In my last post on this topic, I built the business case for why you need ideal client profiles (ICP). There are so many benefits that come from attracting and serving ideal clients. But this probably raises an important question in your mind. How do you build an ideal client profile? What is the process? Well, I have some good news for you. We are going to do that, together, right now.

 

The seven step process to building ideal client profiles

Here are seven steps you can take to build an ideal client profile. You can use this process for your organization as a whole or for a given service or even for a market niche that you want to develop.

Step 1:
Pick a service that you offer and would like to sell more. This service should be one that you believe in and that you feel could have a much greater impact on clients than you’ve realized today.

Step 2:
Ask yourself – who need this service? Why do they need this service? How will it benefit them? What kind of impact will it have on their business, their life and family? Make a list of these benefits.

Step 3:
Now it’s time to go even deeper to build the ICP. There are three areas to focus:

  • Demographic, psychographic and geographic factors
  • Decision-makers & influencers by title and responsibility
  • A deep-dive discussion of decision-makers’ top goals, opportunities and challenges

The last category is what matters most and is, quite frankly, the most difficult to build. So begin by brainstorming your best guess about the top goals, opportunities and challenges of ideal clients, but be ready to change these in the steps below.

Key Take-Away:

Your ICP should contain a list of the ideal clients’ top five goals, opportunities and challenges.

Step 4:
Ask yourself who, amongst your existing clients, sounds like the ICP you’ve just built? In my experience, the best way to build an ICP is not by thinking of some nebulous someone out there who you might do business with. It’s much more effective to identify existing clients who already fit your ICP parameters. This will also allow you to change your list of top goals, opportunities and challenges based on what your current clients say.

Step 5:
Schedule some time to talk to existing clients about the results of your brainstorming efforts. I recommend that you record the sessions if they will allow you to. Have the recording transcribed and run a word analysis to identify common phrases that occur repeatedly. Make a list of these phrases and integrate them into your list of top goals, opportunities and challenges.

Step 6: 
Now go back to the beginning and ask yourself how the service benefits (step 2) compare to your updated ICP? Is there a match? If there is, you are ready to move on to the next step. If not, you probably need to work on your service offering.

Step 7:
Use the word count analysis to identify major themes around which you can build a content marketing strategy that will pull prospective ideal clients toward your service. You can learn more about how to do this by using two of our Action Guides.

 

How got take this to the next level

I’ve developed a couple of resources that you can use to take your ICP to the next level. These resources will help you put your ICP into action by attracting new prospective clients who are a great fit for your services.

The first resource is an Action Guide called 7 Steps To A Content Marketing Program That Consistently Yields Ideal Clients. This valuable and free resource contains 7 videos and 7 downloadable tools that you can use to develop a content marketing plan for your company.

The second resource is also an Action Guide. It’s called 7 Steps To A Lead Nurturing Program That Keeps You In Front Of Prospects. This resource shows you how to develop a lead nurturing program that keeps the interest of prospective ideal clients over time. The reason that is important is because most people you are marketing to at any given time will not be ready to engage. But over time, they will have a need and think of you first.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you about how these ideas helped your organization reach your next level.