When running a small business, the biggest challenge is attracting the right clients. I can say first hand how much I've struggled with this. I've gone over my ideal client profile plenty of times, but I now have a pretty good idea of exactly who I want to attract, and how. This post is going to be all about how to figure out who your ideal client is, and how to best market yourself to attract them to you!
The Ideal Client:
When most people start out in business, they'll begin by saying yes to everything and everyone out of fear. I get it, it's hard to turn work down! They share everything they do, and don't niche down. The problem with that? They continue to attract people from all walks of life; as well as people they really don't want to work with.
So who is your perfect client? We all dream about them; that client that emails you, loves everything you do, books you and is super easy to work with. They pay you what you deserve, they're polite, you're excited about the project, they sing your praises to other business owners. Sounds good, right? The best bit is that they really exist!
But how do you work out who your ideal client is?
My advice is to try and imagine that your perfect client is just one person. It's much easier to create a character profile for a single person than it is for many. You can give them a name, an age, come up with an entire story on who they are and what they're life is like!
The best part? You'll notice how much easier it is to create content after you've done this exercise, because you'll be so clear on who you're talking to.
I get it, you're staring at the answers and now you're like... what next? Well, it's quite simple, you need to start analysing your business as it currently is, and figuring out if what you're currently putting out to the world reflects your ideal client.
Does your branding align with their preferences? Check out the websites of the store you said they like to shop in, what is their branding like? Can you take any inspiration from their website and apply it to yours?
What kind of content could you create for them? What does your ideal client need help with? Could you write any blog posts that could help answer those questions for them? Is the content that you're currently putting out there speaking to them? If it isn't, don't panic! You can start to change what you post, and slowly but surely, your ideal clients will come to you.
Where is your ideal client hanging out? If you're established that they spend most of their time on Instagram, focus your attention on building a really solid Instagram marketing strategy. If they love print magazines, brainstorm ideas on how you could get published in one.
As you can see, the options are endless, and its really up to you to research your ideal client, and figure out exactly where they are and how you can get in front of them with what they love.
Do you want an example?
I find examples to be super helpful, so here's a short break down of my ideal client profile!
My ideal client's name is Sarah. She lives in Cornwall and loves nothing more than a walk on the beach. She spends her weekends collecting sea glass and creating beautiful jewellery from her findings. She never set out to create a business, but as she began to wear her creations and friends asked her to make rings for them too, she started to share her work on Instagram. Eventually, she opened up an Etsy shop, and would spend her evenings after work creating pieces to sell.
After a few months, Sarah began to make enough money through her jewellery shop to be able to go part time at her main job. She realised that she loved making her jewellery more than anything, and wanted to make it her full time job.
Sarah's friends describe her as friendly, introverted and kind. She is ambitious and resourceful. Her only weaknesses are that she can be self critical and impatient. When she isn't working, she enjoys walking on the beach with her boyfriend and their dog. She loves fashion, but comfort is important to her. She likes to shop in stores like Anthropologie. She cares for the environment.
Sarah's biggest focus right now is solidifying her brand, and taking it to the next level. She is researching marketing tactics, and learning about branding. She's researching the possibility of investing in a professional photographer to photograph her jewellery pieces, as well as getting published in national magazines.
My full ideal client profile is much longer than this, and goes into a lot of detail, but I didn't want to bore you with all the details! I think you get a pretty good idea of who I'm talking to!
As you can see, thanks to my ideal client profile, I am able to get extremely focused on who my client is. Sarah doesn't exist, she's made up in my head, but the good news is that there are plenty of people out there just like Sarah! They might not be jewellery makers, but they may be in another similar kind of business, with similar ideals and goals. By creating content on my blog and social media which helps these kinds of clients, and inspires them, I attract them to me, and hopefully, gain them as clients!
You Can Have More Than One Ideal Client
If you market to more than one person, it's totally fine to create more than one ideal client profile; I have! The important thing is simply to get very clear on who they are, and what you can help them with.
There you have it, how to attract your ideal client! If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!