Cake Makers, when asked who your Ideal Client is, do you answer, 'anyone that wants a cake'? Do you make any cake and every cake that comes your way, but are not really enjoying making most of them? That is because not everyone who wants a cake is your Ideal Client. That's because as a cake maker you need to hone down on the cakes you enjoy the most, and target the ideal clients that order those cakes. Here is our guide to Ideal Client for Cake Makers, based on The Business of Cake Making Podcast, Season 1, Episode 4 with Lex Fleming.
To listen to the full podcast click here.
Why do I need an Ideal Client as a Cake Maker?
When starting out, most cake makers just want to make cakes, any and all cakes. But you soon learn that many of the cakes you make aren't really your style, your ideal price point or are copies of other cake makers cakes. It becomes stressful as you begin to not enjoy what you're doing, and customer expectations seem much higher than you want them to be.
So how do you change things? You get yourself and Ideal Client!
As Lex Fleming said in The Business of Cake Making Podcast, an Ideal Client is "The foundation of your portfolio, your marketing plan, you branding. It's what you draw every single answer from in your business".
"Businesses who don't have Ideal Clients - who are they talking too?", and that is the essence is why you should have an Ideal Client. You need someone to talk too.
If you talk to everyone your marketing, message and content is so watered down you end up receiving enquiries for cakes that really don't fill you with joy.
Who is your Ideal Client?
Your Ideal Client is the customers you want to work with. Lex described them as "the richer, younger, funnier, better version of yourself". They are the people you want to contact you, you want to make their cakes, because their cakes are the style you enjoy making, at the right price.
You Ideal Client is the client you aspire to work with. So how do you get to know them?
Firstly, your Ideal Client is essentially fictional, it's someone you make up. However, they are also real, very real, as they are the ones you speak to through all your marketing.
When creating your Ideal Client you should get to know them intimately. Lex, in her mentoring, has a list of 100 questions you can answer as your Ideal Client in order to create a detailed person, and the more you get to know them, the better your targeting will be. To get you started, here are 13 basic questions:
- Are they Male or Female
- How old are they?
- Are they in a relationship?
- Do they have children?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their hobbies and what do they do in their spare time?
- Do they have pets?
- Where do they live? Are they inner city, country, do they have a house with a garden, an apartment with views etc?
- Is their lifestyle conventional or alternative?
- Are they an Introvert or an Extrovert?
- What do they read?
- What film or TV programmes do they watch?
- Where on Social Media do they hang out?
Do you see where I am going with this? You are creating a living, breathing person, who you want to order your cakes.
What do I do now I know my Ideal Client?
So, you've created your Ideal Client, now what?
Now you target all your information, marketing, branding and content at them! Now you have focus.
No longer do you post all and every cake you've ever made on Social Media. Now you cherry pick the cakes your Ideal Client would order and you post them. You write captions that talk to your Ideal Client, you even tap into the more personal side of things. Have you watched an amazing film that your Ideal Client would love? Talk about it! Talk about the books you read, the art you look at. Of course, you decide exactly how much of your own personal life you want to divulge. But personal details count, the are relatable. And, in the lean times when you don't have many actual cakes to share on Social Media, you have a whole other narrative to tap into.
As a Cake Maker you are a creative. By targeting your Ideal Client you are appealing to a person who loves the work you do, and loves your style. You are finding the person who values you and your values. Who in turn will pay the right price.
You need to talk to that one person like they are your friend. As a Lex said "send ALL your content and marketing to your Ideal Client". You are the cake maker that really 'gets' them, and in turn will be the cake maker that can give them exactly the cake they are asking for.
But what about everyone else?
You may think that by talking to just one person you will start to exclude everyone else. However, what will in fact happen is 2 things.
Firstly, there will be other clients that will relate to some, if not all of your marketing. It will give them a place to belong and a sense of understanding. They may not be THE Ideal Client, but they are pretty close and you'd still be happy to work with them. They will come to you and you will be happy about it.
Secondly, the clients that see your marketing and don't like what you do won't bother wasting your time. You will stop getting enquiries for cakes you don't want to make. And most importantly you will be able to manage the expectations of the clients you do have, and not make cakes that you struggle with, which could ultimately lead to fewer complaints.
Work with the people that get you, and you are more likely to be able to manage their expectations. This will reduce your stress, increase your joy of cake making, increase your creative possibilities, and earn you a higher price.
Now go and make friends....
So, you should now be armed with the basics of getting to know your Ideal Client as a Cake Maker.
The process of engaging with your Ideal Client will take time. They need to find you and they need to get to trust you.
Remember Question 13 - where do they hang out on Social Media? Well, that's where you need to be. You can also find out where they physically hang out, and go there too. If you are where they are, you can start to communicate with them
As a lasting thought, don't think you now have to be stuck with this one Ideal Client for the rest of your business life. As you change they will change. You may also find yourself having more than 1 over the course of your business career.