When I first launched ICB Consults, the thought of an “ideal” client was not the first thing that crossed my mind when it came to launching a consulting business. My only thought was “I want people who can pay my monthly fee”. After, experiencing several nightmare clients, I have learned that all service businesses should create a list of characteristics of their ideal client.
Yes, when you first launch a service business you’re trying to make money by any means by possible. You’re wanting people to believe you are worth the investment. However, the headaches, stress, and hassle are truly not worth it. Establishing exactly what you want from your clients will help your business grow.
Learn Who You’re Client Is
What are you wanting out of a client? Are you wanting someone who has the same ideals as you? Easy to work with, has direction, and is clear on their thoughts? What is their age demographic and their average household income. Where do they prefer to shop? Some people might not think this is relevant but it is. You tend to get along with and work better with people who are similar to you. A majority of my clients love Kate Spade, watch Scandal, love the color pink, God is important, and they want to empower other women.
Write You’re Ideal Client List
Take some time and sit down at Starbucks to write out exactly whom your dream clients are. One thing that is important to me is that my clients have their finances in order. If your personal finances and business finances are in shambles you will not be able to pay my monthly retainer and will want me to bend over backwards. Also, I want clients who think long-term when it comes to business. They know the importance of yearly forecasting and projects.
Be Okay With Turned Down Work
I am not everyone’s business consultant and I’m okay with that. I am not an expert at non-profit. However, if you want to get your business online, create a loyal following with small numbers, or launch with less than $500 I can do that and I can be your consultant. The great thing about being okay with this is, I can refer others for work. You are building your network by fearlessly referring others. Narrow down your focus. Don’t try to be everything to everyone in your industry. Niche down within the niche.
Being apart of two private Facebook groups has allowed me to constantly refer people for gigs. Build everyone up around you. Don’t hoard gigs then provide mediocre work.
Know Your Strengths
I know my strengths when it comes to consulting others in regards to their companies. At that, I’m investing time into learning more about certain areas. It’s great that I have a vast knowledge of how almost all eCommerce platforms run. They are not created equal. Nor are all websites created equal. When a potential client comes to you needing to know why your business is different from everyone else on the market. One thing that separates my consulting firm from others is I actually ran a successful eCommerce site. I started with nothing and made it into a successful company.
Dig deeper into the characteristics of your ideal client before launching. It’s okay to re-evaluate who that person is as you grow your business. Since increasing my monthly retainer, I have done just that. It has helped my business work with women who want to empower and change the world through their businesses.
What can you do today to understand the characteristics of your ideal client?