How Well Do You Really Know Your Ideal Client?

We’ve all done the exercise. It’s the first thing you’re taught when you first start your business: Create an ideal client avatar.

This vision of your ideal client guides everything you do, including pricing (you can’t charge that single mom as much as you can the CEO of a Fortune 500 company), pain points (mom probably isn’t worried about shareholders), and even the color of your logo.

So you spend a few hours considering things such as:

  • Age group
  • Income
  • Family status
  • Education
  • Lifestyle goals
  • Location

Maybe you even write up a nice little story about your ideal client. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her, you think.

But you would be wrong, and if you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best clients because of it.

Personality Mismatch

Here’s something that’s rarely considered in the “ideal client” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: personality.

If you’re snarky, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud {I might be describing me}, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for you. Sure, she might need your help or service and she might love your products, but this match-up could be a disaster. Either she will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance.

Drive Determines Success

This one can be difficult to calculate from the start, but once you recognize it (or the lack thereof) it’s worth paying attention to. The client without the drive to succeed will—more often than not—only end up frustrating you both.

Better to end your relationship as soon as you see the signs of this than to waste your time going over the same material and exercises again and again with someone who simply won’t do the work.

If you look at your current and past clients, you’ll begin to see patterns. You can easily look back and see what made some clients a joy to work with, while others were a struggle. Think about what those differences are, and add them to your ideal client profile. Then compare any new potential clients to this ideal profile, and you’ll never again sign on with a less-than-perfect client.

Know that not everyone is your client.  Being niche specific can at first seem limiting, but it is helpful to know who you are designing your service or product for.  Doing this exercise will help you with your marketing and your search for your ideal client.