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Step-by-Step Guide to Create an Ideal Customer Profile

How to Build a Customer Profile

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When you are developing your marketing strategy, that strategy should always be about your customers.

That seems fairly obvious, right? But it is something that most business owners don’t do. Many business owners and marketing teams look at their business and make it a reflection of themselves when really, it should be a reflection of their ideal customer.

Sitting down and thinking about your ideal customer should be a pretty easy thing to do, however, we have seen companies from all kinds of different sizes and industries struggle to sit down and think about who their customer is and what they want from their business. 

Why do they struggle? They have no system, no process. That is what we want to give you today, a process with tips to make creating your ideal customer profiles easy, intuitive, and most importantly, useful. 

What is an ideal customer profile?

customer

Creating an Ideal customer profile is an exercise where you identify your typical customers and identify details and traits about them that will assist you in developing your marketing strategy.

To explain this to people who may have never heard of an ideal customer profile before, I like to use the analogy of creating a movie character. When creating characters, writers and filmmakers don’t just write their lines and work out the rest later. They go through a lengthy process where they build a character’s back story, identify what motivates them to act in the ways that they do and complete a full picture of who they are as a person.

Ideal customer profiles aren’t much different. You are creating a full view of who your best customers are so that your strategy is honed in on the things that they care about the most. 

Why is creating an ideal customer profile important for your business?

“I already know who my customers are, I don’t need to do all this work.”

Even if you feel like you know your customers fairly well and understand your brand and messaging, creating an ideal customer profile might help you uncover something that you hadn’t considered before.

As you go through the exercises that we will detail in a minute, you’ll find quickly that an ideal customer profile is more robust and detailed than most people think. There are a lot more details to uncover than just the information on the surface that can make a difference in your marketing.

In addition, an ideal customer profile is perfect for moments when you are looking for inspiration. Even the best marketers run out of ideas at some point and an ideal customer profile is perfect to review when you are trying to think of new ideas that will be important to them.

How do you create an ideal customer profile?

Alright, we didn’t lose you? Sweet! 

Let’s talk about exactly how you can create your ideal customer profile! Note: This process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on how many you create and how detailed you want to be. Do not rush this process! 

1. Pick ONE of your ideal customers to start with.

We totally understand that most businesses have more than one ideal customer. It is important, however, to just focus on one at a time. Focusing on more than one customer profile will distract you and make all of your profiles less robust. Focus on one and do the others later.

2. Start with demographics and have fun with it.

The obvious first place to start is with demographic information like gender, age, and location. Once you get those settled, have some fun and actually create a character. Give this person a name and find a stock photo that represents them. This helps the rest of the process as you continue to add characteristics to that person.

3. Now think of additional items that are related to your business.

Once you get the demographics done, start to think about this person’s characteristics that relate to your business. For example, if you are a company that sells golf clubs you would add interests here like the PGA tour, golf gear, and more.

4. Now think of things that have NOTHING to do with you.

Yep you read that right, now we want you to name other things that your customer profile might be interested in outside of what you do as a business. We do this because it is where you will discover what will help you connect with your audience in a different way.

Let’s use the golf example again. Maybe one of those items that you determine someone is interested in might be “business” because many people who play golf tend to work in business roles. Now, on the surface, that might not seem to really help you at all, but you can actually make a lot of ties between golf and business that might be fun and creative.

These additional interests can be anything from TV shows someone might watch, to foods they might like, and even more. Use your mind to get creative. Whatever you can come up with can likely be related to your business and allow you to be much more dynamic with what you are doing. This is the step that can take the longest amount of time because there are so many options available to you. Think about every interest deeper. You will notice that one interest will let you to another, and another, and another. Once you get momentum going, coming up with ideas becomes easier and easier.

Once you complete that step, you are done! Move back to step one and create another profile. Most businesses will have anywhere between 2-5 ideal customers. Any more than that, and your marketing strategy will lack focus.

We typically recommend revisiting your customer profiles once per quarter just to update and see if anything new in your culture needs to be added in!

Creating an ideal customer profile can be a game-changer for your marketing. Not only is it quick and easy, but it can unlock a whole new world of ideas you would have never thought of before!

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