On our blog we talk a lot about LinkedIn marketing. We've previously shown you how to generate thousands of leads for your business via the LinkedIn Sales Navigator in no time.
We've further discussed how to growth hack your product launch plan.
However, your marketing efforts only produce results when a deliberate plan is laid out.
That's why we decided to talk a bit more about your Ideal Customer profile, how to create one and how to use it effectively in your business.
For the purpose of this article, we'll focus more on the social media side of things (B2B), but the tips below will further help you harness the power a customer profile can have on your business.
The trick is to design a plan that keeps customers in mind, so you’re connecting with them at scale.
If you’ve had your role for a while, you probably know a lot about the business.
One look at your client roster and you can probably spot the best ones. You know, the clients who use your offerings frequently, sign the big contracts, and actively get value from what you do.
The same goes with your CRM. If you’ve been using it a while, you can pull data to spot trends around your best customers — even before they become customers! This way, you’ll be able to spend more time on the prospects who have the highest chance of actually converting.
When you take a look, ask yourself a few questions:
Also, think about what industry they're in.
This is important if you happen to serve multiple industries. Some industries will always benefit more than others, making them the ideal prospects.
If you can’t figure it out for whatever reason (e.g. haven’t been in business long enough), start with the companies you’d want as customers and work backward.
Make a list of your top 10 (or top 100 if you’re feeling ambitious) dream companies that you’d want as your clients.
See any commonalities? Similar industries or stages?
Use this as your framework for identifying a company profile that could make good potential targets.
Once you figure it out, reach out to them. Ask them about the solution you’re looking to bring to the market...
Think of an ideal customer profile as a representation of the type of person who might become a customer.
That’s what we do on a daily basis. We think about who these people are, and how they make their buying decisions.
My recommendation is to first nail down the basics.
Then think of those companies, the ones they work for. Are they VC-funded, bootstrapped, or established?
What about their personalities? How do they communicate?
The answer will determine if you should be casual, or formal when speaking to them.
For instance, if you’re offering a software product, having native integrations with those technologies is optimal.
If you provide IT services, familiarity with the technologies they already use would be the way to go.
Find those commonalities– between you and your customer.
Think about things like location to narrow down your search, as well as revenue, company size, or the number of years they’ve been in business.
But let’s go beyond demographics:
Another important question, which will lead to some very specific side branching ones is:
“What obstacles does this customer have to face before purchasing our solution to their problem?”
This will reveal a few things:
And that’s just 3 of the many possibilities. It doesn’t even begin to cover marketing preferences, which brings up a good point...
What expectations might they have from a buying experience? How do they like to be marketed to?
So yeah, there’s a lot that goes into this, but the good news is that you can determine most of it on your own, without talking to anyone. Going based on your own knowledge, metrics, and any surveys or polls you’ve conducted in the past, you can probably piece most of this together.
But you’ll gain a deeper understanding if you get your target customers to answer some questions instead.
Sending out emails where you ask them for a few minutes of their time, give them a high-value offer, and then ask some of these questions, is just plain smart.
Now we’re going to use people’s LinkedIn profiles to enhance our ideal customer profiles…
And this involves collecting different information.
So for example, take Richard Tseng (https://x.bamf.co/richard). He’s the vice president of marketing, eCommerce and technology at Monoprice…
He went to Cal Poly, and judging from the fact that he graduated in 2002, he’s probably around 39 years old.
That’s one down, let’s do another one.
There’s Clarence Chia (https://x.bamf.co/clarence), the SVP of marketing, eCommerce, and direct-to-consumer at Fiji Water.
He went to UCLA Berkeley, and based the year listed on his first position, probably around 40 years old.
Alright let’s move onto the trends.
Notice how both of these people are in marketing and eCommerce. Lofty titles, roughly the same age.
And they’re both male.
If we’d taken more details from more people, we probably could have spotted more diversity, gender equality, or a variation of expertise.
But for the sake of argument, let’s build an ideal customer profile off of this.
Let’s look at a sample ideal customer profile ― Brian, a VP of Marketing at an enterprise software company.
We’re going to use this as a quick reference guide when crafting messaging. It’ll inform other areas of marketing strategy, like the publications we find the most relevant.
First we start by giving our persona a picture and name to make it easier. It helps us imagine they’re a real person.
We also give him the title of VP of marketing at EnterpriseCorp Solutions, a fake enterprise software company.
He’s 46, and likes larger city living, so we went with Philadelphia.
He went to Virginia Tech, makes around $190,000 a year, and directly reports to the CEO.
His main goal is to increase sales quarter-over-quarter, which means his biggest pain points are having to continuously find new scalable channels that drive results for business.
As advertising and media environments shift, they need to keep the pace and learn how to drive quality leads using channels he might not be comfortable with.
So, he probably reads a lot of Business Insider, SaaStr, and MIT Tech Review articles.
There it is, fully fleshed out, the ideal profile persona…
Now how can we convince him to work with us?
To answer that question, we first have to consider obstacles. What stands in the way of the prospect, in this case Brian, from seeing the benefits of your offer?
Some likely obstacles to his purchasing a solution would be the competing priorities of needing to see the potential for scale, and needing to prove ROI for any new channel quickly.
So something we want to tackle in our copy is the balance of those two concerns.
Then we handle the approach.
When it comes to marketing to people, we’ve found that personal introductions are huge. So is highly-relevant, targeted content, but that’s a no-brainer.
This means account-based marketing is in order.
Content tailored to a very small subset of the market ― sometimes even the individual company ― and delivered in a way that's:
At this point, your ideal customer profile should be pretty rich.
You can imagine what their lifestyle is like and what type of work environment they might be in.
So the time spent developing this profile should feel like an investment. Your findings will pay for themselves many times over when crafting your messaging.