5 Ways to Identify Ideal Clients

Do you know who you want to work with? Have you defined your ideal client?

Target MarketAs you grow your business, you will be more effective and satisfied with your work if you spend more time on what you consider ideal clients and less and less time on everyone else.

So, who is your ideal client?
What do they look like? How old are they? Are they male or female?
What TV shows do they watch, radio shows do they listen to, and magazines do they read?
Where do they buy their clothes, eat dinner, and spend their down time?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help make your marketing efforts much more effective. It will help you set your target market and direct your steps toward gaining ideal clients every time.

A great way to start figuring out the answers to these questions is to look at your past and current clients.  Determine the clients that have been the best to work with and why.

Consider the following in your analysis:

  1. Communication – what is the nature and means of the communication with the client? Are they direct or indirect? Do they prefer email, phone calls, or in person conversations?
  2. Demographics – what is the clients’ age, gender, education level, geographic location, etc…
  3. Personality – is the client an introvert or extrovert? Are they a leader or a follower? Do they tend to listen or talk?
  4. Strengths – what are the clients’ strengths and weaknesses? What are their interests? Are they organized and detail orientated or creative?
  5. Work – also consider the scope and nature of the work that you are performing for each client, as this can be a factor in the relationship – this may lead you to refine your niche.

Then analyze what your best (and worst) clients may have in common. This will give you a very insightful view into your ideal client persona. You may also consider conducting a survey of your current clients to see what they have in common.

Once you’ve determined the profile of your ideal client, go after them! Working with these people will improve your business and your outcomes. While you should remain focused, this is not set in stone; your ideal client may change as your business grows or changes so remain flexible.

An example of understanding our ideal client persona comes with the new collaboration that we have formed with Luma Coaching. We recognize that our ideal clients tend to be those who have business coaches, so it seemed obvious that we should partner with a business coach.

What have you done or will you do to identify and attract more of your ideal clients?

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Collaborative Advantage

We have all heard the phrase ‘two heads are better than one’, and it’s so true! Collaboration is such an important part of business and success as an entrepreneur; yet, it can also be difficult for many of us.

Team Work

When I speak of collaboration, I’m not talking about referral networks. I’m talking about long term, nitty-gritty business planning, strategy sessions, and implementation discussions.

In order to benefit from collaboration, you must be honest with yourself and others about your failures, fears, and weaknesses. It requires you to share what you’ve done well, what you’re unhappy with, and where you need help. This is why you need to choose a partner, group, or mentor whom you can trust and respect. You need to have confidence that the trust and respect is reciprocated.

You need to trust that you can share your thoughts and opinions freely, without judgment, or at least without lasting negative judgment.

You need to respect the opinions and expertise of the people you are requesting advice of; otherwise you are not likely to act on the advice given.

Like any relationship, effective collaboration also requires genuine interest in helping each other and some form of reciprocation.

Collaboration can come from many places; networking groups, mastermind groups, professional partners, friends, family, and mentors. The important thing is to find people whom you trust and respect; those who have your best interest in mind, and will help keep you accountable. This will help you grow both professionally and personally.

If you do not already have a collaborative relationship, you should be actively searching for one or building one.

Recently I took the initiative to create and build my group of collaborators. I had met a handful of powerful women over the past year, with various backgrounds and strengths; all who are very dedicated to building their businesses. Since I had such great conversations with them on an individual level, I decided to try getting them together as a group. Our first meeting was a very successful ‘get to know you’ session, and my hope is that this group will help each of us grow and meet our 2013 business goals.

Who will you rely on, trust, and respect to help you grow your business and hold you accountable in 2013?