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How to Identify Your Ideal Customer in Under an Hour

This is the second in a weekly series showing freelancers and business owners ways to spend an hour per week building a basic marketing program. Last week we showed you how to start tracking visitors to your site. This week we show you how to use your existing client list to discover your ideal client. These posts are meant to be short, sweet and actionable.

Some clients are just better.

Before you jump into any marketing program, think about who you really want to attract. Even if you already have a marketing program, do this exercise anyway. You may be surprised at what you learn.

The best hints about your ideal prospect are found in your existing client base. Identify your most profitable, easy to work with customers. Figure out what they have in common.

Whenever possible, do this with real data – not just anecdotal evidence from your sales force, account management teams or your own experience.

First look at what their companies have in common. This could be:

• Industry (banking, retail, wholesale, etc)
• Annual revenue
• Number of employees
• Geographic location
• Anything else that’s appropriate to your product or service.

Next, take a look at the individuals who buy from you. What characteristics do they share? Here are some things to consider:

• Job title
• Age
• Sex
• Education
• Number of years of experience
• Professional challenges
• Marital status
• Children
• Associations they belong to
• Primary language
• Resistance to risk
• Values
• Goals

Roll all of this together to create a profile of your ideal customer – and your ideal prospect.

This information will help you decide how to reach your best prospects, what to say to motivate them to buy from you and even what look and feel wrap around your company ID. Share this with anyone and everyone who is developing marketing programs or materials for you.

Next week: Why you?

Now you have a general idea of who you want to reach. Next week we’ll show you how to tell your story in a way that makes customers what to work with you.

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