Every entrepreneur has an ideal client – but so many entrepreneurs have no idea who their ideal client is. And that’s a mistake (a huge mistake, in fact).
Because everything you do in your business is intended for your ideal client. And if you don’t know who your ideal client is, then how do you know if your products are the best for them? Or if your marketing copy is really speaking to them? Or that you’re using the right social media sites to reach them?
You don’t. You are taking a stab in the dark. And stabs in the dark do not make successful businesses.
Stabs in the dark, in fact, lead to failures.
And I don’t want you to fail.
So, now that you know how important knowing who your ideal client is, let’s look at a few ways you can identify yours:
#1: Look at your past clients
If you’ve been in business for a while, you can often isolate who your ideal client is by reviewing your past customers.
Think about who you have served over the life of your business and answer this question: If I could clone my best, most wonderful customers, who would I clone?
Sometimes making a list of your A+ customers is a good way to answer this question.
Once you have a list, your next step is to think about what these yummy customers had in common. You can look at their demographics, such as age, income or location, as well as psychographics, such as common struggles or pain points.
Evaluating your past most wonderful clients is a fantastic way to pinpoint who you want to work with in the future.
#2: Look at your own journey
Many times, especially if you’re a new entrepreneur, your ideal client is a version of you.
A client has three stages to her journey: The before, the transformation and the after. She is in the “before” state when she meets you, and when she is done working with you (the transformation), she’s in her desired “after” state.
Many entrepreneurs have undergone this same journey, and their businesses are based on these transformations. While you are now in the desired “after” state, you can examine what your life was like before you made the transformation. Ask yourself questions such as these:
- Why was I stuck in this “before” state?
- What issues or problems was I experiencing?
- What was keeping me up at night?
- What motivated me to look for a transformation?
- How did I feel once I made this transformation?
#3: Ask your ideal clients
Sometimes, you know who your ideal client is, but you are not sure about the details, such as the demographic and psychographic information.
If this is you, take time to ask your ideal clients to fill in the blanks for you. You can do this through a simple email. Tell the recipients you are trying to find more ideal clients – just like them – and ask if they could answer a few questions for you. You can type the questions right in your email, or link to a survey (SurveyMonkey is a great tool for this). Most people are happy to help, especially if you keep it short and sweet.
One final piece of advice: Your ideal client will change.
As you work with more people, you will learn more about who you want to work with. This results in a shift in your ideal client. This is normal and usually happens several times. For example, over a period of 15 months, I changed my ideal client four times. So, if you’re feeling stuck in your marketing, go back to your Ideal Client and revise.
If marketing was a long line of dominos, knowing who your ideal client is the first domino that needs to fall. So many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not knowing who their ideal client is, which leads to marketing harder, not smarter.
You can’t be everyone’s healer, and not everyone is destined to work with you.
Your job is to figure out who you are meant to be the healer to, and focus your marketing on these clients. Not only will your marketing improve, you’ll be much happier in your business, too.