I'm Danielle and this is a space for me to share some client love, help you feel confident and hopefully make you feel less alone. So grab some pizza or whatever you love and curl up. Let's get cozy!
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Is your ideal client profile helping you get more clients, focus your offer and streamline your business? My guess is probably yes and no.
The ideal client profile is everywhere these days and in the online business community, everyone wants to know who your ideal client is. While the ideal client profile is a great tool to start thinking like your client does, it should be refined and updated as you go. Treat it like that plant you bought from Trader Joe’s, nurture it, water it and make sure it gets a little sun.
An ideal client profile answers a series of important questions about an ideal client that you want to work with and direct your service, product or offer toward. It helps you identify their behaviors, challenges, environment and desires. It is meant to help put you in your customer’s shoes. It will allow you to better connect with who you want to work with, narrow your focus and set you apart.
Are you are small business owner, freelancer or solopreneur in first 1-4 years of business? If yes I’m guessing you are probably filling out an ideal client profile on your own, without actually checking in with the client themselves. The danger here is that you are making assumptions that you have not validated. It’s possible that you have blind spots when it comes to your ideal client’s needs, behaviors and actual challenges.
So while I love a good exercise that helps put you in your customer’s shoes, there is a chance you might have some setbacks when you market your offer in the real world. Don’t worry! I’m here to help you fix that.
There are many opportunities throughout your relationship with a current, ideal or future client to gather the information you need to serve them. From Instagram polls, feedback questionnaires, initial calls, customer reviews and each interaction with them – there is always something to learn.
If you are in the early stages or your business with limited access to your ideal client for now. It’s best to start by interviewing people you think might be ideal clients.
Before you fill out an ideal client profile, try to uncover what a day in their life is like. If this really is the client and audience you want to serve, it’s time to get to know them.
For more guidance on how to interview ideal clients, take a look here.
If you are a little further into your business journey and are working with clients now, I suggest two things. One, take note of your client’s goals and motivations when they hire you. Either take notes from the initial sales call or have them fill out a basic questionnaire. You can ask things like what transformation do they expect from working with you? What will this service allow them to do in their lives/businesses?
Two, send a feedback form after the service is complete. You want to compare how they feel at the end with their expectation in the beginning. Did they receive the transformation they thought they would? If not, what do they have now instead? Is it better or worse?
This will help uncover whether or not you delivered on your promise and identify opportunities for improvement. Now go back to your ideal client profile and see if you made any assumptions that aren’t correct, that you need to update. Make the changes and try again!
Have you been asked to provide feedback on a service before? Were you completely honest in your review? I don’t mean publicly but privately when they asked for anything else they can do to improve your experience?
It’s tough for people to give real feedback and they often want to tell you everything was great, even if they have a constructive idea to improve your process. Getting this type of feedback is crucial to your business and helps set you apart in the end.
So how do you get this type of feedback? You have to set the stage for people to feel comfortable giving it. For example, when I wrap up a photoshoot with my clients I give them a heads up to expect a feedback questionnaire from me. I go out of my way to reiterate how much their suggestions help my business thrive. When sending the feedback form, I include a short introduction reminding them how important their role is in improving my customer experience. I do everything I can to make them feel like a hero for providing constructive criticism.
The answer is no, you shouldn’t throw your ideal client profile out the window. But remember, it’s a tool and a starting point. It should be treated as a hypothesis that needs to be validated and changed. It shouldn’t be a substitute for actually talking to your customers. Get out there and get curious about your ideal client!
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