How to Identify Your Ideal Client

Let me ask you something. Do you confidently know who you are speaking to in your business? This is something I know a lot of small business owners struggle with because I was one of them. Like so many others I vaguely knew who my ideal client was. I eventually learned the hard way that if you don’t fully know who your ideal client is you are going to struggle with your marketing efforts. One of the most important things to know as a business owner is identifying your ideal client. When you know exactly who your ideal client is, you are able to create a marketing plan that works, and build a brand that speaks directly to the person you are trying to connect with.

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Who is an Ideal Client

Your ideal client is somebody you want to use your products of services. This is someone who gets their exact needs met by what you’re offering. The right client will see the value of what you are providing which in turn becomes less about the price but more about how you can help solve their problem. It is about the experience and what you bring to the table.

Not only will your ideal client invest in your products and services but they also have specific characteristics to showcase your best work. This is somebody that not only wants to purchase your products or services but they have a personality that you just love. This will prove to be beneficial for both parties since they are able to help move your business in the direction you want it to go. One important thing you need to remember is that your business is not for everybody and that’s OK! If you try to target everyone with your marketing efforts you will be shouting to the masses with little to no results. You want to utilize your current business goals to make your marketing efforts specific to your ideal client.

How to Identify Your Ideal Client

You’re probably thinking this is great information Akua but how do I actually define who my ideal client is? I got you! Follow these simple steps to identify your target client.

1.Know Your Business and Goals

It all starts with you! You need to take a deeper look at what your business is and what you have to offer. Identify what you do best, and who you are serving. Think about who will benefit the most from what you are offering. The more specific you are the better. For example, I am a Minneapolis based Instagram Strategist serving entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities. This shows that I am more than a Social Media Strategist. This highlights who I am serving and what specific service I offer since Instagram is my favorite platform and what I do best.

You also want to identify your business goals. Once you know what your goals are then you can start strategizing on how you can target the people you feel will benefit the most from your services. When you have clear goals it makes moving forward in your business much easier since you have a set a clear vision of what you would like to achieve.

2. Research Your Market

When you are first starting out in your business you don’t want to blend in. You want to utilize your strengths to your advantage so that you stand out. By studying your industry you get a glimpse of the competition and also see if there are any areas that you see a need. Once you find an area that people are sturggling with in your field you want to create your services around that need. This will help differentiate you from your competitors.

3. Look at Previous Clients

Take inventory on your previous clients. Looking at past clients can give us a lot of information on the clients we should be working with. Identify the clients you really enjoyed working with, and write down what you liked about that experience. What did you like about them? Why were they a perfect fit for you? What characteristics did they have that you loved? Then think about the clients that was a challenge to work with. Think about the mistakes that you made and what areas you need to improve on. Make an outline and write all of the positive and negative things about each experience. This will provide you with clarity on who you should be targeting.

4. Create an Ideal Client Profile

I have learned that building an ideal client profile is essential. By doing this it will be easier for you to find your ideal client, connect with them, and sell to them. Think of these following questions when creating your ideal client profile. It helps to start off by first focusing on demographics such as name, age, gender, job, and location. Once you have that figured out consider these questions to help you to dig deeper when creating your ideal client profile.

  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?  

  • What are their needs?

  • What problems are you solving for them?

  • What are their goals and values?

  • What traits would they have that you value?

  • How do you want them to feel when receiving your services?

  • What influences their buying decisions?

  • Where do they hang out online?

By creating your ideal client profile you will be able to use that to  create a brand strategy that will really resonate with your audience that will inspire them to take action!

Identifying your ideal client will help provide you with the best approach to communicating how your products and services can really benefit your audience and how you can make a difference in their lives. It doesn’t need to be perfect, as time goes on you can shift certain things regarding your ideal client. So enjoy this process!




The Ultimate Hashtag Strategy

Instagram has been through a lot of changes this past year, from the launch of IGTV, to new features and tools. One thing that has always stayed the same is the use of hashtags.  When it comes to Instagram we know that engagement is key into seeing the results we want. One of the best ways to increase engagement and build your community is through the use of hashtags. According to Simply Measured a post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. So how do you find the right ones?! Let me help you! This blog will walk you through the foundation you need to create a hashtag strategy that will work for you and your business!

So what are hashtags and why do we use them?

A Hashtag as you know is a keyword used to describe a certain topic or theme. They allow us to organize and categorize our images so that you are able to pop up in basic searches on Instagram. This then allows you to connect with other people who are searching for content like yours. When you search a specific hashtag it has its own feed of various content that you can scroll through. You will be able to see all of the images that used that specific hashtag. Whenever you use hashtags for your images you are increasing the reach of your post so that potential clients can find you.

Main types of Hashtags.

There are two main types of hashtags. Understanding the different types of hashtags and their key audiences is important to know when developing your hashtag strategy.

Community Hashtags

Community hashtags are hashtags that connect people with the same interest around a certain topic. Unlike branded hashtags, these hashtags are generally broader and not as specific. Community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your post and to connect and build a community.

Some great examples of community hashtags are through the Rising Tide Society. One of their community hashtags is #communityovercompetition. This hashtag was created as a way for users such as creatives and entrepreneurs to connect and support each other in their businesses.

Branded Hashtags

A branded hashtag are hashtags that are unique to your business. These hashtags can be as simple as your company name or a hashtag that reflects your brand identity. Brand hashtags are meant to connect themes for you and your audience.

An example of a branded hashtag would be something as my business name #akuakonadu. I would like for people to use this hashtag to connect with me and build my community around that.

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How can we use hashtags effectively?

By being more intentional! Being more intentional with your hashtags will help put your content out into the Instagram world with ease! You want to choose hashtags that not only you would be using but your ideal client would be using as well. Remember when it comes to selecting your hashtags it is more about your ideal client than it is about you. Choose hashtags that your ideal client would connect with. A good place to start is using local hashtags in your community. From there you will be able to find hashtags that will work for you.

It is also important to know that the way you use hashtags can affect engagement as well. Using hashtags that are not relevant to your post can negatively impact your engagement. If you are using hashtags that have nothing to do with the content you are posting Instagram can mark it as spam and it can make it more difficult to connect with your ideal audience.  Another important aspect to know is to change out your hashtags often. You don’t want to keep using the same 30 hashtags for every post. Keep a library of hashtags so you can use various ones at different times this will help increase your engagement.

How do I find the right hashtags?

Brainstorm

Start thinking about topics and themes that relate to your business. Enter those topics into the search field on Instagram. It will generate some related tags and these tags will provide you with some great hashtag ideas. It may help to ask yourself some of these questions such as What is your business? Who is your target audience? What are your brand values?

Research

Do your research! Research hashtags that other creatives and your competitors are using. This will give you a better idea of what hashtags to use and to choose the ones that will work best for you.

Know your Ideal Client

Use your ideal client as a way to guide you. Look at the profiles that are engaging with your content on a regular basis and the profiles of potential clients. Research what hashtags they are using and utilize those.

Hashtag Breakdown

When choosing your hashtags prioritize them by popularity. Choose hashtags that are not over saturated. It is better to find and use hashtags that are more specific and have a truly engaged audience that is relevant to your business and industry. The will help increase visibility. You want to mix it up. Use popular hashtags to get in front of a larger audience along with hashtags that are not as popular so that you are also targeting your ideal audience.

Overall, hashtags are vital when it comes to your Instagram strategy. The use of hashtags will help you attract your ideal client, connect you to other creatives, and helps you brand your business. Use them intentionally to drive results and most importantly have fun!

Overcoming Your Fears

Let’s talk about fear, shall we? This past year I’ve allowed fear and self-doubt to fill my mind leaving no space for me to dream. I had a friend once tell me that two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time and that is so true!  I’ve been consumed by so much negative self-thoughts that I was leaving no space to work on the things that really matter. Fear is real and anytime I felt being called to do something big, I would find any excuse to not move forward. This just left me feeling paralyzed and exhausted. If you are currently feeling this way, just know you are not alone.  Every day when we wake up we have the decision to either face our fears or allow it to swallow us whole. If you are letting fear occupy your life then this is for you.

As entrepreneurs, fear is something we experience daily. It’s those negative thoughts that say “I am not good enough” or “There is no way I can do this.” Fear is something we naturally go to. We let it take over and continue to use it as a scapegoat as we try to move forward. Take a second to think about your own dreams.  Do you want to start your own business? Launch a new course? Go on your first solo trip? The moment I shifted my mindset and realized that my fear is nothing but lies my life started to change.

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When I first launched my business almost a year ago, I was ready to take on the world. Shortly within the first couple of months, I began feeling like I wasn’t good enough, I was a fraud and there was no way people wouldn’t take me seriously as a social media educator. So what did I do? I retreated. I stopped going to networking events and connecting with other entrepreneurs. I stopped doing the things I loved such as blogging and creating fun content. I was fueled by a false identity that I wasn’t good enough and due to that everything in my life stalled. The truth is if you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will. Once I realized that I started to face my fears to live out my passions and dreams. If your fear is holding you back I’m here to tell you that your fear is a liar. There is a reason why God has planted your dreams in you. You are meant to do great things and fear has no more room in your life.

So how do we overcome our fear? We need to acknowledge it. My amazing Life Coach and friend Katrina Widener shared some tips with me that I am currently using and it is really making a difference. Whenever I feel self-doubt and fear creeping in, I write down what I am actually afraid of. That could be criticism, loss, or failure. Once I am honest with how I am actually feeling I can create an action plan that answers these questions: What will I learn? How will it help me grow? And why am I grateful for the situation? Whatever is holding you back I know you can most past it. This is something that won’t change overnight. I am still working through this myself. When I think of my own journey I know there will be plenty of successes and failures but I will continue to put one foot in front of the other unshaken. I want to encourage you to do the same.

Today is the day that you look fear in the face and know it’s a liar. You are well equipped to live out your dreams and passions. Take the leap! Don’t let fear, perfection, and negative self-talk prevent you from taking your life back and focusing on the things that do matter. We are all in this together!