If you are struggling to get clients, you may not yet have crystal clear clarity on who your ideal client is. To find ideal clients, you want to make sure that this is actually a viable group for you to focus on. You do not want to spend a lot of time, money and energy focusing on a type of person who either is not looking for the type of service you want to provide or cannot afford to pay you for your services.
Your ideal clients have to meet the first four criteria below. The last two are very helpful, but not necessary.
- They have specific, common issues, problems and needs that are well suited to the services and solutions you provide. This will be easier to create and understand if you are using your life experience as a key aspect of choosing your people. Also, you will better understand what their specific needs and desires are, because you have been there (see #6).
- They are looking for solutions. They are ready and willing to seek out and pay for a service professional to help them. Having to educate too much is a drag and trying to convince is even worse. You want the ones who are ready and who are already looking.
- You can reach them easily. You do not want to have a group that is too vague or disparate that you cannot locate them. If you say your focus is on people who are stuck, or want to have greater happiness or well-being, then they are impossible to find because they are everywhere and everyone. Your job will be much easier if they are identifiable is a specific way and within easy reach. This is a major issue for so many people in the healing arts and coaching fields because you tend to focus on intangible goals. In focusing more specifically on a certain group—who has shared issues—you will be able to find them more easily. And you will come into focus for them.
- They need to be able to pay for your services. If you want to help people who cannot pay, then this is your pro-bono or volunteer work–not your business. It is super important to be clear about the difference. However, do not pre-judge people too quickly because most people (in first world countries) can and do find the money for things they really want. Really they do. Still, working with people with greater access to resources and less resistance, is easier for sure.
- They want and can use multiple programs, products and services. Ideally, you will want to attract and work with people you can work with for a long time, meeting them at different places along their journey of life. This means you can bring them in one place and you can keep offering services that benefit them over time. It is easier to bring an existing client into the next program than to enroll a new one, because they already know, like and trust you.
- You have a similar life experience of some kind. I think this one is most important because it helps create an instant expert status for you. When you are or were one of them and you are able to say: “I have been where you are at, and I now I am here" (on the other side of the transformation), that is powerfully compelling.