How to Identify Your Business’s Perfect Clients (And Avoid the Time-Wasters)
To succeed in business, you need to know who your ideal customer is. This might sound like a simple task, but finding the perfect client fit can be incredibly challenging.
Here's why it's so important to identify your perfect type of client, plus guidance you can use to market to the people who need the exact goods or services that your business sells.
First, figure out what types of clients you don’t want to attract
If you’ve ever had a client who wastes your time or refuses to pay their invoices, you already know that all clients aren’t created equal. Unfortunately, “bad” clients are shockingly common. Here are some common red flags to look out for:
- Lack of boundaries. If a client expects you to respond to emails in the evenings or on weekends, run away fast. Work-life balance is vital to your personal and professional well-being. Good clients respect those boundaries.
- Extensive bargaining. It’s not uncommon for clients to ask for discounts, but the right clients understand and respect your value. They won’t try to nickel and dime you.
- Unrealistic expectations. No matter how good you are, you can’t produce miracles. If a prospective client expects immediate results, it can be a sign of sky-high expectations you’ll never be able to meet.
This short list is hardly exhaustive, so think about other traits that indicate a client isn’t the right fit for you. Your ideal client won’t cause these types of problems.
Make sure you know your own company inside and out
You can’t attract the right clients if you don’t understand your own business. Answering the following questions will provide insights into your brand:
- Why did you start this business? Was there a specific moment that inspired you, or a problem you identified that needed a solution?
- Did you face any challenges in the early days? How did they shape the business?
- What problems does your solution solve? What needs does it fulfill?
- What makes your product or service better than the competition? Is there something your company does better than anyone else?
- Are there any downsides to what you offer? What are they exactly?
When you answer these questions, it will become much easier to target clients who need exactly what you offer.
Learn about your target client’s desires and pain points
Now, it’s time to think about some questions that get to the core of what your ideal client wants and needs:
- What is your client’s ultimate goal or desire, and how does your offering solve it?
- What are some of the biggest problems that keep your clients awake at night?
- How would you describe your ideal client’s worldview? Think beyond simple demographics.
You may not have all of the answers to these questions, and that’s okay. Do more research and consider surveying a group of people who you think fit your ideal client archetype.
Marketing resources you can use to reach your ideal clients
Now, it’s time to market your company to its perfect clients.
The world of marketing can feel overwhelming — there are so many possibilities, after all. Every company’s marketing plan will look different, but here are some additional resources you can use to get started:
- 6 Key Components of a Marketing Plan
- How to Use Data-Driven Marketing to Get More Customers
- How to Leverage Marketing Research and Data
- Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy with These 10 Tips
- How to Use Case Studies in Your Small Business Marketing
- Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing
Remember that finding the perfect clients will take some time, and you may need to test different strategies. Eventually, you’ll land on the perfect marketing mix.