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3 Clever Ways to Attract Ideal Clients

By Michael Zipursky

How do you approach attracting more consulting clients?

Today, I want to share with you three tips that can help you immensely not only to attract more of your ideal clients but in fact help you to ensure that you are attracting the right types of clients – the highest quality, the highest paying types of clients – that you can ultimately serve at the highest levels and create the greatest value for.


When you are coming up with your ideal client criteria the more specific that you can be, the more focused and the greater that you can refine your ideal client criteria.

Create a Clear Picture of Your Ideal Client

The first thing that you want to keep in mind is that if you can’t see your ideal clients, if you don’t have a clear picture of who your ideal consulting client is, there’s no way that you can find them.

It’s like having a piece of paper and having a faint idea of where you want to go to but if you don’t have a clear destination, if you don’t have a pinpoint on the map that you’re working towards getting to, there’s no way that you can get there.

Even if there is a way that you can get there, even if you’re lucky enough to stumble onto the correct path that will take you to your destination, certainly you won’t get there as fast as you could if you were working with a clear line of sight that would get you to where you want to go to in the shortest time possible.

Ideal Client Selection

The first concept, the first tip that I want to offer you in terms of ideal client selection and attracting more of your ideal clients, is to have real clarity for who your ideal client is. Give thought to their industry, their position, their geography.

Think about what are their greatest challenges, their problems, the results that they’re wanting to achieve. Paint a really clear picture for who they are and dig deeper than you think that you need to dig.

What I mean by that is oftentimes as consultants we think that we can serve a vast, great number of people.

When you are coming up with your ideal client criteria the more specific that you can be, the more focused and the greater that you can refine your ideal client criteria.

The better insight you have and the better chance you actually then have of being able to put your ideal client and line them up in your sight.

That way you’ll be able to figure out the most effective and efficient way to get in front of them in a really meaningful approach, and a really powerful strategy will become clear to you.

Aim for the Top 5% of Clients

The second tip that I want to offer you – and I started to touch on this a little bit in the first tip – is that you should aim for the 5%, not the 95%.

What most consultants are drawn towards is the idea that you should cast a really wide net, and that the more potential ideal clients or buyers that you go after the greater your chances of success when in fact it’s the exact opposite.

It’s the counter intuitive truth of the matter, which is that instead of focusing on 95% of the potential clients or buyers that, yes, you may be able to serve, instead I would recommend that you focus on the 5%.

That is the 5% of ideal clients that you can serve at the highest levels, that really will be your perfect – your dream – ideal clients, that would be wanting and even right now would be actively searching for someone like yourself, an expert who can help them to solve their problems and to achieve the results that they want.

You’ll be able to go after a smaller number of ideal clients, which means you’ll be able to make a greater impact on them.

Weed Out the Wrong Clients

By weeding out the other 95% even though you will have fewer ideal clients on your list, you’ll have fewer numbers of buyers that you’ll need to go after, while that may seem like you have less businesses opportunities, you’ll actually have more businesses opportunities.

You’ll be able to land more consulting clients. Why? Because you’ll have greater clarity for who your ideal clients really are.

You’ll be able to go after a smaller number of ideal clients, which means you’ll be able to make a greater impact on them.

Instead of having a whole bunch of not relevant conversations, instead of filling your calendar going after potential clients who really aren’t the best fit, you can fill your calendar with the most realistic and the most qualified clients and opportunities.

You won’t need to spend time sending off proposals to potential buyers who might want to buy from you but really aren’t the best fit. Instead, you can spend more time having meaningful conversations, getting to know, building relationships with real ideal clients who are the highest paying, the highest valued, the most qualified and the real ideal client.

Most consultants – and if you’re like most consultants – you don’t need a lot of ideal clients. You don’t need a lot of actual clients to have a $200,000, $500,000, even a million-dollar-a-year business as a solo independent consultant. It doesn’t take a great number of clients for you to achieve those levels of success.

What is required is that you have real clarity for who your ideal client is and that you’re very selective in the types of clients that you work with.

As you become more selective, you’ll be able to actually attract more of those ideal clients. The 5% will actually grow for you and that will be the most profitable way for you to build a thriving consulting practice.

Stay Focused and Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

The third tip I want to offer you is that it is okay to say no. A lot of consultants are confronted with opportunities where buyers will ask them, “Can you do this for me? Can you do that for me?” Really, what they’re asking you to do is to provide or offer services that maybe aren’t the best fit.

Maybe they are work or advisor services that you would provide but that the price point or the level of investment is too low. Often, consultants feel that they need to take on those types of projects, that they are almost required to say yes to any business or potential business or cash flow that may come in from a buyer.

I want to encourage you and recommend that you get into the habit of saying no, that you become much more selective in the type of work that you do and the types of clients that you take on.

Avoid the Temptation

Yes, while it might be tempting to take on business from all types of different clients or businesses and buyers because you want to generate that revenue, if those buyers and businesses and companies aren’t your ideal clients, if you really can’t provide them with the highest level and greatest value, then take the high road and say no.

Let them know that they can be better served by someone else, or let them know that what they want you to do isn’t your area of greatest expertise, or that you don’t do that type of work.

Instead, maybe you can recommend to them a different type of offer, a way that you can provide them with even greater value and that the price point may be significantly higher but that’s okay.

If a buyer approaches you and they ask you to do some work that maybe is $500 in work, you can let them know, “Well, I have a set program that I take people through and it’s $5000,” or “it’s $10,000” or “it’s $50,000.”

Be clear on who you want to attract because if you start taking on all types of different opportunities with buyers that aren’t your ideal clients, you’ll end up filling your schedule with a great volume of business but not necessarily a lot of value. You might have a lot of clients but your revenue will suffer.

More High-Paying Clients

The more that you fill your schedule with lower paying and lower valued and lower quality opportunities, the less time you have and the less opportunity you have to make a greater impact by working with higher valued and higher paying clients.

Take those three tips. I would highly recommend and encourage you to give some thought to how you can best implement them into your own consulting business.

If you have some questions or if you’d like some help and to discuss how you can optimize and refine each of these so that you can implement them even faster and more successfully into your consulting practice, I welcome you to reach out. Get in touch with  Michael Zipursky here

7 thoughts on “3 Clever Ways to Attract Ideal Clients

  1. Jack says:

    OK, this makes sense…but HOW do you find the 5%…do you survey the prospects before spending any time or $ on them? Do you prospect and F/u with them until you can determine if they are an ideal client?

    • Jack – figure out WHO your ideal clients are. Consultants tend to cast a wider net than they should. Make a list of who you believe your ideal client is, and then dig deeper. Look for a segment of that list, a better way to determine THE ideal client. The more clarity you have around that criteria the more effective your messaging can be and the greater response you’ll see with your marketing.

  2. Judy says:

    Can this strategy work if you are starting out? At that point, the focus is on building experience, which is critical to getting assignments in the first place…

    • Judie – it definitely can. If you haven’t worked with any clients, you’re brand new, then getting your foot in the door is the priority. You can be more flexible in what types of clients you want to work with. However, remember that you’ll want to leverage your experience with that first client to get the next. Don’t just accept any client or any work.

  3. Lloyd Jackson says:

    This is a very useful video, thank you Michael for sharing your expertise!

  4. Sarah Robertson says:

    Loving your videos and these are such great topics for consultants wanting to get more clients!

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