Two Ideal Clients: Top Tips to Make it Work with Your Marketing

Feb 20, 2024 | marketing, website

Here’s what you need to know to effectively market to multiple target audiences without compromising your brand consistency, messaging or effectiveness.

For new business owners, I always recommend narrowing down and starting with one main ideal client persona or avatar. The idea is that you want to get clear and get focused on serving one segment really, really well.

You create content specific to that type of person. Everything from social media captions to website copy to email newsletters. It’s all geared towards supporting that one persona.

But then you come to a growth point. You want to broaden your service offerings which will inevitably add into the mix another ideal client persona.

Is that the right move? Is it going to totally derail your marketing efforts? Will your brand become less effective?

My friends, these are all valid questions.

Ones I’ve asked myself time and time again, and ones I’ve walked through with clients.

Which brings us to today: walking through my favorite ways to bring some ease into your marketing efforts when targeting multiple audiences.

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 largely based on assumptions.

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.

Why and when it makes sense to have multiple target audiences

As service-based business owners, we generally start with one offering targeted towards one type of person. I.e., I design logos for health and wellness professionals.

Again, I cannot recommend it enough to start out with as much clarity as you can around that one persona. The idea is to know them backwards and forwards so you can serve them unbelievably well and get them great results.

But perhaps after a few months, years, whatever, you start getting questions from other designers on how you book clients through search engine optimization. And you realize that you’d like to offer 1:1 strategy sessions for designers who need SEO support.

Meaning, you’ll now have two totally different audiences – health and wellness professionals, and graphic designers.

All of this to say that it’s natural for your ideal client persona to expand after being in business for a length of time. More often than not, it will happen organically.

It’s worth noting what this isn’t

Sometimes, those little negativity gremlins will tell us that we just need to add one more ideal client persona into the mix because that will be the thing to get us more work. That’s not what I’m talking about here. That’s usually a scarcity tactic and the result of chasing shiny objects. What I’m referring to is the natural evolution of your business that happens when you’ve picked one ideal client, served them really well and want to intentionally expand to another. Not from a place of scarcity but from a place of strategy and intention.

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Tip #1: Understand each audience individually

It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing to one audience or ten, you still need to know each target audience 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 specific needs.

At the most basic level, we’re selling a service that will solve a specific problem for a certain type of person. In order to effectively market that service, we need to know the problem that we’re solving.

It’s going to be extremely challenging to add another target audience into your mix if you don’t have clarity on the first one.

While I’m not a fan of ‘shoulds’ I think it serves the context well here – there are a few things that you should know about your ideal client persona. Whether you have one or two or three-plus, in order to be effective in your marketing, at a minimum you should be able to answer these:

  1. What is the main problem they are looking to have solved?
  2. What motivates them to make decisions?
  3. What are the internal stories playing in their mind?
  4. What are the external stories they see around them?
  5. What is their version of success?

Tip #2: Get clear on their common ground

Once you understand each persona individually, it’s time to look at them as a collective. The goal is to find the common thread that holds them all together; it’s there, I promise.

The common thread can be anything, but the most impactful threads center around beliefs and values.

Beliefs are your persona’s sacred truths and reflect how they see the world as well as the space they operate within. Think of these as phrases, thoughts, statements that encompass how your ideal client perceives things. It’s worth noting that beliefs don’t have to be true to everyone; just true to your target audience. Examples of beliefs may include phrases like “it’s possible for me to have both business and family”; “marketing on social media isn’t supportive”.

Values are specific ideas that guide your ideal client’s decisions and represent what they stand for and against as humans. Think of values as your persona’s North Star; guiding principles that keep them heading in their right direction. There are no right or wrong values but when you understand what they find important, you can better communicate with both/all personas. Examples of values may include things like integrity, speediness, honesty, value for money, price, creativity, inclusivity, adventure.

To put this into practice, make a list with each persona and write down what they believe about your service/category/space and what they value. Then, find what’s common across the board.

Make it work for your marketing: Bring your content back to the common thread as much as you can. Yes, you can 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.

Tip #3: Understand your website’s primary goal

I like to think about the website as serving one core audience first and then the others as 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 the lead role.

An example of this is Denise Duffield-Thomas. In her book, Chill and Prosper, she says over and over again that all roads lead to her Money Bootcamp program. Yes, she speaks. Yes, she offers other services. Yes, she offers other products. But at the end of the day, her business’s main goal is to get people in the Money Bootcamp.

Having this tunnel vision helps her stay clear and focused on the big picture, especially when shiny objects come up.

There’s no right or wrong answer to what your leading role ‘should’ be. But there is an intentional decision to be made. And when you decide that this is what my website needs to do in order to best support my business, you’re able to then make decisions about your website, it’s structure and layout, strategically.

Make it work for your marketing: Determine which ideal client persona is your business’s primary audience and the next steps they need to take in order to do business with you. Then, comb through your website and make sure it’s crystal clear what needs to be done for that persona to engage with your business. Then, map out the flow for your other market(s).

Happy branding!

All my best,

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