• Writer for DDI on Medium

Why To Some, Ideal Clients Aren’t The Mythical Creature Most Consider Them To Be

So, you don’t believe in ideal clients... But wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of marketing if you didn’t know who you were speaking to or understood how you spoke to them? Therefore, I believe it's safe to deduce that everyone in business has an ideal client. Whether you’re acquainted with them or not is another story. But, if you still insist that “you’re special” on account of strategizing content for a group of people with varied needs, I’m about to deflate your narcissism by telling you that your problem is not knowing how to recognise the difference between a target audience and an ideal client. 

What your target audience cares about will vary while still being related to what you do. But, your ideal client will be the person in need of your services, financially able to afford you and credible enough in their field to justify acquiring your expertise, as well as possesses the mental stamina to do the continued work it takes to reap the benefits after working with you. None of that has anything to do with demographics or psychographics, except when it does. But essentially, whether you’re female or not and prefer the culture of Instagram over Linkedin doesn’t measure up to the values of a customer and how compatible they are with the values of the person providing the service.

Is The Compatibility Firing On All Cylinders Or Barely Giving A Spark?

Successful compatibility is generally based on the way two parties compliment each other's needs. But when one person gets more out of it than the other, the compatibility becomes lopsided. Moreover, if you’re intentionally creating content – Ebooks, articles, social media posts, or podcasts to attract the best people to work with, successful compatibility is the framework of your masterpiece. Essentially, you’re going over all the touchpoints that make doing business with someone for you a perfect fit and spotlighting them accordingly to extract the very best candidates. 

But imagine being online and unable to discern who you’re compatible with, and who's actually ready to work with you, but offering that service to people. First of all, someone in this situation can never truly claim marketing to anyone when they have no idea who they’re speaking to, much less how they should be approaching the conversation to be attempting to provide clarity on the subject for someone else in the form of a paid service. That’s lopsided! 

The typical one-sided experience for some professionals happens when the client benefits 100% from the service provided, but approximately 45% or more of their needs are unmet. Visualize it through ‘the circle in the square’ example shown by relationship therapist, Spirit. This can happen to someone who has not worked with any or enough clients to understand who they should be working with. But the difference between someone lacking experience and someone financially benefiting off the ignorance of their clients is in the reversed position they (the one financially benefiting) takes. Rather than the client being the circle, the business owner is the circle and the client ends up walking away feeling unfulfilled. It’s like purchasing food that looks tasty, only to realise that it isn’t. But, the business owner still got paid! 

Now, neither of the aforementioned approaches are effective; they are both dysfunctional. But it's a cycle that’s completely avoidable for someone who, despite making these mistakes is willing to reassess the way they show up online, by incorporating focus in their branding.

OK, But Despite Lacking Focus,  I’m Already Creating Valuable Content

Socializing with others who share the same values as you but might not be perfectly positioned to work with you is still valuable because it builds brand awareness and could possibly get you in front of an ideal client. At the end of the day, it’s the ideal clients who are the better referrals sources, who generate financial growth, fuels your success rating and by extension, the marketing efforts for your business. Therefore, don't get comfortable with “creating valuable content” alone. Go a step further and create content that also has a clear measurable objective.

In order to do that, you need to know what you do to get clarity on who it’s for, to understand how to approach talking about it. Real precision comes from understanding who a specific objective fits; not from creating content that’s one day telling someone how to build a website and the next, you’re giving them electrical installation advice.

How All This Works

Despite being a design company, the clients I’ve been able to acquire came through my writing and in addition to helping them find their focus online, one client was able to earn quite a bit of media attention for his brand (without paying for any of it) all because of his voice. The trickle-down effect has been quite amazing to watch with local celebrities and public figures paying to actually work with him. When the concept of ‘the voice’ is mentioned locally, it’s typically rooted in a lot of generic information that either doesn’t do a good enough job or doesn't help someone interested in branding understand where ‘the voice’ comes from in order to fully appreciate its make up. But, if you want to attract clients who are compatible with your core values, you need the foundation I mentioned earlier. Otherwise, you’ll attract clients who tend to be a nightmare to work with. If “the voice is how you communicate", wouldn’t it make sense for your conversations to be rooted in the focus of your brand? In which case, wouldn't it mean before you can actually gain clarity on the voice of your brand you’ll need to find the focus of your brand first? To get to the point about what you do, I created a simple 12-page DIY workbook. Use the information you find to begin the journey of honing in on your voice and by extension, attracting ideal clients with the content you create.

When you define the unique value of your work and your pricing first, you can then focus on who is most likely to appreciate the true value enough to pay your prices with enthusiasm.” – Nela Dunato

I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB **Already understand what you do? Put it online in one day with a One-Page website! **Learn more about The One-Page here **Or, Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. And please share my article if you liked it

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