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5 Steps to Find Your Ideal Clients

By Michael Zipursky

When I ask my clients or coaching students “who is your ideal consulting client?” very few know how to respond.

I’ll usually here something like “small business owners” or “CEOs”.

So start by figuring out the type of work you want to do. Once you’ve done that you can move on to the next step.

If you’re basing your marketing on a general response like this you’ll be heading for trouble.

The better you can define who your ideal client is, the more effective your marketing will be, the more leads you will get and the more clients you’ll land.

To figure out who your ideal clients are you need to go through the Ideal Client Discovery process.

I teach this process in detail to my private clients and high-level coaching students.

1) Before you can even start to decide who your ideal clients are, it’s important that you define for yourself, what is your ideal project? What type of work do you enjoy most? And which delivers the biggest profit for you?

There’s no point in marketing to ‘ideal clients’ if you don’t enjoy the work you’re doing with them.

So start by figuring out the type of work you want to do. Once you’ve done that you can move on to the next step.

2) Look at all of your past clients and make a list of the clients you enjoyed working with most and why.

Get focused and start landing more clients.

3) There are many criteria that you can follow to do this, but the basic idea is to look for characteristics that your clients share. For example, are they all CEOs? Do they all work in a certain geographic region? Are the companies all in the same industry? Do they attend the same tradeshows?

4) What challenges and fears do they share? These are important as they will be effective for you to address in your marketing and client meetings.

5) Once you’ve created your Ideal Client sheet and have listed all the similarities a picture of your ideal client will start to emerge. When you have that, you’ll know who to market to, what to say, and how to reach them.

Spraying and praying that your marketing will work is the lazy and uninformed consultants approach. Knowing who your ideal clients are and focusing your marketing efforts on them is infinitely more effective.

Get focused and start landing more clients.

10 thoughts on “5 Steps to Find Your Ideal Clients

  1. Samuel O-Thomas says:

    Thank you Michael, just what i was working on of late. Great article as always.

  2. sameer mathur says:

    very basic but very useful tip, thanks

  3. Tamarray Cain says:

    You just helped me realize I like customers that allow me a good amount of creative freedom to grow their business….Thank you so much!

  4. Bailey says:

    In my industry we call this persona-based marketing. Find your target persona’s pain points, offer a solution to their problems, get the contract. Most people don’t realize that they’re not trying to sell to everyone and instead utilize the mentioned “spray and pray” method. This doesn’t work anymore, especially if you’re looking for higher-quality contracts.

  5. akquaman says:

    This article sucks! It does NOT give general guidelines and only focused it on 1 industry/field/subject instead of offering true guidelines of ideal clients for all business, not just coaching. How about if I teach swimming lessons, or own a beauty store, or a mechanic shop? How to find your ideal client should apply to ALL business independently of their field! It may change their ideal client certainly but the methodology should be consistent and THE SAME for all business regardless of niche!!

    • This approach does work for all kinds of industries. If you’re teaching swimming lessons then you’re on the wrong site.

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