5 steps to finding your niche

How to discover your dream customers and attract more of them online

When you start out in business it's easy to feel like you have to cast your net wide. Like you have to shout your message from the rooftops to absolutely everybody out there who will listen.

But the hard truth is this: you’re not going to be for everybody.

And, actually when you try to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one.

Real business growth comes when you get really clear on who your dream customers are, and speak directly to them.

Spoiler alert: knowing your customers is not about creating a 30 something year old avatar named Sue. It’s about understanding the challenges, dreams and desires of the people you serve best.

In this article we’re taking a deep dive into discovering your dream clients and getting their attention online. Learn how to find your people, provide the solutions they need, and grow your business in a way that aligns with your own vision and goals.

What is an ideal client or dream customer anyway?

There are two different types of customers in business:

1.) needs based

2.) the dream customer.

A needs based customer is someone who will benefit from your service or product in one way or another.

A dream customer is someone who needs what you offer, wants what you offer, and most importantly, is someone who you want to sell or provide service to.

Dream customers feel the benefits of what you offer, but they also help drive your business in the direction you want to go. They don’t take lots of effort to attract, don’t need lots of convincing of your value, and often they’re loyal customers who’ll come back to you again and again.

Step 1. Examine your customers

Getting clarity around who your dream customers are is 50% data and 50% gut feeling.

The first step is to make a list of your existing customers. Remove the ones you don’t enjoy working with or selling to and dig a bit deeper into the background of the ones you do. Make a note of their ages, gender, location and interests for an overview of ‘who’ they are.

Once you have an initial list, begin to explore their habits.

- What are they searching for on Google?

- Do they mostly use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Tik Tok?

- Are they responsive to ads or organic content?

- How do they engage with your brand? Email, social media comments, direct messages or phone?

When you understand these things you can focus your marketing and tailor it for your dream customers. When a customer feels like you ‘get them’ your offer becomes so much more appealing.

Website and social media analytics are handy for finding some info on who you’re already attracting.

Facebook Audience Insights: in-depth info on and about your Facebook audience.

Hootsuite: Compare demographics across social networks for an overview of your audience.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics Discover where your audience is coming from.

Step 2: Identify their dreams, desires and challenges

People usually spend money for two reasons: either they’re fulfilling a desire, or solving a problem. When you can identify the needs, wants and struggles your dream client is experiencing, you can offer specific solutions for them.

Use these helpful tools to find popular, niche specific search terms related to pain points and desires:

- Google Trends

- SEMrush

- Google AdWords’ keyword planner

- Quora forums related to your niche

- Typeform ask your existing dream clients to take a quick survey

Step 3: Get clear around who YOU want to be - developing a brand

Your dream client should mirror your business's core values.

Every company in the world knows what they do. Some may even know their unique selling point (USP). But only a few know WHY they exist.

Apple's marketing reflects their ideology of challenging the status quo, not on the fact that they make great computers.

"Apple was always bigger than the product...we thought of it as an ideology, a value set" - Steve Hayden, Apple Inc.

Inspired businesses, regardless of their size, think, act and communicate using the why.

Your core values are the convictions, the reason why you get up in the morning. These define what you want your brand to become and are fundamental in finding your dream clients.

Step 4: Ask yourself who you really want to work with

The next thing to consider is who you work best with, and who you can help most?

We all know how it feels when you're working collaboratively with a client or you’ve sold your product to someone you know will love it.

You're excited about the work, energised and enthusiastic about helping them reach their goals.

Working with customers that aren’t excited, or that don’t excite you is an unsustainable approach to business.

Ask yourself:

If you could work with one customer every single day, who would that be?

Why would it be them?

How would you help them?

What benefits would they feel?

This is your dream customer in a nutshell.

“Your dream client has to buy into you and your brand's mission rather than the product.”

Step 5: Show up for your people

When you’re clear on who your dream customer is, it's time to start showing up for them online - because they’re already out there looking for you.

Show up in the search results

Search engines rank and categorise online content to help readers find the information most relevant to them.

With simple tweaks to your website you can help your website show up in the right places to the right people.

● Do some basic keyword research for your core web pages focussing on transactional based searches eg. ‘buy xxx’, ‘shop for xxxx’, ‘register for xxxx’.

● Do some more keyword research to find blog content inspiration. How to, 3 ways and 5 steps type of articles tend to perform well.

Speak directly to your dream customer. Your tone of voice should deliver your message in language your customer understands and connects to.

Dream customers: a formula for success

Finding, attracting and retaining dream customers is a bit of a journey. Often we have to kiss a few frogs before we truly understand where we belong and what our niche really is.

But when you do, you get a clear formula for success. You don’t have to waste precious time and energy on those who you don’t serve best. This ultimately leads to a more profitable and enjoyable business.

About the Author

Dom Kimber is an SEO Copywriter and founder of Social Swell. Dom and her team work with female driven brands to discover their dream clients, create got-to-click Google friendly content, and grow their businesses online.