How does a business find new customers?
Any business that wants to grow has to find ways to reach new customers. That can be extremely difficult if you don’t know who your customers are. Without being able to focus on a specific audience, your marketing strategy is basically just throwing everything at the wall and hoping it sticks. Only it’s your money you’re throwing, and anything that doesn’t stick ends up down the drain.
What is a Customer Profile?
A customer profile is a fake persona you create that represents the majority of your customers or a new customer base you would like to reach. It gives you an object upon which you can focus your marketing efforts. It allows you to visualize and “get to know” the audience you’re speaking to with your advertising, branding, and product positioning.
Your customer profile is the face of your marketing audience.
How to Build a Customer Profile
The first thing I thought when I came across the concept of a customer profile was, “Well if I knew who my potential customers are and what they like, I wouldn’t be here reading this blog post.” But it started the gears turning in my head, and I ended up finding a template for filling out a customer profile. I found that I knew a lot more about my customers than I thought.
Start With Your Current Customers
The best place to start when building a customer profile is with your current customers. Who are they? Can you picture them in your head right now? Ask yourself these questions about those people:
- How old are they?
Are they young adults, middle-aged, retirement aged?
- What is their gender?
Are they mostly male, mostly female, or a good mix of both?
- What is their family situation?
Are they single or married? Have children? Grandchildren? Pets?
- What do they do professionally?
Are they business owners or work a 9-5? Do they work in any specific industry?
- What is their income level?
Are they middle class? Affluent? Struggling? Do you know a specific income range they fall into?
- What are their interests?
This one may be a little harder to come up with, depending on what kind of business you have. Try to think of what you know about their interests in relation to your business. Maybe they’re crafters or artists? Are they athletes or like to watch sports? Do they like to bake? Homeschool their children? Volunteer?
Now that you’ve brainstormed some facts about your current customer base, you should personalize it. Come up with a name and find a picture online to go with it. Make the profile as real as possible. That way, when you create your ads you can imagine you’re talking to a real person. Because real people will be seeing your ads.
Make your customer persona as real as possible. Because real people will be seeing your ads.
Do It Again. And Again.
Don’t just build one customer profile. Chances are, unless you’re in a narrow niche, your customers don’t all just fit neatly into one persona. You may have 2 or 3 or even more “personas” that your customers fit into. Make a profile for each one, complete with a name and picture for each. You need to be able to target your marketing at each of your customer demographics.
This is also a good opportunity to target new markets. Once you have a persona (or two) created, think of other people who are similar to your current customer profile but don’t quite fit in. People who could benefit from your product or services but haven’t actually walked through your doors yet. Chances are, they have a lot in common with your current customer base, but you haven’t been reaching them.
Figure out the similarities between your current customer profile(s) and new markets you would like to reach, and you’ll figure out where to find them and how to catch their eye.
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