How to read your clients’ minds
How many times do you see an ad on Facebook or somewhere else and think, ‘That’s me! How did they know I’m struggling with those things?’ They knew because they’ve defined and studied their target audience and learned how to read their clients’ minds. And you can easily do the same!
Firstly, what is an ‘ideal client’?
Your ideal client is the sort of person you love doing business with because …
- they value you and your product/service.
- they trust you.
- your product/service solves a specific problem for them.
Your ideal client respects you and understands the value of what you offer. They are happy to pay your rates because they value your experience and expertise. And they know that you can make a difference in their lives.
Defining your buyers’ characters is important in reading your clients’ minds
When you know the character of your ideal client, then …
- you can take steps to attract more of the same sort of person.
- it’ll be so much easier to put together your marketing content and strategy.
- your self-worth and confidence will grow and so will your business.
When you work with people who don’t appreciate you or are always trying to bargain on your prices, you start to question your own self-worth. This can cause you to be less confident and to withdraw from putting yourself out there. Also those people who aren’t your ideal client might go around telling their friends that you’re not good at what you do, or you’re too expensive – simply because they don’t understand and value what goes into your offering.
How to define your ideal client
This is the three-step method I used to define my ideal client and create copy for my marketing that they will resonate with so that it looks like I’m ‘reading their minds’.
Step 1. Describe your ideal client
Start by writing a paragraph that defines your ideal client, based on WHO you want to work with. Base your definition on the following:
- How old are they?
- Are they mostly male or female, or maybe non-binary?
- Are they employed or self-employed, or students?
- Are they married, single, divorced, widowed?
- Do they have children?
- What sort of lifestyle do they live?
- Why do they need your product/service?
Use your imagination on this and really think about the sort of person you want to do business with on a regular basis, focusing on the characteristics of your ‘dream client’.
Here’s an example of how this might look. Use it as a template if you like.
My ideal client is aged between XX and XX. They are mostly (gender) and work (employment status). They are (marital status) with (children and their ages). Their primary location is (where do they live?), and they like to spend time (what do they do for fun?). They buy my product/service because it helps them (problem being solved).
You could get even more detailed and include information like the sort of car they drive, the type of house they live in, the style of clothes they wear, and the books they like to read. You might even find that the person you’re describing sounds very much like yourself. This is because we usually gravitate towards people who are similar to us in personality because we understand them and they tend to trust us more in business for the same reason. In other words, you might be the ideal of your own target client, which will make it even easier for you to get into their heads.
Step 2. Analyse your existing clients
Look through your invoices and work files and make a list of clients who you’ve really enjoyed working with. Then make a list of their common characteristics. Use the prompts below as a guideline.
- Age / generation
- Education level
- Employment status (self-employed, corporate, student, etc)
- Area of location (where do they live)
- Marital status
- Children (yes, no, ages)
- Cultural background
- Predominant product/service ordered from you.
You could get fancy and draw up a table to record this info if you want. The idea isn’t to be overly analytical but to pick out the common threads in this group of individuals and use it to build the general demographic character of your ideal client.
Once you’ve completed this step, revisit step 1 where you drew up the sentence describing your dream client, and see how they fit together. If they’re similar then you’re on the right track with your existing clients. If they are completely different, then you need to review how you’re promoting yourself and work out what you’re doing wrong to attract clients who aren’t ideal for your business.
Each trait of your ‘ideal client personality’ will give you a bit of information on how to reach them. Below are some clues you can use to revise how you’re speaking to your audience.
Age. Different generations respond differently to marketing. Once you’ve defined the predominant generation of your clients, you can use Google to look up the best ways to appeal to them. If you’re reading this post then you’re probably part of Generation Jones (born 1955 to 1965) or Generation X (born 1966 to 1976). You’re a go-getter, fairly independent, are probably a little (or a lot) technologically challenged, struggling to understand how the whole online marketing thing works, etc. The age of your clients will also tell you where they are hanging out online (on which social media platforms), and give you info on their buying habits.
Gender. This is also important because, for example, Gen X men are still fairly traditional and respond better to older marketing methods than new ones. Whereas Gen X women are keen to learn new things and respond better to more modern marketing methods. This information will also be useful in gender-targeted ad campaigns.
Education level. This will have an impact on how you speak to your audience and the words you use to connect with them.
Employment status will help you determine affordability of your product, and also give you an idea of what this client does in their spare time (work or relax). Having this info at hand also helps you choose the right words in your marketing copy.
Location can be a determining factor in your marketing if you have a physical shop. A service based business or a digital product could have ideal clients all over the world. Setting up a location-based campaign can help you pin-point target clients in the right areas.
Marital status and children work together to help you determine the lifestyle habits of your client. This information will give you insight on daily routine and family life.
Cultural background can play a big part in how you structure your marketing content and, again, the concepts, images, words and ideas you use to connect with your audience.
Lastly, but most importantly, the predominant product or service that you’re selling to your ideal client will help you understand where their greatest need is relative to what you’re offering. You can use this as your starting focus point on attracting similar clients to your business by bringing in the problem that particular product/service is solving for this audience and, again, working it into your marketing copy. Products or services that you don’t sell often, or that you don’t enjoy yourself can be eliminated in exchange for focusing on the more popular ones.
Step 3: Relate this info back to your product
The best way to explain how to do this is with an example. Let’s say you’re selling a brand of organic shampoo. Your existing buyers are between the ages of 25 and 40. They are mostly married Caucasian women with pre-teen and teen children. They have a tertiary education qualification and most are employed in the private sector in admin-based roles. Because your product is available online, your target location is countrywide.
If you consider the lifestyle of this demographic, they are the typical busy, working mom who wants the best for their children but who also want their independence. They probably spend their weekends doing fun activities with their hubby and kids. This demographic is also concerned about natural health and helping the environment, otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in your organic shampoo.
Their challenge regarding your product is emotionally driven. Their problem is finding a way to keep their family’s hair clean without compromising their health or the health of the environment. And your product solves this problem so your marketing copy needs to revolve around this theme.
Here’s an example of how it might sound:
Is the health of your family important to you? Do you believe that it’s important that we stop bombarding our environment with toxins?
Our organic hair products with no parabens or toxic chemicals promise to keep hair shiny and healthy while you do your bit to reduce toxic waste every day.
Grab our 2-in-1 offer and try it out.
[Formula: Outline the problem. Give the solution. Call to action.]
Then you could expand on that across your brand with an opt-in ebook on quick hair-styling ideas for pre-teens, or fun ways to repurpose your shampoo containers.
And plan similar content for your website and social media feeds. Content that will help these moms get more done in less time, expand on their existing knowledge of being more eco-conscious combined with practical hair and beauty advice, and get their kids involved in the whole process, etc. You get the idea.
The best way to read your clients’ minds is to get to know them. This costs nothing other than a bit of your time and looking at your existing customers. Having this information and knowing how to use it in your business will make a huge difference to how people connect with you. Your existing and potential clients will resonate better with what you do and they’ll trust you more.
If you tried this method and found it helpful, I’d love to know. Drop me an email and tell me your story!
Want more? Read this post on How to get more clients.
Pin this article to read later.