Prospect Profile: The #1 Thing Screwing Up Your Marketing

Posted by Margaret Muir in Uncategorized

First of all, I’ve got to ask – Who is your ideal prospect?

If the answer ‘Everyone’ just popped into your head….

Get out. Right now.

I’m just kidding, but you need to throw that answer into the trash, and never look back. That answer means you aren’t sure exactly of who your ideal prospect is, which is totally ok. We all started there.

But it’s time to figure it out.

I can’t say it better than Virginia Muzquiz.

“If you market to everyone as a prospect, you’ll get no one as a client.” (tweet this)

Prospect profile for pinterest

Why doesn’t ‘everyone’ fit my prospect profile?

Because, I said so.

No really, we all associate ourselves with different age groups, ethnicities, industries, careers, etc. I could go on all day. What might solve a pain point for me, a Content Marketer, probably wouldn’t interest an IT guy. If your messaging is so generic so as not to exclude anyone, it will be so bland that it will appeal to no one.

your marketing should speak to yourProspects -Iknowwhat youneed.- (2)You MUST define your ideal prospect, as specifically as possible, so you know exactly how to present your company. Every bit of your marketing should speak to your prospects.

“I am talking to YOU.”

“I know what YOU need.”

“I can solve YOUR problem.”

That is the only way to turn a prospect into a lead, and a lead into a sale.

If you’ve already got a few great clients, ask yourself what they have in common, what makes them a great fit for you. It could be that they all have purchasing power within their company, or that they are all owners of businesses with between 1-10 employees. Answer the questions below for each of them, to make the comparison easier.

If you are starting from scratch, or if you are looking to refresh your marketing, check out the tips below.

Every bit of your #marketing should speak to #prospects - 'I know what you need' Click To Tweet

6 Things You Must Have in Your Prospect Profile

As a business owner, sales person, or marketing staff, you need to write out your thoughts on each of these questions. And yes, I mean actually write down your answers. Trust me, you’ll be using these a lot.

1. What are your target industries?

You can have more than one, but for starters try and limit the list to at most the 5 best industries. Remember, the idea is to cut out the people who MIGHT be interested IF the stars aligned just right in an alternate universe.

Who NEEDS your service or product today? Which industry or industries would be willing to fork over that cash?

Another way of looking at this is which of your current or past clients had a lot of success or a previous client that agreed to do a case study. Then target the industry that client was in, by using the case study and targeted messaging letting prospects know it could work for them too.

2. What geographical area are you targeting?

Untitled design (1)This can be as broad as an entire continent, or as a narrow as a 50 mile radius around your hometown. These are some things you should consider.

  • How you interact with your clients plays a big role here. If you can do business virtually, you could work with clients anywhere in the world. If you need to spend a lot of time onsite, you may want to cut travel costs and stick close to home.
  • The ‘need’ that your business meets could be geographically based as well. If you’re selling sandals, you probably wouldn’t want to spend too much time in Alaska.
  • Think about how culture and language could factor in here as well.

3. What level of annual revenue do your best clients have?

Your target, in terms of annual revenue, should be based on the cost of your offering. It seems obvious, but it needs to be said. Your prospects need to be able to afford your product or service.

They are NOT your prospects, if they cannot afford to do business with you.

4. What company size is the right fit for you?

Depending on what tools you’re using to find your prospects, you may not have access to their information on their annual revenue. An alternative is to figure out the average number of employees for companies with your target annual revenue. Then you can search based on number of employees, for a similar effect.

Again, there is a huge range that could work here, and it completely depends on your business. This is another instance where looking back really can help you move forward. What size company did your best clients have? Did the size of the client company ever help or hurt a campaign?

5. What types of position titles does your buyer usually hold?

Come up with anywhere between 1 and 15 positions you will target. Don't be afraid to start small. Try searching for prospects of just 2-3 titles, before adding to the list. The last thing you want is to overdo it and contact more prospects than you can handle.

Remember, these positions should have sufficient purchasing power to take advantage of the product or service you’re offering. If you sell stock photos, a content marketer might have the right level of purchasing power. If you sell a $50,000 CRM solution, that entry level content marketer is not the person you want to talk to.

Some examples could be:

  • President
  • Marketing Manager
  • Purchasing Coordinator
  • Chief Technical Officer (CTO)

6. Where are your prospects hanging out online?

Untitled designEveryone is online these days, and everyone is on at least one of the many social networks out there. Your job is to find which of them your ideal prospects are hanging out on. Check out some of these main social media networks.

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

If you’re using LinkedIn, make sure to use these 8 prospecting tips!

Next, see if you can find groups on the chosen social media site, in which your prospects are active. LinkedIn and Facebook both have a groups feature to bring together people with common interests. Pinterest has group boards, and Twitter has Twitter chats.

It’s up to you to do the research. Make an account and start looking around. Remember to focus on the interests of your ideal prospect and not those of you or your business per se.

6 Easy Steps to the Perfect #B2B #Prospect Profile! Click To Tweet

Other Things You Need to Know About Your Prospect Profile

You aren’t limited to just one prospect profile. You might have three ideal prospects that each work in different industries, and require different messaging. Make as many as you need. You can even get more specific, and add other demographics to your profile. Consider these aspects, which could greatly affect the type of messaging your company should use.

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Culture

Also, don’t be afraid to create a profile for the type of person or business that would NOT be a good fit. Use all the same questions, but answer them in the negative. This will make it easier to pass by potential leads and even clients, which probably wouldn’t result in a successful business partnership.


Do you have any questions or challenges you've faced from creating your own prospect profile? Let us know in the comments!


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