An ideal client is not the same as a dream client. The two terms are not interchangeable. I recently read an article from the Huffington Post that was not exactly… right. The author of the article was explaining who her dream client was; what traits her dream client had. Fast forward to later in the article, the author writes, “…how I got hired by my IDEAL CLIENT…”, then follows that with a sentence about how they found where their DREAM CLIENT hangs out. No, they aren’t the same. The terms ‘dream client’ and ‘ideal client’ mean two separate things.
A dream client is just that- a dream. Dream clients are perfect; without flaw. Some traits of my dream client may include: always being on time, doesn’t ask questions, trusts my design judgment, and explains everything in a way I can understand. How likely is it I find clients that fit all of those qualities? Not very likely and that is what makes them dreamy.
Your ideal client is a single persona that embodies clients who are already purchasing what you’re selling. Every business needs the ability to identify, find, and sell to their ideal client. Then proceed to satisfy them so they become a loyal customer.
If you’ve been following me for a while now then you’ve probably heard me talk about how many business owners think that if they cast a wider net then they’ll get more fish; however, the opposite is true in marketing. A lack of clarity in your marketing leaves you with wasted efforts.
When you narrow down your audience you can tailor your marketing efforts to a target audience. If you don’t have a target audience, you’re creating a blanket, non-specific marketing campaign. When consumers feel you understand their problems they’ll trust you more. Narrowing down into your ideal clientele gives you the advantage to position your product or service as the solution to their greatest problem.
If you were someone that was recently diagnosed with Diabetes, and you knew you needed to make lifestyle changes ASAP, would you look for a health coach that focuses on just weight loss, or would you be more interested in someone that specializes in helping clients reverse and/or manage their Diabetes?
If you are focused on one specific audience, your ideal client, then you can position yourself to be the solution to their problem. Do you think that the diabetic patient is going to choose the generic health coach or the specialized health coach?
In order to find your ideal client, you must first know what solution your product or service solves. Let’s go back to that health coach example. So instead of being the client, you’re now the health coach looking for clients. You may identify your target market to be women, 30-42 years of age, with a geographic location within 30 miles of your office, married with no children, and earn more than $80,000 annually.
While that is a great start, we want to dig even deeper and go beyond that to find what the clients are really searching for.
We need to narrow down your ideal client even further.
Now let’s return to your target market of women, 30-42 years of age, with a geographic location within 30 miles of your office, married with no children, and earn more than $80,000 annually. You decide to create a Facebook advertisement to reach these women.
Your ad does ‘okay’ but you find out how true the phrase, ‘If you’re marketing to everyone, then you’re marketing to no one,’ is. You advertised to your target market, so why wasn’t the ad more successful?
Because it wasn’t marketed to your ideal client. You assumed all women within your surrounding area, 30-42-years of age, who are married with no children, and earn more than $80,000 annually are struggling with the same health problems and lose weight the same way. One of the biggest reasons Facebook ads perform terribly is because the audience you’re targeting is too general.
This is where we dig deeper into your ideal client and create an Ideal Client Profile (ICP).
When your message transforms from something along the lines of “I help women lose weight” to “I help busy working moms who are juggling the demands of a hectic schedule live healthier lives so they can lose weight, have more energy, and feed their families quick and delicious healthy meals”, people know your exact area of expertise.
An Ideal Client Profile is extremely valuable to your business. I had a client recently, Amanda, who’s a photographer, that completed my ICP Worksheet. Together, we narrowed down her niche market. Within two weeks of refining her marketing strategy to reach her ideal clientele (as opposed to her previous broad market), she saw a 50% increase in inquiries! Wouldn’t you want results similar, if not better than hers?
Click here, to learn how you can find your Ideal Client Profile and create a brand identity. Are you ready to be my next success story?
When you have an ideal client, you can create sales copy and advertisements that are focused on their unique pain points.