Getting clients starts with knowing who you want your clients to be. Small business owners sometimes have difficulty with this concept, especially when they are just starting out. The temptation is there to skip over the important step of getting really clear and specific about who you are selling to. Often when asked whom their ideal customers are, many new business owners will say “everyone.” Changing this answer is surely the first step in finding new clients.
The Distinction between Your Ideal Client and Everyone
The question is who is your ideal client? Not who could possibly use your service or product? There is a difference. When thinking about your ideal client, don’t just think about if he or she can benefit from your services, also think about how likely they are to know that they need your service, whether they can afford your services and will be willing to pay your rates, whether they are good referrers, if you will enjoy working with them, if you will be able to achieve the results you both desire, if you will gain energy from working with them, or if they will drain you. These are just some of questions that can help you decide if someone is in fact ideal.
The Problem with Everyone
Though it is counter-intuitive, you get more clients by casting a narrower net. New business owners, especially solopreneurs, tend to want to cast a wide net, so not to leave out any possible customers. This may work for catching fish, but casting a wide net makes it harder to build a clientele. There is an adage in marketing: when you try to talk to everyone, you talk to no one. To really be able to address your market’s needs you need to know who your customers are, what their specific needs are and how you are uniquely positioned to help them. There’s no way around this one.
Choosing an ideal client and marketing to that ideal, does not necessarily mean that you will be closing anyone else out; other people can still buy your services or products, and the people you are actually targeting will become more likely to.
What You Need to Know About Your Ideal Clients
If you are looking for new clients, make sure you first identify who your ideal client is. There are different types of information you will want to gather.
Demographics: Gender, age, household income — that sort of thing.
Psychographics: Values, attitudes, interests and more. This is where you start to look at why someone wants to buy from you, what pain points you are addressing.
There are a few questions you will need to ask yourself including:
What Challenges doe my ideal client face? Why?
How do I solve their problems?
What do I want in a client? What don’t I want?
What media does my ideal client consume? What do they read? What online communities do they hang out in?
Not all customers and clients are equal. Sometimes saying no to the wrong client will open you up to meeting the right client.
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