The #1 Mistake That Keeps Businesses Broke and Struggling — and How to Fix It
Lack of sales is the #1 reason businesses fail.
Entrepreneurs blame lack of sales on lots of things: poor marketing and messaging, misaligned offer, too much competition, you name it.
But do you know what I see when I look at this list?
I see different symptoms of the same problem. A problem so fundamental that most business owners don’t even stop to think about it… because they assume they had it figured out already.
So what problem am I talking about?
Not knowing who your ideal client is.
I know, I know. It sounds so basic. Of course business owners have to know who they want to sell to! And many of them like to imagine that they do. They have all these different types of clients who might want to buy their product or service…
…but when you ask them about their one type of ideal client? They’re stumped.
And that’s a problem! Because ideal clients are the backbone of any healthy, profitable business — in any industry. And if you can’t attract them, or don’t even know who they are, you’re going to struggle with driving sales and revenue.
So today, I thought I’d show you how to take the first step to solving this problem — by defining your ideal client avatar.
But first, let’s answer a very obvious yet essential question:
What’s so special about ideal clients anyway? Is it worth turning your back on most of your target market and pursue just the prospects who are the perfect match?
Read on to find out!
Why focus only on ideal clients and not everyone who is a fit?
If you focus only on attracting your ideal clients instead of everyone who might possibly benefit from your product or service… you’d think that you’d be missing out. But actually, the opposite is true. Let me explain…
“Less is more” principle applies to business just as much as it does to life. And the truth is, 10 times out of 10, serving a small segment of your ideal clients will result in more revenue, more sales, and more growth than working with a much bigger group of just “okay” clients.
Why? Because ideal clients are:
- The most likely to convert — when people see an offer that seems like the perfect fit for them, they won’t pass it up easily!
- Twice as likely to stick around — they have a much higher lifetime value, which means more revenue for your company in the long run.
- The most committed — they use your product or service instead of forgetting about it, giving you dynamite testimonials and case studies that help grow your business.
- A joy to work with — they rarely complain (and when they do, it’s for a very good reason), almost never refund or cancel on you, and appreciate you a whole lot!
So why would you waste time trying to attract anyone else? That’s right: you wouldn’t, because you know what’s good for your business!
Now that we’re clear on the why, let’s talk about the how…
Attracting your ideal client is a multi-step process — and Stage One is defining who they are. That’s exactly what I’m going to focus on in today’s article, but… Read to the end, and I’ll give you a free resource that will guide you through the other steps, too!
Step 1. Gut check: start with a rough idea
Now, maybe you already have a mental image of your ideal client or customer, or maybe you don’t. Either way, it makes sense to start with a general idea of them, and flesh it out as you go along.
Let me show you a super simple thought exercise to nudge you in the right direction and “plant the seeds” of your ideal client avatar.
Now, imagine a line of 50 prospects queued up outside your place of business. They are eager to work with you, willing and able to pay whatever you ask, and just in general can’t wait to get started.
But the catch is… you can only choose one type of customer to represent them all. Someone who is such a perfect fit that you would be over the moon to work with 50 more people like that!
Does anyone come to mind? Exactly.
That description that just popped into your head is the foundation of your ideal client avatar. I want you to write it down. Keep it to one short phrase or sentence — don’t overthink it…
Because overthinking is the next two steps! *wink*
Step 2. Pinpoint your target demographics
Demographics are very helpful for defining your ideal client. It’s the difference between something vague like “we work with startup founders” — and something specific and actionable like “our target demo is 35-45 Founders of early stage ecommerce startups outside of Silicon Valley.”
That said, you don’t want to rely on demographics alone to figure out who your ideal client is. So don’t go overboard with them. Pick 3-5 significant markers that will make identifying your “perfect fit” customer easier, and stop there.
Now, I’m going to share with you the top 5 categories we use here at The Draw Shop to describe our ideal clients…
Age — pro tip: resist the urge to define your ideal client’s age in the widest range possible. Don’t just cop out and write “18-45” or something like that. Try and go as granular as you can, e.g. “35-45” or even “25-30.”
Gender — many businesses have an even or close to even split in this category. But if your ideal customers tend to skew male or female, you need to recognize it and reflect it in your marketing strategy.
Location — sure, we all do business online these days, even more so than before (thanks, corona)… but knowing where your ideal clients live gives you insight into their lifestyle, helps with targeting ads, and is in general good to know.
Income level — or, if you’re working with other businesses, you might want to replace this one with “monthly/annual recurring revenue level.”
Job title — this one is especially important for B2B companies, because it allows you to zero in on key decision makers and stakeholders who might want to buy your products or services. But even for B2C, knowing what your ideal client does for 1/3 of their life is very helpful!
Step 3. Get into your ideal client’s head (aka psychographics)
When defining their ideal client, a lot of brands just stop at demographics. And that’s understandable. Demographics are easy to find and measurable, which makes them irresistible to data-driven companies.
But they don’t tell you the whole story.
The finer points of who your ideal client is as a person is encoded in psychographics. Things like their beliefs, values, lifestyle choices, aspirations, even fears. These qualities are intangible, impossible to quantify, and highly subjective.
But if you want to build an accurate portrait of your ideal client, you have to engage with them! Or else you’ll end up with prospects who match your target description on paper… but are still a terrible fit for your business.
And we don’t want that, do we?
That’s why it’s so critical to dig into psychographics! Now, this process can be virtually endless — like any human being, your ideal clients have a complex inner life. So to start you off and to guide you, I’ll give you just 4 questions to consider…
- What are your ideal client’s values as they relate to your industry/niche? For example, selling fitness products to someone who cares about looking good naked is fundamentally different from selling them to someone who values health/longevity/athletic performance etc.
- What are their ultimate goals — again, as relevant to your industry? Do your ideal clients want to build a 7-figure business? Run a marathon? Write a bestselling book? Become an in-demand public speaker? Find the love of their life?
- What topics/issues do they feel strongly about, if any? What’s that hill they’re prepared to stand on? Maybe your ideal client is a startup founder who hates venture funding and believes passionately in bootstrapping. Or maybe they’re an upper middle-class mom who is environmentally conscious and wants to go zero-waste.
- What lifestyle/business choices do they make that stand out from everybody else? Finally, think about how those values, motivations, and beliefs actually play out in your ideal client’s day-to-day life. Maybe they use particular brands, or volunteer 10 hours a week, or buy a $12 green smoothie every day — you get the idea.
Remember: the point of psychographics is to help you identify your ideal clients more easily, and find points of connection for your marketing and sales messages to get through to them.
That means, you don’t have to flesh out every little detail of your ideal client avatar! Limit yourself to the most relevant psychographics, and you’ll end up with a clear, three-dimensional, and extremely actionable description.
Complete your client attraction strategy with our free checklist
Like I said earlier, defining your ideal client is just the first step. If you want to start attracting perfect prospects in droves, there are two more stages you need to complete.
We cover them all in our new guide & checklist, “How to Effortlessly Attract Your Ideal Clients.”
Inside, you’ll discover the exact process we use with our clients to align their offer and make it irresistible to the right kind of buyer. This guide will help you stop chasing prospects who will never buy… and instead, focus only on those who can’t wait to do business with you instead.
It’s yours for absolutely free — all you have to do is click the link below and claim it: