Finding new customers is part of running a successful business. It’s very common for business owners to cite their biggest struggle as not having enough customers.

If you have the goal of increasing your sales and growing your business, you need more customers. With that in mind, you might feel scared to have a narrowly defined ideal customer profile and that you’d prefer to cast a wide net to try and find potential clients. 

As contradictory as it seems, you are more likely to successfully attract customers when you develop a clear and specific profile of your best customers and then find more people who are similar.

Should You Have a Broad or Focused Customer Profile?

Get focused

Imagine that you’ve invented an instant-smoothie kit packed with protein and vitamins, is super convenient and tastes great. This kit could be appealing to so many different types of people:

  • Bodybuilders who are focused on eating nutrient-dense foods, will be attracted to the protein-packed vitamin-rich content.
  • Moms who are trying to quickly feed their kids in the morning will find the convenience appealing.
  • Teenagers who want to eat delicious smoothies will love the great taste.
  • Maybe you could even sell to the owners of small coffee shops who want to add smoothies to their menu without having to stock up on all the fresh ingredients.

You can see how we’ve now found four different types of people who might be ideal customers for your product. Read on to know why you should focus on just one of these profiles (at least at the start!)

3 Reasons to focus your ideal customer profile

  1. You’ll create messaging that better connects with the pains and gains. With our smoothie kit example, imagine trying to write your website copy. How will you know which feature to talk about first? When you have one customer in mind, you can really focus on the right words. For example, if you choose bodybuilders as your ideal customers, you can go into a lot of detail about the exact list of vitamins and nutrients included and what the benefit is of each of them. The cafe owner would probably not want to read about those details.
  2. You can choose images that reflect your customer. If a body builder is looking for a smoothie, they want to see your customers as people who take care of their health. The photograph might show someone post-workout. If they saw the image of a mom pouring a smoothie for their children, they would feel that your product is not for them.
  3. You’ll know where to find them. When you start to do your marketing, you need to decide where you promote your business. Whether you’re doing grassroots marketing, digital marketing or traditional advertising you’ll use your budget most effectively if you target your ideal clients. If you are just getting started, you might hand out coupons or samples at local events. For example, you could go to a bodybuilding competition, show up at the local playground or make sales calls at the local cafes. You’ll be most effective if you go to the right place with sales and marketing materials that have the right message. This same idea carries over to digital marketing. Knowing your customers will help you understand whether it makes sense to invest time and money into Instagram, LinkedIn or on trying to write an article for Forbes.

As a small business owner, you can get plenty of customers (with less effort) by sticking to one target market. And, of course, that doesn’t mean that every customer will fit this profile perfectly. As your business grows, you’ll get more insights into those customers who are most likely to buy from you and continue to refine the demographic of psychographic details that connect them.