How to Attract Ideal Clients
Learning how to attract ideal clients is important, but the first order of business is to figure out who your ideal client actually is. When you figure that out you’ll be able to create better products and services, based on exactly what they really need and want. There is an easy way to get started with market identification.
- Niche It Down – You want to start with the tiniest potential market that will think what you are offering is perfect for them. While this feels strange to find the smallest market, counterintuitive even, the fact is you can expand later. But right now you want to identify the smallest market who wants what you are offering and get to know them.
- Understand Your USP – Next work on understanding your unique selling point also called a unique value proposition in other words – why you? Why are you the one to provide this product or service to the small narrow audience you determined above? Work on explaining that while also keeping in mind that the audience needs everything couched in how it helps them.
- Offer Free Samples – Gain access to your audience that you’ve identified by offering a free sample of what you can do for them. Ask for feedback on your free sample from this audience so that you can make your offerings better. Knowing what they feel and think can help you develop better products and marketing materials in the future.
- Sketch Your Customer – After you’ve tested your niche audience with your free sample, and received feedback, you should be able to get a good idea of exactly who your customer is enabling you to create a persona of your ideal customer. You want to know, their demographics, what do they do on a Sunday night, and more. Anything you can learn to help you create a complete customer sketch or avatar is helpful.
- Repeat – As you go through the motions of niching down, defining and understanding your USP you’ll be able to improve your customer sketch over time. Keep doing it, and keep learning because no group stays completely the same. Their values may change over time as a group.
Your ideal customer, as identified, will become very important going forward. As you continue to learn about them, you’ll be able to identify more problems that you can solve within your expertise, thus, creating a very powerful product creation cycle that works in concert with your marketing plans.
How to Determine If a Client Is the Right Fit
If you have a service based business over a product based business you may have to work a little differently to get the right clients. You’ll do “all of the above”, but you’ll have the added step of speaking directly with the client and working with them one-on-one. You can do this in a few different ways.
We discussed a freebie, and if your client liked the freebie and now wants to move forward to working with you, it’s best to start with a small or short term project. During project ask yourself the following questions.
- Is This Your Area of Expertise? – Even if you think you’re a jack of all trades, the best way to work is to choose a particular area of expertise and market those skills. Don’t too much of everything will dilute your worth and actually work against you. Choose an area to focus on and stick to that with your clients.
- Does The Client Accept Your Terms? – As a contractor and not an employee, it’s imperative that a client accept your terms and your process as how things will be done. It should all be spelled out in your contract and understandable to you both. This will be a big sign as to how well you’ll work together. Don’t feel compelled to make changes if it’s something that will make you miserable or interrupt your systems.
- Are the Client’s Expectations Realistic? – As you interview the client, you’ll be able to tell if their expectations make sense. The best way to find out is to ask them what they expect the results of your relationship to be. If they have pie in the sky unrealistic notions you can correct them before you start.
- Does The Client Follow Your Process? – If you’ve developed systems (which you should have) then when you try to explain them to the potential client is it easy for them to understand? Do they want to follow it? For example, if you use Basecamp, are they willing to sign in and learn it and use it?
- Are You Invested in Their Success? – When you talk to the potential client and get an understanding of what they are doing, does it excite you? Do you want them to succeed? This is an important component in ensuring that you’ll be happy working with the new client. If you don’t like what they do, don’t respect it, and aren’t excited about it, it will be hard to be invested enough to do a good job.
Taking this time to test the client’s responsiveness and the overall fit between the two of you is an important way to ensure that taking on the client long term will pay off for both of you. If you start with a short term project you can get through it well, probably even earn a good testimonial out of it even if you don’t move forward and work with the person long term. If you’re finding that you don’t mesh with the people you’re attracting you may want to create a customer avatar to help you hone in your marketing. What other questions may I answer for you on how to attract ideal clients?