Why it's Important to Get Specific About Your Ideal Target Client.
The whole point of branding is to attract your target audience and entice them to invest in you. In order to brand effectively, then, you need to know who you are trying to attract.
If you're designing your visual appearance - choosing fonts, colors and visuals - without first getting clear on who you're trying to attract, you're missing a huge point in the branding process.
How can you know how to be attractive to someone, if you don't know who they are?
Who is your target market? Even better... who specifically is your ideal target client?
Once you pinpoint the ideal client you're trying to attract, you can begin digging into deeply seeded unique traits that will help stear your branding to become attractive to them, including:
what they like
which businesses they frequent
what they're attracted to
their struggles + painpoints
their dreams + desires
what drives them
Knowing who your specific target market is, and what drives them is a crucial understanding for every aspect of your business... branding and beyond. It helps to steer absolutely everything you do... what you offer... how you offer it... how you innovate... how you network... who you partner with... how you deliver.
Grasping the concept of choosing a specific target client was super uncomfortable for me when I started my photography business. I didn't like the idea of confining myself, or limiting myself to a specific demographic, and potentially losing out on business from the rest of the population. It wasn't until someone explained the concept behind this saying that I began to understand the importance of narrowing your focus:
'If You Try to Please Everyone, You'll End Up Pleasing No One.'
More specifically, they explained... think of the most successful and popular clothing stores. They all market to a specific demographic. Imagine if Gucci started selling cheap, low-end clothing in order to cater to the population they're currently missing out on. What would happen? Their high-end brand name would be completely compromised and they would lose their elite status and clientele.
What if Urban Outfitters began carrying conservative mature women's clothing? Suddenly the popular clothier designed to attract the hip, youthful population would not be so cool anymore when their clients' moms and grandmothers would begin shopping in the same location.
These businesses are the hugely popular, successful establishments they are because they are particular about who they are, what they offer, and who they cater to.
If you haven't done so already, take a moment to think about whether you've really pinpointed what specifically you want to offer. Do you want to offer a discounted service/product? Do you want to offer a high-end inclusive boutique service/product? Or are you somewhere in the middle? There is no right or wrong, better or worse option. This simply will determine whether you want to be catering to the penny pinching bargain shoppers and aspire to sell more volume, or whether you're trying to attract those elite individuals who place a high value on quality and service and are willing to invest more to get it.
These are completely different types of people who will be attracted to different types of branding.
How to Identify Your Target Client
So... who is your target client? How do you identify them?
Specialists recommend creating a very specific vision of your target client.
Get out a pen and paper and start writing down every detail you can possibly think up of who your ideal target client is (including both demographics and psychographics) to form a real, solid vision of this person. Getting into the head of your target client and understanding their lifestyle, hopes and desires gives you the leverage to begin designing your branding in a way that will attract them.
First, think about the clients you've had in the past that you LOVE to work with. What do they have in common? You can even think about one specific dream client you've worked with in the past. They can be a great starting point.
Now, get specific on envisioning your one ideal client (hint... many times we are our own dream client)...
Here are some specifics to get you started in visualizing your ideal client:
Job... where do they work? What do they do?
Are they married? Single? Divorced?
Which values do they have in common with you?
Where do they spend their time... online and offline?
What do they spend most of their time reading? (magazines, blogs, books)
What's their favorite brand of clothing?
What are their greatest struggles/frustrations? (in relation to your offer)
What do they wake up in the middle of the night worrying about? And what's their "I wish" dream solution?
What do they dream of for their life?
What are their eating habits?
What are their hesitations about working with you?
Keep in mind that every visual aspect you publish represents your business/service, and evokes an emotion and judgement from the people who see it.
I recently was visiting a tiny tourist town in Illinois with my dad. We passed by a coffee shop with a large window sticker of a cartoon coffee bean with legs, arms and a big smile. It looked super cheesy and I had the immediate impression that their coffee must be super low-grade, along with their clipart logo. (It was, by the way. My dad bought a cup and didn't even drink it. He drinks gas station coffee, btw).
Start noticing when images, colors and overall brand appearances evoke emotions or assumptions in you about the quality of service or product, and how that influences your purchase decision.
If you're already publishing Facebook or Google ads and aren't getting the response you'd hoped for, or attracting your ideal target client, keep in mind that the dilemma may be in your branding.
Get Your Brand Done This Weekend
If you need guidance with your branding process, I take you step-by-step through designing the best look for your business in my quick start branding course.
We start with the very foundation to design a look that reflects the very essence of your brand, and connects with your ideal target clients.
The best part - the video course is super simple, easy to implement, and you can have your brand done in as little as a weekend.