The Picture Perfect Ideal Customer

When it comes to attracting your ideal customer you should be able create a picture in your mind as you describe them. Using images of a real life customers can prove an effective way to help everyone in your organization narrowly focus on and communicate in ways that more directly appeal to your specific ideal customer.

A detailed profile, one that includes photos and stories of real customers, should be part of your marketing action plan documents. You may never share this type of document publicly, but it can be one of the most important internal training documents you ever create.

In order to create your profile you need to understand as much about your ideal customer as possible. Remember the key phrase here is ideal. I suggest looking long and hard at the characteristics of your most profitable customers that also refer business to you, that’s the model of an ideal customer.

Once you dig deep and profile the common characteristics you should also start asking yourself some questions about these folks.

    Here are some starters.

  • What brings them joy?
  • What are they worried about?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What do they hope to gain from us?
  • What goals are they striving to attain?
  • What experience thrills them?
  • Where do they get their information?
  • Who do they trust most?

The answers to the types of questions above are not always available, but pondering them in relationship to your ideal customer may allow you to more fully address their wants and needs in every interaction and communication.

Complete the profile, add a real photo, and hang it up in your office for all to see. Simply hanging photos of your customers around the office, may be the reminder that everyone in the office needs to connect with what your business is really about, what their work is really about, and who really pays everyone’s salary.

Don't miss a single word!
Complete the form and we will send you articles just like this every week.

  • Ryan Martin

    I have had some great clients over the last couple of month. Both within my real estate business and my web design business. For me, I think that the most ideal characteristic is having a client that actually knows what they want. To many clients come in thinking that they want or need one thing and then discover they need something completely different. I hope that makes sense.

  • JudyAnn Lorenz

    You’re in your groove today, John. I’m adding some of your suggestions to the client map I will be applying to new prospects this week. Thank you.

  • Joe Dager

    Not a bad list for your salespeople or when you are at your next network function to ask. They look like conversation starters to me! Nice list, John

  • Kathy @ Beyond Niche Marketing

    This is SUCH essential information and yet so many business owners shy away from taking their marketing research to this level.

    I think you hit the nail on the head as to why with “The answers to the types of questions above are not always available”

    It’s not easy – but if you can find out the answers to these questions from just a HANDFUL of your customers – you’ll be WELL on your way to creating marketing messages that will captivate and motivate your target audience.

  • Mia

    ‘who really pays everyone’s salary’ – oh, john, this is the Thing we do forget so often….great article, love this perspective- new for me

  • Aaron Schweizer

    I am in full time Christian ministry, and we are supported by a team of partners who make a monthly donation contribution. In business terms those are our customers. I thought it was helpful to think about these folks in not just what they give or what they get, but in how they feel. What brings them joy was a great question. Our life blood is to have vibrant and ongoing communication with many who are connecting from a distance, and if I can answer that question effectively they will feel that much more attached to our work.

  • Armen Shirvanian

    This is a key point to look at when thinking about one’s audience. It makes sense, because after you get information about your ideal customer down on paper, you will have a much better idea of who you are dealing with. Sometimes, we don’t know who is the main group that is interested in our product, so we provide them with material that is irrelevant to them. This might annoy them over time, and they will wonder if you even understand your customers.

  • Cynthia

    Great post! I think a lot of marketers go down the wrong path, trying to identify with their customers but doing so in a very superficial way. This practice should help marketers concentrate on what’s really important… solving the customers’ needs and presenting solutions to them in ways they understand.

  • web content

    Great post!! I think it’s far too easy to forget that the customer is actually a person, with real needs and desires that we have to attempt to meet!
    We tend to write them off as faceless millions who generally cause us as much frustration as profit

  • Todd Schnick

    I just presented a new marketing plan to a client – and a big piece of the program is knowing and understanding your customer. We all need to know what they buy, how the buy, and what motivates them to buy.

    I encourage most clients to add a blog to their web strategy – allows them to be more interactive with their market. They often come back and say they don’t have enough content to have a blog make sense.

    I always tell them to blog about their customers. Share special stories about them and their customer experience. Just another way to know them better…

  • Classifieds

    This is a great post, you should always have happy costumers if you want to business to succeed, if they are happy you are happy. You should always do what ever you can to give your customer the best experience he can get so he can continue coming back.

  • KJ Rodgers

    Businesses are needing to relate a face with their customers more than ever in these markets.

  • Erik B.

    Phenomenal Grade A article for sure. I think a large percentage of the marketing community put themselves first and the customer 2nd. I think sometimes its easy to do that in this field because most of the time you don’t deal with the consumer face to face. It really has become a dirty game trying to fill up that sign up sheet and the thing that should come first is the person’s best interest.

  • Kris Bovay

    I love this idea. It very much personalizes the customer experience for the ‘inside’ people. And it will be interesting to see if relationships with some of our ‘tougher’ customers softens up when we have their pictures up on the customer service bulletin board and when we engage our people in learning more about our customers. Thanks!

  • Sweaty palms

    This is really good advice. The underlying understanding with it is, that once we know what’s our ideal customer we have to accept the fact we can’t satisfy everyone.

    You have to know exactly who you’re targeting and be as specific in your marketing as possible.

    This also allows us to connect with our customers better because we design marketing in a way that perfectly suits their needs.


  • Chris

    You must pick your customers wisely. Sadly, some just aren’t worth the trouble.

  • Chris

    You must pick your customers wisely. Sadly, some just aren’t worth the trouble.