9 essential tips to create an ideal customer profile
that is ACTUALLY useful for your business
As a business owner, you’ve probably seen the terms “ideal client avatar” or “ideal customer profile” or a mix-and-match of those just about everywhere.
There are a lot of reasons why creating an ideal client/customer profile/avatar (or however you want to call it) is important, namely:
- Focus: You will be able to focus your marketing efforts towards a specific subset of an online (or in-person) audience, so your marketing message is more personalized to them and resonates more effectively
- Clarity: When you are clear on who you are trying to attract to your business, your marketing message becomes clearer, and clarity is #1 when it comes to successful and effective marketing
- Attraction: The clearer you are on who your ideal client or customer is, the more chances you have to attract the right people to your business (aka the people who want and need your products and services and will be happy to pay for them)
Unfortunately, there is a lot of noise around this topic in the online space, and a lot of out-dated advice, which makes it all the more difficult for us small business owners to create an ideal client or customer profile that actually makes sense for our businesses, and from which both we and our audiences can benefit from.
So let’s talk about some tips on creating a useful ideal client or customer profile, and let’s debunk some out-dated advice that can harm your marketing efforts.
Tip #1: You might actually need more than one profile
Wouldn’t it be more simple if we could fit our entire audience into one profile? Of course. But is it always our reality? No.
If you have only one offer (or a relatively small offer or product suite) that is beneficial to a very specific audience, then it is likely that you do have only one ideal client or customer profile.
But if you’re like me and you have (or are planning to have) a plethora of offers and products, then there is a strong possibility that you may need to create more than one profile to make sure you can attract all the right people to your business. This can make things more complicated as you will have to create different marketing assets for different profiles, but if you think about it, having more than one profile means you could attract a wider audience.
That being said, if you prefer to keep it simple and just do the exercise for one, then there’s nothing wrong with that: you’re ensuring your message is crystal clear and attracting a very specific target audience.
But if you’re like me and you feel like having one profile is restrictive, then please don’t restrict yourself only for the sake of “having only one ideal client or customer”. That being said, always keep in mind that clarity is #1 in marketing, so if you’re aiming to market to more than one audience, you’ll have to create more than one marketing message.
Tip #2: Forget about the irrelevant demographics
I’ve visited the top blogs about this subject and all of them repeat the same out-dated advice about how you need to know your ideal client or customer’s gender, age, # of children, marital status, and so on and so forth.
Unless your offer or product has to do with marital status, then you absolutely do not need to restrict your profile to only-single or only-married individuals.
The same can be said about the other factors. For example, if you’re selling a mindset coaching program aimed for perfectionist entrepreneurs who have difficulty delegating, then gender, age, # of children or marital status is probably irrelevant for your marketing.
However, if you are a mindset coach who specializes in helping entrepreneurs who are going through burnout because they have trouble juggling between their business and their family life, then knowing whether your ideal client has children and is married or not is probably very relevant.
Tip #3: Don’t underestimate psychographics
If you’re not familiar with what psychographics are, here is what they include in a nutshell:
- Personality traits (e.g. introversion, conscientiousness)
- Values (e.g. heart-centered, authenticity, integrity)
- Lifestyle (e.g. adventurous, cautious, active, urban, rural)
- Interests & hobbies (e.g. arts & crafts, outdoor activities, reading)
- Attitudes & beliefs (e.g. spirituality, LGBTQ rights, holistic health)
I would argue that psychographics are far more important than demographics in a lot of cases, as psychographics will give you a far more accurate portrait of who is more likely to buy from you.
For instance, let’s say you’re a life and health coach who is a part of the LGBTQ community and who promotes a holistic health approach for chronically ill individuals.
You will likely attract someone who is:
- LGBTQ friendly or part of the community themselves
- Values holistic health and alternative medicine rather than a traditional approach (most likely because said traditional approach has failed them)
Who you will not attract:
- Individuals who discriminate against LGBTQ
- Individuals who do not believe in alternative medicine and holistic health
Considering you probably wouldn’t want to attract this type of individual to begin with, not attracting them is an extremely good sign that your marketing message is effective using psychographics.
As I always say, a good marketing strategy attracts the right people, and repels the wrong ones.
Tip #4: Don’t lose yourself to the details
A lot of unnecessary details can cloud your profile(s) and make it more complicated and restrictive than it needs to be.
You do not need to know absolutely everything about your ideal client and customer: you need to know what is relevant to what you’re offering them.
For instance, if you are selling planners and workbooks, you probably don’t need to know your ideal customer’s favorite podcast. But if you’re a service provider who sells podcast services, then that information might be actually pretty relevant.
Let me explain what that last one means.
If you’re a service provider for entrepreneurs for example, the term “entrepreneur” is pretty broad. You’ll want to know what your ideal client identifies with, which can be any of (but not limited to) the following:
- Heart-Centered Entrepreneur
- Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur
- Passion-Driven Entrepreneur
- Neurodivergent Entrepreneur
- Women Entrepreneur
All of these have different meanings and if your ideal client identifies with one (or more) of these, for example “Soulpreneur” and “Heart-Centered Entrepreneur”, they will resonate much more with those terms used in your marketing than simply “Entrepreneur”.
Tip #5: Identify which level of awareness your ideal client or customer profile has
This is a step a lot of entrepreneurs forget, and yet is an extremely crucial piece of information.
Level of awareness refers to how aware your ideal client or customer is about the problem they are currently facing.
If they are unaware they have a problem, then this means you must educate them about the problem (specifically so they realize that’s what they’re struggling with), then educate them about the solution, and then prove that you are the right person to deliver this solution to them, through a service or product.
If they are problem-aware, then you don’t have to educate them about the problem, since they already know they have it. Your marketing message will then be all about educating your audience about why your solution is the best one for their problem, and why you are the right person to deliver this solution.
If they are solution-aware, then this means they not only know what problem they have, but they are also aware of what solution they need. All that’s left is showing them that you are the best person to deliver that solution.
Tip #6: Think back to who you were before the solution you now provide
Often, we used to be (or still are) our ideal client or customer.
Whoever we were before we found out and implemented the solution we are now providing is often very aligned with our ideal client or customer, so it pays off to reflect about who we were, what we needed, what we thought, what we felt, and how we responded to marketing at that time.
Using this reflection as a first step or blueprint for your ideal client or customer profile is an excellent start, and will be far easier than starting from scratch.
Tip #7: Use feedback and testimonials
Your five stars customer reviews or client testimonials are a gold mine. Not only are they incredibly useful when it comes to establishing yourself as a trustworthy brand, but they are an excellent blueprint to do some reverse engineering for your ideal client or customer profile.
Say you’re a virtual assistant, and you currently have five client testimonials. Go through them and notice what they have in common:
- What problem did you solve for them?
- What transformation did you give them, and most importantly, how do they feel about said transformation?
- What psychographics do they have in common?
- Are there any relevant demographics they share?
- What was their level of awareness towards their problem?
Let’s say you notice that for most of them, these are the answers:
- They were burnt out, and you helped them reclaim their time so they could better balance entrepreneurship and family life
- They now feel relieved, energized, and stress-free, and are able to spend every evening with their family
- They all place family as their #1 top value
- They are all women with children and refer to themselves as mompreneurs
- They were aware they were struggling to balance entrepreneurship with family life, but didn’t know how to resolve the issue
This gives you a very good blueprint of your ideal client (assuming that you enjoyed working with these clients of course!), and to attract more of this ideal client profile, you can include terms like “mompreneur” and focus on how your services help women entrepreneurs reclaim their time with their family by hiring a family-first virtual assistant.
Tip #8: Don’t skip on market research
I could (and probably will) write an entire blog post about market research and how important it is to not skip on it, but for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll keep it short and to the point:
Don’t skip on your market research.
Once you have a good idea of what your ideal client or customer profile looks like, test it out with market research. Find some people who fit the blueprint, and get some of their thoughts, feelings, and words regarding what they struggle with (that you help solve), what they’d like as a solution, what kind of transformation they want and need, and if possible, what they think about your offer(s) and/or product(s).
You can create a form (Google, Airtable, Jotform and Typeform are all excellent options), schedule calls or zoom interviews, or even utilize polls on social media to gather some information as a starting point.
While all this information is crucial, one important thing to remember is that not everyone who fills your form or schedules a market research call with you will be your actual ideal client or customer – so if their answers feel completely misaligned with you, it’s okay, you don’t need to change your entire marketing message.
Market research is to refine your message and test out how your audience reacts to your offers and products.
Which brings me to my next point:
Tip #9: Refine and update your profile(s) regularly
As you and your business evolve, so will your ideal client or customer profile(s). It’s a good idea to regularly (around every quarter or so) refine and update your profile(s), and do some market research to validate (or re-validate) your offers and products.
This is especially true of the online world, as new information and new trends are born every day. I’m sure you’ve noticed ever since you started your business, whether it was years or months ago, that things have already changed enough to warrant some updating when it comes to your profile(s) and to your marketing message.
And that’s okay! Businesses are meant to be flexible and fluid, so they can adapt to the ever-changing world we live in.
So what's next?
If this blog post resonated with you and you’re ready to take the next step in refining your ideal client or customer profile, then I’d love to offer you a straight-forward, easy-to-use workbook I created to assist you in this part of your aligned marketing journey.
With this workbook, you will know how to create a complete, relevant profile and be able to get started on creating or refining an optimal marketing message.
Get access through the Marketing Clarity Hub, which includes a TON of other cool resources — only for a one-time payment of $27.
Have fun on this journey. It’s absolutely worth it.