Finding My Ideal Customer

Text of my newsletter from 28th March.

If you prefer to listen:

One of the things I’ve always struggled with is defining my ideal customer.

I would create a persona, imagine the problems they had, and develop something that I thought they would snap up, but get no response.

Clearly, I needed to change – but how?

The most recent thing I’ve introduced is this newsletter so, as an example, I’ve set out how I’ve evolved who I write it for over the past couple of years.

When I started it, we were in the middle of the Hong Kong protests, but work, employment and small businesses were still much as they had been.

Then came the pandemic, the great resignation, economic stimuli, work from home, mental health problems, and more.

Early in the pandemic I created a persona and I imagined the problems they would have if they had been laid off and were starting their own business.

And I wrote for them.

But that didn’t work. It was a limited subject which was saturated with detailed guides from multiple business associations.

It was difficult to come up with anything different and original, which made writing those early editions tough.

As soon as I went beyond the basics, I found that the process and regulatory requirements varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. (Yes, I know I should have realised that before, but I get there in the end!).

Again, I needed to change.

Since then, I’ve gone through a couple of different positionings, to get to where I am now.

Today, I am my own target market.

I discuss problems I’ve experienced, and the solutions I found, while still dealing with a constantly changing environment.

I’m growing my business, not starting it.

Writing for people who are also growing their business gives me a much wider field of things to cover. It’s less affected by the requirements of different jurisdictions, and the problems I come up against are likely to be the same as others in this situation.

Writing or talking about personal experiences can be tough. I used to avoid it, because I felt vulnerable when I did so.

But if you can talk about your personal experiences, good and bad, and use them to promote a product or service, you will find and connect with your ideal customer almost effortlessly.

And when you do that, everything becomes so much easier and more enjoyable.

If you find it difficult to talk about your experiences, the first article I’ve linked to below describes a way to get to that point. It sets out 6 questions Josh Spector suggests you ask yourself about you or your business.

If I’d had been able to answer those questions when I started out, I may have found my ideal customer and developed products that resonated with them a long time ago!

This week’s links

In addition to those 6 questions, I’ve also covered 20 copywriting tips, 8 counter-intuitive marketing tips and 10 WordPress SEO tips.

How to monetise your expertise: 6 questions

Josh Spector asks 6 simple, but powerful questions. Your answers will help you define your unique differentiator, your ideal target audience and how to best serve them:

How to monetise your expertise

20 copywriting tips to hang on your wall

Nicolas Cole sets out 20 copywriting tips to hang on your wall: clear, simple and effective:

20 copywriting tips

8 counter-intuitive marketing strategies that actually work

Amanda Natividad sets out 8 marketing strategies that are either counter-intuitive or go against what most marketing courses teach:

8 counter-intuitive marketing strategies

10 WordPress SEO tips

Tommy McDonald sets out 10 tips for WordPress websites (or blogs) that will help drive more visitors to your site from the search engines. Even if your website is not based on WordPress, many of these tips still apply:

10 WordPress SEO tips


Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.

Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

Smart, current and insightful tips from:


Rand Fishkin

Useful resources

Organise it all with Todoist

Online appointments manager

Fun flashback

It seems like Bryan Adams has been going for ever! Here he is performing ‘Heaven’ live at Wembley in 1996:

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Martin Malden

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