One thing that many entrepreneurs struggle with is to define their ideal client. Nobody wants to wander in the dark hoping to just haphazardly find some clients that may or may not fit into what they are trying to do with their business. We all think we know what that means right away, but do you? Are you aware what types of ads your ideal customer typically responds to and where you should advertise to maximize your exposure to these clients? Are you telling the right story within your marketing content in order to engage potential clients?
These are all questions that can be easily answered after you do some research on what you feel your target market would be. So how exactly should you identify your ideal client?
1. Know Thyself
You’re not going to be able to identify your ideal client if you don’t have a firm grasp on what your business is and what you do best. What are your favorite projects to work on and what type of work do you enjoy doing the most? Are you offering items outside of your zone and if so, why? Is it worth it? What type of product or service that you offer brings in the biggest profit and does it align with what you enjoy?
The main point here is that it’s hard to market to your ideal client if you don’t even enjoy the work that you’re doing in your business and can’t identify the goals that you have planned. If you don’t enjoy what you’re currently doing, what can you do to change it?
Make sure you have a firm grasp on this in order to resist any flip flop on a marketing strategy. Don’t cater to different types of clients week after week.
2. Be Specific
Think about things like gender, age, where they reside, how much money they make, what is their typical family life like (kids, pets, spouse, etc.). What challenges or fears do they cope with? Think about one specific type of person that you would offer your products or services to. Work on doing everything possible to align with that one ideal client’s wants and needs.
Also consider characteristics that your ideal client may share. Are they all women? Do they all attend the same types of events? Are they in the same industry? By thinking about things that they have in common, you will also be able to get more specific with the ideal client that you enjoy working with.
Speaking of enjoyment, who have you worked with in the past that you really didn’t enjoy the relationship with? What past clients of yours did you really hit it off with and have a wonderful working relationship with? Take stock of the characteristics of these various clients to see the patterns and traits that clients have that you work well with. This will help you narrow down your ideal client and help you be more specific!
3. Know The Competition
Like it or not, you are going to have competition. We all do. But by understanding what they offer, who they appear to be catering to, what their price points are, what they do well and what they struggle with, you are going to be able to narrow down things in your own business that will give you opportunities to get more specific with who you want to work with.
You will begin to see the openings in your business to find more clients that meet your specifications and even better, you’ll be able to see what you may need to do better to gain these new clients or even work with the clients you already have. We can’t always run on autopilot and expect our business to grow. We have to do the footwork to make sure we are as knowledgeable as possible, in order to make sure we are working with the clients that will help to make our business successful!
Don’t let this process get you confused and off-track. You’re not alone! Many business women struggle with this same issue and even get it wrong on the first go-round, so take the pressure off yourself and think this through. Also, note that while your ideal client may not change exactly over time, it may evolve and grow to reflect your evolving business. Make sure you take some time on a regular basis to see if your business model still fits the ideal client you are marketing towards and become as effective as possible in your marketing efforts!