For those of you familiar with certain networking events, you’ll be used to being asked to give a specific person or company as a referral request after your elevator pitch.
The reasoning behind it is simple; our brains process so much information daily that simply asking for anyone who…’ won’t work.
We need names and specific information to cut through the wallpaper of our everyday life and signpost us as clearly as possible to where we need to go to help you.
Why then, do so many companies use ‘anyone who’ approach when it comes to their social media marketing strategy?
Yes, the law of averages means that you will land new clients by throwing out enough messages across the social media platforms, but are they the clients you want?
Like, REALLY want?
Dream, Cream, Bread & Butter
Let’s start at the end; Bread and Butter.
Your bread and butter clients are great, we all need them. They’re the clients who stick with you through thick and thin and, while not being the biggest spenders, they pay their bills on time, every time, meaning you can to.
They are the lifeblood of any business and will be your loudest cheerleaders, always ready to share a social media post or drop your name into a conversation.
Hitting the middle spot are the ‘Cream’ clients; these are the clients who, if you land a contract them, would make your month.
While they spend well with you, they’re maybe not as forthcoming when it comes to packing on the PDA’s on the social networks as your Bread & Butter clients. If you’re lucky you’ll get a great testimonial from them… and of course, repeat business.
Then we hit your Dream client; land these and it makes your year!
These are the ones you’ve been chasing for ages, you’ve dreamt about them, your competitors will be sick with envy when they find out they’re yours.
They spend well, rave about you online and are first in line for any services, upgrades or products that you bring out.
You land these and you can’t get to the travel agent quick enough to book a fortnight in the Bahamas and you send your team home early with a bottle of champers for their hard work!
Landing Your Dream
As with everything in life, you don’t happen upon your dream client by chance much the same way as eating one carrot stick doesn’t mean you shed a couple of stone (what can we say, life is unfair).
You need to spend time, lots of time, working out who your dream client is – and this isn’t just a case of picking out the largest company names or the first business to pop up when you hit up a search engine.
You land your dream by creating their persona – much like you might use a vision board to focus you in on getting your dream home or car.
When it comes to social media marketing, a persona refers to the ideal customer (or customers) for your business.
It’s a fictional representation of an actual client which you then use as a filter when it comes to making decisions on your social media marketing strategy. This doesn’t have to be just marketing decisions btw; keep them front of mind when it comes to developing new products and services.
It’s important to spend time crafting your dream client persona because it’s almost impossible to create an effective social media marketing plan that appeals to everyone.
Without understanding ideal customers inside and out, you’re taking more of a risk with your marketing spend… You’re back in the land of ‘anyone who’ and hoping that it resonates with the clients you really want.
Where to Start?
With a list of course, no good story begins without one!
You need to get down and dirty with them, explore everything there is to know about your dream client because you’ll use all this knowledge to target them and meet them where they are (not in a creepy, stalker way, don’t worry!)
Things you need to take into consideration are:
- Demographic – including age and give them a name – seriously, give them a name
- Family life
- Where do they shop
- What do they read
- What’re their hobbies
- What do they watch on TV
- Do they have pets
- What’s their job role and description
- What social media platforms do they use and when
You then need to put a face to the persona – either get creative with an avatar or grab yourself a stock photo of someone who you think fits the description.
Once you have all that information, you need to bring it all together in one place.
A quick note here to remind you that if you have various strands to your business then you might have more than one dream client.
If that’s the case then you need to repeat this process for each one so you get an accurate representation of everyone you need to reach as well as how and when they use their social media platforms.
You could add it all to a CV style document or, if you have a number of dream clients, you could spend out on creating a pack of cards that you can distribute among your teams!
Speaking of your team, get them involved in the process – it’s a good training exercise and you can add the cards to your onboarding pack when a new member joins the team. (they’re also handy for the odd game of snap on a quiet day in the office)
How It Works
So now you know who your ideal client is, it’s time to go find them on social media… and this is where the detail you have compiled comes in.
Let’s look at Lucy. Lucy owns a wedding dress business and wants to attract high-end brides who are happy to spend over £3000 on their dream gown.
Lucy has a gold star because she has done her client profiling and know that her dream client is Hannah, whose favourite social media platforms are Instagram and Facebook.
Hannah is in her early thirties – fewer young people would have £3000 to spend on a dress.
Because she has that spare income, we can work out that Hannah has a well-paid job, in fact, she’s a dentist so she can definitely afford that posh frock. Her partner, Joe, is a Doctor and they have lived together for 7 years.
They have a son called Thomas who is 5. Thomas goes to his Nan’s house after school and is picked up by Hannah or Joe around 6 pm.
On an average weekday, Hannah puts Thomas to bed at 7 pm while Joe starts making their dinner.
They eat together and catch up on what’s happened before sitting down in front of the TV with a glass of wine around 9 pm.
As they’re planning their wedding, Hannah picks up her iPad and logs into her social media accounts and starts looking for the next item on her never-ending list of things that still need to be done while Joe spends the next 30 minutes trying to find something new to watch on Netflix (no, it’s not just you who does that).
Lucy knows that Hannah is online, in a relaxed mood and is ready to make some decisions… time to strike!
If Lucy was posting at 10.30 am then Hannah won’t be online checking her social media, she’s busy extracting someone’s tooth. And if she does have a break then she won’t be in the right frame of mind to engage or make a decision.
By working out exactly what Hannah’s day looks like, Lucy knows exactly when she needs to be prominent on her own social media platforms, providing valuable content and engaging with her.
And what about that content?
Well discussing the pros and cons of knock off dresses from China (other countries are available) won’t be of any interest to Hannah.
Hannah wants to know what the latest designers are up to, who designed the latest Royal wedding dress or what key trend will be determining the style of gown in 2022 when Hannah will be floating down the aisle.
Lucy knows she needs, beautifully styled images, professional wording and a friendly approach.
Obviously, Lucy needs some down time, so if it’s not convenient for her to be online herself, she can save time and schedule social media posts ahead of time using one of the many social media scheduling tools available.
A Hannah’s for Life, Not Just for Christmas
This whole profiling process will take time so you don’t just want to use it once and put it on a shelf to gather dust.
Run your decisions through your ‘Hannah’ filter – whenever you consider what you want to post on social media, whenever you write blog posts, whenever you make buying decisions and even hiring decisions… Will what you write, what you create, when you promote and the people you hire engage with your dream client?
By going through this whole process, you will meet your dream clients where they are, when they’re ready to engage and you’ll stand out in front of your competitors across your social media platforms.