Let’s talk about how to stalk your prey…oops, I mean prospective clients. There is a strategy to identifying, locating, and reaching out to your prospective clients.
How to Research Prospective Clients for Your Business
First, you need to identify who your target market is and more specifically, who your ideal clients are. Determining who your ideal clients are will help you determine what problems they are facing. We want to figure out what they are struggling with. Then we can use that information to get them to hire us to solve those problems.
When you’re thinking about your potential clients and your target market, there are two things that you should be focusing on. The first is the main goal that they have with their business and the second is their main pain point.
Identify your Target Market’s Goals and Pain Points
I’ll use myself as an example. My main goal would be to have financial freedom. I also want to help and teach as many people as possible.
Using some deductive reasoning, we can infer that one of my pain points might be time management, as I need to work with clients, teach students, and find time to grow my business, too.
But you only know these things because I just told you. If I didn’t tell you…how would you know?
The key is that you need to study and research your target market. I almost look at it like I’m observing an animal or doing a science project. I watch them, listen to them, and take note of everything they say and do. The goal is to discover more about them and find patterns.
There are a few different ways or places that you can gain some information about your potential clients.
Hang out in Facebook groups
My favorite way to study up on my prospective clients is by using Facebook groups.
Find a Facebook group that has a lot of members who are your prospective clients and study how they behave.
You’ll want to look at things like:
- Who is their target audience?
- What are they struggling with?
- Which questions are they asking?
- What are they talking about?
- What are their likes/dislikes?
The next thing you should be doing is looking at a prospective client’s social media accounts and study their posts..
Instagram is a great place to do this, because almost everyone is on there.
You can also look at Quora. It’s not really a social media site, but it’s a great resource for finding good blog post topics and learning about what your prospective clients need help with.
Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are another great resource to learn all about your prospective clients. You’ll want to listen to podcasts from your target market as well as podcasts that your target market is into. This will help you learn more about their perspective and what type of content they like to consume.
I really like finding a super popular podcast in a specific niche and looking at the episode titles. This is a great way to see at a glance what types of topics your audience likes to learn about. This is super helpful as inspiration for your own content ideas.
Having trouble figuring out which podcasts your audience listens to? Head over to a Facebook group and do some research! You could even simply ask what their favorite podcasts are, and you’ll be sure to get a whole list!
Check authority publications
You’ll also want to research any authority sites that your client is using.
You can actually gain a lot of crucial information just based on the types of sites they frequently share from. For example, if they’re sharing stuff from Bustle, that is going to be a completely different vibe than if they’re sharing stuff from Inc.
You’ll be able to determine what type of content a prospective client is drawn to. This will help you create similar content that you’ll know they’ll be interested in.
Look at your competitors
Yes, I actually believe that you should take a look at what your competitors are doing!
Find a few businesses that are a few steps ahead of where you are in your journey.
You’ll want to focus on those businesses that are really successful in the target audience that you are looking to work with. This could be somebody who’s offering services that are similar to yours or somebody who’s simply targeting the same audience as you.
Look at the type of content that they’re putting out. Try to deduce what problems they are solving with their content. This can be a great inspiration and encourage you to explore your own unique ways to address and solve these pain points.
Use Your Content to Market to Your Target Audience
Once you figure out your target market’s pain points, your job is to provide services that help them achieve their goals while also conquering their pain points. You want to be able to do this by making things better, faster, or easier for them. (Bonus points if you can do all three!).
These benefits that they experience when working with you should be what you focus on when you’re marketing to your target audience. Use your content to give them mini-wins that mimic the experience they would have when working with you on bigger projects.
For example, let’s say you’re a tech virtual assistant. Create a blog post or video that teaches your target market how to back-up their site. Cover the DIY steps in the blog post, but also offer your retainer services as a paid solution where you take care of it for them.
Basically, you want to think about your content like mini-advertisements for your services. But it should always provide tons of useful knowledge, too.
In this content, you’re going to want to do three really important things:
Help your ideal audience
You’ll want to provide free content that has value and solves something your potential client is struggling with for free. This is super important, so you’ll want to do this right from the beginning. Don’t start off by promoting anything or talking about something they’re not interested in — immediately jump into the good stuff!
I think that this is a good thing to do because people are either going to be interested in buying your services or they’re not.
Offering a DIY solution isn’t going to make every single person that reads your blog post choose to go the DIY route instead of hiring you. In my opinion, the readers in your audience made up of people who are either (a) someone that is definitely going to DIY it, or (b) someone that is always going to hire someone to do it for them.
By giving amazing info in your blog post and promoting your paid solution, you can please both types of people. This is crucial, as the people who are DIY-ers can still be valuable members of your audience. They may share, promote, or refer prospective clients to you…so don’t forget to serve them with your content, too!
Position yourself as an expert
Your prospective clients should feel as though you know exactly how to solve their problem. You’ll need to prove you know what you are talking about. These two things go hand and hand. If you are knowledgeable and can solve a pain point, prospective clients are more likely to want to work with you.
Provide a call-to-action
At the end of your blog post, you’re either going to want to encourage them to get on your list, schedule discovery call, or buy something. Pick one thing you want them to do and push them towards it.
If you don’t have enough prospective clients even though you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll benefit from having learned these strategies for identifying, locating, and reaching out to your leads.
It is key that you discover your ideal audience and solve their problems in order to establish yourself as an authority and gain the trust of your prospective clients. This will lead to more sales of your services and a more successful business overall.