The Ideal Client Myth with Claudia Schalkx
You’ve already DONE your ideal client exercises, right? Ugggg, don’t make me do it again!
You know your avatar, have a character representing your people, and DO NOT EVER WANT TO LOOK BACK at that freakin’ thing again.
Welp. We’ve got some unsexy news for you:
There are MYTHS around the whole Ideal Client Avatar, Niche, Target Market – whatever you want to call it –
And we need to talk about it.
In fact – NOT talking about is keeping you in absolute marketing HELL.
Jen & Marketing Expert Claudia Schalkx unpack the Ideal Client Myths keeping you from connecting with your audience…
And examine realistic, no BS nuances that WILL change
how you look at your ICA, audience & buyers,
how you speak to them,
and how they connect with you!
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Welcome to this week's episode of Content Creation Made Easy.
If you've been following along the past few weeks, you know I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of messaging so that your audience can hear you and that you of stand out in the sea of all of the YOUs who are online!
We've been talking about getting clear, knowing your audience, almost better than they know themselves, mirroring back to them what they need and want to hear…
so they can see themselves in your marketing.
It's a foundational piece of marketing that not enough people really dive into.
Today, I’m bringing you a conversation with my friend, my colleague, my business bestie, Claudia Schalkx, who’s in the Netherlands.
She and I meet every week on Mondays for accountability, working on each other's business, feedback, & support.
It's an incredible opportunity for me to talk through everything in my business with somebody.
Claudia and I created a program this summer called “Your Personalized Marketing Toolbox”, because we’ve seen so many people struggling with the marketing side and the content side.
So, we created a program to mash those two things together.
In 8 weeks, you walk away with all the marketing assets, and the knowledge so you can keep going in your marketing to make it much simpler, easier and more effective.
Claudia’s been in the marketing space for 20 years. Her way of approaching things is always much more subtle than mine. It's always so much smarter than mine is. I'm really excited to bring her on to talk about this!
Who’s your Perfect Buyer - and why does it matter?
Today, we're talking about your audience, your ideal client, your perfect buyer, because they're not the same person.
Your audience member is not the same person that is your buyer.
and your buyer isn't the same person as your ideal client.
It's really very nuanced, and understanding who your audience is and how to convert that person eventually to become a customer or client.
We're breaking down myths about this and some things you'll walk away thinking about in your own business, with the people you're speaking to in your marketing.
Claudia, thank you so much again, for your time and your energy and your expertise.
Thank you for inviting me to talk about this topic, which you know, I'm very passionate about,
I know it's kind of the foundation of your entire business. Can you talk a little bit about your business?
What does a marketing expert really DO?
When I work with my clients, the first stop in my roadmap is their ideal client. It's understanding who their ideal client is, how does this person think?
How does this person talk about their problem, their possible solution or goals?
What are the drivers that this person has towards the solution?
When you have this picture, you can really have a very solid marketing plan that helps you fine tune your message, your offers, and know what you have to write about.
Definitely, if there is something laying at the very base of your marketing is your ideal client.
You know that I agree but I also know that my audience is rolling their eyes right now going, “Oh my god, I did this three years ago. I did the ideal client profile. I've niched down!
I don't want it”
It’s really the most unsexy part of marketing.
Why do you need an Ideal Client Profile - and how does it benefit your whole business?
I’m totally with you: it's boring, and what makes it boring is that you get an incredible amount of information and insights and you don't know what to do with those sensors.
For instance, let's suppose you practice enough when you do interviews with your clients,
(which you should be doing regularly to take the pulse of how your services are going, getting ideas, etc, etc.)
But let's suppose you're doing these interviews and you get all these insights, then you get this overwhelming feeling of
“Okay, What now? I've all this information. What do I do with this information? How do I interpret it? How do I translate it to my business and my solutions?”
That's one of the things I teach my clients and we’ll be doing in the Live experience in the Personalized Marketing Toolbox is:
show you how to have all this information in an overview
- so that you can consult it every time you need to create something,
- or want to develop a service
- or need to write a web page
- or bring people to your team
to make sure everybody's looking at the same picture.
It's so true. It's the foundation for everything that you're going to do in the future.
I love that you said also, it's important for when you bring team members on because then they know the ethos of your person that you're trying to talk to the reason behind what you're choosing to do in your business.
It's so important.
I also want to just be really transparent here.
I am doing these interviews and getting to know my audience because I believe that since 2020, and 2021,
and now we're halfway through 2022,
that the marketplace has changed so deeply that my audience's needs, which I understood really well in 2020 and 2021, have shifted for them.
I want to know what they're thinking.
I'm about to do the walk that I'm going to be asking people to do that we're going to be asking people to do in our programs.
I want everybody to understand, you don't “do your target market research” once!
You don't find your niche, or your ideal client ONCE. It's really an evolution.
Notice the shifts in the business you’re in: you’ve changed as a business owner, and your audience has changed too!
Definitely yes. It's also a way to be ahead of the changes that you will feel as a business owner, where you want to take your business too, because at some point, you will say, “Okay, I'm tired of helping people doing this; there must be something else.”
Knowing that you can be ahead and start identifying possible venues where you can take your business to grow it,
but also start seeing signals that the market is shifting and going towards that.
Why should you know your ICA? Because it helps you save time & effort!
Start seeing those shifts before it gets painful and you're not selling anything, or nobody's responding to you.
I hope we've convinced people that first of all, this is an important thing, even though it's very unsexy.
It can be overwhelming and it is time consuming.
We're not lying about that. Those are truths, but they kind of open the floodgates to making marketing much easier.
It saves time, because once you have a clear picture of your ideal client, every time you bring somebody on board, whether it's a web designer, content creator, VA, whoever, you only have to give this person your client overview!
You don't have to tell the story. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. It's also very practical and extremely time saving.
That's true. It also helps you with your brand messaging, your content, how you introduce yourself at a networking event, etc.
Let's unpack the mistakes people make - when doing this work.
One thing I think it's very important is the difference, as you have also mentioned in several different platforms, that your audience is not necessarily your ideal client.
Your ideal client is the person you had in mind when you created your service.
What's incredible is that so many reliable sources talk about the ideal client as a fictional character with real needs.
That's an oxymoron. You can’t be a fictional character with real needs. There's no way.
I am sure that each of us who have a service had somebody very specific in mind, whether it was ourselves, or people like ourselves, and that is your ideal client.
You can have buyers of your product or service who might look like your ideal clients but they don't fulfill the requirements.
So, who IS your Ideal Client?
Your ideal client is a complete picture of a person that has pains and objections, but also complies with things that are important to you, as a business owner.
They’re in alignment with your values.
For instance, people who work with me need to be transparent:
- They have to know that they need to communicate.
- I want them to pay on time.
- I don't want to be behind people reminding them to pay.
- I also want people who are willing to put in the work, because it’s also important to me that you reach results.
I can help you do a lot of hand holding, but if you're not putting in the work, we won't get there.
You just brought to mind for me a client from a couple of years ago who I thought was an ideal client, but she kept coming to our sessions with…
Well, she would have made huge decisions without - not that she would need my permission - but we wouldn't talk through it.
She would make a huge decision like hiring
She as a client, but it wasn't ideal in that way.
That's what I love about that point.
What’s the difference between Ideal Clients and Buyers?
For instance, you can have people who buy your services, especially when you have an online course that you're not choosing one by one to be participants or something that's more massive.
Those are people who buy the product or service and usually don't complete the course.
They fall along the way…
Those are buyers: they buy your product, but they're not necessarily getting the benefits from your product because they’re not doing the work, or there is not a full match between what you're offering as a product or service, and what this person is looking for.
Is it okay to have some of these people sprinkled in your business?
We can’t only have all ideal clients; it's just not the way how it works.
Definitely. For instance, I work one on one.
My chances of having more ideal clients is more concrete, more narrowed down; if you have something that's more massive, it's more difficult.
Your percentage of buyers might be equal or slightly bigger than your ideal clients, but buyers who are aware, for instance, “Oh, I bought this course but I wasn't ready for it”
Or “I’m not doing the work” - they can still be ambassadors of your product!
They can still say, “I didn't take advantage, but I didn't do the homework. But Jen is the best person there is for content. If you're in the content hamster wheel, you have to work with her.”
There are disadvantages, but you want idea more ideal clients, or at least to be very clear, especially if you have a membership.
If you’re not getting everybody taking advantage, you understand that part of it is not precisely you.
It’s not that you're not delivering, but that people that joined are buyers and not ideal clients.
I want to talk a little bit about when we start talking about this ideal client, audience member, perfect buyers, all of these different elements of our audience are the people we're eventually going to work with.
Inevitably, the word niche comes up.
Some people rage against the word niche and don't want to do it.
Some people, it makes them feel safer and it really helps them.
I want to talk about what we need to walk away with today to understand how to meet our ideal clients better in our content and in our marketing and how does niching relate to that?
What about Niche? Do we need one? Can we avoid this altogether?
I think that a big conundrum when we’re assessing our clients or ideal clients is that many times you find yourself with more groups or more types of people that your service could be good for.
Then you feel this thing that if you choose for one, you're letting the other one go.
Then what you try to do is keep the two targets.
Let's suppose I want to lose weight:
I could help new moms that want to shed the baby fat, but I could also help women that want to look like they are in their 20s when they're in their 40s.
The process is the same, but the driver for each of these groups to take action is different.
The driver for most new moms with baby fat is most probably when she looks at herself in the mirror, she can't recognize her body, that her marital life is hurting or that all her clothes from before becoming pregnant don’t fit or she feels like she looks like a potato sack with legs.
Very unkind words, but you get the picture.
On the other hand, the driver of this person going to the reunion party after 20 years is vanity.
You need to speak to their motivations!
That woman wants people to tell her that time hasn't passed!
The language you're going to use is completely different.
How is talking about niche & demographics making content & messaging harder?
The messaging that's what it comes down to.
One of my favorite examples that you like to give is the 70-year-old man.
If your niche was “I help 70-year-old men” and then you show me that picture of Prince Charles versus Ozzy Osbourne, it's like “Ohhhh, in your niche we don't need to focus on demographics!”
When we're talking about your audience, your ideal client, your perfect buyer, we're not talking about demographics.
Yes, you can say that the niche is the larger group of people who could eventually become ideal clients.
That's what the demographics will tell you, people 50 years old, with so much income living in a castle, man, etc, etc.
That's where Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles comparison comes because they have exactly the same demographics.
In an inner circle, then you have the buyers, so people who're closer to what you have to offer, yet not perfect.
In the very center of it, you have your ideal client.
The people you had in mind when you created your product or service, which are in alignment with your values, and with everything else you bring to the table.
That's the way you can see it.
Gimme an example of OUR NICHE.
That’s super visual. I love that. Let's implement this right here.
If we were talking about the people that we want to help inside Your Personalized Marketing Toolbox, who is that?
How would you do that with a niche and ideal client demographic?
- Solopreneurs who have been in business who have a business up and running.
- Ideally service based.
- They need to speak English, because we're giving the classes in English.
- They need to have an internet connection.
I never would have thought of those last two things.
They need to have a feasible business. That is not a hobby, but a feasible business.
Their business has been validated. It's not like the germ of an idea.
Then you go narrowed.
Then you say this is people that have strictly a service based business, not retailers.
Course creators as well.
Then you could eventually, if you really want a niche to zoom in, you could say people who work one-on-one, for instance.
Or people who work like you, with small groups, like masterminds and memberships, can benefit from this.
Then we go in this inner circle:
People who feel they have put a lot of time and effort in marketing their business, and yet they don't have results.
They say, “I've done everything and still it's costing me so much time and effort! I don't want to do it anymore!”
People who say, “I attract clients, but they are not ideal clients.”
That's the people that will benefit.
I understand that what you're doing now is describing, you're not checking off boxes.
You're literally holding up a marketing mirror for people to say, “That sounds like me! Those are qualities I've got! That's a description I fit.”
Then as a listener, you don't say, “Oh, that could be me.”
You say, “THAT’S ME!”
The last and not least important, is if you want to step off the hamster wheel of content creation, and know what to curate content about, and learn all the HOWs of everything.
Even more importantly are people who want hand-holding, want experts looking at their business.
They don't want a one size fits all, or general course, and they want implementation. That's our people.
How can you use this in YOUR business to figure out your Exact Right Audience Member and Your Ideal Clients?
You know I'm not terribly visual, but the visual that's coming to my brain right now is almost like a cell, with the membrane on the outside, and then the fluid on the inside.
Then you get to the nucleus, and this nucleus, the most important part, and it's really descriptive.
It's not like a prescription. It's very subjective and people have to see themselves in it.
Now, if you are listening to this, and you're like, “Yeah, I probably need to up my game with knowing my ideal client, knowing my buyer, knowing my audience member”
And you realize that those three people are not always the same…
remembering that it's on a continuum and we constantly have to do this work…
and feeling like you meet that description that Claudia was just giving…
Then the Personalized Marketing Toolbox is going to be a really helpful blueprint for you.
It's going to take you by the hand with a lot of implementation.
It's two pairs of eyes on your stuff for eight weeks!
It's a small group. You will have community, you will have people you can exchange, but you will also have individualized attention on your business.
You will grow from this
If you’re interested in learning about that program, go to https://www.jenliddy.com/toolbox
That's all one word.
You will find out more about whether this is a great program for you.
We only have room for 10 people and we're starting out by telling you about it and we'll be reaching out to our network.
What happens in your marketing & business when you don’t have your Ideal Client dialed in?
Do you know your ideal client well enough and are you speaking to them?
If you're not speaking to them, you're not seeing conversions, you're not seeing connections, you're really struggling with your marketing.
What are some of the other symptoms that you would say they're struggling with - if someone doesn’t have this work done - Claudia?
Definitely they don't attract ideal clients.
There is scope creep, then you have to refund money and you enter in that vicious circle.
Clients ask you for things that you didn't promise because it's not clear.
Of course, a lack of conversions, visitors to your website or reactions on the post you do.
It all starts with an ideal client profile.
We will address this by putting some more list of symptoms so that you really know what's going on and where are your problems in your marketing.
That's what we're going to unpack in the https://www.jenliddy.com/toolbox.
I really hope people have found a nugget here to get them thinking about doing this work, returning to this work if they have already done it, moving away from focusing so hard on that,
“I help 55 year old Jewish men to blah, blah, whatever”
It is really like moving away from that kind of messaging and moving into a more descriptive message where people resonate and see themselves.
If you want help with this, go to https://www.jenliddy.com/toolbox
and we can get our eyes and hands on it for you.
If when you say what you do, people roll their eyes, or they need CPR, then you need this course.
Thank you, Claudia. I always love our conversations.
Thank you for listening and if you have comments, you can leave comments or always go to my website and leave us a comment there to help.
I'll see you next week when we are coming back to talk about the difference between strategy and tactics. We'll see you then.