3 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Your Target Clients


When is the last time you read a book that changed your perspective? Can you remember?

I recently read a book that did this for me, and it’s already changed the work I do for clients and for O&B — for the better. So I figured, why keep this awesomeness to myself?

The book is called Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

If you have the time to read it, you should! If not, I’m going to synthesize just one of the major points of the book so you can put into practice right away.

You ready for this?

Identifying Your Target Client’s 3 Tiers of Struggle

If you read last week’s post, 7 Quick & Easy Tips for Stronger Writing in Your Blog, I briefly touched on this in #6. Today, we’re going to dive even deeper.

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.


1. External Struggles

Your client’s external struggles are the easiest to identify. These are the practical ones, the ones you solve day-to-day in the real world, such as:

  • Making a small space look and feel larger

  • 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

  • Creating a renovation budget with expertise

  • Finding/making window treatments that are beautiful and create privacy in a street-facing bedroom

  • Etc.

How to address “external struggles” in Your Blog:

External struggles make for great blog post and lead magnet topics. It’s an easy opportunity for you to offer practical advice. Plus, your target clients are more likely to research external struggles than internal ones.


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 chicks 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 Your Blog:

According to Building a StoryBrand, consumers make purchases based on their internal struggles.

Addressing these problems is more relatable, hits closer to home, and will create an emotion in your readers. Here are a few approaches to tactfully addressing your target clients’ internal struggles:

  • In moderation, as blog post topics. 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 “creating a renovation budget,” you can also state how this budget will prioritize quality and value, ensuring ROI on their most precious investment.

  • As the topic of a lead magnet!


3. Philosophical Struggles

And now, if you can believe it, we’re going to go a level deeper to your target clients’ philosophical struggles. These are the big picture issues that we all have in varying degrees. For example:

  • Balancing a high-powered career and motherhood/parenthood

  • Finding a new normal in the quiet aftermath of raising children to adulthood

  • Feeling worthy enough to have a beautiful home

  • Slowing down and enjoying every moment in a fast-paced world

  • Aging with a youthful spirit

  • Having a tight-knit family or community

  • Being bolder and more courageous in life

How to Address “Philosophical struggles” in Your Blog
(Stick to 1 or 2 only)

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.

  • Every once in a while, as thoughtful and personal blog post topics. Depending on how often you blog, I wouldn’t suggest addressing philosophical struggles on their own more than once every few months.

  • Always when discussing an internal or external struggle, you can bring the situation full circle at the end to show the big, overarching impact you’re having on people’s lives.

  • Not as the topic of a lead magnet, but in its copy. Show your potential clients all they have to gain from working with you.


Connect it to Your Why

I can’t remember if the book discusses this part, but from putting it into practice myself, I 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 blogging, content marketing, and attracting clients easier (External)

  • Gives you more time for yourself, activities, and loved ones (Internal)

  • Helps you find joy and work-life balance as a woman & business owner (Philosophical)

  • Raises up and empowers women… who then empower others around them (My Why)

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.

Do it Better

Okay, that’s it for this week. Though all of this information can be used right away in your marketing, I still highly recommend reading the book if you have time. We’ve barely scraped the surface!

That said, each of our O&B Studio blog post templates strategically guide you through how and when to address your clients’ struggles in a blog post.

If you haven’t tried a template yet, get your first one free below. It’s only for interior designers at the moment, but will be launched soon for workrooms and home stagers.

Happy blogging, friends!