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Not doing this ONE THING in business could lose you thousands of dollars in profit

By Raz WahidMarch 17, 2014Values

There’s a new form of torture being experienced by business owners the world over.

It’s inflicted at various stages of their business life. But mainly it hits when they’ve been in business for a few months, haven’t seen an explosion of business coming their way, and are pulling their hair out as to why.

Pulling their hair out: not the torture itself.

(Side note: Rather pleased I used the word explosion in a post and didn’t refer to an actual bomb).

You guys have been through it. I’ve even helped some of you through it.

And the torture? Defining your ideal client.

*shudder*

*groan*

*bang head against desk*

I know how you feel, folks. Defining your ideal client can be tough.

You don’t want to be too narrow and miss people out.

You want to have enough breadth so that you still enjoy the people you do work with.

You’ve worked with a variety of people already, so what’s the point of defining any type of client?

But if you don’t define your ideal client? Your business will still remain random and unpredictable. People won’t know who to refer you to. And it’ll be near-on impossible to decide your branding/voice of your copy.

And what can help you get to the definition of your ideal client?

One thing: Crystal meth

Joking, you guys. I’ve just started watching Breaking Bad. I know, I know. Delayed reaction.

Back to today’s raison d’être.

There are two things you need to be clear on when defining your ideal client:

  1. The kind of person you want to work with
  2. The hopes, fears, dreams of the people you will work with

And it just so happens that I’ve crafted some rather helpful questions for you to finally nail that definition.

Here we go:

I’d do a one-handed backflip and twirl a baton whilst wearing a fetching two-piece if I ended up working with someone who wants to: _______________________________

Shockingly, my client has an age which is ____ and a gender which is ____.

My client wakes up feeling panicked about ______________ because _____________

The 5 things my client most fears are ___________________ because _____________

What my client really wants to figure out is: _____________________________

My client feels stuck because ________________________________

The 3 most important things in my client’s life are: ___________________________ because _____________________________

The thing my client would love to do is ________________________. And I can help them because _____________________________________

When my client envisions their ideal life, it looks like this: ____________________________

 

When answering these questions, remember that by defining the kinds of people you want to work with isn’t limiting. It provides focus.

Why?

Because when you write the copy on your site/blog posts/emails and love notes to these people, you’ll be using language that resonates most with them.

Yes, you may have worked with both people in their early 20’s and mid-50’s who want to make a major change in their life, but will they typically care about the same things?

Will a 50 year old be able to spontaneously go travelling? Will a 22 year old be worried about a pension plan?

Exactly.

Over to you. Who’s your ideal client? And if you’re finding it difficult to figure it out, then let’s do it (the figuring out) together.

 

19 Comments

  • Steve says:

    This is a great point. How are you supposed to work with someone if you can’t define who you want to work with? It’s like a section out of Alice in Wonderland when she’s trying to figure out what direction to go in a forked road. The Cheshire cat asks her where she wants to end up and she says she doesn’t know. Then he says, “then it doesn’t matter what direction you take.” it goes something like that.

    The point is that if you don’t know where you’re going on where you want to focus, you won’t end up there. You’ll just take whatever path is in front of you.

    I like those questions you provided. I’ve been looking at them and thinking to myself about what my readers might want. It gets me in their head.

    Reply
    • Razwana says:

      LOVE the Alice in Wonderland analogy, Steve! If you leave yourself with zero direction, you’ll definitely end up somewhere.

      You’ve no idea how many clients I speak to are afraid of being too narrow about their target audience and WANT to serve everyone. But when they find one category of people to serve, their business really starts to take off.

      Reply
  • Shannon says:

    Another excellent article Raz! This is so timely for me as I’ve spent the last month or so defining my niche and target audience. The questions helped me envision my ideal client better.

    Reply
  • Shelley says:

    Fantastic article!!! I have been struggling with the whole niche, ideal target audience for a bit now. These questions will certainly help me put it into clearer perspective!

    Thanks!
    Shelley

    Reply
  • Dan Black says:

    Great post and such an important thing to know! My ideal customers are leaders, specifically new and younger leaders. Those who are starting out on the leadership path, no matter what age they might be.

    Reply
    • Razwana says:

      That’s a great start, Dan. I’d like to see you definition have more detail.

      How many of your customers wake up thinking ‘I’m a leader’? What kids of people are they leading? What are they most afraid of?

      Reply
  • Emma says:

    Great to have focus on this. I never thought to ask what panics my client, but I can see now why I should.

    Reply
  • jamie flexman says:

    You’re a bit late to the Breaking Bad party, but at least you’re here!

    I often consider cutting my bad students. The ones who are lazy and moan every lesson. Part of me loves taking their cash but I also feel dread when teaching them. Luckily, most of my students are cool – but I am definitely getting better at screening potential students before teaching them.

    Reply
  • Marianne says:

    Oh maybe gosh, I am so glad I read this. I didn’t even realize how afraid I was to define this person but the way you’ve explained this and laid it out is brilliant. I can’t wait to sit down and hash this out with those questions 🙂

    Reply
    • Razwana says:

      SO JAZZED to read this comment, Marianne. Take the fear away and get to know this person. Your business cashflow will thank you for it!

      Reply
  • Marianne says:

    That was supposed to be ‘oh my gosh’ 😉

    Reply
  • Judy says:

    These are great questions to ask, Raz. Helps me narrow my focus a bit. Sometimes we just want to help everybody; trying to identify your niche group could be difficult. I do see the importance of focusing your content because if you try to serve everybody’s needs then you will lose the 20 year old with your blog content intended for the 50 year old and vice versa. It’s the convincing of myself that this is the best way to go that I am struggling with right now- not trying to be everything to everybody.

    Reply
    • Razwana says:

      Exacly, Judy. And remember, your client is not your market. Focusing on a client type for your blog is great. The people that end up reading/buying will have varied backgrounds. So you will end up attracting lots of different people, but the focus comes first.

      Reply
  • Vishnu says:

    I’m in the process of getting super specific on this, Razwana. In addition to your coaching on defining my niche and further figuring out the people i’m serving, this additional tool is great and one i’ll actually us. I’m going to keep this comment short and go fill out the form. This would make a great one page downloadable pdf – lol!!

    Reply
    • Razwana says:

      Lemme know what you come up with (as it’s sure to be genius after our last conversation).

      PDF download? We don’t do the same thing everyone else does ’round there parts.

      Reply

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