Emma Skees explains how a virtual assistant can support your small business on the Priority Pursuit Podcast.
Episode 089: How a Virtual Assistant Can Support Your Small Business with Emma Skees
April 25, 2023
woman sitting alone and using her laptop to make an online purchase
How to Clarify Your Message Before Implementing Marketing Strategy
May 8, 2023

May 2, 2023

Episode 090: How to Identify & Reach Your Ideal Clients: Marketing Consultation with Author Crista Tharp


Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Amazon Podcasts | Stitcher

As a small business owner, you put so much effort into what you create. You have your hands in every aspect of your business and are constantly trying to keep up with the changes in your industry, in marketing, and otherwise. And, you’ve probably had this thought more than once, “If I work hard now, everything will come together and be easier in the future.” However, it can be frustrating—or even debilitating—when you don’t see that time and effort paying off—especially when you can’t get your content or business in front of the right people.

Crista Tharp understands these struggles all too well. As the owner of both Blissfully Simple Events and Blyss Chick and the author of the new book, Ditch the F**ing Cape: Confessions of a So-Called Superwoman, Crista is constantly working at 110% capacity to maintain all she does while still creating content for her audiences. However, she isn’t seeing the results she wants.

In this consultation episode of Priority Pursuit, we discuss how to determine your audience, how to reach your specific audience, and the importance of utilizing the flywheel method to answer Crista’s question: how to reach and identify your ideal clients.


First, you have to make your customers the hero in your marketing story.

When it comes to identifying and reaching your ideal customers, it really comes down to telling a great story. But, most people don't know what that means—nor do they have any idea how to do it.

Almost every story you can possibly think of has the same formula: the main character—or hero—wants something, but they run into an obstacle that they cannot get themselves around. They, then, meet someone—a guide—who understands the situation and the hero’s emotional turmoil and helps them overcome these challenges, allowing the hero to save the day.

It may be tempting to place yourself in the role of the hero. However, if we follow the logic of the story, the hero is uncertain and needs help—which is not how you want your audience to view your business. Instead, you want to be the guide—the one who helps the hero accomplish his goals. Your customers need to be the hero as they are the ones needing help solving their problems.

As small business owners, it is natural to want to show off our products or services and all that we have accomplished. But, in focusing on these elements, you are only showing authority and not empathy. A great guide always gives empathy or emotional validation first—then follows it with authority or facts. This is important to understand because people make buying decisions first based on emotion and then back them up with facts.


How to Identify Your Ideal Clients

In order to be the guide in your marketing story, you need to understand who will benefit from your advice. The next six steps will provide you with an overview that will help you understand your ideal clients.


1. Learn who your ideal clients are.

First, you need to know who your ideal clients are. How old are they? What’s their gender? What region are they from? Along with this demographic information, consider psychographic information. What are their interests? What do they value? What do they have strong opinions on?

This information can help you make strategic decisions within your marketing campaign. For example, if you know that your ideal clients are from a younger generation that prefers social media and direct messaging, you won’t waste the time and energy trying to connect with them through a direct mailing campaign.

If you don’t have this information, find it by talking with current clients you enjoy working with or reaching out to people who have the problems you are trying to solve. You can also use social media to ask questions and connect with potential clients. While it isn’t the preferred method, sometimes making educated guesses and trying different messaging can also narrow down your approach.


2. Determine what your ideal clients want to accomplish.

Now that you have a basic understanding of your potential clients, you need to determine what they want to accomplish.

Regardless of who your ideal clients are, they want something. Maybe they want a new pair of shoes. Or maybe they want something less physical like independence or the knowledge on how to build a better business.

You need to learn what it is your ideal client wants and how you can connect that with your product or service.


3. Identify what problems your ideal clients are facing.

Next, you need to figure out what is the most pressing issue your customers have—so you can help them solve it.

People put stumbling blocks in their own path when it comes to solving their own problems. Maybe it’s lack of time, lack of knowledge, fear of spending too much money, or even a societal stigma. Regardless, you need to learn what their biggest obstacle is so that you can help them overcome it.


4. Understand how these problems make your ideal clients feel.

When you know how their problems make them feel, you get the opportunity to help clients overcome their challenges and guide them to a solution. This is you being the guide.

Again, people make buying decisions first based on emotion and then back them up with facts. As the guide, you need to understand how your hero is feeling about their problem and show empathy so you can provide guidance out of their emotional turmoil.


5. Create a clear solution to your ideal clients’ problems.

Next, you need to show how your product or service can solve your ideal clients’ problems.

Just like in your favorite book or movie, the guide doesn’t just show the hero empathy and leave it at that. They provide the hero with what they need in order to save the day. You need to position your product as the long-sought-after solution to their issue.


6. Define what will happen when your ideal clients follow your advice.

Finally, you need to determine what will happen to your ideal clients after they have taken your advice. What are they getting in return for utilizing your product or service?

While in some cases this is a physical product such as a comfy new pair of shoes, in other cases, it can be a feeling or state of being—like feeling more independent or relaxed.

Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” by reminding them what success will look like if they follow your advice.


How to Reach Your Ideal Clients

Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, you have a much better chance at reaching them. There are three main points to keep in mind when it comes to reaching your ideal clients.


1. Present your business as a guide rather than the hero in your marketing story.

Rather than positioning yourself in the role of the uncertain hero who needs help, be the authoritative and empathetic guide that helps your ideal client find a solution to their problem.


2. Use your audience information to create messaging that captures your ideal client’s attention & leads them to your desired outcome.

Before you can design and implement a successful marketing strategy, you have to determine your messaging. Because, without clear messaging, you won’t be able to connect with your ideal clients or hold their attention.

At Treefrog, we encourage small businesses to clarify their message by creating Marketing Guiding Statements.

Marketing Guiding Statements position your brand and business as a trusted partner. And, the process of writing these guidelines or statements gives you the information you need to write clear, concise, effective messaging in a story-based framework.


3. Use digital marketing and the flywheel method

The flywheel method is when your website and online marketing efforts are in sync and function as a flywheel to continually produce results—even when you’re not in the office or paying much attention to your marketing. It can be broken down into three main steps:


1. Develop a strong foundation by creating a website.

Your website is your small business’s most powerful marketing tool and must be created with your ideal clients in mind. When creating your website, remember to fight the urge to be the hero of the story. Use your Marketing Guiding Statements to be the guide that helps people solve problems and do the things they want to do.


2. Create great content.

People want to interact with the information they want, and they want to do it on their own time. This is why creating content that helps you act as a guide is extremely important. When you use content such as blogs, videos, and downloads to pique curiosity or provide guidance, you’ll get your audience to willingly engage with you.


3. Position your information in front of your ideal clients.

In order to get the attention of your audience, you have to get your content in front of them with little to no effort on their part. This means using tactics such as search engine optimization, social media ads, Google ads, and strategic emails to attract and lead prospects to your website.

Once you’ve built a strategic website, one of the easiest ways to reach your potential customers is to use social media advertising. To be successful, your social media ads should lead someone back to a piece of content on your website.


Want to hear more?

Listen to the full Priority Pursuit episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear Kelly go more in-depth on how to identify and reach your ideal clients as she chats with Crista and answers her questions. If you would like to connect with Crista, you can visit her website at blysschick.com or find her on Instagram (@cristatharp) and TikTok (@cristatharp).


Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Writing Your Marketing Guiding Statements. 7 videos to help you clarify your messaging so that your marketing will actually work!



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.

You can find The Priority Pursuit Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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.



Did you enjoy this episode?

If so, pin it to save it for later! Follow us on Pinterest for more marketing, business, branding, and boundary-setting strategies!


How to Identify & Reach Your Ideal Clients

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

Is outsourcing key leadership positions something new?

What do fractional CMOs do?

Who needs a fractional CMO?

What are the benefits of hiring a fractional CMO?

When should you partner with a fractional CMO?

Are there limitations to a fractional CMO?

How do I find a qualified fractional CMO?

How much does it cost to partner with a fractional CMO?