5 Things You Must Know About Your Ideal Client
to Grow Your Business
Trying to grow a business without clearly understanding your ideal client is like trying to unlock a door without a key. Sure, there are other ways. You can charge at the door until you’re exhausted, pay some expensive locksmith, or try every trick you’ve seen in heist movies. But… why wouldn’t you just use a key?
Knowing your ideal client allows you to make authentic connections, show up confidently, feel deeply connected to your purpose and generally be a whole lot more efficient at growing your business.
We’re going to chat about five questions you want to be able to answer from your clients perspective so you can confidently create and grow your business.
I get to chat with entrepreneurs all day long. They face a variety of challenges. Challenges like:
Those are all really common entrepreneurial challenges. On the surface, they may look distinctly different challenges. Peel them back a bit, and often you'll find the core issue is a vague understanding of the ideal client.
Understanding your ideal client gives you a confidence and a “knowing” that allows you to create movement in your business.
Entrepreneurs who genuinely know their ideal client, run more efficient businesses. They waste less time, money, and energy because they have a clear, compelling message and speak it directly to the right people.
Get Clear and Get Moving
with this list of the first 10 steps to building your coaching or consulting business!
NOTE to those building a business that solves a problem that you've personally faced:
People often build a business to solve a problem that they have faced and overcome. Your passion and perspective will help immensely as you grow your business. It will also offer your clients a style of compassion and empathy that others can't.
While it will serve you in many ways, I want to offer a word of caution.
Entrepreneurs who have experienced the challenges that they’re clients face can be less open to the process of exploring their ideal client.
If that's you, I want to encourage you to stay curious.
While you have tackled this problem, your experience and approach were based on your unique perspective, history, resources, and support.
While it lends excellent value to the solution you offer, your journey is not the story of every ideal client. Stay curious about alternative perspectives from your ideal clients.
5 questions that you want to know (and should ask) of your ideal client to grow your business:
WHAT PROBLEM ARE THEY LOOKING TO SOLVE?
People don't buy services. They don't buy coaching, copywriting, dog walking, or yoga.
People buy a solution.
There is a problem they are looking to solve, and your service is a means for them getting to that solution. You want to understand the problem that your ideal client is facing and their specific pain points.
The key is to understand the problem from your ideal client’s perspective and in their words.
WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?
People can have the same problem but for different reasons.
For example, as a Finance Coach, your ideal client's problem may be (on the surface) that they don’t have enough money. One could assume that everyone just wants more money when, in fact, their lack of money is a problem for a unique, specific reason. For one person they may not sleep at night out of worry about putting their kids through school. For someone else, the money problem shows up as guilty because their husband can’t retire on time.
An alternative question that may get to the heart of this is to ask your ideal client: “How does this problem show up in your life?” This question also offers some real-life anecdotal examples.
What Would Their Life Look or Feel Like Without This Problem?
Think big picture. If you could fast forward your ideal client to a day when your service has provided the solution they seek, what would life look or feel like then?
The information you gather from this question will help you paint a picture for those seeking to buy your services. You’ll be able to offer a vivid look into life after you’ve helped them solve the problem at hand. It will also help you create client-centered solutions and offerings.
What Would They Like to Address in the Next 30, 60, 90 Days?
While the last question is big-picture and long-term, this one takes a more specific look at what changes they’d like to make in the short term.
A simple, honest way to connect with your ideal client is to meet them where they are. This question offers the insight into where they are in the process and what the next right step might look like for them.
As an example, if your ideal client is going through a divorce, long-term they may want to have processed all the emotions and be pursuing new relationships. The more immediate need might be navigating their first Thanksgiving single or helping their children with explaining the change to their friends.
How Have They Tried to Solve This Problem in the Past?
This question offers great insight into their mindset and also allows you to see your competitors and the marketplace through their eyes.
If your ideal clients haven’t sought out a solution in the past, it may seem like a dead end, but it’s actually quite telling. Dig deeper.
Discover why they haven't sought a solution. Whatever they offer you as an answer (time, money, confusion, fear, overwhelm, etc.) are likely the same objections that you're going to face when selling your services.
Client objections, spoken and unspoken, should always be addressed. The best thing you can do is to predict and prepare for those objections. Then you can effectively resolve and move through them.
You will likely hear “price” pretty often. Kindly dig just a little bit deeper.
Price could be the reason but offering “price” as a reason is also a simple approach to avoiding the real reason. It explains it in a way that most won’t question making it a hard close to the topic.
What’s underneath that explanation may be something harder to speak- shame, guilt, or fear.
If you hear “money” as the answer to this question, you can follow up with: “Finances are clearly important; but, if we took the cost off the table, would you have pursued a solution differently?”
If your ideal client has sought out a solution in the past, you want to know what worked well and what didn't. What’s worked well will offer insight into how you can craft an offering and solution that addresses their problem in a way that they want it resolved.
I want to hear from you!
What have you done in regards to getting to know your customers a little bit better?
Which one of these questions do would be the most helpful for your business?