part of the process of an identity development involves profiling the target markets of the client, so we can get a good idea of exactly who we’re talking to. it’s one thing to know what you want your business to say to everyone, but the reality is, you’re in a dialog with your very best clients and potential initiates to your tribe. don’t address them to whom it may concern, create a sketch of who they are and talk to them like you know them—because you do!
i can usually help with a little knowledge, research and brainstorming, but nobody knows their client base better than you. whether or not you’re in a phase of identity development, taking time aside to visualize your clients and empathize with their concerns will always help you better align your communications with their needs.
start by looking at your very best clients.
these are often people you don’t have to sell to anymore, those who understand the value of your services and are happy to keep coming back. it’s never just one type of person though, so take a look at the various types of people that comprise this group. what do they have in common, what led them to you? what are their differences? do they come from different earning brackets, different areas, different cultures? how many different groups do you have?
select three main groups by common attributes.
take what you learned by listing out client traits and behavior, and create three general client profiles. then for each, outline their individual characteristics that make them unique. where do they work, do they have kids, what would a typical day for this customer be like? what do they care about, what are their values, do they tend toward one political party? how does your business fit in? chances are, each group interfaces with your business differently, how do you usually help each group?
start using the profiles as clues for your next step.
once you have your main customer profiles and a clear statement of how you help each one, consider each one individually and try to think of other ways you might serve them. you’re talking about groups that have already bought into what you do, so they’d be your most likely audience for anything new you offer that’s relevant and useful to their daily grind. additionally, focusing on the types of people you profiled is the best way to create products and services that similar types might use, so you’re not only serving your targets, you might also discover new branches you hadn’t thought about before.
save these customer profiles, and make sure to refer to them in any brainstorming meetings on upcoming product and service developments or preparations for ad campaigns. if you break into a new sector, profile the new market and add them to the bunch. having these target profiles on hand will help keep everyone on track with who your messaging is going to, so you can make sure it’s always relevant, and revise as necessary.