Who is your ideal customer?

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Simple, I know. But the simple stuff is often exactly what gets forgotten or overlooked. For example, the sign in the picture above. Do you think this place knows what gets the attention of their clientele? Sure they do. Would it work with any business of that type? Absolutely not.

Recently I was talking with a photographer about the Texas art market. He mentioned that his friends in the art show circuit don’t feel like it’s even worth going there because all Texans care about is bar-b-que, pickup trucks, and high school football.

If you’ve ever been to the cities in Texas and have been the least bit observant, it’s clear that there is (duh) a ton of money there, and not-so-duh, a lot of folks there who appreciate the arts. Of course, you might not sell the same thing in Texas that sells in Chicago or Maine – but that doesn’t mean there’s no art market there. And despite that, there are substantial high end art collectors and enthusiasts in Texas. They had to come from somewhere, and I don’t mean “out of state”. At least not all of em.

Knowing who your client is, from town to town, county to county, much less block by block – makes a huge difference in how you market / sell to them, much less if you do at all.

For example: if you drive by a neighborhood of apartments, would you expect substantial success in the carpet cleaning business in that area? Would you exclude that area from an expensive mailing to market carpet cleaning services? I sure would, but many would just send to the whole town. It’s not that they don’t appreciate clean floors, but demographically speaking, they are far more likely to go get a Rug Doctor than call you, take time off from work to meet you and have you clean their carpet for several hundred $. So why mail to them?

Know who your ideal customer really is. Sit down and really think about the type of person they are. Don’t look at any of their characteristics as good or bad. The key is knowing where they are.

Owner / Renter? Married / Single / Divorced? Male / Female? Infants / Toddlers / Adolescents / Teens / Empty nesters / no kids? White collar/blue collar? Prius or F250? Dockers or Kenneth Cole? Men’s Wearhouse or Savile Row? Coach or K-Mart? Talbots, Ann Taylor or Sears?

Once you figure out exactly who they are, focus on them above all others.

Make sure your marketing (much less your products and services) speak directly to that group. You want them to say to themselves “that’s definitely talking about me” when they see your products and services advertised.