3 Things You Must Know about Your Dream Clients

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When is the last time you read a book that changed your perspective? Can you remember? One that drastically impacted the work we do for clients (and for our own business) is called Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

If you have the time to read it, you should. If not, we’ll synthesize just one of the major points of the book here, so you can put into practice right away.

Identifying Your Target Client’s 3 Tiers of Struggle

Any good marketing professional will tell you that knowing your target client is the most important aspect of promoting your business. You want to know what your clients’ interests are, their salary level, where they shop, what kind of car they drive, where they vacation, whether they have kids, etc.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What you really want to know are your client’s 3 tiers of struggle: external, internal, and philosophical. (These are all elements we cover during our Brand Messaging process.)

1. External Struggles

Your client’s external struggles are the easiest to identify: they are what your ideal client is looking for you to do for them. For example:

  • Creating an floor plan that flows effortlessly

  • Creating more storage for a growing family

  • Communicating with the builder or contractors to get the job done well

  • Making a bland room feel more welcoming and personal

  • Choosing the right paint colors or fabric patterns for a space

  • Allocating their investment with expertise and care

  • Etc.

How to Address “External Struggles” in Website Copy

External struggles are ideal for website copy, blog articles, social media posts, and lead magnet topics. They are easy to state outright, as these will be tangible deliverables for your clients.

2. Internal Struggles

Internal struggles go a level deeper than external struggles, and they’re slightly harder to identify, because, well, they’re internal. They are happening in your clients’ heads and hearts. That said, once you start to look, you’ll be able to see their internal struggles more clearly. A few examples could be:

  • Wanting to slow down and fully relax after a long day’s work

  • Wishing for a home they didn’t have to constantly repair or clean up

  • Wanting a place for their children to feel safe and supported

  • Having a home that helps them make memories together

  • Downsizing after the kids have left the nest

  • Desire for a space in which they can proudly entertain friends and family

  • Needing the biggest ROI for their financial efforts

  • Etc.

How to Address “Internal Struggles” in Website Copy

According to Building a StoryBrand, consumers make purchases based on their internal struggles. This is the “why” behind their external needs. Addressing these problems is more relatable, hits closer to home, and will create an emotional connection with your audience. How to do it?

  • Directly, in moderation. Share how your clients can solve (with your help) one of these internal struggles. For example, “designing a home for years of family memories.”

  • Always when discussing an external struggle, show how the resolution of that struggle will also solve one of their internal struggles. For example, if you’re sharing insight into “understanding their renovation investment,” you can also state how this doing so will bring ease and peace of mind into the entire reno process.


3. Philosophical Struggles

And now, if you can believe it, we’re going to go even deeper, into your target clients’ philosophical struggles. These are the values that guide the way they live — and it’s very likely that you share these values. For example:

  • Creating the best life for their kids

  • Enjoying retirement to the fullest

  • Slowing down and enjoying every moment in a fast-paced world
  • Having a tight-knit family or community

  • Being bolder and more courageous in life

  • Keeping up with the Joneses
  • Etc.

How to Address “Philosophical struggles” in Website Copy

stick to only 1 or 2

Philosophical struggles go deep to the heart of who we are and what we value as individuals… which means you should exercise some sensitivity and moderation when addressing them.

  • Brief mentions throughout website copy. Pepper this information sporadically into website copy to hint at the underlying impact of what you do.

  • On your About page or bio, which is a great place to get personal, share your own values, and show how they connect to your clients’.


Connect it All to Your Why

We can’t remember if the book discusses this part, but from putting it into practice ourselves, we can tell you that finding the connection between your clients’ internal/philosophical struggles and your “why” will bring harmony to your message and to you personally.

For example, Ochre & Beige…

  • Makes attracting your ideal clients easier (External)

  • Gives you confidence in your messaging inside your business and out (Internal)

  • Helps you build the business and lifestyle you want most (Philosophical)

Your “why” is what gets you out of bed in the morning. If you can connect it to the overarching problems you’re solving for clients, and include that in your blog posts and marketing, it will help you stand out and attract your tribe to you.

We wish you the best of luck — and we’re here if you need us!

Team O&B






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