What does your ideal client look like? Do you even know?
When you are first starting out, the ideal client is anybody willing to pay you money to do practically anything (legal, that is). After all, beggars can’t be choosers.
But as you gain experience and your list of accomplishments grows, you can afford to be more exclusive with who you choose to collaborate with. And ideally, the amount you earn will also increase – at first incrementally and then exponentially, at least in the ideal scenario!
When I first started out, I couldn’t afford to be choosy. Just to get my foot in the door, I had to take whatever came my way. But eventually, with time, effort, and trial-and-error (often more error!), I was able to start to build both my business and reputation.
Today, I enjoy an exclusive client base that includes some of the most respected businesses in the world.
So today I want to share with you the tools you need to do the same with your business. And it all begins with imagining what your “perfect client” looks like!
Creating Your Ideal Client – Start by Looking in the Mirror
The better you understand what your own motivations are, the more prepared you will be to realize what your clients are looking for.
After all, your clients choose you for a reason. Price may be the first thing. But it’s rarely the only thing. Or even the most important thing.
You don’t always buy the cheapest products you can find, do you? Instead, you are drawn to products and services that tend to share your values and experience. The same holds true for your clients.
So begin your search for the perfect client by taking a look at what you perceive as perfection in yourself:
- What do you strive to be?
- What are the core foundational elements of your business?
- Why do you want people to choose you over everybody else?
Answer these questions honestly and you can begin to understand what type of clients you want to attract, collaborate with, and make genuine connections with.
Creating Your Ideal Client – Judge Your Current Clients
We don’t always like to pass judgments on other people. But sometimes it can be helpful to understand what qualities we value and which ones we dislike.
Try this exercise: Create a list of your current clients. If it’s not that big, include as many former clients as you can remember. Now, quickly and without thinking too much about it, rank them from best to worst.
It’s often easiest to start with the best and worst, then move towards the middle. Don’t spend more than a couple of minutes on this list and don’t overthink it … just do it!
Now, take a look at the top 3 and the bottom 3 and discard all the rest. Then make a short bullet-point list of the best qualities that the top 3 share and another list of the worst qualities that the bottom 3.
Congratulations! You now have a clear picture of what you are looking for in new clients and what to avoid.
Creating Your Ideal Client – How Do You Reflect These Qualities?
Now comes the hard part. It’s time for a little soul searching.
Look at your list of best qualities and answer this question with startling honesty: What to you do in your everyday life that reflects these qualities? Don’t compromise or try to shade the meaning of your answer. It’s okay if you aren’t currently doing all the things you should be doing. In fact, that’s the whole point of this exercise.
Now, Look at your list of the worst qualities and once again answer the question: What are you doing in your everyday life that reflects these qualities? Don’t shy away from the truth. Be brutally honest with yourself.
After you meditate on these two lists, you can now move forward with actually creating your description of the perfect client.
The Rest Is Up to You
Understanding what you are looking for in a client is a helpful way to make your business more successful. But it’s also path to more happiness in what you do, more genuine fulfillment, and a better contribution to the world you inhabit.
You are the expert on you. You know your business better than anybody else. And only you can take what you have learned about your perfect client and use it as a map to finding the genuine success that you deserve.