One of things that small business owners struggle with is identifying exactly who they can best serve.  In fact, quite a few bigger organisations haven’t really nailed down their ideal customer, either.

It looks pretty straightforward, until you sit down and try to write that all important client profile.  Then you’ll almost certainly get diverted by all the different types of customer you could help.  I’m not suggesting that there’s only one perfect client – but you can’t be everything to everyone.

Why is it important?

I have lost count of the people I’ve met networking who, when asked what an ideal referral would be, say ‘Anyone who wants what I do’.

There’s nothing in that statement that will ring any bells with me.  Who do I know who looks like an ‘anybody’?  Answer – lots of people – so it’s much too big a task for me to tackle.  I need more details or at least a few key words. 

For instance, when I met a recruitment consultant who was looking for a junior hedge fund manager, I took action – because I knew someone who wanted to work with hedge funds.  If she’d said ‘Anyone who is looking for a job’ I wouldn’t have done anything as I wouldn’t have joined up the dots.

Make it easy for people to help you.

There’s another reason too – and one which is much more exciting!

When you know exactly what your ideal client looks like you’ll find that people/companies that match your ideal profile are attracted to you.  That means that marketing gets easier and more referrals flow your way.

When you are up front about who you want to work with people who match your perfect customer will start to self-identify.  Especially if you include the kind of clients you want to help on your website and on your LinkedIn profile and company page.

How to identify your ideal client

Consider the clients you’ve worked for in the past. 

  • Who did you really enjoy working with?
  • Who loved what you did for them and why?
  • What problems did you solve for them?

That’s probably a good template for an ideal client for starters.  The bonus is that you’ll end up working with people who value what you do, doing work you enjoy.

If you need more help with your ideal client profile download the Perfect Client worksheet from the Treasure Chest (it’s free)!