basis?
do they use social media?
how do they find out about products they like?
and most importantly, why do they need your business or service? What is their pain point that makes them need your company?
At 365 Day Media we have gone through this exercise a number of times for not only ourselves, but also with our clients as we work on their marketing plans. One of our favourite books is “The Conquer Kit” by Natalie MacNeil. This resource is amazing and has a great section in the book about finding your ideal client. We have come up with some wonderful brainstorming sessions answering these questions.
Develop your client story
From here you write out your client’s story, which is basically a little bio on your client that you can refer to constantly as you develop all your marketing materials.
It is a great way to really focus your attention on who you want to reach through your marketing. As soon as you bring life to this person you will find that it helps you stay focused when you are developing your marketing materials.
Now at this point you are probably thinking “but all customers are good customers so why would I market to just one”. Why would we narrow down who we want to reach?
Because you need to be clear in your messaging and ensure that any time and money you are spending on your marketing is being used for the correct reason – to grow your business!
The good news is that narrowing your client profile doesn’t mean you will only reach this specific client. It just means that you will target the majority of your marketing towards this group. You will still reach other potential clients too!
Our 365 Day Media Group Example
At 365 Day Media Group we went through this exercise and described our ideal client as a 45 year old, solo entrepreneur, married with two teenage children, who enjoys constantly learning and trying new things and strives to help people through their business services. Our ideal client knows the importance of social media marketing to grow their business but doesn’t have enough time in the day to get it all done. She loves to read and exercise and feels that social media takes away time from her family and the things she enjoys doing. It goes into far more detail, but this gives you an idea of what we developed.
So are all our clients fitting into our ideal client profile? Absolutely not. We have a variety of clients because, of course, other factors lead to attracting clients (including word of mouth which our niche is really awesome at doing!).
But defining this ideal client has allowed us to focus our marketing, and especially our social marketing on the audience we are trying to reach. We are constantly tweaking our social media content to see what works best to attract our ideal client. In this constantly changing market, your content has to stay fresh.
As the wonderful Marie Forleo states “Just remember this: to be the most powerful, effective business owner you can be, you must stay emotionally connected to your customers. You must keep her fears and aspirations in mind as you create, market and sell your products and services.”
Starting with your ideal client profile is a first step in the marketing process that will put you on the right path to success in your business.