If you tuned into last week’s episode of Priority Pursuit, you already know that the key to successful marketing is clear, effective messaging. Because, if you want your marketing strategy to work, you have to know what to say to connect with your ideal customers, hold their attention, and convert them into paying customers.
That said, before you can write your Marketing Guiding Statements (the exercise that allows you to determine your messaging), you have to know who you’re talking to so that you can create messaging specifically for them. In other words, the VERY first thing you need to do to create a successful marketing strategy is identify and understand your ideal client so that your messaging will speak to your best customers.
As a result, in part two of our seven-part Marketing Guiding Statements series (a podcast series where you’ll learn exactly how to write effective marketing messaging for your small business), we’re breaking down how to identify and understand your ideal client by writing what we call an “audience overview.”
To truly understand your audience, you need to dive deeper than the typical “ideal client avatar” by writing an “audience overview.”
You’ve likely heard the importance of creating an ideal customer avatar or a marketing persona before. And, more often than not, this practice includes writing down a few facts about your dream customer and giving them a cutesy, alliterated name (e.g. Marketing Margie, Blushing Bride Bethany, etc.).
But, to help you truly understand your ideal customer, you need to dive deeper, which is exactly what an audience overview—a six-step process for identifying and understanding your ideal customer—will allow you to do.
How to Identify & Understand Your Ideal Client in Six Steps
If you complete the next six steps, you’ll have an audience overview that helps you thoroughly understand your ideal client. Your audience overview will help you both better serve your best customers and create perfectly clear messaging that makes them want to engage and work with you.
1. Learn who your ideal customers are.
First, you need to know who your ideal customers are. How old are they? What’s their income level? What’s their gender? What do they value? What are they interested in? Where do they live?
Basically, write down anything and everything you know about your ideal customer so that you can imagine them as a real person. (Side note: If you’ve already worked with your dream customer, you can use that customer as a basis for this process.)
Then, determine how they like to be communicated with. For example, are they on social media? If so, which platforms? Do they read blog posts, watch long videos, or prefer shorter content? Do they read emails? Do they want phone calls? Are they likely to use the chat feature on a website?
If you don’t have answers to these questions, ask current clients you enjoy working with. If you aren’t currently working with your ideal customers, reach out to people whom you’d like to work with and ask them these questions. Or, use social media to ask questions and connect with those whom you think might benefit from your products or services.
If these tactics don’t work for you, no worries. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is make an educated guess about who your audience is and make updates and changes as your small business grows and you discover who you can serve best.
2. Determine what your ideal customers want to accomplish.
Next, you need to determine what your ideal customer wants to accomplish.
For example, at Treefrog Marketing, our ideal customer is a small business owner who wants to build a life and business they love.
No matter who your ideal customers are, they want something. Maybe they want to save time or money. Perhaps they want to feel more independent. Maybe they need a comfortable pair of shoes.
To complete this step, all you need to know is what your ideal customer wants as it pertains to your products or services.
3. Identify what problem your ideal customer is facing.
Now, this is where we dive deeper than the typical ideal client avatar. Because, in order to write effective messaging, you have to understand what problem your ideal customer is facing.
What is preventing your best customers from getting what they want? What makes reaching their goal seem impossible? Perhaps it’s lack of time, lack of knowledge, finances, a mental block, or even having to break a societal stigma.
For example, at Treefrog, our ideal client’s problem is that they do not have the time to learn all things marketing—nor the time to implement a marketing strategy themselves.
In this step of creating your audience overview, you simply need to figure out what the most pressing issue or the biggest obstacle your ideal customer is facing so that you can help them overcome this obstacle.
Note: It is absolutely okay if the problem your small business solves is a “first-world problem.” Your customers may not have critical or emergent needs, but they do still have wants, desires, and a problem you can solve.
4. Understand how this problem makes your ideal customer feel.
The fourth thing you need to do is understand how your ideal client’s problem makes them feel. Because, when you know how this problem is affecting them emotionally, you have the opportunity to help them overcome their challenges and guide them to a solution.
For example, Treefrog’s ideal client has a lot on their plate already, and while they know marketing is important, they feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of having to handle their own marketing.
In short, to know your ideal customers and to be able to serve them well, it’s important that you understand how their problem makes them feel so that in your messaging, you can provide reassurance and guidance that puts an end to their emotional turmoil.
5. Create a clear solution for your customer’s problem.
Next, you need to create (or position your current products and services as) a clear solution to your ideal customer’s problem. In other words, you need to show how your products or services can help your best customers reach the results they want.
Basically, for this step, all you need to do is write down what your customer needs to do in relation to your product or service to solve their problem.
6. Define what will happen when your ideal client follows your advice.
Last but not least, you need to determine what will happen when your customer follows your advice. In other words, what will they get in return by deciding to work with or purchase from you (e.g. more time, more money, more confidence, etc.)?
For Treefrog’s ideal client, success can be summarized with a statement like, “When you choose a marketing agency partner like Treefrog, you can breathe easy knowing your strategy is always helping you generate new business—allowing you to fully focus on other important areas of your business and life outside the office.”
As we wrap up this portion of this exercise, you simply need to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” for your audience by reminding them what success will look like if they follow your advice.
After completing these steps, write your audience overview.
If you complete steps 1-6, you will have everything you need to write a truly effective audience overview (AKA a highly effective ideal client avatar).
While you can leave this information in its coinciding sections, we highly recommend combining the information and writing your audience overview in paragraph form. Because, the process of combining this information will help you (1) better understand your ideal customer and (2) better see how each step of this practice connects to the next, which will be helpful when you start writing your Marketing Guiding Statements.
To show you what we mean, you can find one of our audience overviews below.
Again, in this step, there is no right or wrong way to write your ideal client avatar. You simply want to make sure all information we discussed above is written out so that you can easily refer to your audience overview as you write your Marketing Guiding Statements and as you market your business moving forward.
Note: While you’ll only see one overview below, we actually have three audience overviews. This is because we offer multiple products and services that are suited for small business owners and leaders in different phases of business (e.g. DIYing their marketing as they start their businesses vs outsourcing all of their marketing to an agency).
If you offer multiple products or services and have different ideal clients for these products or services, you will want to take the time to craft an audience overview for each area of your business.
Treefrog Marketing Audience Overview Example
Scaling-focused entrepreneurs are business owners, CEOs, or shareholders within an organization who have ambitious business goals and a thorough understanding of their businesses, industries, etc.
These entrepreneurs have a lot on their plates. Being business-minded, they know marketing matters, but they don’t have time to dedicate to keeping up with marketing trends or creating marketing strategies—let alone time to implement their strategies.
While scaling-focused entrepreneurs often contemplate adding a marketing manager to their team, a single person won’t have the knowhow or hours to implement all aspects of an effective strategy. As a result, scaling-focused entrepreneurs need an agency partner that can assist them in meeting their goals.
Scaling-focused entrepreneurs want clear, concise, regular communication that allows them to feel informed about and confident in their marketing efforts. While these entrepreneurs want their marketing agency to take lead and use their expertise, scaling-focused entrepreneurs want to be in control, and they are always the final decision makers.
Scaling-focused entrepreneurs are also natural problem solvers and highly innovative and motivated. As a result, they regularly consume content (mostly articles and short videos) and attend events (such as conferences) that help them improve their businesses. That said, their time is their most valuable resource.
As a result, the best way to reach and connect with scaling-entrepreneurs is through content that is to the point, answers questions quickly, and provides clear action. Because, again, scaling-focused entrepreneurs’ time is their most valuable asset.
- Both men and women
- Ages 35-60
Treefrog Services that Are Most Applicable
If you want to implement a successful marketing strategy, you have to know who you’re talking to and what to say.
Now that you know who your ideal client is, what they want, and what they’re struggling with, you’re ready to clarify your messaging by writing your Marketing Guiding Statements.
Again, this episode is part two of our seven-part series that walks you through exactly how to write your Guiding Statements. We’ll be releasing these episodes one-by-one over the next several weeks. (If you’re reading/listening to these episodes after their air dates, you may be able to find all episodes here.) However, if you’d like early access to these episodes and even more help with your Marketing Guiding Statements, take our FREE mini course: “The First Step to Effective Marketing for Small Businesses: Writing Your Marketing Guiding Statements”!
This course includes seven lessons and a PDF download that walks you through every step of writing your Marketing Guiding Statements with examples. At the end of this course, you’ll have the messaging and talking points you need to write effective web copy, social media posts, ads, email campaigns, and copy for any and all of your marketing efforts. In other words, you’ll know exactly what to say to convert your prospective ideal customers into paying customers!
If you’re ready for your marketing to actually work, take the Marketing Guiding Statements mini course now!
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Receive $10 Off Your First Three DoorDash Orders (That’s $30 Total)
- Receive 50% Off Your First Year of HoneyBook
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
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If you’re a small business owner wanting weekly content about relationships, proven marketing strategies, setting boundaries, delegating, creating an incredible client experience, and keeping your priorities at the core over everything you do, subscribe to Priority Pursuit on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. To ask questions, share your wins, and connect with other priority-driven small business owners, join The Priority Pursuit Podcast Community on Facebook.
For more information about Treefrog Marketing and even more small business marketing resources, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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