Ideal Clients. I bet you’ve slogged your way through at least one of those ideal client avatar exercises before. You know, detailed worksheets where you write down everything that you know about your dream clients, from favorite weekend hangouts to most preferred brand of toothpaste?
You might wonder why it matters that you know where your ideal client lives or what their favorite TV show is. It’s true, sometimes those exercise DO go a little overboard on the details. But the idea behind the process is actually a solid one. There’s a reason why every business owner needs to know with laser-specificity not only what they sell, but WHO they sell it to.
The thing is, you are just one person. Whether you like it or not, it’s impossible for you to help everybody. Saying that you wish to “help people” but not knowing how or WHO will keep you stuck in a state of vagueness and inaction. And in both cases, you won’t be able to help anybody.
So like it or not, knowing who your ideal clients are is key. That means getting uber-clear about your niche, my friends. How specific am I talking about?
I met a lady at a coaching conference recently whose sole mission was to help women who are immigrating from her native country to the United States. She coaches women from her homeland and she helps them integrate into American culture. That’s ALL she does. Talk about nailing down a niche, right?
The good news is that while it may take some time, experimenting, and soul-searching to nail down the perfect client prototype, you do get to pick that person. You get to decide whose lives you’re going to change, and how you’re going to change them. Talk about creative freedom, right?
I’m going to help you write that song that only your ideal client can hear. It’s the song that will catch their ear and capture their imagination. And eventually, make them pick up the phone and give you a call when they’re ready to make the next move.
So how about MY ideal clients, for example? My dream client has been in business for a couple of years. Someone who has been around the block a few times but is ready to break through their income barriers. More than likely she’s female, and she sells a product or service ranging from $3,000 to $30,000 a pop. We’re talking the higher end, relatively lower volume kind of sales.
Now I’m going to help do the same thing for yourself!
Let’s look at your business, flesh out the details and get as specific as we can about your ideal clients and your niche.
As my friend Sean Croxton says, “The riches is in the niches.” Let’s get you closer to the riches starting right NOW.
What you sell and who do you serve? Let’s start with the basics. What do you sell, and who needs it the most? I’m sure you have a general answer for that already, but let’s break it down even further. Remember that what you sell goes beyond the goods. You’re also offering someone a DREAM. That is, you’re selling them an end result that entails so much more than just the means.
Take the CPAs that I work with, for example. They serve very high net worth people with multiple companies and complex tax situations. Their bottom line is that they want their clients to keep more of what they earn and give less of it to the IRS. Simple, right?
But what about their client’s dreams? Maybe they’d prefer to spend their money on family vacations than on taxes. Perhaps they want to save money on taxes to keep it for their kid’s college. It could be that they’d rather give thousands of dollars to a charity close to their heart than to the IRS.
Maybe you’re a personal trainer who helps people get in shape. Sure, that’s a healthy goal for anybody, but WHY do they want to workout? Maybe their dream is to look like they did in high school again. Perhaps they desire to get healthy through exercise so that they can take fewer prescription drugs. Maybe they want to get fit enough to run a marathon or complete an Ironman.
In both cases, do our CPAs and Personal Trainers speak to EVERY individual? No. They speak to specific person with specific goals AND specific dreams. The more that you know about what they want and why they want it, the more distinctly your message will reach those special people.
What do you know about them? This question is getting into the “avatar-y” type questions, but stay with me here! We’re going to keep it simple. Ask yourself questions that not only say who they are but also feel relevant to you. That might be things like what they look like, where they live, and what they do for fun.
Make it a chance to get creative. Instead of bogging yourself down in seemingly random details, have a little fun with it! Come up with a list of fun facts about this person and get a sense of who they are. Maybe things like where do they like to shop, what are their favorite charitable causes, or what movies and TV shows do they watch. Then ask yourself this: why are the answers relevant to you? How do they help you get to know your person?
What do they struggle with and how do you help? Now that you know the WHO, it’s time to shift your focus to the WHAT and the WHY. What do your ideal clients need, and why do they need it? You need to know what your people struggle with and how you intend to take their pain away. (Remember pain points? This is where they come in!)
Is your product or service geared toward your ideal client’s needs? It might seem obvious, but you sell needs to solve your perfect client’s problem. So ask yourself this: is your product or service making enough of a difference in your dream client’s life? Dig deep into what keeps your people up at night. And the way that you take their worries away so they can get a good night’s sleep.
Do you know your audience? I’ll give you an example. As I said before, my audience is generally entrepreneurs who sell high ticket offers that have been in business for at least a year or two. They’re selling something pricey, and they want to sell it authentically, and without feeling sleazy. I gear all of my free content toward those who want to learn to love sales, raise their bottom line, and help more people in the process. They get to know me as well as get something that they want and need.
Now that you know more about who you want to work with and what they want, it’s time to figure out WHERE they are.
Where do they hang out? You might find them on social media. Maybe they’re at conferences, trade shows, or even office visits. It all depends on what you’re selling. For example, I work with a CPA who only works with dentists. Where do her dream prospects hang out? She attends dental conferences and frequents dental offices, going to where the people who need her the most spend their time.
If you’re in the online world, social platforms are a must. It’s all a matter of finding the one that fits with what you’re selling. If you’re a coach or a mentor, that might be Facebook groups. If you’re a interior designer, you might hit it big on Instagram or Pinterest. If you’re a locally owned and operated business, one often overlooked platform is Meetup.com. (Check that one out if you’re interested in connecting with locals in real life!)
Think about that ideal and ask yourself where you might find them. Then make a list of five places where you might meet those people. It could be conferences, trade shows, or Facebook groups. It might be through LinkedIn or at a local Meetup. Come up with five places and start showing up on a regular basis.
One more thing: like the rest of your business, your ideal client avatar is going to change, grow, and evolve. So it’s a good idea to check in with it every six months or so, reassess your business, and see if it all still speaks to you. Is what you’re doing still lighting you up, and are you continuing to help who you want to help?
The bottom line is… Be specific. Be as specific as you can about who you help, why they need you, and what you do to make their dreams come true.
Niching down doesn’t need to be a painstaking affair. It also doesn’t mean that once you choose an ideal client, you’re stuck forever. All it means is that you’re giving yourself and your clients a chance for success. After all, the better the match, the happier the business relationship. And more definitive and inspiring the results will be. That’s the ideal situation for you, your clients, and your bottom line.
Ready to niche down and find the prospects of your dreams? Stop feeling obligated to say YES to everyone who shows up. Let’s put the odds in your favor so that the RIGHT people to show up! Check out my new guide “Getting REAL About the Ideal: 5 Steps To Knowing (And Finding) Your Dream Clients” and start calling in the perfect prospects TODAY!