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Does It Really Matter What My Target Client Eats For Breakfast?! (Target Client Mastery 1/5)
I stood in a room full of dark cabinets.
Tiny spotlights flooded the curiosities inside. I spied a miniature carving of Hercules, a cat mummy, a human skull. On a desk lay an open volume with botanical illustrations.
A museum sign explained they had recreated a typical study of a 17th century Belgian nobleman. (I guess I’ll have to take their word for it.) When I walked into the ‘study,’ I expected books. But the placard explained that back then, people spent as much time studying beautiful objects as they spent studying books.
This floored me. I couldn’t remember the last time I spent more than twenty seconds looking at any object, and even then it was only me trying to figure out how the snaps on the baby carrier worked. I attempted to look at the skull for as long as possible – an actual human skull! I’m sorry to say this lasted about two minutes before I wandered off to examine some old keys.
We live in an era when we are on to the next thing before we’ve finished the thing we’re doing. We want answers, movement, now.
I’m not saying this to condemn it, but here’s why I bring it up:
When you take a business class, the first thing you usually do is some kind of target client exercise. You answer questions about what this person’s everyday life looks like.
And one of the most common exclamations I hear is: “What is the point of this? Does it really matter what my target client eats for breakfast?!”
Fair question. The answer is, you don’t know what’s important until you examine it.
You know the BBC’s recent Sherlock adaptation? We were all amazed at how Sherlock could extrapolate personal, even embarrassing stories about someone from their watch, the scuff on their shoe, the placement of a tan line.
He looks at details no one else does, and thus uncovers truths no one else does.
Target client exercises are an attempt to look at people the way Sherlock does: What do their choices, their habits, say about them?
Of course, most of us don’t have the supercomputer mental agility of Sherlock, so that leaves us what I am affectionately now calling the 17th Century Belgian Nobleman Option: We have to sit down and study them for a little while.
You don’t actually have to ask what they eat for breakfast, but you could. In fact, let’s try that out, right now.
Say I’m your target client.
Here’s I had for breakfast today: Around 9am, I had two eggs, over-easy, on a bed of leftover brown rice herb pilaf. Yesterday? A slice of toast my preschooler had abandoned on the table.
Your first instinct: WHO CARES, JENIKA?! Again, fair enough, but have a crack at it. What does this say about me? Look for ten seconds.
- Okay, two over-easy eggs probably means she has time to cook in the morning. And if she’s eating at 9am, she either works from home or has a super flexible schedule.
- Maybe she actually enjoys cooking (leftover pilaf, frying an egg)
- But the meal isn’t consistent – yesterday she just had toast her kid rejected. She’s probably super busy managing little ones. Some days she takes time for herself, others she’s running around putting everyone else first and grabbing whatever’s around for herself as an afterthought.
- Huh. Where else might this self-care inconsistency appear in her life? Where else might she have goals for taking care of herself, but ends up grabbing the same version of afterthought toast? –> Ding ding ding. There’s a marketing opportunity right there. Or, perhaps more importantly, there’s a chance to connect and empathize with her.
So does breakfast matter? Maybe, maybe not. You can’t know the whole story from one thing, but anything will tell you something if you look at it.
The person who crams a buttered bagel in their mouth on a subway platform at 6am is not the same person as someone frying an over-easy egg in herbs at 9am. They have different lives. They have different concerns. They will respond to different messages.
We’re not used to sitting down and studying things for very long. We just want answers. We want the formula to make droves of people to hire us, we’d rather swipe a template from someone else, we want it over with so we can get back to the thing WE want to be doing.
But what if you can’t appeal to the right people without studying them a little? Without looking closer at the ones who you hope will pay your bills? Without asking, what do they struggle with and need?
They are beautiful. They will tell you exactly how to speak to them if you take them down from your cabinet now and then, as it were, and study them.
I don’t believe we can truly call ourselves ‘service oriented’ if we’re not willing to take a quarter of an hour to imagine what it’s like to be the person we want to serve.
The next couple of weeks, let’s get this right. We’re going to talk about how to profile a target client without making anything up, and also where to start if you don’t know who your person is yet.
(If you have ever purchased a class from me, I’ll soon be hosting a special event where we’ll work through all your questions about your target clients, live – details below.)
March is the perfect time of year to bring your target client knowledge up to date, because you’re about to spend a full season talking with them.
Let’s make sure you’re saying what they need to hear.
Target Client Summit – Live With Jenika
(Who Will Not Be Looking Quite This Windswept,
She Will Likely Be Wearing Athleisure Pants
And Encourages You To Do The Same)
April 1st, 10am-12pm EST
April 2nd, 1-3pm EST
Everyone who has purchased at least one of my courses will receive an invitation to attend, no additional cost.
Haven’t grabbed a course yet? I will be holding a flash sale on all three of my classes from March 25th-27th so you can jump in, easy!
The Summit is for us to get together and talk through absolutely *any* target client hangup you have. Things like:
- How to know when you’re making stuff up vs. when it’s real, and how to fix it
- How to use your profile to shape YOUR message
- What to do if you don’t think your target client actually lives in your area
- Anything else target-client-related you want to ask!
(Yes, there will be a chance to submit questions if you can’t attend live. Yes, provided no Internet gremlins intervene, a recording will be available afterward, with a timestamp index to help you jump to yours.)
If you haven’t purchased a course yet, but want to attend, Irresistible Website and Irresistible You both have highly applicable target client worksheets, and Irresistible Words trains you to look for detail like a Sherlock pro. Check them out and watch for the sale to drop!
Go team. 🙂
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