Every business owner has heard of the elusive “ideal clients” — the unicorn-like creatures who pay what you ask when you ask it, offer up only witty and charming questions, and love your business more than all of their first cousins, combined.
It’s easy to say that’s a pipe dream being touted by marketing experts and business bloggers the world over to trick small business owners into feeling bad, but it’s not. Ideal clients are very real, and you deserve to find yours within the next few weeks!
Best of all, you can find your ideal clients without going broke. Finding your ideal peeps requires payment in courage, not currency.
If you’re tired of having less-than-dreamy people buying from your business, it’s time to get to work.
Ideal client finder step 1: choose them
Let’s say that you’re shopping for a wedding dress. You go into a store and say, “I’m here to find my wedding dress!” Any salesperson worth her weight in taffeta will ask follow-up questions, like, “What’s the silhouette you’d prefer? Would you prefer traditional or modern? What sort of details do you like on a gown? Do you prefer floor-length or a bit shorter? Would you like a train?”
Let’s say that you answer, “I don’t know.” Your salesperson is suddenly deflated, as she’s seen this “I’ll know it when I see it” scenario play out before: the indecisive bride-to-be always leaves disappointed.
The same goes for you and your business if you don’t define your ideal clients in a loving yet precise way. Yes, they can afford your products or services, but go beyond that: who are they as human beings? What defines their inner life? Their outer life? What do they aspire to be or to do in the world?
The more detailed you can go into defining who you’re trying to draw to you, the more likely you are to actually draw it to you.
Ideal client finder step 2: tell them who they are, and often
My peeps are heartstrong (yep, I made up that word) entrepreneurs who laugh at a good “That’s what she said” joke every time. No matter what stage of their business they’re in, my peeps are interested in doing more than making money with their business. They’d like to change their lives, change their industries, and/or change the world. They like to be entertained when they’re learning, and they’re not adverse to my use of inappropriate analogies.
I mention these attributes to them in blog posts and in the Start Here page that introduces them to my business. We all love to feel like we’ve found “our” people!
Ideal client finder step 3: show them who you are, and often
It’s only by being willing to go too far that I find out how far I can take my business, and the same is true of you and your enterprise. (More about that below.)
A few questions to check in with whether you’re an ideal-client magnet:
Have I defined my ideal clients in more than vague terms?
Your ideal clients will be just like you, so start there. If you’re into the jazz scene and attending festivals for the genre, your clients will adore music. If you’re into reading and consider a good date night one spent at a bookstore, your clients will be bookworms, too. Scribble down the attributes most likely to matter when it comes to interacting with your business, and you’ve got a good start to your ideal client profile.
Do I explicitly tell my peeps who they are somewhere on my blog/website?
If no, go ahead and add a sentence that sums them up to your bio, your introduction to your company, or in your newsletter opt-in. Easy peasy!
Do I share any elements of my personal life on my blog or website regularly?
Whether you’re addicted to homesteading or you can be found at live concerts three nights a week, the details of your life DO matter. They make you interesting, they make you quirky, they make you human. Don’t be afraid to tie your personal life into your blog posts more often!
Am I willing to offend some people in the name of drawing my ideal clients closer?
Since my peeps aren’t offended by swearing, it’s easy to offend people who aren’t for me: I swear. That’s not me being a jerkface, that’s me acknowledging that I’d rather not cause heart attacks if one of the easily-offended should purchase my products or services. I consider it fair warning for my trucker mouth. It means I issue no refunds and I don’t get chastising “you’re such a pretty girl, why do you have to swear?” e-mails. (The pretty girl line is still my Mom’s favorite, but that’s a different issue.)
If you’re an activist for animal rights, gay rights, human rights, or hell, daffodil rights — your ideal peeps will be drawn to you because of that. So share your feelings, your deep desires, and what you’re working to change in the world!
Yes, some people will be offended. But the others? The ones you really want to work with? They’ll be drawn closer to you in a powerful way. A powerful way that leads to more clients on your calendar, more money in your bank account, and more satisfaction in your heart.
Have you found your ideal clients? How’d you do that? Share your tips in the comments!