Most of the time, when you start your business, the goal is to narrow down and pick one ideal client. Get clear and get focused on serving that particular audience really, really well.
But sometimes you’re not able to narrow it down to just one. Some business models (nonprofits, I’m lookin’ at you) start with a few different ideal clients. Or, as you grow, your business may broaden your service offerings, which also adds another ideal client.
First, it’s definitely possible to speak to multiple audiences effectively, without compromising your brand’s communication. And while it may not be easier than starting with one, it is doable.
That’s exactly what we’re chatting about today: three ways to bring some ease into your marketing efforts if you’re targeting different audiences.
IN THIS ARTICLE
>> What is an ideal client?
>> When might different audiences happen?
>> Understand each audience individually.
>> Get clear on their common ground
>> Making your website effective and functional
>> Content marketing for different ideal clients
What is an ideal client?
In a perfect world, your ideal client is the person that, if you could, you would clone, so that you would only work with them.
They value you, your brand and your offerings. They identify with your brand’s message, values and purpose. They will become (if they aren’t already) your brand ambassadors and will eagerly advocate on your behalf.
If you’ve been lucky enough to work with an ideal client, yay! You have some clear guidelines to reference. But sometimes, especially if you’re a brand new business owner, your ideal client is a detailed profile that’s made up. Which is okay too.
The goal with defining an ideal client is that you have a set of guidelines to work off of and create for. Whether it’s content or offerings, having clarity on who you’re a great fit for is key to building a strong brand that will support your business.
When might different audiences happen?
Sometimes, though, you have multiple ideal clients that you’re needing to, trying to or wanting to, serve.
Side-ish note: Always try and start with one, especially if you’re a service provider. It’ll make your life a hell of a lot easier.
Nonprofit organizations are a great example of this. Generally there are three core audiences that they need to connect with. First, there’s the audience that they’re serving or the recipients of their services. Second, they have donors and advocates. Lastly, there are the foundations and/or funding organizations. Three very distinct and very important audiences.
For service providers, the ideal client can change depending on the package or offering. For example, let’s say you have three different group programs. One serves new businesses, one serves established businesses scaling a team and a third serves businesses that haven’t even started yet. Again, three very different needs for three very different ideal clients. No right or wrong here, just different.
Understand each audience individually
It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing to one audience or ten, you still need to know them really well in order to be effective.
Getting clarity on your ideal client can happen through experience, assumptions, or a combination of both. The idea is that you know each ideal client well enough to be able to speak directly to them and their specifics.
Want more support on getting ideal client clarity? Check out this post.
Get clear on their common ground
Once you understand them individually, it’s time to look at them as a collective. Find the common thread that holds them all together. It’s there, I promise.
The common thread can be anything, yes, but the most impactful ones center around beliefs and values. You know, those things that you hold sacred and believe in whole heartedly? Well, your ideal clients will have them, too.
Circling back to our nonprofit example – let’s say it’s a human rights organization. The common thread that holds the recipients, donors and funders together could be a common belief in the specific human right that the nonprofit is supporting.
Or, for the service provider with three different programs, perhaps the value is simplicity, so whether the ideal client hasn’t started, is just starting or is all-in on a business, they value doing so with simplicity, and that’s what ties everyone together.
Make it work for your marketing: Bring your content back to the common thread as much as you can. Of course have different posts geared towards each ideal client and/or offer, but then speak to the collective and bring it back to the value or belief. When you’re speaking to multiple audiences, make them feel like they’re part of a whole shared community by highlighting what ties everyone together.
Making your website effective and functional with a primary goal
Yes, it is possible to have an effective website and speak to a variety of audiences. But, if you’re not intentional about setting it up, you could walk away with a site that causes everyone to be confused, rather than clear.
I like to think about the website as serving one core audience first and then the others are secondary. This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, but rather, in order to move your business or organization forward, one audience plays a bigger role.
I just finished reading Denise Duffield-Thomas’ book, Chill and Prosper. She shares in the book, over and over again, that all roads lead to her money bootcamp program. Yes, she speaks. Yes, she offers other services and products. But the main goal is to get people in that bootcamp. This tunnel vision helps her stay clear and focused on the big picture, especially when shiny objects jump up.
Thinking about our service provider example, perhaps the ‘not yet started’ ideal clients are the target because they are then able to seamlessly move through the programs that this business owner has created. This would then mean the website, its structure and layout, would all point towards that particular program or offering.
Another scenario could be that the higher level business program is the main goal because that’s where the majority of the revenues comes from. And that revenue supports the lower-ticket offering for not-yet-started businesses. So, the website layout and structure would lead visitors to that program as the main thing.
There’s no right or wrong here, but there is an intentional decision being made. And that’s what makes a website effective and functional – it’s strategically created to fulfill a particular goal or set of goals.
Make it work for your marketing: Determine which ideal is the primary and which is the secondary, and map out how your website can effectively function for that particular type of person. Then think about the other ideal client(s) and what they need to know, read, hear, in order to be supported.
Content marketing for different ideal clients
Because you know the individual characteristics of each ideal client, you’ll probably have a handle on their content preferences. Are they podcast listeners, YouTube-aholics, TikTok’ers or LinkedIn lovers? If you’re lucky enough to have ideal clients that each prefer a different channel, your content strategy should be rather simple – each channel is dedicated to a specific ideal client.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. So what happens if each of your ideal clients consume content the same way?
Focus on the common thread. Once you know what ties everyone together, you can leverage that in your content. Write blog posts that dig into the common value or belief. Create posts that align with it. The goal here is to talk about the value/belief in order to build the community around it.
Find the additional overlaps. What other commonalities do your ideal client audiences share? Think about their stage of life, their likes and dislikes, the problems and successes. It’s not about being general but finding similarities to build connection between the audiences and with your brand.
But also, don’t be afraid to call out one audience. If you’re running a launch or campaign targeted to a specific audience, call them out. This isn’t a time to be cutesy or clever – clear communication is the name of the game.
Plan it out and track the results. Having a content calendar and tracking what happens is especially important when you’re speaking to multiple audiences. This allows you to see the big picture and make sure you’re addressing each audience effectively.
With that, happy branding!
All my best,
Need additional branding resources?
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This post walks you through determining your ideal customers including how to attract them.
See Witt and Company’s #1 Tip for getting more clients.
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