What Makes an Ideal Client?

Not everyone is your ideal client. Read that again.  

You have the ability, within your business model, to put systems and process in place to attract your ideal clients. I’m not talking Law of Attraction, but real actionable items. Not that I am against the Law of Attraction, I’m just more of a practical mindset in that once you visualize what you want, take the action to make it happen.  

Understanding what makes an ideal client requires a professional self-evaluation and forward thinking. Being a Jack or Jane of all trades and master of none can confuse clients. You can aim to be all things to all people through your business model, but you’re only exhausting yourself and your business structure. You are also overwhelming prospective clients. Understanding your unicorn client is more than simple demographics. You must value yourself, define your niche, and define the attributes that transform a good client into a great client.  

Have it your way? Your business is not likened to menu items at a fast-food restaurant. When a client considers your business for their needs, are you feeling valued as the business owner? Do you sell yourself short just to gain a new client? An ideal client will understand your value, pay you appropriately, and remit payment on time. There are always extenuating circumstances that may cause a hiccup in that process. A judicious business owner will be able to accurately assess between an isolated circumstance and an ongoing red flag. Anything outside of these parameters is an indicator that this may not be your ideal client. Finding your voice to say no to a prospective client is professionally acceptable. Discerning fit with a client is an invaluable part of the process. If you invest your time into clients that are not a good fit, you may miss opportunities with clients that are perfect for your business model. 
Overreaching and underwhelming? You have a vision for your business, and its berth may be wide. Have you considered refining your business capabilities? Offering a few key services or products that you excel with can enable you to attract the ideal clients. If your services or products are all over the map, so will your marketing, your message, and your prospective clients be all over as well. This can be exhausting when you think about the amount of training for yourself or your team, the number of processes you have to keep up with, billing for so many different items! Your business identity must be solid so your client potential can also be solid. Niche it down to a few vertical markets and maximize your attraction to your model client. 
Wrong marketing strategy? This tidbit will require you to have an all-encompassing understanding of where to find an ideal client. A good writer will create a fully fleshed out biography of their fictional character before committing pen to paper. Likewise, a good business owner has their unicorn client fully fleshed out in their business plan.  

Are you in the right places? Understanding where to access your market is key to your success. Does your market gravitate to social media platforms? Are you utilizing those avenues or are you casting a wide net between a variety of platforms and hoping for the best? Does your market prefer traditional newspaper? If you cannot answer these questions, you are missing a great opportunity to finding your ideal client. Research and understand your demographics. This will give you the chance to build professional and sincere relationships with your clients as you’re investing in understanding WHO they are and not solely WHAT they want from you. 

But wait, we were supposed to deliver actionable items. We did, just not in the list format. From the above, you can now determine your ideal client by: 

  1. How they pay. 
  1. How or if they value your time. 
  1. Are they in need of the service or product you provide, or some variant that you don’t provide? 
  1. Are they a fit with your current procedures or do they require something custom or unreasonable? 

Someone close to me used to say, any paying client is a good client. While it is definitely good to get paid, don’t get lulled into believing that statement. When you use the above list with the strategies to define your niche and ensure you are marketing in the right places and with the focused message, you will start realizing more of your ideal clients  

Understanding this is vital to your business success and growth. We recently discussed this topic with Trish Saemann of GoBeyond SEO and True North in our podcast: Work With Clients You Love. Check out our Nurture Small Business Podcast to gain powerful insight to boost your business: https://dcavirtual.com/podcast/