Do you have a passion for one industry over another?
Answer those questions and you will be on your way to narrowing your ideal client down.
3 Tips For Finding Your Ideal Client
Once you’ve decided who they are, here is how to reach them.
Tell your business story. What makes you unique? What unique insight do you bring to what you do? Use your story to connect with potential clients and as a way to tell what you do without being overly salesy
What do you have that the competition doesn’t? What are your unique goods or services? What is your unique selling proposition aka USP? Know this and you can determine your ideal client — it’s the person for whom you can address a pain point with your goods or services
Delve into your current client base and notice any similarities. Notice whether you have clients that just don’t fit and ask yourself why you’re sticking with them? There could be definite reasons you are, but only you know. What are common characteristics your clients — share? This could put you on the path of understanding who your ideal client is
After you’ve uncovered your ideal client, you can focus your marketing and your efforts on that niche. You may find that once you have a niche you will begin thriving. For example, I have focused my business expertise on swimming pool construction and swimming pool service clients. Why? Because that is my area of expertise. What’s yours?
My team at Peak Dynamics has been remote before it became a trend during the coronavirus pandemic. I have long relied on technology to connect with my staff who is scattered across the globe. I couldn’t run my businesses if I didn’t have implicit trust in them to do what needed to be done. Do you trust your staff? If not, why do you have them working for you?
My contractors are hired for their unique skills and their dedication to what they do for me and for my clients. I vet them well and know they are dedicated to what they do for me, even if I am not their only client. Trust is a two way street. I trust them to do what needs to be done and they trust me to give them the tools they need to excel.
Sure, there have been some missteps along the way but because of those incidents, I learned what to look for and how to avoid those missteps in the future. It’s a live and learns and learn to let go and let your staff — whether they’re in the office or virtual — run with the tasks they’ve been given and become trusted members of your team.
Once I have a team member in place and trained to the unique way in which I do things in my Peak Dynamics pool industry marketing business (hint: hire people who have the skillsets you seek and you can train them to do the nitty-gritty that is unique to your organization), but you need to learn to trust your employees.
Do You Trust Your Staff?
Here are my tips for doing just that:
Provide training to do the job to the best of their abilities in the unique way you operate your business.
Set specific expectations
Set reasonable goals. Don’t be vague in what you expect because your staff/vendors won’t know if they’re attaining the goals you’d set if they can’t pinpoint a set point.
Have an open-door policy so employees know you’re available if they need help. Don’t make them waste their time going down the wrong path if they can just reach out to you for clarification.
Look for employees who show initiative.
Let them know you appreciate their efforts and what they bring to the team.
You may not want to completely change your business name, logo, tagline and colors or you could confuse your past clients. But if you’re expanding or changing or adding a completely new focus, then a new brand could be just what you need. There is no reason you can’t tweak your current brand to make it more current or relevant in today’s market. The last thing you want is for your brand to look old and tired even if the offerings behind it are current and relevant.
Does Your Business Brand Need A Refresh?
You’re offering new and completely different services or products.
The business model has changed and you need a new and different logo to reflect that change.
The business management team has changed. You want a new logo to set yourself apart with a new identity.
If you are pursuing a new target audience, your brand should reflect that.
Does your old logo look tired and dated? Does your brand reflect a fax machine or a beeper? LOL, if so, you should definitely upgrade and update. If you are taking your business in a new direction and targeting a new audience a new logo or brand identification might make sense.
If your old logo simply looks tired or the colors look dated, you might want to freshen it up with new colors.
Use your new branding as a way to garner new and fresh excitement in a social media campaign.
Do your customers “know, like and trust you”? If not, why not? If you aren’t sure, you need to read these tips on 15 ways to connect with your customers. If your ideal client doesn’t know you value him or her, they will look for a new person with whom to work who does value them and who “gets” them.
Every business owner I work with has clients they adore and they have clients whose emails they avoid and they wince when they see a missed call from that person. How well do you know your customer? Wouldn’t you like to work with people who bring you joy? Then you need to ensure you’re bringing joy to them in all your interactions.
15 Ways To Connect With Your Customers
Who is your ideal customer?
They value you above and beyond the fee they pay
They are long-term clients.
They are your biggest advocates.
They continually buy what you have to offer.
They know what they want and you get right to the point with them.
They pay their bills on time.
How do spot that less-than-ideal-client before you sign them?
Even in initial conversations, they are never satisfied.
They continually ask for more but want to pay for less
You are continually in money-chase mode with them
They don’t value what you do and how to do it
They bad mouth the people they worked with before you — this is a red flag because you know they will bad mouth you.
What steps should you take to jettison these clients? Be aware though that these tactics will work against you when they bad mouth you to their new service provider.
Raise your prices
Be unavailable for their phone calls or meetings
Offer them an introduction to a business partner who may be a better fit
Be direct. “I just don’t think we are a good fit.”
Have you ever had to break up with a client? Did you stay with a client much longer than you should have just because you needed the money? We get it. It’s not easy but you do need to weigh what they’re paying you with the energy they are draining from you.
Conferences are being planned and with them being in-person again after more than three years of virtual events because of coronavirus. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people, find new clients and learn new skills. We have put together 3 ways to get conference ROI — if you’re spending the money to get to and from the conference, stay in a hotel and the fee from the conference you do want to ensure you see a return on that investment.
Regardless of whether you travel cross country or even day a day or two out of your office to attend a local networking event, you want to ensure you’re getting value from it. If you’re not, then why did you take time away from growing your business?
3 Ways To Get Conference ROI
Know who will be speaking, what they will be speaking on and whether it’s content you need to help with your business growth. Note the sessions you want to attend and what you hope to get out of it. Know what questions you want to have answered and how those answers will impact your business.
If there are pre- and post-conference events, plan to attend. Most of the best networking occurs in these more relaxed settings. You will also be able to connect with other attendees and you just might bump into a speaker with whom you want to connect.
Follow-up is key to conference ROI. If you collected business cards or connected with people, email them when you get back. Remind them what you talked about and why you’re connecting. Take the information you learned and blog about it, share on social and tag the person who shared that info.
If you are attending any in-person events, how will you measure your return on the investment you’re making?
Know what you want. If you’re taking on clients or tasks that you don’t want or that aren’t your area of expertise you go off on a path that is a slog in your business. You need to know your area of expertise and stay in your lane. If you want to expand, consider hiring contractors to fill the gap.
Where will you work? A separate room in your house? A corner of the kitchen table? A coffee shop? If you’re just starting out and if you’re not welcoming clients into your workspace, find a place that suits your needs when you’re in the start-up phase. In the future, you may find you need, or want to rent a space or find a co-working situation. You may want to rent a PO box or rent a box at a UPS store that provides a street address – this amps up the idea to clients that you are a thriving entity.
Keep moving forward. It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and give up, especially if you lose a client or don’t sign the client of your dreams. What will separate you from other solopreneurs is your ability to keep moving forward and overcome challenges.
Network with others in your situation. It’s easy to give up if you feel as though you’re the only one doing what you do. That’s why a co-working situation is ideal for some. Network online or attend in-person events.
Make sure you have a business plan. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages long, but it does need to have your financial goals written down, it should have a plan for ebbs and flows in business. It should have your mission and vision statement, the ideal client for you and your area of expertise and even a statement of those clients with whom you don’t want to work.
Don’t skimp on the tools you need. If you’re going to be in front of the computer all day you need to have a computer that will perform the tasks you need. You will want an ergonomic set up. Don’t invest in low end products because you will eventually need to replace them and it will cost you more in the long run.
Automate the tasks that you do repeatedly. Don’t waste time on duplicate efforts and tasks.
One of the benefits of being a business owner is the freedom that comes along with it. It is easy, though, to take too much of that freedom and put yourself behind the eight ball and on the verge of missing deadlines. Enjoy being your own boss but keep your eye on the prize — a successful business.