You Are Not Your Client, Your Client Is Not You

Written by Nick Leffler | Comments Off on You Are Not Your Client, Your Client Is Not You | 4 min read

Every industry is different and customers vary as much as the weather. That makes it difficult to take a step back from our work and business to see how it affects our customer.

A big part of my work is to build a website that does more than just look pretty. A nice looking website is important of course but that’s not the most important part. Functionality is, of course, the most important part because a website has a purpose.

The look of a website doesn’t help a visitor accomplish what they came to the website for. That’s where the importance of separating yourself from your client comes in.

You Are Not Your Client

Yes, you are not your client and your client is not you. Your business is all about functionally serving your client but it’s rarely about what you specifically like. That’s why the functional decision of how to better serve your client should always come before your actual aesthetic preference of any part of your online presence.

This isn’t unique to you either, it’s something I have to keep in mind daily along with every business owner out there. You have a plan and goal for your business which all comes down to succeeding in your goals. Everything else is for your client.

What's in it for them? Ask that question over and over to improve your online presence. Share on X

Whether I’m designing a website or helping a client set up their social media profiles, the question always comes down to one thing.

What’s in it for me?

You know, the acronym WIIFM that you may have seen before.

Everything I do has to answer that question for the person I want to give money to my client. If I can’t answer that question then there’s no reason for doing what I’m doing. I always have to answer my client’s client question of what’s in it for them.

You have to know and understand your client before you can deliver what’s in it for them though.

Who’s Your Client?

It’s hard not to do things only out of personal preference when we don’t know who our client is. That’s an important part of this thing.

Maybe you already have a client in mind. Perhaps your favorite client who is the perfect fit for what you do. If you already have one of those then knowing your client should be easy.

Don’t just think of that client when you do your work though. Make sure you document who your client is and as many details as you can.

Put yourself in their shoes

Put on paper all the details you can which should include at least some of these:

  • How much money do they make?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • Do they have any favorite hobbies that are relevant?
  • Where do they live?
  • What kind of living conditions are they in?
  • Do they work in an office or at home? If in an office what does that office look like?
  • What’s their job title?
  • How is their success measured?
  • What tools does your client use to get their job done?
  • Who’s your clients boss?
  • Does your client manage others?
  • What’s your ideal client’s industry?
  • How many people work at your client’s company?
  • What are your client’s goals and challenges?
  • How does your client learn new information about their job?
  • Are there any social networks or associations that your client may belong to?

Of course, that is not an exhaustive list of things to look at for in your client. You can use this helpful buyer personal generator (some of the above came from here) to lay out your client better.

Now that you know your client you can tailor your business and online presence to them better. It’s all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

All these details will help you find what’s in it for them and tailor your solution to meet their needs where they need it most.

The more you know about your client the more successful you will be in exceeding their needs. Share on X

You’re not your client and you now know your client better, great! It’s time to look a bit deeper into how you can think more like your client and less like you.

Don’t stop being you though, you’re great, but sometimes we have to think like our client to be effective though.

Final Look

You’ve put yourself in your client’s shoes and hopefully better understand their motivations. Just as you have a goal and are trying to achieve something, your client is also.

Your goal is to better understand that your client is not you. That means not letting your personal preferences, tastes, and lifestyle get in the way of seeing your client more accurately.

The goal is always to drive more business and not about personal tastes. What will convert better is more important than what I like.

There’s still room for personal taste within the framework of conversion optimization it’s just a secondary to converting leads.

My goal is always to give guidelines and a framework to work within while still acknowledging and accepting that there will be some personal preferences. If a personal preference may negatively impact the effectiveness of my work then I will be sure to consult on these possibilities.

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