Your business is built on the people you serve and the person you are.
You (hopefully) already know enough about yourself, but how well do you know the people that you aim to serve? How intricately do you know their needs, wants and absolute must-haves?
It's a huge part of your entrepreneurship puzzle and lots of people haven't spent the time learning about their dream clients. Yes, it can take some time to figure it out. But this time is an investment in your business that will pay off tenfold once you get it done and action what you learn.
When you have boat loads of information about your dream client, then you can write web copy that attracts her, post during times when she'll see your content, create products and services that help solve her problems and so many other great things that this list may never end.
The goal is to get more information about them so that you can learn how to attract more people like them.
I've created this list to help get you started learning about your dream client. Everything listed here is free, fast and super effective.
Hang tight, this is a long + thorough post.
1. Think about your favourite current or past client(s)
You know that super inspiring, dream woman that you've worked with in the past? Your favourite clients that you could work with over and over again?
There are probably links between all your past clients - characteristics, attitudes, goals, ambition, working style, communication style, willingness to invest in working with you.
Think back to working with these women and make a list of reasons why you enjoyed their company. These might be:
- you like them - they've got the same values as you
- they pay you - they don't try to bargain your prices down
- they need you - they get the most value out of your offering
- they appreciate you - they tell their friends about how awesome you are.
You're most likely listing intangible things - things that you should feel when meeting with your dream clients. And that's ok. You'll learn more tangible things about them in the next steps.
2. Look at your Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that can quickly and easily give you mountains of information about the people visiting your site. You can learn:
- which countries your readers come from
- how they found your website
- how long they spend on your site
- what type of device they use to view your site
- whether they're a new or returning visitor
- which pages that get the most views
The trick is knowing how to use it without getting overwhelmed.
If you're not yet confident using your Google Analytics, check out this Skillshare course: Master Google Analytics In 1 Hour for Beginners. I learned a lot from this course. I can now open Google Analytics without flipping out and understand what the information is telling me. Highly recommended. And you get a free month of membership if you use this link.
3. Ask them questions
Surely there's no easy way to find out more about your dream clients than to go straight to the source and ask them.
You have two options here: you can ask everyone on your mailing list some questions or you can target your favourite clients.
I'm going to assume that you'll choose to target only your favourites, but the process is the same if you want to email everyone.
Start by writing out a list of your awesome clients - the ones that you could happily clone and work with over and over. The more, the merrier. Or, in this case, the longer the list, the more responses you'll get.
Next, think of 6 or more questions that you'd like to ask them. These might be something like:
- How old are you? (Though you can get general info like this from Google Analytics, it's good to know the age of the people who are responding to your questionairre.)
- What's the biggest struggle you have with website building / getting fit / eating healthily / dealing with grief / _____________ [whatever it is that you help your clients achieve]?
- What attracted you to my website?
- What interests you in my products / services?
- What is preventing you from purchasing / hiring me right now?
- Are there other people or businesses that you're considering buying from / working with?
Once you've got your questions prepared, create an online form to gather answers from these questions. Google "free online form" and you'll find lots of options.
Finally, email your favourite clients (or whole list), ask them to fill out your online questionnaire and provide a link to it. HINT: If you actually ask people to do you a favour – use the word “favour” in your subject line – it can boost your response rates for practically zero effort.
4. Talk to people in real life
Traditional businesses and start ups often pay tens of thousands to some market research company to hold focus groups and send them some data about their findings. Poor schmucks.
We're smarter than that. We know that we can do that on the cheap.
Let's say that you're a one-woman bakery and you sell mouth-watering cupcakes at your local farmers market. You could ask each buyer if they'd be willing to chat to you for a few minutes and in exchange, you'll throw in an extra cupcake of their choice.
Have a few questions prepared, so that you get comparable information from everyone you talk to. You might ask:
- What grabbed their attention and made them wander over?
- What about your cupcakes made them buy, instead of getting a muffin or something else at a different stall?
- How many of the flavours grabbed their attention?
- Was there any flavour that they were hoping to find, but didn't see in your range?
- Do they think they'd come back again?
- Would they recommend your cupcakes to others?
The secret benefit to this approach is that you’ll get to have real conversations that build relationships with your buyers. Plus, you'll get more memorable information than mere data.
5. Go where they hang out online
Maybe, like me, your dream clients are other women entrepreneurs who do soul-charging, world-changing work. It'd be a safe bet that you can find thousands of these dream clients hanging out in Marie Forleo's private B-School Facebook group.
There are groups and forums like this for every industry + every niche. You just need to go hunting to find them + join.
Once you're in, listen to what members have to say and take note of their pain points - what are they finding difficult, what don't they understand, what frustrates them, what keeps them up at night?
6. Take advantage of Amazon
You're in luck. Amazon is a secret hideaway for all sorts of copywriting gold + now I'm sharing that secret with you.
Amazon houses some amazingly in-depth book + product reviews written by everyday people. These people are essentially testing out the messaging attached to those books + products and letting you know their feedback.
They’ll tell you what they like, what the product doesn’t do and doesn’t achieve. If you're lucky, they'll even tell you what they wanted but didn't get – and this is pure gold when it comes to creating messaging + positioning against your competitors. It's basically a free test audience.
If you sell products, you'll want to search for competitor products on Amazon + read their product reviews.
If you sell services, you'll need to find authors that your dream clients follow + read their book reviews.
Look at multiple reviews for multiple products in your niche. (Looking at one review won’t give you enough information to really make a difference to your business messaging.) Seek out the reviews that others' considered to be helpful - luckily, these are the ones displayed at the top of the reviews section.
What are the common themes in these reviews? What do most people want + aren't getting? What needs are already being satisfied?
For example, maybe you're a life coach who helps your clients transition out of boring corporate jobs + into self employment. Your dream clients probably read Pamela Slim's book Escape from Cubicle Nation.
After reading through the reviews, you find this gem:
This review is written by a Top 500 reviewer and is considered helpful by 27 of 27 people. You can quickly see that these people want:
- realism, not just inspiration
- the truth about the risks of following your passion
- tips on protecting yourself financially.
The reviewer is also very specific and detailed about the things that she doesn't like about the book.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Look at multiple books and multiple reviews for each one to get a thorough look at your dream clients wants + needs.
Now you're in an excellent place to start meeting your dream clients needs - including a better idea of how to phrase your offering to appeal to those needs.
Your next step
There are 6 simple, but stellar ideas in this post.
Whether you implement one or all of them, you'll be in a much better position to tailor your offerings & your message to those that you most want to work with.