In this post, I’ll be exploring how you can accurately identify your ideal client. I’m taking it beyond the usual scope of getting to know a client on a more superficial level and digging deeper. This depth leads to happier clients, a more productive you, and business success all around.
To figure out who your ideal client is, start by asking yourself who have I loved working with? Delve into what you loved about the experience, what it was about his or her personality that you loved, what their values were, and what kind of communication style they utilized.
Then do the same exercise with a client that you didn’t particularly love working with. Determine what it was about the experience that was off-putting, or what you would change if you could do it over again.
Chances are, there were things about the client that you didn’t love working with that made it clear to you that they simply weren’t a good match for you and your business. Maybe they didn’t have values that aligned with yours or maybe your personalities didn’t jive. Or maybe they needed something completely different than what you and your business had to offer.
Now that you have these visualizations in your head, you can move forward – with that great experience in mind – and ask yourself the questions you need to in order to identify your ideal client.
The first question you want to ask yourself from your ideal client’s perspective is what their goals are. You want to ask, what is your ideal client wanting? What goals are they craving? What is important about their goals and results?
You should really zero in on those results, too. That’s where a lot of the importance lies. Not precisely in what the results will be, but rather, how will reaching these goals or experiencing these results catapult the rest of their life? What is the domino effect of them reaching their goals?
A health and fitness coach serves as a prime example of this. A health and fitness coach prompts so much more for their clients than simply helping them lose weight. With that weight loss comes a whole domino effect of results:
But to take this further, you want to question why is this domino effect important? What are their thoughts at this stage?
Keep questioning so you can really understand your ideal client’s goals and thoughts. You want to gain insight into what keeps them up at night, what gets them out of bed in the morning, and what they’re absolutely obsessing over.
But why is this important to understand? Well, chances are – you’ve probably experienced exactly what your ideal client is going through. That’s what makes them such a great fit for you.
Most people go into coaching because they were inspired by their own story and transformation. So think about these questions for yourself – what have your obsessions been? What have the motivating factors that get you up in the morning and occupy your thoughts late at night? Gaining this baseline of understanding your ideal client’s overarching goals is so important in finding and connecting with these individuals.
Another important topic to explore is the fears that plague your client. Ask yourself, what fears does your ideal client have inside their head and aloud? What are they nervous about that you can come in and help them with? What about these fears will stop your ideal client from taking action?
One thing that a lot of people have fears about is putting themselves out there on social media. Logically, they know that a social media presence will be required to run their business successfully. But, they are likely plagued by thoughts like, what will my co-workers say about my posts? What about my family?
These fears are so normal, and they’re also so important for you to understand from a business standpoint. Deciphering these allows you to get into their mindset.
When you display both empathy for these fears and a plan for addressing them, your ideal clients will think, “wow, this person really knows me and gets me. They’re going to help me through this stuff!” This is really powerful in making an impact on your ideal client.
The next part of the process is really important. You want to understand what action your client is taking right now. You can think through, what are they Googling? What type of content are they listening to? Who are they following on social? What they’re consuming now is important in understanding how they’re feeling and operating.
That’s where we start understanding their deeper layer emotions. Going back to the health and fitness coach example, a client may say “I want to lose weight”. But that may be just the goal at the surface that stems from a deeper yearning and emotional desire. That desire to lose weight may be masking a deeper, more emotional goal of wanting to have sex with their husband again before their marriage falls apart.
Once you can uncover the deeper layers of emotion and motivation, you go from helping your client with a surface-level thing to helping them achieve a goal that has a much deeper rooted emotional connection and importance in their life.
Always ask yourself: what does my ideal client really want?
The last thing to ask yourself about your ideal client is, what’s their lifestyle like? Are they a mom? Are they faith based? Do they have specific routines? How do they spend their time?
How will my program interrupt their lifestyle? How will it complement it?
These questions matter because you want to work with individuals that live their life in a way that you can come in and easily integrate into it.
This goes hand in hand with what values your ideal client has. Ask yourself, what do they believe in? What are their non-negotiables?
When it comes down to it, there can certainly be differences between you and your clients. This contrast is a great thing. But, there are some times when values are too different that it makes it so that it wouldn’t be a sound working relationship. So it’s important to understand that and look for that.
Finally, the personality of your ideal client is something you want to consider. After all, you want to ensure you will work well together! Think through, are they a strategic thinker? Are they emotional? Do they like to have fun? What are they motivated by?
It’s also a great idea to understand enneagram types, what yours is, and what different types you’ll work best with (you can learn more about that in a previous episode here).
At the end of the day, your ideal client is someone who reflects the core of who you are and what your purpose is. You want their goals, personality, values, fears, and deeper level emotions to align with yours and with your experiences.
I hope you’ve learned from this post that this is the equation for a wonderful and mutually beneficial working relationship, and when you find the ideal client that checks all of these boxes and rings all of these bells, you’ll hear the click that it’s a match for you and your business.
Thanks so much for reading! To sign up for my courses and coaching and explore all the resources I have to offer, check out the links below. And don’t forget to tune into The #PrettyAwkward Entrepreneur Podcast, wherever you love to stream content!
I have helped HUNDREDS of women get their unique coaching voice and find their soulmate (clients that is!)
Because I’ve been there too. I went from wanting to be a health and fitness coach...trying to take awkward booty pooping selfies, to embracing my #prettyawkward style and scaling my coaching business past six figures.