You’ve probably read a lot about how to find your ideal client. If you were like us when we first started our business, you’ve likely hoarded twenty-six of those PDFs that stated how their Branding Guides would help you define your brand and identify your ideal client. Those PDFs also most likely claimed that you could become rich and have a line of ideal clients knocking on your proverbial door. Instead of getting any actual answers to your questions, you were given a twenty-two-page PDF with a bunch of questions and blank spaces (that usually aren’t editable) to answer so many questions about your brand. You are frustrated because you did not receive actual answers to your questions, and you still don’t know where to start.
You might even feel icky about finding an “ideal customer” because you feel like you’re having to exclude a specific group of people or put some of them in boxes. You don’t need to exclude potential customers because they don’t make a certain amount of money, aren’t a specific gender, aren’t married, or don’t live in one particular city. The list goes on. Many brands are so short-sighted in who their ideal customers are that they miss out on opportunities to sell their product or service. I understand that when you know your product or service is life-changing, you don’t want anyone to miss out.
How to Find Your Ideal Client
It’s okay to think about where your ideal client lives, works, and what they do in their free time. This way of thinking is not wrong; it’s just not the most important thing to focus on. So what matters? While thinking about your product or service, ask yourself, what keeps your ideal client up at night? Where do they experience conflict with the service/product that you’re providing? How can you make their life easier? How will your product or service change or transform their life? The answers to these essential questions inform the WHY behind what you do as essentially changing the world in the niche industry you’re in.
Figuring out “Your Why?”
You’ve probably heard a lot of people talk or write about the importance of figuring out “your why.” It may seem so daunting to define your business’s purpose and describe why it exists in this world. When we coach our clients, we always remind them that many factors determine your business’s “why.” For instance, the idea that you would like to make money, support yourself or your family by doing something you love is a huge reason to start a business. Having the desire to make more money, build a team, and get more clients isn’t an evil desire. Your business should focus on and consider these reasons, but it can’t be your main driving force. Potential clients can smell the thirst from a mile away, so if you’re only running a business to make cash, they won’t feel connected to you or your brand.
Your why can be as simple as “I want to create beautiful things for people to enjoy” or “I love connecting with people and creating a community,” or “I love that when someone buys my product, their life becomes easier and more enjoyable.” Your business doesn’t have to cure cancer to make a change. It may be enough to bring a smile to someone’s face.
Suppose you’re still struggling with finding your ideal client and defining your why. One of the best things you can do is to read all of your past reviews. Through a questionnaire or by phone, you can also directly ask your clients why they hired you and why they chose you over someone else. We’ve also sent out a questionnaire form for market research and another questionnaire after completing each project.
Here are a few questions you can ask previous clients:
How did you decide to buy my service/product?
How did my service/product make you feel?
How did my business improve your life or bring clarity?
What is your biggest struggle right now?
What is something that we don’t offer that may benefit you want in the future?
There are no “Five steps to finding your ideal client.” Defining the why about your product or service is a great way to start.