A customer profile is a description of your customers that includes demographic information, geographic information, what your customers want and really need, and how likely they are to buy.

Be careful as you write the customer profile. You might need two or three different profiles. For instance, some television shows appeal to teens and people in their 30s. If your target audience consisted of teens and some thirty-year olds, you'd need to research both groups, because each of those market segments is significantly different. You'd need two separate customer profiles.

The main building blocks to the customer, or client profile are:

1. What does the typical customer look like? (This doesn't mean physical appearance unless you're in an industry where that is relevant.)

2. What services do your clients ask for?

3. How do clients typically find you?

4. How often do they need your services?

5. What do they really need.

Look at each of these pieces of the customer profile. Answer the questions. If you don't know the answers, find out.

Describe your typical client How old is your client?

What gender is your client?

Where do your clients live?

Are your clients from one industry or multiple industries?

How easily do your clients use technology?

When your client wants to learn something, how do they go about learning it? Do they research on the Internet, go to the library, buy a book, or call you? Do they ask their spouses?

Do your clients have any values or beliefs that are relevant to you working with them?

Do your clients have a lifestyle that is relevant to you working with them? (Do they travel a lot? Do they work days or nights?)

What services do your clients ask for? Do your clients want similar services, or do different clients ask for different services?

Do your clients want administrative services or technical? Describe the services they want.

How do your clients typically find you? Do you respond to RFPs (Request for Proposals)?

Do you get clients through referrals? Do you offer a referral incentive?

Do you get clients from your website?

Do you find clients at Chamber of Commerce meetings, Toastmasters meetings, or the line in the grocery store?

What are some other ways clients find you or you find clients?

How often do the clients need your services? Does your typical client need your services regularly or sporadically?

About how many hours a month does your typical client need?

Do your clients ask for what they really need? Do your clients know what they want, or does it change over the course of a project?

Do your clients know exactly what they want, or do you need to ask questions and feel your clients out before figuring out that they need something slightly different?

Can you think of a service that your clients would want that you don't currently provide?

How do you do the research?

Were you able to answer all of the questions above? If so, great. If not, here are some ways to find out this information. Even if you know the answers, it is good to always keep feelers out for what your clients need. Remember that life and technology constantly change.

1. Surveys

2. Ask your clients.

3. Ask objective bystanders.

4. Keep track of relevant news.

5. How is your web site used?

6. What kinds of questions do people ask you?

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