Imagine running a business where you worked only with your most ideal clients. The people who light you up and make you feel like you’re making a difference. The ones who rave on and on about your products and services. The clients who just keep coming back to you for more and more because they are simply a perfect fit. Wouldn’t you love to have more clients like that? Wouldn’t you love to have ONLY clients like that? Well, your first step to creating the kind of business you dream of is identifying your ideal client by creating a vivid picture of who they are.
Start Envisioning and Identifying Your Ideal Client
Okay, so how do you begin? Dust off your imagination again. I know, I know, but trust me, it’s worth it. I want you to imagine that you have a problem. It shouldn’t be that hard. I know for a fact that you’ve had problems before. Big ones, small ones, annoying ones. Ones that leave you feeling like crying because they are just. So. Darn. Frustrating. So imagine a problem from your past, present, or one you know you’ll have in the future. A big, juicy, “I can’t figure this out on my own” problem. Feel what it feels like to hold it in your mind. Doesn’t feel good, does it?
Now I want you to consider that this is exactly how a potential client is feeling when they search for a solution to their problem and find your website. Knowing this, do you think they are in the mood to hear all about you and how fantastic you are? Um. No. They want to know what you can do for them and how you are going to solve this big, juicy, “I can’t figure this out on my own.” problem for them. They want to see themselves reflected in the language on your site. And the only way you can do that is to know them really well. I mean REALLY well. Like you know your best friend.
How to Know Your Client So Well It’s Scary
So now that you are crystal clear on why it’s so important to identify your ideal client, let’s get down to business on how you do just that. I’ve got 3 steps that are your golden ticket to identifying your ideal client! And to make it as easy as possible, they’re questions you can answer with just a little consideration and research. Let’s get started.
Who would you LOVE to work with?
In this first step, I want you to be a little selfish. I mean, it is your business after all. Think about your past clients and your current clients. Who have you most enjoyed working with? Go ahead and pick a favorite, or maybe a few. What do they have in common? Write down a brief description of why you love working with them. Is it their positive attitude? Their willingness to try the suggestions you give them? The fact that they don’t worry about price? Journal for a few minutes on each of your favorites and get a good idea in your mind of just why you like them so much. If you haven’t had any clients you love or you’re just starting out in your business, write about a client you imagine you would love.
2. What makes them who they are?
Now that you have a basic idea of the client you are looking for. Let’s get a little more specific. It may sound a little silly, but it has value. Trust me. I’m going to ask you to nail down their basic demographics. These include:
- Age range
- Marital Status
- Annual Income
- Annual Family Income
- Marital Status
- Own or Rent
The key with this strategy is to find a narrow group, with specific demographics and work on creating raving fans out of this group. Once you gain traction, you can always expand your reach. Alternatively, you can become a big player in your smaller market as your business grows. So once you have their basic demographics, it’s time to niche down even more.
3. What type of lifestyle do they enjoy?
Your job with this step is to discover and define everything you can about your ideal client group. Examples of lifestyle characteristics you could hone down include:
- Kind of neighborhood
- Free Time Activities
- Vacation Plans
- Favorite Places
- Clothes shopping (brands/habits)
- Kind of car
- Dining habits
Considering these lifestyle choices will help you paint a clearer picture to help you in identifying your ideal client. Once you have a solid idea of who this person is, you’ll have to develop or reframe your unique selling proposition to fit the needs of that client. More on that in a future post.
Wow. So now you know this person inside out and upside down. Don’t think there are enough of this person out in the world to make up your client base? Think again. You’d be surprised by just how niche you can get in a world of over 7 billion people.
This post covered identifying your ideal client. Soon, we’ll be taking it a step further and discussing how to find your ideal client and how to meet them where they are. Share your questions in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them in the next post!