Work Backward to Find Your Ideal Client

Do you know your ideal customer?  

I’m not talking about general demographics of people you hope to sell to, read your blog or read your books… I’m talking about knowing the exact person you want to attract.

When I began my website, Living the Diagnosis, I hadn’t heard about a target market. I just figured everyone would want to visit my site, because it was about medical stories and so therefore EVERYONE would be interested.

Thing is, I didn’t really know what the site “was” or what it offered.

Then when I began freelance writing, I just looked for any writing job because I was going to be a writer and I could do anything… right?

I’ve read many articles about defining an ideal client, but my experience has been a little different.  

I found myself working backward from what I usually read and I’d like to take you through that process.

Be Clear On What Your Offer Is

As a solopreneur, it’s really important to know what you offer.

I know, I know, you’re a freelance writer, or a social media manager or a virtual assistant or… the list goes on and on.

However, would it be safe to say that you are REALLY good at _____ ?

Perhaps as a social media manager, you really excel at managing Twitter and Pinterest accounts? Or perhaps you rock Facebook ads.

Maybe as a virtual assistant, you are amazing at email marketing or time management for clients.

There are a few ways to market yourself broadly and specialized at the same time. For example, you could say you are a virtual assistant, specializing in email marketing. Or a social media manager, specializing in Facebook Ads.

Here’s what I’ve learned, even though you may begin by wanting to offer everything to everyone, you simply cannot. You’ll burn out and not have time to really hone your top skills when you are trying to do everything.

Here’s another thing I’ve learned, the universe has a way of helping you. Listen to what others tell you along the way and know your course may change.

Get clear on what you offer and be able to speak to that when people seek you out.

Know Pain Point Keywords and Questions  

Once you know what you have to offer, you can concentrate on narrowing down your ideal customer.

One easy way to do this is by knowing their pain points, but more specifically the exact keywords they use.

People have a habit of typing their pain points into Google. Sometimes they type them into Twitter.

Many of us will “search” in different ways. Some type in very specific keywords, while others ask questions.

For example, if someone is frustrated with Twitter and overwhelmed they may type something like

Twitter schedule tool

Or they may ask a question like

How to schedule tweets

Take some time to research keywords and questions your ideal customer would type into a search engine and incorporate these words into your website language, blog posts, social media posts and other communications and you’ll be on your way.

Plus the SEO boost never hurts.

Help Them Find You

You want to know where your ideal client hangs out so you can go there too.

Do you know what Facebook groups they are in? Great, go join those and be useful. Notice I didn’t say promote yourself like crazy, I mean, offer advice, answer questions and show them you know your stuff.

What social media platforms do they like? Are they on Facebook? Do they spend time “pinning” on Pinterest? Or are they busy tweeting? Maybe they hang out on LinkedIn? Or perhaps they like the simplicity of looking at beautiful photos on Instagram. Whatever, just find them and “join” them.

Do you know what blog or magazines they read? Great, consider becoming a guest contributor.

Do they listen to podcasts? Think about being a guest on one.

What magazines do they read? Think about taking out an ad in one.

Help Them Trust You

Once your ideal customers have found you, research shows it takes 7 – 13 interactions for them to feel comfortable enough to purchase from you.

Having people sign up for your email list and nurturing the relationship is a good way to gain trust.

Being present on social media will help people see you and build trust.

Starting a Facebook group or doing Live videos will help people get to know you.

The takeaway is as a solopreneur, you have to make an effort to gain trust and it requires time.

There are many tools available to help you stay present without having to be “on” all the time.

From social media scheduling tools to pre-recording LIVE videos, you can reach out to your customers anytime you want.

For me, I’ve found that if I can do these 4 things, my ideal customer and I kind of magically find each other.

Ok, it’s not magic, but, it does work.

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I was a nurse until chronic illness took me out of the game. Now, I'm a freelance writer and social media manager. I have 4 boys and supervise many, many lightsaber fights in my free time...

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