Last week, we covered how to identify your ideal client. This week, we’re stepping into how to find that ideal client once you know who they are! So what are the steps in finding your ideal client? Consider instead that you’re going fishing. Would you go to a place known to inhabit trout if you were looking for salmon? No, you would fish in the location that harbors the fish you’re after! The same can be applied to prospects, particularly online. So let’s start with the basics and work our way through the steps to finding your ideal client.

  1. Where do your ideal prospects go to solve their problems?

In order to discover where your ideal client is hanging out, you need to understand their impulses when it comes to problem-solving. Do they turn to Google search? Do they hop on a Facebook group? Do they search Twitter hashtags? Maybe they scout for the right pin on Pinterest. If your ideal client is hanging out on Facebook, it’s going to be pretty impossible to find them by targeting keywords in Google Adwords. The same is true in reverse: if you’re all over those Facebook groups, but your ideal client is searching for solutions to their problems in Google, you’re going to be missing them without the right social media strategy and plan.

How do you discover your ideal client’s favorite social site? If you have an existing email list of clients, you can poll them. If you’re just starting out, try finding Facebook groups in your general niche and asking authentic questions such as, “When you have a problem with _____, what’s the first thing you do? Where do you search for the answers?” You’ll build a wealth of information you can mine for your social media strategy and plan. Once you have an idea of where to look for your ideal clients, you’ll need to know what to say to them.

2. What’s your ideal prospect’s #1 problem?

What’s going on in your ideal prospect’s world that makes her/him need you—right now? Maybe it’s a happy problem—she just accepted a marriage proposal and she needs to get the details in order for her big day. Perhaps instead it’s a troubling problem—he is struggling to increase his influence online and needs a strategy and plan to build the social proof for his business. Depending on your industry and niche, the problems can run the gamut, but it is crucial to know what that problem is. Why? Because every single thing you write on social media, your blog, your website, etc. will speak to that problem. You’ll let your prospect know that they are not alone and that you’ve been there on your own or with clients in the past and you know how to help.

3. How is your ideal prospect feeling right now?

Digging down further into your ideal prospect’s problem, you’ll need to understand exactly how they’re feeling at the moment they’re searching for the solution to their problem. Frustrated? Excited but nervous? Annoyed? Exasperated? Eager, but impatient? Whatever the emotion, your content and copy will need to speak to it. The images you share and the words you write, they all need to make your prospect FEEL heard. Your prospect needs to feel like you understand exactly what they’re going through, what they need, and where they want to be in the future. Then you can work on convincing them that you’re the right choice to help get them to that future destination.

4. Why should your ideal prospect choose you?

Initially, it seems like this one should be all about you and your business. Wrong. That’s the biggest mistake many businesses make. They make it all about themselves, ignoring the fact that all prospects are understandably self-interested. They want to know what you are going to do for them. They want to know the benefits of working with you. So take a hard look at what you do for your clients when it comes to the intangibles—how do they have more time, more money, more freedom, more security, more peace of mind, etc. after working with you?

Once you’ve identified your ideal client and nailed down the best place to find them, you’ll need to hone in on the message you’re sharing with them. This message should be tailored specifically to your ideal client, and if you have the right market for your product or service, you can’t go wrong with this strategy.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment below with your experience. Share your industry and where you are finding your ideal clients congregating.