Identifying Your Ideal Client

Do your eyes glaze over when asked to describe your ideal client? You aren’t alone if your ‘client avatar’ is elusive. I have found this one of the most difficult things for my clients to articulate.

And it’s so important. If you don’t know your ‘WHO’, it’s really hard to speak their language, understand their desires and challenges and to clearly let them know you get them and you can help.

Most often we get stuck identifying them by what we think they want, “I work with women who want to….” Sound familiar? It’s not as helpful as you might think. You want to come up with more concrete descriptors in order to find them and speak to them. Sometimes a new approach to the question will help shake out a clearer description.

Here are 3 ways to explore and identify your ideal client.

1. Who they aren’t
I know, this sounds counter-intuitive but it can yield some great info. You do want to write about who they are – their passions, interests, age, professional identity, what’s important to them, what they are committed to, etc. AND you also want to identify who they are not. Your ideal client is not passionate about x y z or has these interests or does this for a living. Your ideal client will start to stand out against the things you do not want to see in an ideal client.

2. Central Casting
This is such a clever way to explore the ideal client question. I learned about it from Danny Iny, although I’m not sure if it originated from him or not. The idea is to imagine you are going to central casting to choose the actor to represent your ideal client. Think about all of the TV shows you’ve seen, movies you’ve seen and find the actor that is a perfect fit. Describe what it is about them in their role that you love.

3. Get out of your head
Metaphors can open up lots of new insights as they get past the pesky left brain that has you in a rut. Consider thinking about your ideal client as an animal. And really allow your intuitive right brain to guide the way. Let’s say your ideal client is a big brown grizzly bear. What are the qualities of that animal? Cool yes?. Try it. You can use flowers, landscapes, colors, gemstones, cars, famous artwork and more. Use more than one and see where the metaphors take you.

Try as many ways as possible to answer this very important question for your business. It will make everything else easier.