Defining Your Ideal Clients


Before we start marketing, you’ve got to figure out who you’re promoting to. If you have a marketing background, this is known as your “target audience.” However, in the freelance/entrepreneurial/consulting world, we refer to them as our ideal clients.

An ideal client is someone with whom you’d like to work again and again. They pay you what you ask for, you’re enthusiastic to work on their projects, and collaborating is as simple as Sunday morning. Working with your ideal client makes starting a business look easy.

So, how do you go about tracking down these legendary creatures that make your job easier? You must first determine who they are.

What would you like to work on?

The first step is to determine what types of jobs and projects you’re most interested in. What kind of jobs do you love the most? How long do you usually prefer to work with a single client? Do you prefer one-time projects or a long-term working relationship?

What kind of business are they?

Consider not only the type of job you’ll be doing but also the types of companies or people with whom you’d like to collaborate. Do you prefer to collaborate with small business owners or large ad agencies? Is there a particular industry you prefer to work in?

What values must you have in common?

Your ideal clients don’t have to share all of your values, but some may be significant to you. Working with an oil firm may not be ideal if you’re an environmental activist. Your ideal client should share some of your interests. Make a list of your deal-breakers.

What types of people do you enjoy working with?

What characteristics have you observed in your ideal clients, coworkers, or employers in the past? Were they well-organized and precise regarding deadlines? Were they laid-back and quick to hand over the reins? What is it about them that made it simple for you to collaborate? What made it so simple to get along? Make a list of some of the personality traits you’d want to see in your clients.

You should have a good sense of who your ideal client is by now. Keep in mind that you should be specific, but not to the point of being ludicrous. Perhaps your ideal client is a woman in her twenties or thirties who is creating a passion-based business and has a modern and colorful style, an open mind about marketing strategy, and a laid-back sense of humor. That’s fantastic. But saying ‘if they don’t watch Mad Men and always has to walk in style, you probably won’t jive because you’re not on the same wavelength’ is a bit much. You’re looking for people who you can gladly collaborate with, not your new best friend.

What are their pain points?

The following step in this approach is to identify your ideal client’s pain points. What are the issues they’re unable to resolve on their own that you can help them with? Consider the challenges they’re experiencing in their business or in their personal lives that you have a solution for.

You now know who your ideal clients are and what they need. From now on, you can adapt your messaging and target your marketing to specific people. Once you start marketing to your ideal clients, you may stop taking on things that give you headaches and start working on projects that make you happy.

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I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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