You have limited time, limited focus, and limited energy… among other things.
You simply can’t afford to waste your limited resources on trying to win over the wrong clients.
Or, trying to please the wrong clients.
We’ve all had them – clients that were such a bad fit for us that trying to please them time and time again made us wish we’d never accepted that deposit and signed that contract.
We would have been better off in the long-run had we just not accepted the job in the first place.
Entrepreneurs can avoid wasting valuable resources and save themselves emotional turmoil if they would just figure out what their ideal client looks like and then just go after that ideal client.
The search for the ideal client may sound far-fetched and idealistic, but it isn’t. If anything, honing in on your ideal client is just good business sense.
Every entrepreneur should have a very clear idea of what their ideal client’s demographic profile (age, gender, marital status, income, education level, occupation, location, ethnicity, etc.) and their psychographic profile (lifestyle, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, behaviors, etc.) look like.
Once the ideal client profile is figured out, growing your business will be infinitely easier.
However, locking down your ideal client – your target audience – can be harder than it sounds. Don’t be dismayed if you identify your ideal client only to have to tweak it later.
It may take a couple of tries. Be okay with that.
Before you can successfully identify your ideal client, you have to mentally prepare yourself first.
Here are five steps to take before successfully identifying your ideal client…
Learn to say “no”
Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
As an entrepreneur, particularly one that is just starting out, there is great temptation to try and be all things to all people.
No one likes to turn away business. It feels like turning away money and opportunities.
In reality, as counter-intuitive as it may seem – saying “yes” to everything will cost you. It will cost you the time, focus, and energy you could be spending pursuing and engaging clients that will serve up higher return on your investment.
Trying to cater to everyone will dilute your brand. Not only will you be spinning your wheels, engulfed in costly clients you don’t really want, but the clients you will want won’t see you as someone who specializes in catering to their specific needs.
Know what you bring to the table
It’s important that you recognize your ideal client, but it is equally important that you know yourself as well.
Know your value. And know what you bring to the table.
What problems are you and your business able to fix?
How can you help the people you want to help?
Again, don’t try to fix all the problems for all of the people. Zero in on what it is you do best. Know your superpower, and hone it.
Only once you truly understand what it is that you bring to the table, will you be able to figure out who you can help.
Knowing what you are capable of will help you identify your ideal client.
Conquer Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome is a horrible psychological affliction that hits almost all business owners at some point or another.
It is that creeping feeling that makes you feel like you are phony. That you can’t really deliver, or live up to your own hype.
It is also a sign that you haven’t correctly or fully identified your ideal client.
Recognize that you don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. Recognize that you can’t help every single person, and that’s okay too.
You are not a loser. You are not incapable.
You are valuable and you have something special that you can offer your ideal client.
You need to focus on what it is you CAN do, as opposed to what it is that you can’t do.
By zeroing in on only the people you can and want to help, you can keep Imposter Syndrome at bay.
Believe in your flow state
Working with the right people will make you feel happy.
Long hours will seem to fly by, because you’ve entered a flow state – a state that’s marked with a strong sense of purpose and drive.
Before you attempt on identifying your ideal client, know when you are working in a state of flow.
If you’ve misidentified your ideal client, there will be no flow.
Every task will seem like a long, drawn out form of torture.
You will lose your passion and drive.
If your gut instinct says that you are unhappy working with a certain client, then they are not your ideal client.
You can’t force flow. You either hit it, or you don’t.
If you find that your work life is lacking flow, you need to rethink your ideal client.
Stop wasting valuable time and resources trying to hunt down and please the wrong clients. Only pursue the right ones to begin with. Before you can identify the demographics and psychographics of your ideal client, you must mentally prepare. Learn to say “no” to the wrong opportunities, so that you can say “yes” to the right ones. Know what you value you bring to the table, and abolish Imposter Syndrome. Recognize when you are working in a flow state, and make it a goal to only work with clients who help you achieve this state.