Getting to Know Your Ideal Client
Have you ever considered how your levels of performance and satisfaction in your work seem to have a direct relationship with the type of client you’re working with? If you have, you’ll probably notice that working with your ideal client seems to bring out the best in you – and in your work!
Once you’ve determined your niche market, you can begin to identify the characteristics that make up your ideal client. Understanding the type of client you want to work with can have a tremendous impact on how effectively you work, how successful your marketing efforts are, and how fulfilled you feel.
If you were reading a biography about your ideal customer, what would it say? In his post/video on getting inside the mind of your ideal customer, Derek Halpern shares the one question you must ask prospects and customers to draw in more of your optimal clients. And in a post on the importance of identifying your ideal client, Digital Ethos suggests working to identify the “pain points” of your target clients.
Think about a less than ideal client you worked with in the past. What didn’t you like about working with him? Don’t be general here – be very specific about what attributes the client had that made the experience a poor one for you.
Now, think about a client you’ve had that made you say, “I wish I had ten more clients just like him!” What was different about this client? You probably felt more compatible with him – but why? Did his communication style match yours more closely, was his attitude more upbeat, or was the work that you did for him more in tune with your true talents?
Analyzing Client Compatibility
- Communication Style: How does your client like to communicate – does she prefer email, phone, text, video, or in-person interaction? Does she want you to contact her with every little detail, or is she comfortable letting you handle the small stuff?
- Personal Traits: Is your client reserved and professional, or bold and outspoken? An introvert or extrovert – or somewhere in the middle of the spectrum? A take-charge persona or more of a follow-the-leader type?
- Demographics: Where does your client live and work? What is her education level, skill set, and job title? Age?
- Needs: What services does your client need? Does he need you to provide services that are beyond what your business offers? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Are the services you’re providing a true representation of what you want to be doing? If not, you may need to reevaluate your niche market.
Then get very personal as you start to identify your ideal clients.
- What is their appearance like? Are they laid back or more formal?
- In what age group do they fall? A younger demographic – or a more mature one?
- What is their gender?
- What is their lifestyle like – where do they shop, go out to eat, and vacation?
- Do they have kids? Pets? What’s important to them?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- What are their media preferences – what movies and TV shows do they like, what publications do they read?
It’s surprising, but true – even many established business owners struggle to identify their ideal client. If you’re feeling worn out, drained, or just plain frazzled in your work, you can be assured that you are not working with your optimal client!
Use the tips above to guide you in establishing a framework of your ideal client – and above all, be true to yourself as you evaluate what characteristics form your “perfect” client.