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How to identify your ideal customer, to sell more products and services

The ultimate guide to learning how to identify your ideal customer, what an ideal customer is, how to define your ideal customer, and how to use this to inform your content marketing to sell more products and services to grow your business.

Discover how to create your ideal customer or client profile, including how to research your target audience and existing customers.

By learning about your target audience, defining your dream customer, and speaking to one specific persona or avatar that represents an entire group of people, it becomes easier to create content that has consistent messaging and is optimized to attract, convince and convert a particular group of people who have similar hopes, desires, goals, attitudes, and beliefs. When you truly understand who you are speaking to, it becomes easier to hit the target with your content marketing consistently.

If you don’t speak directly to a specific person, your marketing content will be anything but specific and targeted.”

Prue Madden
 

To be successful in business, it’s no secret that you need to know your ideal customer. Once you know your ideal customer, you can create highly targeted content that resonates with your target audience to grow your business consistently. 

However, many business owners and content creators find it challenging to know how to conduct market research to understand their target market and define who their dream customers would be. In many businesses, the market research, ideal customer identification, and customer persona creation process are skipped. Not doing market research and failing to clarify your ideal customer can have disastrous consequences on content marketing, resulting in content that lacks direction and does not resonate with the target market, ultimately leading to business failure. 

This post aims to clarify what an ideal customer is, why it’s essential to be clear about your ideal customer, and the different tools and concepts available for you to research and define your ideal customer to maximize success in marketing your online business. So let’s get started.

What is an ideal customer?

An ideal customer is the type of customer who is most likely to buy from you repeatedly. They’re the most valuable to your business – meaning they spend the most, are the most engaged, and are the easiest to sell to.

An ideal customer is also referred to as a dream customer or perfect customer. We will use these terms interchangeably throughout this article.

To identify your perfect customer, you need to understand your product or service inside and out and understand your goals as a business. Once you are clear about these points, it’s easier to define your dream customer.

There are a few different ways to go about discovering your ideal customer. One way is to look at your current customer base and see who is already buying from you. Another way is to define the characteristics of your perfect customer and then use those characteristics to find people who fit that description. Whichever method you choose, it’s essential to do your research and make sure you have a solid understanding of your ideal customer before you start trying to sell to them.

Is an ideal client the same as an ideal customer?

An ideal client is a customer of a business that provides services. An ideal customer is someone who buys products rather than services.

Is an ideal customer the same as a target audience?

Your ideal customer is not the same as your target audience. An ideal customer represents your “dream customer“, someone who regularly buys from you, is happy with your products or services and helps you reach your business goals. A target audience is a group of people you think would be interested in your product or service. It’s important to remember that not everyone in your target audience will become an ideal customer.

Why is identifying your ideal customer essential for marketing success?

There are a few key reasons why it is essential to identify your ideal customer when marketing your business:

  1. If you don’t know your dream customer, you will have difficulty creating content that resonates with them and speaks to their specific needs.
  2. Suppose you don’t know who your perfect customer is. In that case, you won’t be able to target your marketing efforts effectively, and you’ll likely end up wasting time and money reaching people who are not interested in what you have to offer.
  3. If you don’t know who your dream customer is, you won’t be able to create a strong relationship with them, and they are more likely to churn after becoming a customer.

Therefore, identifying your perfect customer is essential for marketing success.

Highly targeted content

#Perfect customer

When you know exactly who your talking to, creating content that attracts and converts is easy

How to identify your ideal customer

If you’re an online business owner, or content creator, who is doing content marketing, it’s essential to know how to do adequate market research and to be clear about your dream customer to get the most out of your content marketing efforts. By using existing data and collecting new data, you can gain insight into customers and potential customers to paint a reasonably accurate picture of your perfect customer to target when creating content.

But before you launch into market research and define this perfect buyer, it’s essential you don’t skip one very important step; getting clear about your offer.

Define your offer

Before you can even start understanding who your dream customer is, it’s essential to define what you are selling. Once you have a handle on that, you can determine what sort of person would be interested in your product. Your offer could be a physical product, like a book, or a service, like coaching and everything that comes with it, including the price, the service, the delivery, and more. When you’re clear about what you offer, it can be easier to identify your perfect customer.

As you attract more customers, you can refine your offer, and as you refine your offer, you can gain more clarity around who your dream customer is. This is the customer-offer feedback loop. Having a feedback loop through good customer communication is essential. 

How to find and research your ideal customer if you have an existing customer base

If you have a current customer base, start by finding your “best” customers. These will be the biggest and most frequent spenders and those who openly advocate for your brand and refer new customers. Once you have found these customers, think about the typical characteristics of this group of people and try to find a common denominator. Consider their demographics, interests, and anything else that will help you better understand them. Who are they, what they are buying, and where are they coming from? 

Where to find customer, visitor, and audience data

You can use many tools to research your customers, including social media and website analytics, customer surveys, and sales data.

Google analytics

Google Analytics can be a powerful way to research your customer base. It will show you the demographics of your website visitors, including their age, gender, and location. You can also see what websites they came from and the keywords they used to find you.

Sales data

Sales data can give you insights into the types of products and services your customers are buying and how much money they are spending. This information can help you better understand your customers and determine who your ideal customer is.

If your business sells to consumers, the information that you collect may include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Location
  • Life stage
  • Pain points
  • Psychographics (attitudes, hobbies, beliefs, interests)
  • Media (websites they visit, information sources)

If your business sells to businesses, the information that you collect may include:

  • Industry
  • Location
  • Sales/revenues
  • Years in business
  • Number of employees
  • Budget
  • Pain points

Get insights about visitors using Quantcast Measure

Quantcast Measure is a tool that helps you understand your website visitors. It provides insights into their age, gender, interests, and more. You can also see where they are located and what websites they came from. This information can help you better understand your customers and determine who your ideal customer is.

Survey existing customers or clients

Customer surveys can be a great way to get feedback from your current customers or clients, and there are many online survey and form tools that can be used to quickly and easily collect information from customers. This feedback can help you better understand what they like and don’t like about your business and what products and services they are interested in. You can also use surveys to find out more about their demographics, including their age, gender, and location.

Customer interviews

Customer interviews can also be a great way to get feedback from your current customers or clients. Interviews differ from surveys as they are in person rather than conducted on paper o online. Like with surveys, customer interviews can help you better understand what customers do and don’t like about your business and products. You can also use customer interviews to learn more about their motivations for buying your products or services. 

Where does your ideal customer spend time online?

Your ideal customer is probably spending time online in a few specific places. Identifying and researching those places can help you further understand your customers, particularly if they are online communities where your ideal customer discusses their wants, needs, problems, hopes, and desires freely. Some of the most popular places to find customers online include social media networks, industry forums and discussion boards, and blogs.

How to find and research your ideal customer if you don’t have an existing customer base

If you have no customer base, you can start by looking at audience data from social media, website visitor data, and competitor data instead of looking at customer data. Over time, as you build a customer base, you can then refine your ideal customer.

Brainstorm who your ideal customer could be

If you already know your target market but you don’t yet have a solid customer base, brainstorming who your ideal customer could be can be an excellent place to start. 

What are their demographics (age, location, gender, income level)?

What are their interests?

Where do they source their information?

What blogs or websites do they read?

What social media networks do they use?

What are their motivations for buying?

Social media analytics

You can also use social media analytics to understand your audience base and visit your followers’ profiles to gain insight into who they are and discover their interests. While you won’t be able to determine which followers will become customers and which ones will not, if you have a sizable social media following, looking at the analytics may provide some information that you can use as a start point for your ideal customer. Social media analytics can provide demographic data of followers, including their age, gender, and location.

Social listening

Social listening refers to monitoring social media channels for specific keywords and phrases related to your business. By doing this, you can better understand what people are saying about your brand and get insights into the needs and interests of your target audience. Using social listening tools can help you discover customers and people in your target market and learn more about their hopes, dreams, desires, roadblocks, and more. 

Understanding your competitors’ customers with competitor research

Another starting point for determining your ideal customer is to look at your competition. See who they are targeting and what sort of people are responding to their marketing to uncover clues as to who your ideal customer might be. If they are direct competitors, you can gain valuable insight into their customers to help you define your ideal customer. Some popular ways to research your competitors include using social media listening (searching for your competitor’s brand), visiting customer review sites, visiting their social media profiles to read customer and audience comments, and reading blog comments.

Discover how to find your target market online so you can create a data-driver buyer persona.

Define the characteristics of your ideal customer

Once you have an idea of who your ideal customer is, you can start defining your ideal customer‘s characteristics. Following are some key factors that could be considered when defining your ideal customer:

Your ideal customer has a problem you can solve

You must be able to solve the problem that your ideal customer has. They need to believe that you can provide them with a solution to meet their needs. If you cannot solve their problem, you will not be able to sell them anything. Your ideal customer is aware of the problem and motivated to find a solution. They are not looking for a band-aid fix but rather a long-term solution.

They can buy and use your product.

Your ideal customer must have the means to buy and use your product. They must be able to acquire your product (be able to afford your product and be willing to pay for it) and understand how to use it. If they cannot meet both of these criteria, you will not be able to sell them anything.

They share your brand’s values and beliefs

It’s human nature to be attracted to brands (and people) that share your values and beliefs. If your audience and customers do not believe in what you stand for, they will likely feel that your brand is not a good fit for them. On the flip side, if your brand communicates and demonstrates the values and beliefs of your target audience, you’ll be more likely to attract and retain customers.

They congregate in specific online (or offline) locations.

Your perfect customer congregates in specific online (or offline) locations. For example, if your ideal customer is a stay-at-home mom, you might find that they spend time on parenting forums or blogs. If your ideal customer is a small business owner, you might find that they use social media networks like LinkedIn or Twitter to connect with other businesses.

They access information from specific sources.

Your ideal customer accesses information from specific sources, for example, they may read articles from a particular website, or if they are interested in health they may trust online peer-reviewed journals more than reading blogs.

They derive the most value from specific benefits of your offer.

Different target markets (and therefore different ideal customers) will likely be interested in different features of your product or service. For example, if you have AI tools that help with content research and writing, a content writer might be more interested in your AI writing feature than your research feature, while a content strategist may be more interested in your market research feature than your writing feature.

Create a buyer persona to help you target your content marketing efforts

Once you have defined your ideal customer, it’s important to create a buyer persona, otherwise known as a customer persona or customer avatar. Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customer. They help you better understand and document the exact person that you are speaking to when you create content.

When creating a buyer persona, demographic information like age, gender, and location, is important, but psychographic and semantic information is essential too.

Demographic data

Psychographic data

Semantic data

Demographic Data

Demographic data includes information about your target customers’ age, gender, location, and income. This information can help you understand your target market and what they’re interested in. Location data can also help you understand your target market better. If most of your customers are located in a particular area, you may want to produce content that is specific to that region. Income data can help you understand how much money your target customers have to spend on products and services like yours. 

Psychographic Data

Psychographic data includes information about the interests and lifestyles of your target customers. This information can help you create content that resonates with them and speaks to their needs and wants. For example, if you know that your target customers are environmentally conscious, you may want to produce content that promotes sustainable living practices. If you know they’re fitness enthusiasts, you may want to produce health and wellness-related content. 

Semantic Data

Semantic data includes words and phrases that are associated with your ideal customer. For example, if your target market is a skater, you will want to use language that is used by the skating community. The word choice and tone in which you communicate in content aimed at the skating market will differ from the language used when targeting a B2B corporate target market

Define your marketing strategy and create content

Once you know who your ideal customer is, it’s time to define your content marketing strategy, including determining how you will reach these customers and what content will attract them and convince them to buy from you. 

By understanding where they spend their time online, what blogs or websites they read, what social media networks they use, and what interests them, you will be able to build a content strategy that enables you to reach, attract, convince and convert and keep your customers educated, informed and engaged.

Once your strategy has been mapped out, it’s time to create your conversion funnel content. Your conversion funnel includes Top Of Funnel content to attract an audience to social media, visitors to your website, and content to convert leads into customers. It also includes Middle of Funnel Content, which is designed to move leads closer to becoming customers, and Bottom of Funnel Content, which is designed to convert leads into customers as well as keep customers engaged, educated, and informed so that they become loyal, repeat customers and brand advocates.

Conclusion

Identifying your ideal customer is essential for marketing success. By defining your product or service, determining your goals, and researching your ideal customer, you can create a customer persona that will help you determine what content to create. You can then use this information to create a marketing strategy and create content to attract and convert more ideal customers. When your content is well-targeted, you can increase sales and provide better customer care while reducing costs associated with ineffective marketing efforts.

If you’re struggling to know how to do adequate market research and figure out who your ideal customer is, you need the Market Research course. Learn more.

Discover how to research your ideal customer and create your customer avatar.

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