Who The Heck Are My Customers… And How Do I Find Them?

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is not knowing who their clients are – or choosing a niche that isn’t actually needed.

Think about all those late night infomercials for ridiculous products no one needs…

(I mean, really, how many people need a $50 contraption to help them flip eggs in a pan?)

So, how do you figure out who your ideal client is?

A lot of people tell you to start with what you are interested in and pick your niche (a sort of “if you build it they will come” scenario) – but my approach is different.

While I think there is some validity to this method, there are issues too.

First, the kinds of people you want to work with are not necessarily the ones that will make your best clients.

Second, the thing you are interested in may not be something people are willing to pay for (sorry, but it’s true).

I recommend looking at what people are willing to pay for, and finding a unique way you can fill that need with your talents (and something you are interested in).

In my mind, finding your clients/niche offering is an evolution rather than something you pick and shoot for.

So, how do you get the evolution on the right track?

First, let’s talk about the things people are willing to spend money on.

People are willing to pay to solve the problems that keep them up at night, and there are five of them. I will dedicate the next posts to covering each of these in more detail, but here is a quick overview of what people will pay for:

  • Money
    • What to do with it or concern over a lack of it.
  • Health
    • The context depends on age and could include questions like:
    • Will I ever get to live life? Am I being left behind?
  • Relationships
    • Am I going to have to sleep next to this clod for the rest of my life?
    • Will I be alone forever?
    • Am I loveable?
  • Time
    • Questions here are usually associated with one of the other categories.
    • Do I have enough time to make the money I need to have the life I want?
    • Do I have enough time to make the money I need to retire?
  • Identity
    • This one is really intense for those that have it, but nothing for those that don’t. It causes you to ask questions like:
    • Am I living up to my identity?
    • Am I a good enough mother or am I messing up my kids?
    • Professional athletes often have issues with this when they stop playing.

Next, ask some questions to see where you fit in.

In order to be successful, it is important that your business provides a service people are willing to pay for.

Yes, I know this sounds painfully obvious, but a lot of people don’t approach their businesses in this way.

So, now that you know the categories in which people will spend money, it’s time to ask yourself some questions. There are a ton of questions you can (and should) ask in this vein, but here are a few to get you started: 

  • What is the problem you are solving?
  • Is what I do the solution to any one of the areas where people are panicked? And if so, what exactly are people saying to themselves when they are panicked at 4:00 am that I am the answer to?
  • What results do you produce when it comes to clients?
  • What do these results help your clients achieve?

If you have a difficult time answering these questions, or if you don’t know what other questions to ask (or both), you may want to consider reaching out to a coach.

(Alert – I am stepping up onto my soapbox now.)

If you don’t already have a coach – you should get one. When you find the right fit for you, they can help you do so much more than you thought was possible…but that is a post for another day!

Alright, for the next couple of weeks I am going to dedicate my posts to providing more detail on the categories in which people will spend money. Why? I really want to help you identify who your clients are so you can provide a great service you love that people want so you can make more money! After that, we will get into the next phase – which is how to find these clients and connect with them once you know who you are looking for. Are you as excited as I am?

Until then… stay passionate!

Dana

P.S. Please share your thoughts on the questions and categories above in the comments. Not only will this allow us to celebrate with you, but it can help others find their own paths.

Until then… stay passionate!

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