Ideal or just idealistic?

Posted by Michele Curran

January 15, 2019 | 2 min read
Ideal or just idealistic? - Volta Compass Ltd

One of the first questions a marketing or communication professional will ask you is “who is your ideal client?”

The reason that this is one of the first questions asked when starting a strategy for your marketing and communication activity is that you need to know who you want to be speaking to.

This seems like a straightforward question, right?

If you are thinking about starting a business, or have very few clients this question offers a lot of opportunities to list ideal client qualities without  being tied to existing experiences and assumptions. If you are an established business with a database full of client information this exercise affords you the opportunity to mine that data for metrics that define your ideal client.

Either way see this is the exercise that allows you to work with your knowledge, but also step out of your comfort zone and explore the marketplace and your competitor experience to get a real picture of your ideal client – the outcome may surprise you.

At this point you really start to understand whether you are just being idealistic or you really do understand what you are good at and how this helps your client.

When someone asks you who your ideal client is – if you don’t have the answer tripping off your tongue I would suggest you consider the following:

  1. Step back and remind yourself what you are good at, what is your core business and what do you want to be known for? Being able to answer this makes identifying your ideal client easier.
  2. When you have identified what you want to be known for you need to understand your capacity. As a new business capacity may be limited as you have limited resources. For a more established businesses it may be a case of identifying the appropriate resources and allocating them to nurture your ideal client. This is a conversation had when we talk about growth and scaling. You need to consider your capacity and realistic reach to then develop a marketing and communication plan to help scale your business.

Knowing your core business, what you are good at, what you want to be known for and your realistic capacity you can then start to search for the ‘right fit’ client – this is where you really start to think about an ideal client, not an idealistic or an unrealistic one.

The point to this exercise is that you have to manage your own expectations as well as your client’s when in business, particularly a new business. You do not want to over promise and under deliver – this is a very disappointing experience as a business owner and you need those testimonials to build your brand.

Identifying the ‘right fit’ client is one of the most important steps to discovering your ideal client as it builds on your current strengths as a business and this helps to develop your brand message.