finding your ideal client

“Everybody” is not an acceptable client profile

finding your ideal clientIf you’re an independent consultant, trainer or professional speaker, one of the hardest strategic decisions you need to make is identifying your ideal client profile.

When you first start it’s natural to cast a wide net to see where the interest in your particular services lie. But you will soon find out that when somebody asks you who your ideal client is, “anybody” or “everybody” is not a very helpful answer.

Whenever I speak to a prospective client, it’s one of the first questions I ask them. And if the answer is “everybody,” then I know that there is a fundamental flaw in their business strategy that needs to be addressed.

If asked about your ideal client, “anybody” or “everybody” is not a very helpful answer. Click To Tweet

Let’s get something straight – my 75 year old mother is probably not your ideal client. My 9 year son should also be off your prospecting list. But if you have knowledge and experience in a particular topic that is valuable to someone, it’s up to you to define who that person is.

To do that consider where you gained your expertise. If you spent 20 years in the hospitality industry and consider yourself to be an expert in customer service or leadership, your knowledge may be transferrable. But certainly it would be more valuable to the people within the industry where you learned your lessons.

It’s about defining a niche and then using your experience to own that space.

In my own case, I spent years working as the marketing director for a professional speaker and consultant before I hung out my own shingle. I quickly realized that while there are a million agencies that work as generalists there were none (at least when I started) that specifically worked with speakers.

Once I defined my ideal client profile as content-based speakers, trainers and independent consultants it became very easy to focus my marketing efforts.

I wasn’t going to waste my time chasing after small web projects for local businesses or trying to compete against giant agencies with far more resources than myself. Instead I do everything I can to keep my company visible to those most likely to require my all in one marketing services.

Having and ideal client profile will help you work smarter

Defining your ideal clients will help you in similar ways. Most importantly you won’t spend countless hours pursuing projects with generic service offerings or generalist approaches, when there is someone better suited to the gig because they have defined themselves in that space.

Instead you can craft a message or service that is specific to your experience and applicable to a client base that is receptive to your message and values your experience.

Defining your client base is the most important thing you can do if you want to grow your business. So when you finishing sharing this on Twitter and LinkedIn, think about who your ideal clients are and how you can get yourself in front of them.

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