We are all in the business of selling solutions.
These solutions—whether products or services—are meant to alleviate the problems faced by a specific group of people. This is your clientele.
But this group is not necessarily the same as your audience.
If anything, your clientele is a subset of your audience. As business owners, it is important that we clearly differentiate between the two and focus our marketing efforts on the latter.
This isn’t to say you should ignore the larger group. Definitely not. In fact, the game plan should be to nurture the wider audience such that they seamlessly move into the clientele subset.
But marketing efforts become much more impactful and deliver high returns on investment when these are targeted toward the right people.
In short, focus your marketing on the wider group but limit selling to a smaller group of potential clientele.
So, how can you identify and build your clientele?
There are three important aspects you need to pay attention to.
The first aspect of building clientele is to identify the correct subset of your audience.
Let’s take an example. Say, you want to build a course on “self-care” for your audience (in general)—moms.
The “course” is the solution you will sell to moms.
“Moms” is such a wide term.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It could be for a:
- Teen mom
- Single mom
- Stay-at-home mom
- Stay-at-home mom running a part-time business from home
- Stay-at-home mom running a full-time business from home
- Single-child mom
- Multiple-children mom
- Location-independent mom
- Full-time working mom
- Full-time student + mom
- Part-time working mom
- Full-time work-from-home corporate mom…
This mom could be in her early 20s or late 40s.
This mom could be an empty nester.
This mom may have tried her hands at goal-setting before or not.
This mom may give more importance to her children than self-care…and so on.
You get the drift!
Who among these moms is part of your clientele then? Who will benefit from your course?
Remember you are creating your course for a specific group of people. You are NOT creating a course everyone in your audience, even if they belong to the same broad category of people.
This could be a tiny group of two moms, an average group of 100 moms, or a massive group of 1000 moms.
Your solution (in this case, a course) is for those 2, 100, or 1000 moms specifically.
Once you identify the specific group you are serving, you can easily customize content to match their lives and circumstances. This will make your course so much more valuable and appreciated.
The second aspect of building clientele is the degree of desperation.
Back to the example—let’s say the self-care course is for stay-at-home moms who are also running a side business.
How desperate are they to balance these two realities of their lives? What will change if they do or don’t strike that balance? What dreams or aspirations can they fulfill if they implement what you teach in your course?
These are some of the questions that will help you not only create the content, but also refine the language of your marketing and sales collaterals.
The third but a very important aspect that many of us miss recognizing is the matter of affordability.
No, affordability here does not refer to whether you are selling a high-ticket $997 course or an “affordable” $97 course.
Affordability here refers to whether the people you are prospecting have the means to invest in your solution.
Let’s say, you have identified the specific group of people and measured their level of desperation to be high. Despite these, can your potential client arrange to pay for your course? To some $997 may not be a big deal, while to others $97 could mean the difference between one less trip to the grocery store.
It’s okay to market your course to all the stay-at-home moms with side businesses but focus on selling to only those who are willing to invest in you.
At a high-level, this may all seem like a lot of unnecessary work. But it’s a jigsaw you need to complete to reveal the real deal.
Your clientele’s past, present, and future circumstances and challenges affect the way you build your content. This is why it is so important to get super-specific about the exact people you are offering the solution to.
For example, if you know that your clientele comprises full-time working moms the most, then the tips, sample routines, and examples you use in your course would be way different than a course for stay-at-home moms.
The more thorough you are during the pre-development phases, the more meaningful and transformational your solution will be.
If you have identified your clientele, weighed their needs vs. wants, and verified their affordability, and are now ready to create your first (or next) transformational online program, I invite you to sign up for my coaching program (details here).