5 min read

Defining your Ideal Customer Profiles & Personas

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There are a few types of ways to define your core customers.

  • The customer/market profile
  • Customer personas
  • Ideal customer profile (ICP)

1. Customer/market profile

Template HERE

  • The job that needs to be done (the problem your product solves)
  • Your customer persona
  • Your customer’s buying power and constraints
  • How competitors and alternative solutions stack up against your product
  • What influencers/leaders do they follow (Twitter/linkedin, etc) 
  • What groups/communities/ecosystems do they hang out in?
  • What software, tools and collaborations do they use/have?
  • What books/blogs/newsletters etc do they engage with?
  • What social media channels do they use?

2. Customer personas

Customer personas are fictional user profiles that represent your ideal audience and are based on your research.

Template HERE

Personas tell the story of the different personality types of customers you may face before they encounter the problem you solve for ”JTBD”. These stories help to identify customer pain points and personalise your marketing for better performance.

Example: A persona for the online learning platform Skillshare might sound like this.

Emily is a high school teacher who likes to dabble in art. She’s interested in honing her graphic design skills, with the goal of starting a freelance business later on. However, she's reluctant to take classes that require meeting in person or at certain times because of her work schedule.

Customer personas help you understand why someone considers your product—and the potential objections that you should proactively address. For example, the Emily persona tells Skillshare’s team to emphasize how their online classes are self-paced.

Brainstorm potential personas for your protocol. One of the best ways to come up with these personas is by looking at your current customers.

Identify your top customers and then drill into who they are. (If you have customer email addresses, you can use services like Clearbit Enrichment to input their email and collect more information about them and their company.) For example:

  • What's their job title? 
  • Are they at a certain level of funding? 
  • Did they experience any major life events recently?
  • Did someone find you through a support forum because your competitor's software wasn't cutting it? 

Look for patterns and trends in your data. Then bucket your customers based on what you learn—each group should get its own persona.

3. Ideal Customer Personas (ICP)

Defining both your ICP and buyer personas can help one another.

- Your ICP helps TARGETING by defining more about the quantitative key criteria and behaviours you are targeting for

- Your persona helps MESSAGING by digging into more qualitative details (frustrations, wants, desires etc.)

Identify your ICP

You can use your ICP to define what a good fit looks like. Consider these characteristics to identify the perfect fit:

There are two types of ideal clients:

  • Great clients
  • Dream clients

You’ll always have many more “great clients” than “dream clients” – but the dream clients will make up 60%–80% of your revenue. It’s the 80/20 rule: “80% of your results come from only 20% of your clients.”

Step 1: Who is it for? What about them makes them ideal?

Identify the common characteristics that make them ideal.

  • Is it revenue?
  • What are their current behaviours that make them ideal? (Eg. Are they collectors or xyz NFT collection)
  • Number of transactions?
  • Do they use XYZ current software or company?
  • Number of employees?
  • Type of business they are in?
  • Industry?
  • Brand recognition?
  • Audience Reach?
  • What are their buying habits? 
  • What frustrations and stresses keep them up at night? 
  • Where do they go to solve their problems?
  • What are the ultimate goals they set for themselves?
  • etc

Step 2: Who is NOT for? Identify who would not be a fit?

Identify the common characteristics that would NOT make them ideal.

Step 3: What are tell-tale signs?

Anecdotal evidence for when companies become ideal customers

Surveying potential customers

Email Template

Survey Email Template


We’re conducting a survey to figure out how to improve (product or service name) to better your needs. Your feedback will directly impact the direction of the company moving forward. 

I’d really appreciate if you could share your opinion, advice and some basic information about you with us.

Here’s a link to the survey: [Link]

It shouldn’t take more than X minutes to finish.

Thanks - look forward to hearing from you!


Your name

Customer discovery - Questions to ask

Demographic Questions:

    • What is your company size?
    • What is your revenue range? 
    • What is your job title?
    • What type of business do you work for? (business model, industry, etc.)

Product Related Pain Points 

  • What is the primary benefit that you have received from (Product or service Name)?

Non-Product Related Pain Points

  • What’s the biggest challenge you currently face in your role?
  • What are your 3-6 months goals in your role?
  • What’s the biggest stress in your job?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to achieving those goals?
  • What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to Industry Name (Marketing)?
  • What are the top 3 benefits that you get from (Product/ Service name)?
  • How would you feel if you could no longer use (Product or Service Name)? Why?
  • What would you likely use as an alternative to (Product or Company Name) if it were no longer available?
  • Have You Recommended (Product or Company Name) to anyone? If so, how did you describe it?
  • What other roles or titles besides yours do you think would get a big benefit from (Product or Service Name)?
  • How Could We Improve (Product or Company Name) To Better Meet Customer Needs?
  • At what point would this product/service get expensive but still worth it?
  • What problem were you trying to solve when you initially came across our product or service?
  • What’s holding you back from using x product/service?

Online Habits

  • Where do you go for advice on x industry?
  • What other company blogs do you read in this space?
  • What industry blogs do you read?
  • What people do you trust most for advice on x topic?
  • Who do you trust the most in X industry?
  • When you think about X industry, what people or companies come to mind?
  • Who do you view as the top websites in X industry?
  • Who do you view as the top companies in X industry?
  • What publications, newspapers or magazines do you read on a weekly/monthly basis?
  • Are you active in any LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups or other online communities?

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