Your “ideal client”…. It’s that mystical term we hear so often used to describe the type of person you “ideally” want to work with.
While we’re all familiar with this concept, I find there’s 2 misconceptions that comes along with it:
The assumption that once you’ve identified your “ideal client”, your work is done.
That money is the key identifier of your ideal client.
The type of client you aspired to work with when you first started out is most likely a very different client to the one you are looking to attract 3, 5, or 10 years into business.
And there’s a LOT more to this evolution of your client than purely money. Sure, you are probably seeking higher-budget clients as you become more experienced in your field, but using money as the determining factor in pursuit of your ideal client is a BAD IDEA.
If I was to ask you the following questions, what would you say?
What about your business brings you the most joy and satisfaction?
How does your typical client now compare to the first few clients you booked?
How have your services changed since you started your business, and why?
Here’s my quick answers to these questions:
I love hearing the sense of relief and empowerment I can bring to a client when we devise a plan to help them overcome a challenge they’re facing or execute on a big idea they’ve been wanting to pursue.
My typical clients now are from a much more diverse backgrounds of professions and businesses, compared to my initial clients who were predominantly from the wedding industry.
It wasn’t until I started working one-on-one with more and more business owners that I realised where the greatest demand for support was; predominantly with social media, marketing and business strategy and less-so with business plans / strategic plans and so on.
I want you too, to answer these questions and see what you notice. Do you see a progression in who your clients are? Does money come up in your answers at all? (At a guess… probably not significantly.)
Look, money MATTERS. There is zero satisfaction in running a business if it’s not rewarding you financially. But I’ve never heard someone describe their ideal client as “anyone who can afford me”.
In my experience, the more I’ve paid attention to my audience and my clients and really listened to what they were responding to and needing help with, THAT’S what has helped me get more clarity on the clients I am best able to serve.