When I sat down to map the marketing system I take my clients through, one of the first things we do is to help them get very clear on who their dream-come-true clients really are. Those ideal clients that make you think “pinch me! I can't believe I get paid to work with this person!” every time you hang up the phone with them.
After that we start talking about their marketing message. It's the way you talk about what you do that captivates those ideal clients and solidifies your position as the “it girl” they absolutely, positively MUST work with. If they can't jump in right then to hire you they put your picture on their vision board and write goal cards about hiring you.
I know talking about these things and doing the work to figure them out is not anyone's favorite thing to do, and quite often when clients first start working with me their tendency is to say “I already know this” (ummmm…maybe, maybe not so you will not skip this step, not on my watch, girlfriend! #sorrynotsorry) but it truly is one of the biggest keys to success in any marketing effort. Online, offline, delivered by carrier pigeon…service based offers, products, experiences…it's a critical piece for everyone.
Consider it an equal opportunity success factor!
In my experience, people who do this work thoroughly, with focus and intent and then only do a half-booty job on executing any marketing strategy we create during our work together still get incredible results.
On the flip side, those who try to skate by on the “I already know this” thing for this part and don't do the work but then go total full-booty on the marketing strategies, sometimes even pouring money into hiring experts to help execute those…well, those are the people who get the half-booty results. No expert, no matter how awesome or how expensive can truly help you if you don't have clarity on your who, what and why!
As I said, a lot of my clients say “oh I'm already good on this” and they start to tell me all about their ideal client. What most of them start describing is their “target market.” That's nice, but what I want is for you to tap into that dream-come-true client.
Knowing your target market is a great place to start, but it's not the place you want to stay.
Your target market is made up of people who can, and likely will, work with you but if you are going to make an investment (time or money) in marketing you should be putting it into that dream-come-true client. They are the ones who are MOST LIKELY to jump at the chance to work with you.
It's like archery. When you look at the target you have a bullseye and colored rings around it. You get points if you hit any of them, but when you get ready to shoot, you AIM for the bullseye. If you aim for the bullseye you are likely to hit the target. If you aim for the outer ring, you are likely to miss entirely.
In marketing we need to talk to and aim for your dream-come-true client. If what you end up hitting is one of the rings, that's cool too, but if we aim for the outer ring you are going to be hitting less than ideal peeps and that is going to drag you down and undermine your confidence.
It's going to leave you wondering why your programs don't sell, thinking you need to cut your prices and with a constant headache from banging your head against a wall. (Go ahead, ask me how I know this!).
It doesn't matter if you can't hold up a client file and say “THIS ONE! She's my ideal client!” It might be that you've figured out that your dream-come-true, pinch-me clients have this trait from client A and that trait from client B.
It doesn't matter if what you end up with doesn't describe anyone you know. Your job isn't to make a “hit list” of your ideal clients from your current acquaintances, it's to make a “wish list” of who you are going to go out and search for. You probably don't know them yet and that is completely OK.
Once you have your ideal client work and your marketing message work done, if you go out into the world being 100% authentically YOU, owning your value and singing the song of your ideal client you WILL start to attract them.
But something else will happen too. You will also attract others who you had no idea you would love working with.
That is because while YOU have been looking for someone exactly like your ideal client, they have been out there looking for someone exactly like YOU.
You are their dream-come-true person. As long as you've been being completely authentic and owning your value, those people are likely to be a great fit for you too and they may end up helping you to refine your ideal client even further.
If you go out into the world being a copy-cat of someone else, holding back on the real you or not owning your value, not only will you not attract your dream-come-true clients but you will attract people who are looking for what you are trying to be and not WHO YOU ARE.
Let me tell you something about you…
Who YOU are is awesome and incredible and unique. You are the answer to your dream-come-true client's prayers and both of you will feel like the clouds have parted, the sun is shining and angels are singing when you find each other.
They need you. They need the solutions you can help them to find.
If you aren't being authentically YOU then what you become is the last resort for the people who find you.
They were looking for someone else. In that case both of you are settling for each other and that is never good in any relationship.
Get clear on this stuff. Clear on your WHO, clear on your WHY and clear on what YOU stand for. Doing that will mean you become the first choice of your ideal clients rather than the last chance to the wrong people.
You can do this! It's definitely work, but it is oh-so-very-very-worth it!
When you get it right, it's better than chocolate and better than finding incredible shoes that hit all 3 C's….cute, comfortable and on clearance!
I believe in you.
You deserve amazing success.
When was the last time you sat down to do some work on refining your ideal client profile? Is it really specific or does it sound like one of these: “I work with moms over 40 who are struggling to balance work and family life” or “my ideal clients are brides who are so busy planning their wedding they haven't had time to think about their honeymoon yet.
If you feel like you've really nailed it, tell me about it in the comments! I'd love to hear who you serve.