How to Find Your Dream Clients
Most of us know loosely who our ideal client is. We know generalities of who they are- we might know their age range, if they're male or female, and what income level we hope they produce.
But, those traits don't actually help us out in the end. Because, really, that's like going on a blind date and saying "Find me in the restaurant, I'll be the blonde wearing shoes." It's a little too broad- there are probably 80 other blondes there, and 100% of them will be wearing shoes, right? In order to stand out from the crowd, you'll have to narrow your scope of characteristics. That is the key to attracting the right type of clients that you'll enjoy working with.
*Video version at the end of this post*
Dream Client Defined
While it is important to define specifically who your dream client is, you can't just make things up in our heads. As much as we might like to say that the most perfect person we can imagine to work with is wealthy, and understands our process, and drinks our favorite drinks from Starbucks- we can't just decide that that person exists just simply because we want them to.
Our dream client has to come out of real fact.
Especially because who may think would be our dream client might not actually light us up in the end.
So think beyond the fluff of what you've been told an idea client is up until this point, and realise that your dream client is really just someone who's exact needs are met by your offer.
And really, this whole dream client realization has to start with some self reflection. You started your business to tie together a talent and a passion you have right? Usually, this stems from a life experience or a reflex to teach something or be something that you needed at some point in your life. So, (ready for some lightbulbs, babe?) at some point in your life, YOU were your own ideal client.
Think back to where you were in your life when you could have benefitted from your own product or service. What did your life look like then?
What were your struggles, interests, needs..?
For brand new business owners, this is most likely enough of a starting point. This gives them enough information to move on to actually finding their dream clients and start speaking to them. But, if you’ve been in business for any period of time- even if it’s just been a month- you have some other data to look over before you try to go out and find these people.
Dream client research FOR BUSINESSES WITH DATA:
1) Look to your competition
First, look to those in your industry that offer a similair product or service and also serves a similair demographic to who you think you'd liek to work with.
Then, ask yourself: How are you different? What sets you apart from them?
Research their followers (i.e. client base) and then tweak what you know about their clients to fit into how you are different.
Example: if your prices are lower than theirs, then your ideal client is probably at a different income level than theirs. Also, in the same photographer scenario, let's say they are strictly a wedding photographer but you offer newborn shoots as well as weddings. Then you know your ideal clients are not only couples, but also couples that are expecting.
2) Evaluate your past clients
Even if you've only ever had 1 client that you have adored working with, you have ONE ideal client to base your entire dream client profile off of.
So, write down all the qualities of this client that made you enjoy working with them. Doing this will give you a roadmap to the type of client you will have the most fun serving.
Likewise, write down qualities of past clients that you didn’t jive with. Just as important as it is to list the good, you should also acknowledge the bad. There are always dream clients and nightmare clients- defining both will help you attract the dreamy ones.
3) Define your boundaries
We didn’t go into business for ourselves to become miserable working with our clients- actually, that's probably the exact reason we left our 9-5’s, right? o, defining clear-cut boundaries for yourself is a great way to ensure that you will only work with clients that will light you up. Because *spoiler alert!* you are the CEO of your business and you have the power to choose how you want your business to run!
Example: Let's say you are a night owl, but your clients wants 9am meetings. This kind of scenario sets you up to dread working with them, right? So, they probably aren’t your dream client.
4) Look at your own analytics
Every social media platform and even your website has analytics that will tell you a lot about who your audience already is. You can use this information to know if the way that you are currently serving them is a way that is working or not. This way, you can decide if you should tweak the ways that you are communicating with your audience or if you're already attracting the right kind of people.
How to Actually Find and Speak to Your Dream Clients
1) Start with your messaging and branding
Use your personality, voice, visuals, and mission to get on their level. Doing this will help your audience see that you are just like them/ have been where they are. So, use your expertise to talk directly about their pain points and their struggles and show that you are the solution to their problems.
Pro Tip: Throughout your branding be sure you don’t skimp on your personality! Let YOU shine through because, after all, your ideal clients are a lot like you *wink*
2) Research other influencers that have the same target market as you
Similarly to how I spoke about using your competition to research who your ideal client might be, you can also use influencers in your industry to reach those that fit your dream client profile.
Influencers are different than competition in that they offer complimentary products or services to what you offer- but they serve the same target market as you. (i.e. if you are a web designer, a copywriter would be an influencer in your same industry). Once you find those that are already established with an audience that you could serve, find a way to get in front of them!
Collaborate with these influencers- Guest on their blog, do product or service collaborations, conduct joint facebook lives or webinars. All of these things will give you social proof and get your face in front of their audience.
Pay attention to how and where they are communicating with their audience- Especially if this influencer has a large influence, you can take cues from them and take the strategies that work for them and use them in your own business. Look at what social media platforms they are using, and how they speak to their audience. Are they causal? Do they microblog? Do they have more engagement on Instagram than facebook? Take those tactics and use them for yourself!
Capitalize on their audiences traits- Look to the influencer's audience to gain some perspective on what you can be speaking about on your own profiles to intrigue them. Find an very engaged audience member and look their social media profile and pay attention to things like where they are checking in (try to appear in these places), what tv shows they watch (speak to these interest in your posts to become relatable), pay attention to if they have kids, if their married, where they live, etc. All of this information will give you content ideas that will attract the right kind of customer.
3) Use your past clients to attract others like them
When you find those clients that you really enjoy working with, it's important to use that oportunity to try to get more clients just like them!
Referral incentives- This will ensure that they tell their friends about you! It's known that we tend to hang around those that are simliar to ourselves, so when good clients tell their friends about you, they'll be sending you good clients as well!
Utilize client surveys- This is a super powerful tool that will get you LOTS of valuable information straight from the mouth of your ideal client. You can ask questions like: what they liked about working with you, if they would work with you again, and *the most important question*, where they first heard about you. <--- That tells you where you should be spending the most time interacting and engaging with your audience because your KNOW that is where your ideal client is hanging out.
Did any lightbulbs go off, babe?
Really, knowing and finding your dream client is a lot simpler than its made out to be.. it’s not ambiguous- it’s strategic! And, it can be broken down into 5 simple steps:
✨ Start with your offer because your dream client is someone who’s needs are met with your product or service
✨ Then look at yourself. Reflect on your life at the time when you would have needed what you offer.
✨ Look at your own business data. Think about your past clients, and who your competition is attracting. Use analytics within social media to gather data about the followers you already have.
✨ Define your boundaries. Know what you are not willing to budge on so that you too have an excellent experience with your client.
✨ Go out and find them! Collaborate with those that have the same target market as you, appear where they hang out, and use referrals to get you more and more dream clients!
About The Author >>
Hey babe. I'm Alex.
I'm the branding coach and the lady behind Lady and Company Creative. I adore helping other female entrepreneurs kill it with their business by creating badass brands that showcase their passions. I create websites that work and brand strategies that will put your business on the track to success.
I know that each of us holds innate qualities that make us the amazing humans we are. And, I believe we are meant to use those talents to better the world around us. Who we are is purposeful and our calling is built directly within us- sometimes we just have to uncover it.
That is exactly what I help you do.
We work together to discover your passions and then we use them to create a sustainable business that will fulfill you and speak directly to who you are. Learn more...
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