- You have the freedom to choose your hours.
- You can call in sick without feeling guilty.
- You’re in control of who you work with
- and the projects you work on.
However, in the beginning (and certainly throughout your self-employed career) you’ll likely take projects that are with clients you’d rather pass on but feel you can’t. Why? Because many small business owners struggle to find their ideal clients.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
Before you can go on a scavenger hunt for your ideal client, you want to identify what makes them ideal.
- Is it a topic, project type or subject matter that you find ideal?
- Do you prefer certain communication styles?
- Are you looking for someone who is detail oriented or someone who lets you manage the details?
- Do you want to work together as a team or would you rather work alone?
Many people view their ideal client as someone who provides them with a constant stream of well-paying work. That’s certainly a bonus. However, if you don’t enjoy working with that client or on their projects, the money isn’t going to be as fun to earn, I can tell you that from experience! They won’t be an ideal client and it sucks all the joy from your work.
Take some notes or jot down an idea of who your ideal client is. Daydream for a minute and imagine who they are, visualise them. This is your ideal client profile. Keep this information where you can review it often.
Finding Your Ideal Client
The next step to finding your ideal client is to explore where your ideal client may hang out.
- Do they participate on industry forums?
- Are they in your local networking group?
- Are they on Facebook or Twitter?
- Are they active bloggers?
Find out where they hang out and make yourself a part of their world.
For example, if your ideal client is a small business blogger interested in parenting and child-related topics, then you may network on small business blogging sites or parenting sites. Check out the people who are hanging out there too. Connect with them. Listen and listen often, they will tell you their problems and you can pose solutions to help.
Introduce yourself. Perhaps you already know who your ideal client is. Maybe you love the products a company offers, you like their personality and would love to work with them. Then by all means hold out your virtual hand and introduce yourself. Let them know you admire their work. Tell them what you do and offer your services. Consider offering a project on spec. That way they get to know you and the amazing work you do, and there’s no risk to them.
Ask for an introduction. If you know people who know people, tell them who your ideal client is and ask for referrals and introductions. If there’s one thing everyone should have been taught in school, it is that hard work is only part of the success equation. Who you know is also important, and it makes the trip to success street much faster and easier.
Finding your ideal client isn’t difficult all that difficult when you know how
- Describe them in a paragraph or two; create an ideal client profile.
- Then seek them out online and off.
- Ask for introductions and referrals.
- Connect with them and don’t be shy.
Your ideal client may be looking for an ideal freelancer – you!
PS If you need help profiling your ideal client for your business pick up the phone and give us a call to book your business clarity session. Our number is….