How many different Ideal Client Profiles should you have?

Understanding who is most likely to buy from you is essential in establishing your brand, creating an effective marketing strategy, and building a successful business.

Your ideal customer or client is a person who is eager and ready to buy from you right now. They recognize the problem that your product is trying to help with or feels the pain that your service will alleviate. These prospects quickly get excited about buying from you and have the resources to buy now. 

Building out an ideal client profile of your best customers is the best way to make your business attractive to more people just like them. It’s a good idea to understand your ideal customer’s demographic and psychographic details.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may have more than one typical customer. 

One Ideal Customer is Best

If possible, try to hone in on your one, most ideal customer. Imagine someone calling you up, going to your website, or entering your establishment. If you’re hoping to make a quick and big sale, who do you wish is contacting you?

Think about their age, their location, their interests, their economic situation, their pains, and their aspirations. Put these together into one idealized profile, and that would be your one ideal customer profile.

You’ll have customers who don’t check every box in your profile, but if you know who these ideal prospects are, where they hang out and what they are looking for, you can tailor your message, your brand, and your marketing to find and attract people who match your criteria.

Having one clear ideal client profile is the foundation for creating a brand that attracts more customers you’ll love serving and who will love your product or service.

Customers vs. Distributors

Many products are sold not directly to the consumer but by using distribution channels. For example, if you’ve developed a line of hand-crafted soaps, you may find stores and boutiques to carry your soaps. 

With distributors, you sell to the store owner and not directly to the person who will eventually buy your product and use it. But, your brand should cater to the end-user and not the shop owner.

Once you have a clear picture of your ideal client profile, you want to find shops (or other distributors) with similar customer profiles. You can then convince the store owner that your product will be attractive to the shoppers at their store. 

Buyers vs. Influencers vs. Users

Typically, there is only one single person who is the buyer of any product or service. However, additional people may contribute their opinion. Also, the person who buys something may not be the person who uses it.

Imagine that you are selling toys that appeal to elementary school kids. An adult is going to buy the toy, and the kid is going to use the toy. The young child is going to influence the decision by asking for the toy.

When you have influencers in addition to buyers, you’ll need to consider them as you build your ideal client profiles and your branding. Typically, your visual brand will be focused on the user, but your message may also need to convince the buyer. In our example above, the graphics on the toy packaging will be designed to be appealing to the child, but some of the copies on the box may speak to parents, such as bragging that the toy increases critical thinking.

Another common area with separate buyers and users is making B2B sales to larger companies. Maybe you are selling software or corporate training, and the employee who uses your software or participates in your training may not be the one who purchased it. The recommendation is still the same. Develop your brand to make it attractive to the user, but make sure you use messaging that appeals to the buyer.

Multiple Ideal Customers

Some businesses have different groups of core buyers. For example, imagine if you own event space. One group of customers are brides who want to host their wedding at your venue. Another group of customers is corporate event planners who wish to use your space for a business meeting.

In this case, you probably do have more than one ideal customer. They likely have critical differences in demographic details. But they may share a common idea of what makes a perfect event venue. For example, they may be looking for a natural landscape, or high-tech capabilities, etc. 

These shared interests and values can connect your profiles, making it easier to build an attractive brand for more than one group. If you have more than one ideal client profile, make sure that any decisions you make about your branding, such as your visual style or key messaging, are appealing to all groups.

Don’t Create too Many Profiles

Don’t let this be a permission slip to create too many customer profiles. It’s challenging for a small business to succeed when they try to serve too many people.