Who Is Your Ideal Client?

Who is your ideal customer? No, not anyone with money. Who is the person that makes you think, if all my customers were like this 1-person, life would be great?

As Entrepreneurs, we rarely take a minute to make sure our definition of our ideal customer is up-to-date or even defined in a lot of cases. This is very unfortunate because truly understanding who your ideal client is, is part of the foundation of your business. This one thing can single-handedly set your business up for years of growth and profitability or years of pain and eventual demise.

A somewhat recent study shows that out of all the businesses started in 2007, only 33% made it to the year 2017 still in business. Yup, that is correct. According to the statistics, you are almost certain to fail.

Now consider the following; 101 startup post-mortems revealed these top 20 Reasons for failure:

  • No Market Need

  • Ran out of Cash

  • Not the Right Team

  • Outcompeted

  • Pricing and Cost Issues

  • Poor Product

  • Lacked a Business Model

  • Poor marketing

  • Ignored their customers

  • Pivot gone Bad

  • Lose Focus

  • Disharmony on Team/Investors

  • Pivot gone bad

  • Lack of passion

  • Bad Location

  • No Financing/Investor Interest

  • Legal Challenges

  • Don’t use network/advisors

  • Burn out

  • Failure to pivot


Did you notice the trend? 11 out of 20 could have been non-issues if they had defined their ideal customer and focused on the interest of those customers.

Now that we have established why defining your ideal customer is vital to your business’ success, let’s dig deeper. How many products and/or services do you offer?

Many times, a brand will have different ideal customers for each product or service. For example, a Home Builder would have a very different ideal client for a Home Renovation compared to say New Home Construction. I encourage you to define who your ideal client is for each product/service you offer.

Let’s be clear... Just because someone does not fit inside that ideal client scope does not mean we won’t do business with them. It does, however, help us recognize that they do not fit the product or service ideal client definition and therefore may need a little more explanation or hand-holding through the process to ensure a positive experience for everyone.

Really the main reason for defining our ideal customer is so that we know who to talk to and who to study. If we focus on a specific group of individuals, we can find commonalities:

Small Things Like:

  • What time do they start their day, is it 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.?
  • Do they use Social Media; if so, what channels specifically?
  • Do they use Email?
  • Do they prefer to text or have phone calls?

And More Complex Things Like:

  • What types of job titles do they gravitate towards?
  • Where do they volunteer?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • Who do they actively follow; The Kardashians, DeWalt, Disney, The Local Rotary?

At this point, I hope you are starting to see just how important identifying that ideal client really is. The picture of who is most likely to buy your product or service and enjoy the process every step of the way gets clearer as your ideal client becomes better defined.

As mentioned earlier, we can still do business with those who do not fit in our ideal client definition as long as we choose but if we take action based on what our ideal client wants/needs/likes, then we are going to naturally attract more of those types of clients.

Does this process make sense to you? If so then a meeting should as well. 😊


Matthew Maennche

Chief Strategist

With over two decades of in-the-trenches marketing experience, Matthew Maennche’s views on developing and supporting a successful business are fundamentally different from the norm. As a developer and strategist, Maennche has helped thousands of businesses of all sizes, both domestic and international, take their organizations to the next level.

Matthew also spends time giving back to the local business community as a volunteer, mentor, and leader for the local chapter of SCORE.