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Why it’s vital to know your target customer!

As a business owner, it’s really important to know who your target customer is. Why? Well if you don’t, then your marketing will be generic, bland and ultimately ineffective, as you won’t be talking directly to your audience. Instead you’ll be trying to speak to ‘everyone’ and that can seriously dilute your marketing message.

Thinking that being a solution to fit everyone is a common misconception – a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not gain you expert status, because how can you be an expert in all areas of your industry? An uphill battle, and nigh on impossible!

I’m currently working with a client – Tony Messer from pickaweb.co.uk, and we are addressing this exact problem – he is crafting a monthly coaching programme, and the first item on the agenda is to help his mentoring protégé’s work out exactly who their target customer is. And as this is such an important topic, I decided to write about it, because if you’re thinking of writing a book, then you’re going to need to know exactly who your reader is.

Drilling down into the mindset of your ideal prospect is such an important part of your marketing efforts, as then you will be able to talk directly to them, addressing their biggest frustrations, and ultimately finding a solution to their problems.

So, how do you go about finding out who these people are? Here are some quick ideas;

Pereto's Principle
One quick way to find out who are your biggest spenders are (could these be your target audience?) is to apply Pareto’s 80/20 principle – which in a nutshell equates to 80% of your business is derived from 20% of your clients. So, using this principle, it should be fairly quick to identify who those top 20% are.

Once you have this info, are you happy with the results? Just because these clients are your biggest money earners, doesn’t mean these are your ideal clients! So, the next question to ask, is;

Am I happy that these top 20% are my ideal clients?
Be honest. Just because these people are ‘bringing in the bacon’ doesn’t mean you can’t change them. These clients might be really high maintenance – they could be causing you all sorts of headaches and stress, so have a good look and see if you’re happy with the results. If you’re not happy, then why not try and switch your focus onto those clients that are… which leads us to…

Do some blue sky thinking
In an ideal world where you’re not driven by deadlines and sales, who are your ideal clients? (Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t change your client base…you can, but it’s not until you identify who and where they are, can you then do something about it) and the key thing here is you get as specific and in as much detail as possible. For example, what age are they, where do they live, what car do they drive, are they in their 20’s, 40’s or retired? The more specific you can be, the more you will resonate when you’re writing to them.

Then, once you’ve got this person in mind, what can you do to attract them to your business? 
Well the obvious answer is to write a report, or even better, a book, which talks directly to them; you identify their biggest challenge (so much easier to achieve once you know who it is your talking too) and then solve that challenge in the publication. Well, maybe not solve it ENTIRELY…. but let them know that YOU can solve this problem, if they then use your product or service. (This is achieved by using a compelling call to action, but that’s another blog post entirely, so I will leave that for later. 😉 )

So hopefully I’ve explained just how important it is to know who your ideal customer is (even if you haven’t got any of those yet…) how to identify them, and then what to do once you have. Set yourself up as an expert, by talking directly to them, and then write a compelling report or book, addressing their biggest challenge, and watch people beating a path to your door! Very powerful stuff.

Of course if you need any help with writing your book, why not get in touch. I have years of experience working with business owners who understand the powers of being a published author, and once of the first things we identify is who is your target audience. Simply email me alexa@thebookrefinery.com and let’s see if you can be published in 2013!