How to Attract, Connect and Network with Your Ideal Customers In 4 Steps

how to find your ideal customer

We are in the age of relationship-led marketing and selling, and it’s no longer news that business is now as personal as it can get. Technology, with the entry of social networking sites, has made the personalisation of business a lot easier, especially  for small businesses.

The foundation of successful marketing campaigns lie with your ability to:

(i)  Identify people who want what you have to say and sell (your ideal customers)

(ii) Connect and network with them in order to better understand their challenges and wants, and then

(iii) Position your brand and offerings to be their most attractive and preferred solution.

 This post discusses a 4-step method to attracting, connecting and networking with your ideal clients. You’ll also read about a case study of how 1 single connection made on social media site led to 3 new clients.  Read on…

STEP 1: Before You Embark on Finding Your Ideal Customers

  • Research and Profile your Ideal Customer: Who is your ideal customer – an end user, a business or both? Where do they live? How old are they? What problems are they going through that keeps them awake at night? What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they gather? What blogs and books are they reading (to get help from)? What terms do they use to talk about their problems (key-words)? What associations do they belong to?

Knowing and defining clearly who your ideal customer is, is  one of the most important steps to finding and connecting with them, else you may have a huge following of even highly engaged fans, who have no genuine interest in what you sell or blog about. It’s important to write down your ideal customer’s profile and use it to work your every marketing content.

  • Craft customer-focused “about page”, social media and forum profiles, using a profiling of your ideal customers and their needs. Write a profile that says what you do to who, and how: in the context of : “I help (people who have XYZ problem) to ______” by _____(how you do it). If your perfect customer knows that you understand what they are going through and can help them, they’ll easily warm up to you.

Here are good examples of customer-focused tag line and ‘About Page':

“I help businesses, universities, and service professionals . . . increase ROI and attract fiercely loyal fans . . . by communicating with customers as people”. ~ Liz Strauss on: the Ideal Customer Test

“…Since most of my clients are finance phobic I switched profiles and about pages to questions like “Are you afraid of finance?” or “Think finance can’t be fun?” Followed by “this Numbers Whisperer can help!” It has worked really well, although if I hadn’t truly understood my ideal client, I wouldn’t have ever tried it” ~Nicole Fende, smallbusinessfinanceforum.com.

STEP 2: Position Your Brand Strategically To Become Visible To Your Ideal Customers

Having written down your ideal customer’s profile, you should know where they always hangout, offline and online. Once you determine the best places your ideal clients gather, join the social network (online or offline), setup your customer-centric profile and start networking.

Use the keywords in your ideal customer’s profile you created in step 1 above, to search social networking sites (such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing etc) for people who match that ideal customer’s profile.

Your customers will find you (not you finding them) if you use customer-focused keywords and language in your profiles and articles.

NOTE: Not every social media platform is a hangout of certain people – for example, ideal customers for a fashion business will hangout more in Facebook and Fashion Forums than on LinkedIn (if at all). Another example: If your ideal customers are largely people above 60 years old, you are less likely to find them on Twitter.

STEP 3: Find and Communicate With Your Ideal Clients

Communication is a very effective positioning tool for reaching your ideal clients. Blog, forums and social media sites are great methods to put your brand where people will easily find you. Use your ideal customer’s profile to create contents and social media updates that will interest them – inform, inspire, educate and entertain them on what matters to them (Not You).

  • Blogs: Your ideal clients, in looking for advice and help, visit blogs that write about what they are interested in. There are 2 ways you can reach your targeted customers, using the customer profile data you crafted:
  • Write a Post on your blog or another website, that answers their question and Make it easy for them to find your contents: Answer their problem questions in your blog posts. Ensure to write in the language of your ideal customers, using their search keywords. To discover how to blog exactly what your ideal client is looking for, read How to find Hot Blog Topic Ideas.
  • Leave useful comments on blogs in your market niche. Use Google blog search to find top blogs in your market niche that attract a good number of your target customers. Leave insightful comments and you’ll gain new readers (potential customers).
  • Social Media Sites:  To attract your ideal customer on social media sites, setup a Facebook and Twitter page, ensuring to put up your customer-centered profile.
  • Forums in Your Niche: Use the “Board Reader” to find forums in your own market niche. Find relevant forum discussions and make useful contributions.
  • Local, Offline associations: Find and join local associations that your ideal clients also hangout, and start networking your way.

STEP 4: Connect And Build Rapport With Your Ideal Clients

Building rapport with your ideal customers will help you to know them better. You’ll discover more about their problems, thereby getting a better insight on how to help your customers better than your competitors will. They’ll also have opportunities to know and trust you more, enough to know that your (product/ service) recommendation is in their best interest.

Here are a few suggestions to starting, building and nurturing a trust-based relationships with your target clients/ customers:

  • On Social sites, choose who to follow: Use your customer profile as keywords to find new people to follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Networking starts with conversations – so reach out to your new connections. Search by people, location, events and groups.
  • Reply to their comments on your blog. Find time to visit their blogs and leave comments.
  • Emails: Ask your readers to subscribe for your updates. Reply their emails; send them tips and information via emails; ask them what they want to see more on your blog
  • Follow back your readers on Twitter, retweet their posts, also make a habit of being the first to follow them. Reply their @mentions of you.
  • Demonstrate your expertise – Ask and answer questions in Q & A sites, on topics that address their problems. Search Q & A sites for open questions include: Yahoo answers, LinkedIn answers, Quora, Focus;
  • Participate in discussions in relevant forums and social media groups
The Ultimate Guide to attracting your ideal clients on LinkedIn - LinkedInfluence

Case Study: How Building Relationship With 1 Single Connection Led To 3 New Clients

Debra Jason, a copywriter, found new clients through a cycle of relationships, on the Social Media. Debra narrates how she tapped into an opportunity (from simply a mention of connection #1) on a webinar, to connect to “Connection #1”.

Lessons Learned: From Social Media Conversations to Phone Calls To New Clients

  • You can find your ideal clients even in unlikely places, such as Webinars, like Debra did
  • Network (verb) and Always be expanding your connections. Start conversations to kick-off relationships AND Keep the Conversations going on
  • Endeavor to connect to your connections’ connections that you share similar interests with.  Debra attended a webinar where “Connection #1″ was mentioned by the presenter and she tapped into that;
  • Debra found a point of discussion, outside of business. “Connection #1″ lives where she used to live and that became a topic for conversation;
  • She was the first to reach out and to start a conversation via a tweet
  • That tweet led to more tweets, and later, phone calls (getting to know more about each other’s business and skill sets)
  • Connection #1 sent her a referral (Connection #2) – and Debra started working her relationship building magic again (repeated the process used with “connection #1”, starting by making the first move);
  • Relationship with “connection #2” led to him hiring Debra on some of his projects;
  • Debra attended a Webinar hosted by “Connection #2”, and again was the first to reach out to “Connection #3”;
  • She repeated her usual conversation process and now has a partnership with “Connection #3”

*Note that getting the 3 relationships turn to clients, did not happen overnight, according to Debra. Did you see that Debra was good at going to where her perfect client hangs out and she makes the first move (to connect)? Did you see that she took every relationship beyond the social media?

When Will A Relationship Never Lead To Sales?

When you hang out where your ideal clients do not gather, no matter how hard you try, you will get burned out without getting results. So, always fish in the right pond.

——

By the way, this post is part of the month’s Word Carnival. Be sure to join us for further discussion on the topic of Finding and Connecting with Your Ideal Clients, at  the #WordCarnival Twitter Chat on Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m., Pacific.

——

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If so, I’d love to hear about your own success pattern as well as the places you found them.

Where did you meet majority of your ideal customers for the first time? What role did conversation and relationship-building play in your customer acquisition process? Did you often get referrals from your online contacts?

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the comment side.

 

Stella

P.S: Don’t forget to help me Tweet, Stumble, Google+1, Facebook this post.

P.P.S: You may also like the following posts on how to connect with your ideal clients on Social Media

70 thoughts on “How to Attract, Connect and Network with Your Ideal Customers In 4 Steps

  1. Hi Stella
    Thanks for the info I think I will have to go through your other posts on social media as well I am struggling to come up with a really good plan for social media and don’t want to go round in circles trying to get it right.

    Thanks for the info lee

    1. You’re welcome, Lee.

      That’s exactly why this post was written – many business owners (online/ offline) are spending hours daily/ weekly on specific popular social media, without first considering or researching whether their ideal clients are there.

      There’s only but 24 hours in a day, and so much to do daily in our businesses and so if your goal on social media is to attract more of your target ideal customers, go where they are – even if that may not be the most popular social networks or forums.

      By the way, what niche are you playing in, Lee?

  2. Hi Stella,

    I always get so much valuable information from your blogs but this time you really hit my main issue.

    I have no idea of our “ideal customer” despite being online with our handmade Thai silk business for nearly 4 years now.

    I will contact you privately and see if you can help me solve this big dilemma.

    Thanks as always for your valuable advice and may 2013 be a memorable one for you

    1. Hey Amnuai – so happy to see you around. You’re my first commenter this new year! Thank you.

      I’m glad you could relate this post to a gap in your own business. No worries, it’d be my pleasure to help you figure out your ‘perfect customer’ profile and demographics and how to translate that information to attracting more buyers through your website.

      I’ve already seen your private message to me via LinkedIn and have replied.

      I hope to further discuss the next steps with you.

      Cheers.

  3. Hello Tea,

    You knocked it out of the park with this one!
    Embark, brand, build, connect, network, connect …
    One gets the feeling of forward motion all the way through.

  4. Stella,

    I like what you are saying here. Business is about forming relationship. You want to do this with your clients. You said something that stick out in my mind. You said “ideal client”. I wish you would have expound more on this point.

    If we narrow down our niche market and then proceed to attract those in that market isn’t that good enough? I think when you say the word “Ideal” we’re thinking the same thing. You writing about those in you niche market.????

    One more thing, I feel that relationship building is a lost art. People in the social mediums have not really got it yet. I afraid we’re still afraid of each other in some form. There is no real networking going on.

    1. Hey Mike, thanks for stopping by – always good to see you around. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post.

      Okay – ‘ideal client” is the picture and profile of the kind of people that will be interested to read your posts, to buy from you. For example, your ideal clients are: network marketers. Drilling down, you want to attract ‘network marketers who want to transition from offline prospecting/ marketing to doing business online – who want to learn how to build lists etc. While painting a picture about who your message is targeting, you’re also painting a picture of who you’re not targeting (such as spare part marketers etc).

      Narrowing your market to specific types of network marketers helps you to be unique and become an expert in a small niche, while also reducing the competition.

      You’re right, building relationships with our ‘ideal clients’ helps us get closer to earning their trust necessary for earning their sales and recommendations.

      I know, some people still don’t get it, about relationship-led marketing but if we focus at getting it, perhaps through our marketing messaging, we can help more people understand how to build relationships that drive sales.

      As always, thanks for your rich contribution:)

  5. I totally agree Stella. You actually got our eyes on you. You have provided us with the information that we really need for our new businesses. The article was great, the writer is great, what more can we ask for. You really did nailed it Stella. Getting more clients or traffic could gain the popularity of the business. Thanks again and keep it up.

    1. You’re welcome, Pete. Comments like yours always make me feel good and especially let me know that I managed to write what “my ideal readers” are looking for.

      Compliments of the season to you!

  6. Relationships are so very valuable, and the foundation of good business. I don’t build relationships to make sales, but sales do occasionally come from relationships directly, and very often indirectly (just because you are valued in many ways for the company you keep).

    But more often, relationships are not related at all to sales…but they are the best source of learning, of idea generation, etc. For that, especially, I value a lot of my online relationships.

    1. Hey David:

      Welcome to my blog – I’m happy to see you visit:)

      You’re spot on! I like the way you captured the essence and real-life facts about genuine relationships and the ROI in business. Often, people sense when relationships are sought for business first. Many beginner (and even veteran) Network Marketers are fond of starting a relationship (on Facebook and even offline) with business as agenda. That often repels people whenever they discover.

      You’re right – I have countless cases where I’ve leaned on my relationships for masterminding and even gained enormously from unplanned learning experience with offline/ online friends.

      Thanks for a fresh insight into this topic. Much appreciated.

      How’s the SEO business going?

  7. Hi Stella,

    Love your closing sentence “fishing in the right pond” Many people keep throwing in feeds but catch less than they throw in the pond. The ability to try and move on to better grounds is needed to find your ideal customer. And even when you think you got a great pond keep on the lookout for better ones because others will come and fish with you.

    Nik

    1. Thanks Nik. I’m glad you like that closing:)

      I like that “feeds throwing” analogy there. It captures the whole lesson you made. It’s better to not waste time putting efforts for the wrong audience – spend time to find out where your ideal client hangs out and, as you said, never stop looking out for new audience.

      As always, I loved reading your comment.

      Compliments of the season to you!

  8. Hi Stella,

    Thank you for writing such an excellently thorough post and right on time for me. Lately, I have been focusing more on finding “My” tribe and your post has made it possible to pull together great ideas on how to proceed. So, so happy I found your blog!

    1. Hi Leigh. Welcome to my blog.

      I’m glad that this post was timely for you. I look forward to hearing about how you progressed with finding and building your “tribe”.

      Hope to see you here again:)

  9. Interesting thoughts Stella, thank you for sharing. I agree that one of the most important things on business is to form the profile of your ideal customer and then go to find them.
    Especially if you’re a small business “all people are my customers” doesn’t drive you to success!

    1. You’re right, Hmerologio. If you’re saying “Everyone is my customer” means that no one is paying attention to you BECAUSE people listen to those who are focusing them in small groups/ niches, and demonstrate the understand what they want.

  10. Awesome post, Stella. Researching and profiling your ideal customer is very rewarding because it gives you information on where these customers hang out. There’s nothing as good as conducting proper market research. There are many websites I use to conduct this kind of research. I use the Google keyword tool. I also use Amazon because it lets me know if people are buying products in my niche and if there are any concerns I can address for prospects through the comments people make about products on Amazon.

    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading this post.

    1. You’re welcome, Etieno.

      Amazon and Google keyword tool are great at finding what your ideal customers are looking for. I agree – comments thread are great places to discover what people really want.

      Thanks for your rich contribution, Etieno. Enjoy your day!

    1. Hi Ana:

      Good to see you around my small corner of the web:) Welcome!

      Great – thanks for the gesture. Much appreciated.

      BTW, I’m a huge fan of your TGC blog:)

        1. Sure, Ana. Will do.

          I read every single new post and emails you write.

          I’ll stop by pretty soon, to chit-chat at your “discussion threads”:) Cheers and enjoy the best of today!

  11. The Chief Nerd and I haven’t been doing anything much to go out and meet our perfect prospects. No guest blogging. No JV’s.

    We haven’t focused as much on “Getting our name out there,” as “Getting their name in here,” which makes us focus on optimizing our visitors converting to giving us their email so that we can bond via email.

    Email is where we’ve built some outstanding relationships with clients who’ve helped us pay many a bill. It’s seems to me that this “Private” channel allows even shy to people to tell us what they’re thinking and asking questions that lead to us doing business together.

    Social Media is a great for way for extroverts to cement solid relationships. Introverts, I imagine, tend to feel left out because they’re shy about saying something that isn’t cool and having the whole world laugh at them or worse, ignore them.

    But for anyone who’s a blogger or online marketer and not doing your best to optimize the process of getting email addresses of your visitors, get on it. Besides getting on the phone or meeting one on one, I’d say it’s the best vehicle you can use to personally bond with both your outgoing AND shy perfect prospects.

    This is awesome advice you’re serving up here Stella and I thank you for asking your question at the end of the post that reminded me what’s been so true for us.

    1. Hey LL Cool Nerd – I’m so happy to see you around my corner of the web. Welcome and thanks for leaving me a comment!

      What you and Chief Nerd are doing is being strategic and it’s the best thing to do, in order to ATTRACT your ideal clients at a higher conversion rate. At first, I was driving traffic while building contents but I realised that some of the traffic sources were not sending me the right mix of my perfect prospects. So I decided to be strategic and focus more on putting “my house” in order for my perfect clients and then testing and tweaking my offerings. I’ve watched you and Chief nerd do a whole lot on putting structures and processes in place, and I’m learning:)

      I agree with you about email being where the business is at. It’s even perfect for your business model (and mine too). You’re right about shy people connecting via emails (and Twitter DMs too, as I found out).

      I really love your insights (and live business experiences) into the benefits of optimizing blogs and contents for email “conversations” with our customers. I like rich feedback in comments. like this because other readers and me, can learn new things.

      As you know, I’m one of the most loyal unofficial ‘note taking nerd’ stalkers. I have found your emails and every single post from your blog very educational and looking forward to being like “the nerds” when I grow up in internet marketing.

      Again, thanks for coming around and hope to see you some more. Have a fun filled “nerd weekend':)

      .

  12. Its very important to first deal with customers, communicate with them and listen to their expectations and feedbacks. There are certain ways to communicate with our customers and commenting is one of the most effective methods through which the business community can communicate with their potential customers.

    1. You’re right, the comments area offers a great opportunity to getting feedback from our ideal clients and also learning of their expectations.

      Thanks for your contribution.

  13. Stella what an absolutely fantastic post. You have an incredible way of bring able to identify exactly what so many of us need and answer that need in such an informed and easy to understand way.
    The biggest challenge I have had was to be able to clearly identify the ideal customer for our handmade Thai silk – not just customers we would like to have! Your point about crafting a customer focused “about page” was brilliant.
    Far too often I have been “fishing in the wrong pond” and for me the key takeaway was to get this step 1 absolutely right before attempting your next 3 steps.
    As always I thank you for your wonderful ability to communicate exactly what I needed – and that in itself is another real reason why I must make sure I’m at the “right fishing pond”

    1. Thanks Amnuai, I always appreciate your honest feedback. You know, that’s how I get to know what my loyal readers want to read next.

      You’re not alone, on the challenge with identifying ideal clients – it’s for this reason that many business blogs keep tweaking and changing their content focus and messaging, until they get it right. And that’s okay, I’m also still tweaking my posts as I better understand who I want to target and what their needs (that I can help with) are.

      You know, this topic kind of partly answers your (previous) question on getting business from Social Media (LinkedIn); now you know that you should tweak your LinkedIn profile to not be like a resume (CV) but to answer to ‘how you can help your ideal clients’. You want to go through the steps in this post to (i) write your ideal client’s profile, what their need and what you can offer them and how. That will help you show up in their own LinkedIn Search (and Google too) when looking for what you have. I’m also tweaking mine – it’s work in progress.

      You’ll see that your customer profiling will give you a list of the kinds of people to search for when looking for (possible ideal clients) who to follow on Twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. Often, when in business, we are always busy doing things right but because we have attracted the wrong audience, we do not get the results we desire. Therefore, I agree your decision to go back to the drawing board (step 1).

      By the way, your video marketing message was perfect – speaks directly on what your own ideal client is struggling with and provided a solution that shows you’re an expert. That shows you’re getting it right. I loved the whole demonstration idea as well as the tutorial in video. Your daughter was amazing:)

      1. Hi Stella and Amnuai, I went to the website because of Stella’s comment. Where is the video? I could not find the marketing message video.Could you please send me the URL? Thanks.
        Enjoyed reading the Mission statement and found the website so easy to navigate.

        1. Hello Julia,

          I’m not sure but I think Stella was referring to the video on our home page.

          This is at http://www.thaisilkmagic.com

          The voice is my Aussie husband who knows nothing about Thai silk but he loves to help us in lots of other ways!

          Although Stella mentioned our daughter in a video and this particular video has the following URL:

          http://www.youtube.com/user/ThaiSilkMagic?feature=mhee#p/a/u/2/vD4klmQSPa8

          Thank you so much for your kind words of support – it is greatly appreciated

          Best wishes and Stella please let me know if this was the video you were referring to

          1. Thanks Amnuai, for taking the time to leave the link for Julia. That was nice of you. I’m sure she would have visited and left you a comment.

            She’s a very friendly person, and also an Aussie:)

        2. Hi Julia:

          I left a private message for Amnuai, so that she could send the video link to you here.

          She has (under your comment), and I have also notified you about it. I hope you’ve had time to look at it:)

  14. Stella, this is such a thorough list for how to do it right online with regard to finding and connecting with potential clients.

    We can all do with the reminders inherent in your post, like writing a customer centric statement for who our most wanted client might be.

    Remembering that it is for them and not us.

    And a little gem which is that if you are doing all that you recommend well, you can bet your bottom dollar you are doing a whole lot better than your competitors.

    Thank you Stella for this ‘need to revisit regularly’ checklist.

    1. Hi Sandy:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m glad you like the ‘checklist’.

      Putting up customer-centric web profiles is something that I did not learn early enough, although I use it quite well in my offline business (on proposals and request for bid responses). Again, I think as long as one discovers what works, creating a customer-focused messaging is a work-in-progress, with testing and tweaking on a regular basis. Thanks to @teasilvestre, I have become more aware of the idea of ‘conscious messaging for the ideal client”.

      Again, thanks for coming around. All the posts in Word Carnival are on point.

  15. Stella –

    I love the idea of a Board Reader – I’ve never heard of that before. I always knew forums would be powerful tools (and in fact – that’s how I started all of my online communities when I was just starting out), but I’d never really thought of them as still legit these days. With FB and Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s easy to forget that there’s millions of people still using Yahoo! Groups and other things like that.

    Thanks! :-)

    1. Hi Nick:

      Good to see you around:) Welcome.

      Board reader is a website (tool) you can use to get search results from only forums, for any keyword. It’s great, for people who do not know how to use Google to do forums-only search. Personally, I have found forums to be my best tool to listen to what my ideal clients are really looking to know about – blog topics, product reviews etc. Whenever I find content ideas via forum listening, I do not need to do keyword research, and I always get good response, from walk in traffic and search engine traffic.

      You’re right, these days, Forums are looking like ‘old school’, with the all-shiny Facebook and Twitter. You know, those Yahoo and Google groups can be very powerful – I have not yet used them for my blogging niche but still belong to some tight groups (related to my offline business consulting practice). It’s amazing that “ideal clients” trust such groups because there’s no hype and sales motives, and if one is patient enough to build trust on those places, there can be huge business benefits.

  16. This is Engaging all the way, Stella.
    I love the idea of tailoring ones ‘about page’, forum & social media profile for the potential client (rather than the long self centred stories). What a practical advice! The examples were supportive too.
    What’s more, you nailed it as always.
    Thanks for putting the time to creat this post.

    BTW I’ve made d correction as you requested.

    1. Thanks Ikenna, for stopping by:)

      I’m glad you like the concept of customer-focused “messaging” and profile pages, with the supporting examples.

      Wow – thanks for helping me correct that comment typo at your blog. I wish you the best of this new month:)

  17. Great post, Stella. Actually your post is a manual for relationship building on business purposes using social media.

    I like how Debra found her prospects, how she converted her connections to relationships and her relationships at last to customers. It is true that one should not ask for the ROI on Social Media (as Scott Stratten said: “Every time someone asks about the ROI of Twitter, a kitten dies”). However this story Debra proves that the real ROI are the relationships and the deals only the results of her authenticity and the trust she gained.

    Keep going!

    1. Thanks, Gerhard, for your kind words.

      I agree with your that Debra’s story is a proof that the ROI of social media are the valuable relationships that help our business’ bottom-line. It’s just that, like offline relationships, it takes time to materialize. However, we can avoid the high probability of zero-ROI relationships by choosing to hangout with people that are likely to be sources of referrals or business to us.

  18. Stella when it comes to writing, helping and positioning oneself self as the go-to expert for solutions, you walk the talk. It’s noticeable how often you give words of appreciation to our commentators and then give feedback on their websites.

    Your post makes clear that with so many media avenues to choose from, it’s important that we newcomers really do evaluate our customer’s profile before deciding where to spend our marketing time and effort. Learning this basic premise from TheWordChef TestKitchen Forum has been the single most important ingredient in the whole successful website recipe. I’m relieved to hear we can be discriminating and that not all the top social media sites work for every business.

    With all the sources you suggest, there is much homework to be done before we reach the answers. Then I guess as things keep changing we have to check and re-test our first decisions?

    Thanks for an excellent guideline.

    1. Hi Julia:

      I’m glad you came around:) Thanks for your kind words – that means a lot to me.

      It makes me happy when I know that my ideal clients, like you, are getting value from my posts, more so if they appreciate it.

      Yes, where you spend more of your time should be where most of your ideal clients go to, and customer profiling helps to determine that.

      You’re right about one of the biggest take away from Tea’s “Test Kitchen” is the marketing calendar.

      I’m happy that your proposed post themes and marketing communication (at your blog) is getting more targeted at your ideal client.

  19. this was some great nuggets and something i can think about when writing more contents and information for my ideal. I especially love how you say when will a relationship never turn into sales. when you don’t go where they are. I love it.

  20. Stella, I agree with Tea, very thorough review of this topic. I would add one option to Step 1 regarding customer focused statements. When I started promoting my business online I used the traditional approach you lay out above. However the response wasn’t great, so I toyed with other things. Since most of my clients are finance phobic I switched profiles and about pages to questions like “Are you afraid of finance?” or “Think finance can’t be fun?” Followed by “this Numbers Whisperer can help!” It has worked really well, although if I hadn’t truly understood my ideal client, I wouldn’t have ever tried it.

  21. Love the post Stella. A little expansion on point #2…companies seem to be fixated on creating social media accounts just because that’s “the thing to do”, but it’s not the RIGHT thing to do for many.

    The example I always bring up is my grandmother. If she’s your target audience, you have no business on Facebook.

    And just because your audience may be hanging out on Facebook, that doesn’t mean it’s a good place to talk to them.

    1. Thanks, Eugene.

      You’re right about the “herd” syndrome, when it comes to Social Media. It’s just an assumption that it’s suited for every type of business. It’s also important to ask “what’s the ROI” (even when the investment is time, not money). I like your example, using your grandmother, as an ideal client. You’re also right about Social Media not necessarily being the right place to communicate to one’s audience. I believe that social media should be a place to kick-start a relationship but it’s effectively nurtured from outside there.

  22. Stella, this is a great article and I particularly like the case study. Writing a profile of your ideal client is a wonderful idea; it’s something I’ve done mentally but not written down. Thanks also for the reminder about Big Boards for searching forums. Though I’m not great at forum participation, perhaps I just haven’t found the right ones yet. :)

    1. Thanks, Sharon – I also liked that case study.

      Thanks to Tea, for introducing me to the idea of creating a persona for my ideal client and also writing down a profile in details. I only had a sketch.

      You’re welcome, perhaps when you haven’t found a forum where your ideal client hangs out:)

  23. Hi stella

    Thanks for the detail information on how to attract the ideal customers building a relationship with customers first is crucial to your success on or offline.

    -Anthony

  24. SO true, and a big fat “WORD” to the whole “going where they already hang out” part. Also the “talking to them about stuff that matters to THEM, not YOU” part. I’ve seen a lot of folks nail down the whole “what I’m passionate about” part but forget the next part, which is “where do my passions intersect with clients’ needs?”

    1. Thanks Annie, for bringing alive the essence of the post.

      It’s simply all about “Them” and the messaging, posts and even social media profiles should be about “what you’ve got for, and can do, for them”. Unless you are an International celebrity, no one is looking for BUT they are coming to look for “whoever has what they are looking for” AND you can only attract your ideal client when you can focus your passion on CLIENTS’ NEEDS.

      Thanks for the rich contribution, Annie:)

  25. Hey Stella,

    You knocked it out of the park with this one!

    Embark, brand, build, connect, network, connect …

    One gets the feeling of forward motion all the way through.

    I’m certain you’ve dispelled some myths and misinformation about how to use social media, replacing the idea of using it solely for marketing messages with effort involved in action-oriented relationship building.

    Your case study is proof-positive that the process yields wonderful results. Happily, I’ve seen similar results firsthand.

    1. Good to see you around, Vernessa.

      I’m glad you like the post. I like the way you summed it up – “Embark, brand, build, connect, network, connect …”.

      You know, it’s easy to get distracted in the Social Media noise. As you rightly put it, I agree that it’s basically a bridge for a virtually connected World, to do business just like face-to-face, where networking and building relationships lead.

      I loved the process Debra used in her 3 different connections and I see it as a pattern that anyone can use tweak to work new contacts to becoming useful relationships. Hey, Vernessa, I know you are a great connector and have a strategic relationship building formula that has been working for you :)

  26. Stella – you ALWAYS do such a thorough job of covering a topic. This is a great primer for anyone starting a new business or trying to figure out their marketing plan and strategies for the coming year.

    1. Hello Tea,

      Nice to meet you! I visited your blog this past weekend on Stella’s recommendation during our Skype talk. (She’s a wonderful networker!)

      You’ve whetted my appetite for more of what you’re cooking up at The Word Chef. I’m planning to spend a bit more time at the table in the very near future. :)

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