As seen in APeeling in Summer 2020
As a novelist, I create characters out of thin air and put them into different situations to tell a story. The more I know about the character, the more believable I can make their reactions. The more believable their reactions, the better the story.
You don’t want every person who walks through the door because most will cause you more headaches than they are worth. That is the great thing about being self employed - It’s your business, you get to work with the clients you want. Yes, money is part of the equation, but you only have so much time to work, don’t fill it up with the wrong thing. Take what you have to in order to pay the bills and leave enough time to tell your story to the optimal clientele.
Understand your business, product, and service
To determine your ideal market, you will need to completely understand your product, service, and business. I know you think you understand it, however, what I mean is you are able to explain it to everyone, even the ones who may be a little slow on the uptake.
What does your business do?
What problems does your product or service solve? Why should a person buy your product or service?
You are working too hard for too little if you do not know why someone should buy from them or whom your customers are.
Know Thyself Grasshopper.
It is easier to trust someone when they are like you rather than extremely different. By knowing yourself, you will be able to determine what characteristics in a customer are more likely to result in a positive experiences and referrals.
Certain characters are based on arch types. These are two dimensional characters who are limited by the expectations of the reader. They are used by authors for a certain role in specific story genres and for the most part, they are not based on real people and rarely grow or change.
In some stories the characters feel real, you can relate to them, you understand them and can see yourself being friends with them. They are flawed, learn and grow as the story progresses. These are the well-rounded characters who are created through a process of asking questions, creating back stories, and drawing from people in the real world. This is the kind of process you want to engage in to define your ideal client.
Start by identifying your favourite clients. If you don’t have any yet, think about the kinds of people you get along best with.
Demographics are Not Enough
Let’s start with the easy stuff, the obvious part of target marketing – demographic stats.
These include, age, gender, race, profession, married, single, kids, homeowner, address, and income.
Write down the general demographics of your ideal client, then take it one step further by asking why you want to target that age, gender, etc and how will your product or service help each group?
What hobbies does your client have? Where do they shop? Where do they like to eat, go for drinks, exercise, and vacation?
Ask all the questions which will tell you what kind of buying habits they have, their recreational choices, and how they value their status or image.
Which values does your ideal client have?
Values encompass things like, honesty, courage, leadership, and vision. The Internet has lots of lists to help you define a person’s values.
What does your client want most of all?
The common wants are, security, fame, adventure, happiness and love. Once again you can do a Google search to come up with a list to help you.
What about your client’s morality or belief system?
Things people passionately stand for are charities, causes, political views, religion, and world order. This is a starting target for your core ideal client, so though you may think this isn’t important, it is, because it will help you identify where to find your clients.
What is the main problem your client has?
This is where your ability to solve their problem comes in. Look deeper into the problem by asking probing open ended questions.
Why does he have it? How does he communicate that he has it?
Does he even know that he has it?
When does your client’s problem become so critical they need your solution, yesterday?
Is it when they are standing knee deep in water?
Understand how this problem fits in your ideal client’s life and what it looks like when he needs your solution.
Don’t get so detailed that you will only target five-foot-nine, blue eyed, blonde haired, bombshells with great bodies. You want to keep your characterization general enough to describe a decent sized group of people. If you find your ideal market is too tight, loosen up your criteria, if it’s too large, tighten up your criteria. This is your ideal market, however, the size of your budget will help determine how large of a market you can afford to broadcast to.
Shannon Peel is a writer, content creator, designer, and the one woman show of APeeling.