How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile

How to Design a Client Profile From Surveying Your Current Customers

If you’re not sure what your ideal customer looks like, don’t worry—you’re not alone.

Many businesses struggle to define their target market, while others risk being so narrow in scope that they miss out on potential revenue streams because they don’t have an open mind about who their target customer might be.

To help you better understand your ideal customer profile, here are some helpful tips to guide you through this process of defining, refining, and converting.

What is an ICP? Why Should I Build One?

An ICP is a description of your ideal client—of who you want your business to work alongside. And, yes, it’s important to say “ideal” because there are exceptions (though some clients are bad fits for every business, sorry, not sorry.)

An ICP isn’t just about exceptions—it is also about being realistic. You must know to an extent what you want out of clients who come to you and understand why you want to work with them. Do these customers play to your strengths? Are you a better fit for some personalities over others?

If you can figure out the good, the bad, and the ugly of your services, then your ideal client will start making sense on paper and guide your practices to help maximize successful conversions.

Analyze Your Current Customer Data

While you might work from the top down in many marketing situations, today, we will be working from the ground up.

If you’re just starting and don’t have much data, take advantage of free tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualaroo. These services allow you to post simple polls on your website to get customer feedback, determine trends and eventually refine an ideal client profile. They’re also a great way to capitalize on demand generation, drive engagement, funnel new email leads, and nurture with a free download after completion!

When the results roll in, you should focus on commonalities and identify trends among their answers. The top-ranking attributes should be your ideal client profile, as these traits connect your current clientele. Try not to get caught up in minor differences: You may notice that while all of your customers love designer bags and iPhones, only half prefer pink rosewater smoothies and rollerblading. Go back and zoom out: both halves always stay at luxury hotels while traveling! Great. We’re back in the big picture and back to learning the language that speaks to the audience.

You can also leverage your existing data in your CRM to create a basic profile using available info. What fields are your clients in, and what management level? You can even create separate marketing campaigns and follow-ups that target these broad areas with precise language. A touch of personalization can go a long way!

Detail Traits That All Of Your Ideal Clients Have In Common

Take what you have learned from your surveys, outreach, and CRM to organize a list of common traits into a chart (try my template, attached here!).

Working in this guideline will give you an actionable grasp of your ideal client profile. Armed with this tangible list, determine how you will use it in your marketing and business development efforts. Should you refine your language or try new colors? Up the professionalism or the oddball strategies? There are a thousand ways to go.

If you are having trouble coming up with attributes or actionable strategies, ask your current customers what they value most about their experience with you. You can also ask clients who don’t work with you what they find important when choosing a provider. There may be some overlap between these groups of clients that can help you further refine your profile and broader strategies.

The ICP you develop will help you grow and nurture the present and future of your business. Being radical in your approach involves knowing the choir you are preaching to and keeping your hands clean from incompatible clients that could bog down your workflow. It’s not very often that you get to take some “me-time” while building your brand—take advantage of it through creating an ICP!

Looking to go further with your strategies or for resources to help level up you and your strategies? I’d love to chat. Who knows? I might just be the ideal person for the business you are growing. Talk soon!

How To Create An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Steps Sheet

Check out our audio version here.