How to find your ideal client [and connect with them]
There’s a lot of talk about how to find your ideal client.
Every coach, guru, and marketing maven tells us we must know ‘who are our people’.
It’s essential to know your ideal client, so that every content creating action supports development of your business.
Why then is it so hard for people to know and find their client ‘mecca’?
At the risk of sounding very much like a broken record I attribute this disconnect to a few things. Let’s look at what they are, and then assign some totally doable actions to finding your ideal client, so you can finally connect with them.
Quality questions: The missing link in the search for your dream client
It was Tony Robbins of Awaken the Giant Within and fire-walking fame who claimed you can improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your questionsThe value question: How to answer it [as a freelancer or business owner].
Although I’m not a huge TR fan, I agree a million percent that quality questions do indeed make a difference. Thank you, Tony.
In fact, with the right questions, we can get to the heart of our dream customers or clients. This means side-stepping fluff, frustration, and becoming fed up with the whole needle-in-a-haystack search for the holy grail of your business: that ideal person who not only wants your products and services, but wants to pay for them too.
So, quality questions? Here are just a few, but you can add to these:
- What are their biggest challenges or pain points? Think about the frustrations they experience and what stops them taking action?
- What are their values, that is, what’s really important to them? If you look closely you may just find they’re quite similar to your own. Bonus.
- What do they love/hate?
- What are they afraid of? It’s important to know this because your solution should be presented in a way that provides a vision of what it will look like when they overcome the fear.
- If they had a vision of where they’d like to be, what would it look like? Articulating this forward vision means we’re more likely to attract the people who would rather stay stuck than move forward with the solution.
You can also clarify whether your ideal client is male or female, their age group and demographic, their interests, personality and character traits. Remember we’re not after the perfect client; we’re after the ideal.
Effectively, the answers to these questions help you form a picture of who this person is. Once it’s clear you can give thought to the kind of messages that will connect genuinely with them.
But I’m only starting out, how do I know my ideal client is right?
The short answer to this question is: you don’t.
Now with this in mind, it’s important to remember couple of things as you work through this exercise.
#1: It probably won’t be completely perfect. If you’re a perfectionist that’s your cue to take a big breath in and relax. Remember, it’s not forever. The ideal client or customer you’re creating is a line in the sand, not a trench formed in concrete. Phew.
#2: You can update it. Because we’ve made peace with the fact this isn’t necessarily forever, guess what? You can hit ‘refresh’. That’s right, at any time after a bit of testing in the market with your content, you have the freedom to make changes. Refining and tweaking are all part of the process. Coming to an acceptance around this means you don’t need to feel tied down in a relationship with an ideal client that is past its use by. That’s right. You can move on.
#3 Don’t set and forget. Okay, so this is just another way of coming at #2. It’s so easy to think that you’ll do this once and then you’re good, but here’s the thing. Your ideal client changes. Your business changes. You change. So this exercise is not something you set and forget. No, at some point – or even many points – you will need to come back to it. At least if you’re a business owner who wants their content to truly connect with its audience that’s what you’ll do. It’s helpful to remember this whether you’re new to business or an experienced hand.
#4 Rinse and repeat. Working with lots of small business owners I’ve discovered they all have more than just one ideal. Most have two or three. So now you’ve defined one of your number one, get to work on two, answering the same questions.
With all that sorted, it’s time to shift gears into the solutions. The stuff you know like the back of your hand, right?
Hang on, I thought we were talking about how to find your ideal customers?
We are, so let me explain why articulating your solutions goes hand in hand with this process.
While it’s vitally important to identify the challenges, pain and problems experienced by our ideal clients or customers, it’s just as important to focus on solutions too.
Not just any solutions, but the solutions you offer to their challenges, pain and problems.
This is one of the reasons I have my own clients work through this exercise before I write a single word of content.
Having them speak out and write down the solution to the challenge, in their words, means we capture a sincere and genuine expression of what they really want to say and how they say it.
Apart from establishing a solid foundation for all other content and communication, this exercise is like a mind-straightening confidence builder.
Instead of stumbling over words, the business owner is fluent in their own language. Imagine that!
It is that point of intersection in communication – let’s call it a portal – where you get into the mind of your ideal client and really ‘get’ them and where they feel understood.
In the language of marketing ‘woo-woo’, you are connected.
The key in all of this is expressing what’s important to you in ways that make sense to your audience without losing the technical integrity of your message.
My best tip for how to find your ideal client
Talk to people. And write it down.
Okay, this is technically two tips, but consider it a bonus.
You won’t really know if you’re on target with defining your ideal client unless you talk to people who might be. There are so many ways this can be done, however it’s especially easy through your social media platform of choice. As someone who’s resisted it, I have found my thinking around my ideals to be corroborated simply through engaging questions.
My other best tip is write it down.
If this seems like a bridge too far my advice to you find a way to get on over that bridge.
I say it a lot: Writing is a bridge.
When we write these important things down, they solidify in our mind, we have a reference to come back to, and if we have people working with us, we can share this valuable information with them.
Yes, it’s work, but if we care enough about our customers, we’ll take the time to understand who they are.
And if you think you could do with some help, download the this PDF and get connected.
Macushla Collins is a content coach. She helps business owners, content creators and technical professionals create content that supports clear and conscious marketing communication. If this is the kind of communication you’d like to learn more about, connect with Macushla via the contact form on this website or by reaching out on Facebook and Instagram.