We’ve spent all this time brainstorming about your ideal client – six whole blog posts, in fact. But until now, it has all been hypothetical best guesses around who this person is and what she wants from your business.
Now, you must validate you’re on the right track. You must know for sure this ideal client exists in the real world.
Without this ideal client validation, I see clients go to our next step of mapping a marketing strategy a bit hesitant and scattered. Because they’re not sure their ideal client exists, they want to leave their options open when mapping a strategy.
They’ll sound like, “Well, my ideal client would most likely found out about me through a friend who has been my client before. But maybe they’d also stumbled upon me on Instagram. And Pinterest. And can’t forget about Facebook. Wait, what about Facebook ads? Should I do those?”
And we’re right back to what feels like square one, doing #allthethings but not creating meaningful growth.
Thankfully, we’re not back at square one. You’ve defining your offerings and goals, gotten clear on who your ideal client might be and what she craves from your business… but now you must validate that ideal client direction so you can confidently move onto the next step.
Here’s how I suggest validating that your ideal client does, in fact, exist:
- Conduct some light research online to see if people are talking about your ideal client’s assumed mental cravings without you bringing them up.
For instance, if you’re a money mindset coach for Millenial females craving someone in their professional circle to help them manage their money and show them respect (unlike your traditional competitors), search online to see if your potential ideal clients are voicing these cravings. Search in Facebook Groups, on blogs, and anywhere else your potential ideal client might speak up.
- In your research, pay close attention your potential clients’ language. Are they using the same words you’re using to describe their assumed cravings?
Remember, your potential ideal client isn’t an expert in your field. Take careful note of how they’re describing the problems you can solve so you can use that language in your future marketing efforts.
- Ask your potential ideal clients for 10-minute, casual interviews.
This is where you’ll receive the most crucial information to either validate or refine your new direction.
To respect your interviewee and get the most out of the experience,
- Be sure they’re potentially ideal before asking. I cringe every time I see someone post to all 700 members of a Facebook Group, asking for feedback on their thing. There’s no way all 700 people in the group are your ideal clients, so why ask them all? You might end up with the answer you had hoped to get, but it’s completely unreliable feedback. So, please, no input from peanut gallery.
- Begin by asking an open-ended question about what they wish was different in your industry/line of work. For instance, if I’m a florist, I might ask, “Tell me about your most recent flower purchase. What did you love about it and what wasn’t so great?”
If they can’t come up with something they weren’t happy with, I might then ask, “If you could change something about the process of buying flowers, what would it be?”
- Finally, ask what they think about your offering. Search for positive and negative feedback by asking something like, “What do you think? What are some reasons you would buy this product and some reasons you might not?”
Again, validating that you’re on the right track with who your ideal client is and what she mentally craves from your business is crucial. Without completing this step, moving onto the next – mapping your marketing strategy – will be nearly impossible.
And the countdown is on! We’ll begin mapping your marketing strategy next week right here on the blog.