When working with a copywriter, at some point you will encounter the question – “who is your ideal client?” The question they really need answering is “who are we speaking to with this copy?” Without a clear idea of the reader, it is almost impossible to write text that will attract and convert the right people.
As a freelance writer, I take the same approach to creating a customer profile as I do when building a new character for a story. I like to get to know them, walk around in their skin and get a feel for how they think. Here is my step by step guide to getting started.
For me, the first stage involves building a visual image of the person that I am writing to. I even give them a name, (regardless of gender, all of my client avatars are named Bob, after the very funny girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy character in Blackadder.)
- Is your ideal client more likely to be male or female? If both, do you need to build two separate profiles? Are they genderless?
- Which age group/s do they belong too? Do different products or services appeal to different age groups?
- Are they likely to have any dependants? Remember this isn’t just about children. Dependants could also come in the form of an elderly parent or a disabled partner.
Add to the basic points above with thoughts on their spending power.
- How much surplus income are they likely to have beyond daily living costs?
- Do they have control of the finances or do they need to get someone else to agree before purchasing? In other words, are they an influencer or decision maker?
- Does their age have an effect on their spare income?
This can be the most abstract section but is, in my opinion, the key to building an effective ideal client profile. Evidence shows that we are more likely to engage with a business that fits with our own core values. Understand what matters to your customers and you can demonstrate this throughout your marketing content. Here are a few examples.
- What are the core values of your business?
- Are you careful about your environmental impact? Do you tell people how you take action to reduce your carbon footprint? Are you aligning yourself with other organisations who share similar goals?
- Do you have a living wage policy and why?
- Do you have a local sourcing policy or look to work in tandem with other small businesses?
There are a few additional issues that might influence how someone perceives your product or service. Consider how the following points might prevent or encourage an individual from engaging with your business.
- Do they see your product as a luxury or a necessity? Remember, this is about their perception, not yours.
- What are the key words and phrases that will feel meaningful to them? What works for a 21-year-old might not work for a 65-year-old.
- Do you fit in with how they see themselves now, or in the future? Do they associate you with positive memories from their formative years?
- Do they feel that you understand their problems?
- Do they want a quick fix or someone to walk them through a longer self-development process?
In summary – clarity on who you are speaking to, their challenges, their priorities, will allow you to write effective copy that sells. You may need to write more than one ideal client profile, depending on the scope of your business. For example, the target audience for my comprehensive copywriting services is different to that of my monthly workshops. Each time you put together a new piece of marketing you must speak to the very heart of your ideal client. Remember – they are the ones who matter in this interaction. Show them you understand. Make them the hero of the piece.
I am a freelance writer with a passion for people and the conviction that great stories can rock their world. Call Claire on 07928122079 for an informal chat about how I can help you move forward with your business copy.