Hello, brave entrepreneur!
Today, I’m going to give you some tips on identifying your ideal client.
Over the past ten years I’ve worked with tons of small businesses. And during that time, I discovered that nearly all of them had skipped one of the most important steps in building a company – identifying their ideal client (or customer). I also discovered that I have an uncanny ability to help businesses figure out who their ideal client truly is.
An ideal client is the person who immediately perceives value in what you have to offer and is willing and able to pay you for it. It’s as simple as that.
So, think about you and your ideal client. It’s entirely possible that right now you feel you have a pretty good handle on who that person is. But if someone were to come up to you and say, “Quick, who’s your ideal client?” would you stumble?
If your answer is yes, then you’re leaving money on the table! Here’s why:
If someone has to figure out if yours is the right company to solve his or her problem – it’s too much work. All your ideal prospect wants to know is this: “What can you do for me?” This is true offline when you’re face to face and it’s especially true online where you have 1/20th of a second to make a connection.
3 Big Things Stand In Your Way When Identifying Your Ideal Client:
1. You’re too close to your business. It’s entirely possible that you first started your business because you saw a gap in the market and you wanted to help people who struggle with the same problem that you once had. As a result, you might think your ideal client is just like you were. But it’s often not the case. Of course, there are characteristics that match, but think about it…were you exactly the person you want to work with now (especially in terms of the financial ability to hire you)?
2. You’re operating on instinct rather than on facts. It’s easy to confuse your ideal client with your favorite client. We all have clients whom we love, no doubt. But when I work with entrepreneurs to identify their ideal client, we very often discover that their favorite client is someone who got a discount…or even was a barter! (Yuck).
3. You’re afraid you’ll miss opportunities if you focus on one type of person. This is the big one. You may think that it’s crazy to build your business around one specific ideal client. But think again. It’s actually part of a formula to build a profitable and sustainable business.
- You get more and better referrals because people know exactly who to refer to you.
- Your website is completely aligned with who you want to connect with and speaks directly to that person, in their own words. And they feel it when they land there. Especially if they were referred and they’re checking you out.
- Networking is more fruitful because you can identify your own ideal client instantly when you walk into a room. (This just happened to me and I landed the client two days later).
- Your marketing messages are consistent on every platform…and they stick. People immediately understand that you get them.
- You find that you stop chasing clients that aren’t aligned with your services, fees and core values.
The most interesting thing about identifying your ideal client is that you already know who it is. You just need someone to help bring it to the surface.
(By the way, it’s almost impossible to do this work alone. I have a partner to help me with this!)
So, have I convinced you to stop what you’re doing and get totally clear about your ideal client?
A gift for you: I created a super simple worksheet that is going for identifying your ideal client. It’s a mini-version of the formula I use with my students and clients and will get you started: