The first step in any outreach initiative is to have a clearly defined Ideal Customer Profile.
The more specific you can get with this, the better.
With specificity, you’ll gain better insight into your ideal customer’s pains, problems, and aspirations.
And be able to speak their language in your email prospecting outreach.
That’s important because speaking their language, and talking about the things that matter most to your future customers, directly affects your response and conversation rates.
Too many self-employed professionals spread themselves too thin.
They suffer from FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out.
So they send too many emails to too many people at too many companies in too many industries.
They fail to generate consistent results.
As a result, they can’t collect the data they need to improve their processes.
Too many variables to get a signal from the noise.
Much better to focus on a tiny niche first.
Then move on to the next one, and so on over time.
If you’re looking for a new customer, client, or project as a self-employed professional, you only need one to break a dry spell.
You don’t need hundreds of new clients, customers, or projects to get booked solid either.
That’s why you should structure your prospecting and outreach to generate fewer, but higher quality, leads.
That will almost always deliver you more success.
Focusing on a narrow niche allows you to:
- address their pains, wants, and needs with greater insight and precision
- craft your email prospecting messages in a way that speaks to them in their own language
- do things the way they do things – so that your selling process matches their buying process
Creating Customer Profiles
I won’t go into all the options of how to create customer profiles, but if you’ve already got some clients or customers, here’s one way to get started.
Look at your current five most successful customers/clients.
Successful in this context means:
- they get the most value out of using your product or service
- you profit greatly from them being customer or client
You’re looking for the strongest win-wins between you and your customers and clients.
And then try to identify the core DNA of your most successful customers/clients.
Ask a lot of questions about these companies and look for common attributes.
- How big is the company?
- How many employees do they have?
- What software tools do they use?
- What are the titles of key employees?
- What kind of social media platforms do they use?
- Where are they located?
- What’s their average deal size?
- How long have they already been in business?
- How did they hear about you?
I’m sure you get the idea.
Filter out those that have the weakest alignment with the characteristics of your ideal customer/client.
Create a very specific customer profile from what you’ve discovered.
And then find lookalikes – pull a list together of 5 to 20 or so businesses that have the same core attributes.
This might be their closest competitors.
You don’t need thousands of names.
You just need a handful of high-potential target accounts.
Reach out to those and strive to start a conversation via email.
During your outreach, you’ll gain market insights that you can leverage to identify more prospects, start more conversations, make more sales, and close better deals.
For an excellent resource on creating Ideal Customer Profiles, check out Lincoln Murphy’s article.