What’s inside this post:
Step 1: Discover Your True Values
Step 2: Who you really want to serve most?
Step 3: Creating Your Ideal Client Avatar
So how do you discover who your true audience and clients are?
Here I’ve put together a few steps which will help you find your authentic audience and clients.
One thing is for sure, if you want to be fulfilled and ensure that any goals that you’ve set will truly make you happy, you need to get to know yourself much better.
Here I’ve put together three steps (including a couple of exercises) on how to discover your authentic audience and clients.
So why is an authentic values-focussed approach is better in the long run? :
#1 Being more authentic, we create deeper connections with our audience. They want to learn more about us and what we do, and we also feel the same towards them too.
#2 When you offer a service which you’ve personally benefited from, it’ll ‘feel’ right when you want to share it with the world. Your audience will gravitate towards you and naturally want to learn more about your service and how it might benefit them too.
#3 Authenticity can create advocates for your business who want to promote you because they’re connected to you and genuinely want to help you too.
#4 Your work becomes a much more human, relatable and a joyful experience. And that really is what true success is about. When we’re not just following our own dreams, but we also have an altruistic view and want everyone to be happier – because ultimately we’re a lot more happier doing that too.
Step 1: Discover Your True Values
What have values got to do with discovering your authentic audience and clients? When we’re clear on our values, we know what is important to us and the kind of people we want to work with.
Values give us an indicator in the form of a feeling in ourselves to know if we’re progressing in the right direction or not. Values are about understanding what’s most important to you and what isn’t.
To understand your deepest values you need to have a certain amount of knowing about the occasions when you felt really good about yourself, and what exactly made you feel good.
In other words, the path to progressing joyfully towards your true purpose and to find your values is having more self-awareness.
Only when you’re self-aware you can start to understand your true values, and self-awareness enables us to actually be happier with our achievements whether they are big or small.
Self-awareness is wisdom, and it gives us the ability to have a certain understanding about what really matters, and what gives you true fulfillment.
I like to review my values every 1-2 years or whenever I feel it’s necessary. After some time, your values might not change very much at all. Sometimes events in our lives cause change, and can be a good opportunity to look at your values again.
There are lots of ways to find out your values, but here’s a fun, mini exercise to try!
Grab a notepad and pen and try this practice to help you discover your values. (Personally, I find working with a notepad and pen to be more therapeutic than on any devices, mobiles or the computer).
Ask yourself the following questions and see what flows out from your mind onto paper:
Think about 3-5 times when you felt your happiest in your life and work?
#1 What activities were you doing, what aspect of the activities made you feel so good?
#2 Were there any people around you? If so who?
#3 Try to go deeper into the question and ask yourself why and what really made you feel happy?
Step 2: Who Do You Really Want To Serve The Most?
Look back at clients and projects you’ve worked at in the past. Does anything stand out for you?
How about the type of people which could benefit the most from your services and products?
Here’s another little visualisation exercise which could get you thinking about your ideal clients if you still are having some trouble:
A.) Schedule about thirty minutes in your calendar to sit down with a fresh sheet of paper and a pen. Switch off your mobile, computer and any other distractions that you might have.
B.) Close your eyes and imagine having a conversation with and helping out your ideal customer. How do they appear? What do you find interesting about them and why?
C.) Next, open your eyes and fill out the following on your sheet of paper:
My business helps _________ [describe your dream client] to _________ [list the problem you solve or job you’ll help get done] so that they can _________ [the true benefit of solving their problem/job you’ll get done].
Here’s an example:
My business helps graduates & career changers to discover their talents so that they can find the work they’d love to do.
Step 3: Create Your Ideal Client Avatar
Taking myself as an example, I started out offering my website design services to everyone as I didn’t have any idea of whom I liked working with.
But the problem I faced was that I appeared as a very generic and faceless business with no focus in mind at all. I didn’t have much of a plan, and so attracted all kinds of clients.
It’s true that you have to start somewhere, and going through a few clients does help you learn more about yourself. But if you do have a clear picture of your client in mind you’ll have much more power and direction.
Making up buyer persona’s doesn’t seem to work either, sometimes it comes with time and reflection or perhaps with a coach, who could help reflect on who is your ideal client or niche.
Just to reiterate, your service can’t appeal equally to a student or a retired person or to a working professional. They are all large segments of the market who have very different needs and things they’re interested in.
(Did you know facebook which now serves most of the planet, started out only focussing on college students?)
Buyer Persona is not to be confused with Customer Profile. A Buyer Persona goes into much more detail about your customer and what motivates them.
A great analogy for creating a buyer persona is to imagine an actor/actress rehearsing for a role.
Imagine Leonardo is rehearsing for the film Titanic. Leonardo really had to understand the role of the poor artist boy that he needed to play, how he would think, how he’d act and what he needed to look like etc.
This is how you can approach creating your buyer persona. See through the eyes of your ideal client, feel what they would feel and understand their view of the world and how they might be looking for a solution to their challenges.
If you need to create a deeper understanding of your ideal client, try searching them out in your personal network. Perhaps you could meet up with them and offer to buy them lunch or coffee.
The Ideal Client Segmentation Exercise
When launching my own authentic marketing course for coaches, consultants, and therapists. I thought about creating a service with several different types of buyer personas.
You can do the same for your business. Here’s how I segmented them when taking ‘coaches’ as an example:
- The Newly Qualified Coach – with an interest in launching their new coaching practice and need help as they don’t know much about marketing. They’ve tried to create their own but failed to make it happen in a professional way.
- The Coach That Wants to Grow – this type of coach already has some knowledge about marketing, and has a website and some clients, but really wants to get serious about their business and wants a polished, modern website to help get there.
- The Expanding, Established Coach – this type of coach may have a team that supports them, they want to work with a professional to rebrand and freshen up their site for their existing client base.
Once you have someone in mind, you can segment them in a similar way.
Finding your ideal audience and clients is about reflecting on your values and learning more about yourself and what brings you more joy and energy.
I’ve listed here a few ways, plus a few exercises you can use to clarify whom you would enjoy working with most.
Let me know how you get on.