Stop asking yourself, “How do I get more customers?” and instead ask yourself, “How do I get ideal customers?”
Every business is looking to grow in some way. Usually, that boils down to one simple goal: get more customers. But more isn’t always better. I contend that you should stop asking yourself, “How do I get more customers?” and instead ask yourself, “How do I get ideal customers?”
The answer is simply a matter of identifying what being an ideal customer entails. You can begin by simply looking at your existing customer base. Who are your best customers? What makes them special? Most importantly, how can you attract more customers just like them?
Who are your best customers?
Let’s begin with a simple question: Who are your best customers? For many small businesses, it should be easy to answer. Who is in your shop so often you know them by name? Who has referred you to their friends and family? Who has used your service repeatedly, or kept you on contract the longest?
Reach out to these people, and ask them questions. If they are your cheerleaders, they’ll be happy to help you out. Try to identify what they have in common. Typically, this won’t be just demographic qualities such as gender, age, and location. Demographics just answer what, you’ll want to know why.
Profitable customers are usually profitable because your business can serve them well or they have the right problem. You want to identify this problem, so dig deep. The deeper you dig and the more questions you ask, the more similarities will start to surface. Once you see the similarities, you can create a persona.
“Persona” is a term that takes its meaning from the idea of a theatrical role. In marketing, the term is used to describe the common characteristics of a customer group much like the make-up of a character in a play. And just like an actor on stage, you’ll want to be able to understand these personas enough to place yourself in their shoes.
When you create these personas, you want to get as detailed as possible. Take all of the information you have learned about your ideal customers, and try to create characters that match as many of these characteristics as possible.
You can have a couple of different personas to match all of the characteristics of an ideal customer (Note: no one customer is going to have all of the characteristics), but it is critical you are as thorough as possible.
Now Market to Your Personas
Now that you have these strong, in-depth personas, you’ll want to place yourself in their shoes and design your marketing directly to them. If you were them, how would you react to your marketing? Would your persona buy your product or service? If the answer is yes, your marketing should be successful in attracting these ideal customers.
This article originally appeared on Inc.