It sounds obvious, but for your brand to be effective, you need to know who you’re talking to. You’d be surprised how many business owners come to us ready to invest their hard-earned money into a logo refresh or a new website without first clarifying who their ideal client is. We also see small business owners who define their ideal client as “anyone who will pay for my services” which isn’t good either. Let’s dig into why both of those mistakes can be costly setbacks as you look to build your brand and grow your business.
Mistake #1: Not Defining Your Ideal Client
Put yourself in your client’s shoes for a minute. Surely, you’ve come across companies who just feel like an instant fit for you. Their brand colors and design style intuitively draw you in. Their messaging hits you right between the eyes. They understand your pain points and aspirations. It feels like they can solve problems that you don’t even know how to articulate. This company just gets you. Before you know it, you’re looking past the price and making a decision based on quality, expertise, or results. You’re confident they will solve your problem—and you’re willing to pay a premium for their services.
How do they do that? How do they cut through the clutter and speak directly to you? They know who their ideal client is—and it is you.
Now, let’s take things a step further. What if you could have that same effect on your ideal clients? Imagine if your clients sought you out for your quality, expertise, and results, rather than simply shopping around for the cheapest option. What if you could position yourself as the premium provider in your area—and price your services accordingly?
When you are crystal clear on who your ideal clients are, you can position your brand to resonate with them. Over time, you can attract higher-quality clients who are willing to pay more for your expertise.
On the flip side, if you fail to clarify who your ideal client is, you may invest thousands into a great-looking logo and website that just don’t deliver. Your business isn’t growing and you can’t figure out why. Over time, you start to tell yourself things like, “The market has changed, people just won’t pay for quality anymore.”
But what if your assumption is wrong? What if your brand is just attracting the wrong people? What if there are more people willing to pay a premium for your services than you know what to do with—you just haven’t figured out how to attract them? Having a brand that speaks directly to them could make all the difference for your business.
Failing to clarify your ideal client right up front is taking a big gamble with your brand investment. You could easily spend thousands on a shiny new brand that attracts people who don’t need or can’t pay for your services.
Mistake #2: Going Too Broad with Your Ideal Client
A lot of small business owners think that the more types of people they serve, the more clients they’ll have and the more money they’ll make. Don’t make that mistake. It doesn’t work that way. In an effort to appeal to too many types of people, they generalize their messaging and settle for a vanilla brand design. They tell themselves that they can serve anyone, so they go for mass appeal. Unfortunately, they end up with a forgettable brand and messaging that falls on deaf ears.
When your ideal client profile is too broad, your services become a commodity.
Remember those businesses who feel like they’re talking directly to you? For every person like you that they hit between the eyes, they are probably turning away ten people who think they sound too expensive, or who don’t think they do what they need. But here’s their secret to success—they don’t mind turning some people away. They understand that turning away the wrong people also means attracting more of the right people.
We’ve seen it time and time again: businesses who try to talk to everyone end up talking to no one. On the flip side, the ones who have the courage to get specific and talk directly to their ideal client, graduate from competing on price to competing on quality. Before they know it, they’re attracting higher-quality clients who are willing to pay a premium for their services.
Are you ready to build your brand the right way? Are you tired of feeling like you’re talking to an empty room, or worse, a crowded room filled with the wrong people? Do you want to get crystal clear on your ideal client profile so you can be confident that you’ll see a good return on your brand investment? If that’s you, let’s talk. Book a time to talk with Sarah, our Co-Founder & Brand Strategist, to start the conversation. If we’re not a fit for you, she’ll at least point you in the right direction. We want to see you and your business succeed—with or without us.