If you want to identify and attract more ideal clients, you need to know who will give you money for what you do and have a good reason why they should give it to you.
Your marketing positioning is a crucial step in the process of becoming a first choice expert. Yet, many people don’t take the time to do this.
They often just have a feeling that people will buy what they offer. So perhaps it’s not surprising that so many businesses fail in the first few years.
To be successful, you need to do more than attract clients, patients or customers. You need to attract people who are going to invest with you, get results and hopefully be fun to work with.
When you have clearly identified your first choice clients, patients or customers, you’ll find it’s easier to:
- Find more clients
- Have clients who stay longer and spend more
- Stand out from the competition
- Develop better products and services
- Attract more referrals
Identifying your first choice clients isn’t just about who they are and what they want. It’s about using your knowledge of the market to tailor your products and services to meet their needs in the best way possible.
In short, you want to position yourself to be the first choice in your field.
There are six questions you need to answer to create a successful positioning.
- Who are your ideal clients?
- What big problem do they have that you can solve?
- How can you best help them?
- Why should they buy from you?
- Where can you find them?
- How much money you can make from this?
So let’s follow these steps one-by-one.
# 1: Who are your ideal clients?
One of the big mistakes most people make in business is they try to be something for everyone.
When you want to be as successful as possible, it can easily seem that trying to appeal to a wide audience will generate more sales. But the fact is this rarely pans out.
The truth is: you stand a better chance of being seen as an expert if you focus on a specific market. So you need to define your target market as specifically as possible, taking into account:
- Demographics: This is identifiable and quantifiable categories like age group, gender, education level, income group, geographic area etc.
- Psychographics: This reflects how they think and make decisions. It can be harder to define but ultimately more useful than demographics. It includes things like what’s important to them or their interests and lifestyles.
So ultimately, when you define your ideal customer groups, you’ll find it’s a mix of demographics and psychographics, for example:
New business owners in San Francisco
Mothers of young children who want a career change
Men over 45 who like golf
# 2: What big problem do they have that you can solve?
There are generally two reasons people will voluntarily spend money on something:
- They want to solve a problem
- They want to make their life better in some way (including their family’s life or their business results)
This applies whether you are selling to individuals, to business owners or larger organizations.
To make the sale easier, your task is to find out what your target market wants and then give it to them. You need to get inside their heads and find out what’s on their mind.
- What’s the big problem that keeps them awake at night?
- What’s the big dream they really want to achieve?
Some people buy because they want to solve the problem and others buy to achieve the dream.
So you need to think about your offer from both perspectives.
For example, one person may see their situation negatively: “My business is struggling to attract enough clients”.
Another may be more positive: “I want to double my profits next year”.
Based on this information, you can define your service using a sentence that begins with “I help people who…”
“I help people who don’t have enough clients” OR
“I help people who want to double their profits next year”
# 3: How can you best help them?
Once you’ve defined exactly what your first choice clients want, you can work out the best way to give it to them.
In doing this, you have to take into account your own strengths and capabilities so that you can match those to what people want.
If you are still seeking to define your area of expertise, it usually comes down to one of three things:
- Advice: What do people most often ask you for help with?
- Skills: What are you particularly good at?
- Knowledge: What have you learned through books or experience?
When you have clarified the area of your expertise, there are two parts to defining how you can help people.
The first is specifying what you do. For example:
“I create marketing plans…”
“I offer an audio training course…”
That’s where most business owners stop. They focus on what they do. But the reality is that people don’t care what you do. They’re only interested in what it means for them.
So the second part of being a first choice expert has to focus on the outcome for them. It’s often useful to start with the term “…which helps them to…”
“…which helps them to generate a large list of prospects”
“…which helps them to overcome their fear of speaking”
It’s useful to be as specific as possible about the outcome. When you are clear about how you can help people, this will help you develop more effective marketing and create better products.
# 4: Why should they buy from you?
Your prospects and customers could almost always go somewhere else to get the help they need. So you need a good reason why they should choose you.
Do you know why you are the right person to help your ideal client?
If you can’t think why people should choose you, you need to find ways to change what you offer so that you stand out.
Here are some factors about your offer that could make you right for them:
- Your specific expertise and knowledge
- A guaranteed outcome
- Serving a specific geographic location or market segment
- Personal service or coaching
Getting this right can help you break through the clutter in the most saturated market and become the obvious authority.
When you’ve completed these four steps, you should be able to combine them and write a short statement defining your positioning such as:
“I help new business owners in San Francisco who are struggling to attract enough clients. I create marketing plans to give them a huge list of prospects. They choose me because I give a guaranteed outcome.”
# 5: Where can you find them?
One of the most important reasons for defining your target market clearly is that you need to know how you are going to reach them with your message.
That means you need to know where your first choice clients hang out, what publications they read and who already has access to them.
Without knowing this, you cannot create marketing campaigns to get your message across to them.
# 6: How much money can you make from this?
Identifying what people want is only one part of the process. You also need evidence that they are willing to pay the prices you want to charge.
If you know your market well
Start by looking at the competition and see how well they are doing. Ask your existing customers if they are willing to buy your products and services at the price level you want.
If you don’t know the market well
Start by looking at how many people are searching for information on your topic on Google. Notice how many searches are being done on the topic. Look for the paid-for advertising along the top or down the right of the page when you do a search.
Look also at offline advertising and at the number of magazines and books already in the market. Generally you want to see evidence that there are already competitors in the market and that you have a way of offering something better.
It’s often a good idea to test a market by running Google ads or direct mail campaigns before making too big a commitment.