Define Your Ideal Client Using Empathy Mapping

Have you ever encoun­tered an adver­tise­ment that made you feel that they lit­er­al­ly read your mind? That they under­stood exact­ly what you were feel­ing, need­ing or even frus­trat­ed about? That may feel scary, but what is real­ly hap­pen­ing is that the brand tru­ly under­stood what their ide­al client need­ed. They took the time to lis­ten, under­stand and empathize with YOU

Define Your Ideal Client with Empathy Mapping Workbook 

Let’s be hon­est, it feels great when some­one ‘gets’ you!  We’ve all been some­one’s ide­al client. Whether with a cred­it card com­pa­ny, a cell or cable ser­vice, in a bank or at a retail store, the ones who get it right make their prod­ucts and ser­vices feel like a fit just for you… so much so, it does­n’t feel like mar­ket­ing. It’s more like it speaks to you!

How can you apply this to your own cus­tomers — or the ones you want to be your clients?

Define your ideal client using empathy mapping

1. Defining Your Ideal Client

The more you invest in defin­ing your ide­al client — get­ting to know who you love doing busi­ness with — the eas­i­er it becomes to mar­ket to them in ways that make them reach back.

Much like you do with any impor­tant rela­tion­ship in your life, learn the traits that make them spe­cial: their favorite music and food, their dig­i­tal habits, any quirks, what makes them hap­py or sad.

Makes sense… but you may be ask­ing, “Just how do I do that, when I can’t ask them these questions?”

2. Focus on Real Human Beings

As a brand, mar­keter or social media man­ag­er, if you sell to the world, you sell to no one. Nev­er for­get that there’s a real per­son behind the client pro­file and ana­lyt­ics stats.  How do you iden­ti­fy the ide­al client you want to work with and learn their “lan­guage,”  how and where they net­work, their pre­ferred con­sumer behaviors?

3. 3 Ways to Gain Insight Into Your Ideal Client:

  • Ask your favorite clients. We think we have to scope the inter­net to find insight, but you may have the best resource already — your cur­rent clients! If you are try­ing to relay a spe­cif­ic mar­ket­ing mes­sage around your brand, prod­uct or ser­vice, ask them ques­tions relat­ed to the emo­tions tied to them. Ask them why they felt frus­trat­ed about a par­tic­u­lar need, why they reached out to you, and how they felt after work­ing with you to solve that pain point. If you want more clients like them, gain­ing more insight from them is gold.
  • Google! It’s your friend. You gain incred­i­ble insight when you do the right search. Start with a list of key­words or phras­es that relate to your busi­ness. See what arti­cles you can find, or bet­ter yet, locate a per­son shar­ing their frus­tra­tions about an expe­ri­ence they had. This one takes time, but it’s worth a shot in return for a bet­ter under­stand­ing of your ide­al client.
  • Do a sur­vey. Sur­veys are an excel­lent way to get col­lec­tive feed­back in one place. Frame your ques­tions around some basic pain points you already know peo­ple expe­ri­ence, and expand on that. Then, make sure you send it to the right peo­ple to take it.  Offer­ing some sort of com­pen­sa­tion for their time will help you get more participants.

Once you have all this data, how do you orga­nize it?

4. The Empathy Mapping Workbook

We at Nicte Cre­ative Design have cre­at­ed a tried and true process to help you iden­ti­fy and under­stand your ide­al client so you can mar­ket con­tent that res­onates with them: The Empa­thy Map­ping Work­book.

Empa­thy Map­ping is a visu­al tool that helps you gain deep­er insight into the behav­iors, atti­tudes, actions, and pains of your ide­al clients. This includes sen­so­ry ele­ments like sight and sound stimulus.

5. Ideal Customer Diagrams

Includ­ed in the work­book, Ide­al Cus­tomer Dia­grams help you cre­ate your mes­sage based on what you learned. Instead of using words and visu­als you THINK will work, you will now KNOW how to tai­lor your mes­sage to fit your ide­al client’s needs. A Cus­tomer-focused strat­e­gy used by brands to devel­op their prod­ucts, ser­vices, and cam­paigns real­ly make a mea­sur­able difference.

An impor­tant bonus of this process — you’ll be able to rec­og­nize red flag cus­tomers…  the ones you will do well to see com­ing and side­step. Brands are so focused on know­ing their ide­al client, that know­ing the clients we DON’T want to work with is often overlooked.

Defin­ing your ide­al client is like a super­pow­er! Learn­ing to employ it will bring untold val­ue to you. The process takes a lit­tle invest­ment of time and thought but it will result in an unmis­tak­able dif­fer­ence in your brand­ing and mar­ket­ing efforts! 

Down­load Define Your Ide­al Client Using Empa­thy Map­ping and you’ll receive my 12-page dig­i­tal book with two editable work­sheets, and instant access to two video exer­cis­es! A wealth of infor­ma­tion for only $19. 

For a deep­er dive, you can take my course, Define Your Cre­ative Edge to Pro­mote Your Work, on Linked In Learn­ing.

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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