Dare to Define Your Dream Clients

If you have a business, you have a dream client. No exceptions. And for many business owners, defining your dream client can feel like a bit of a daring thing to do.  

@@To find your dream client, you have to define your dream client. But, for many, that can feel like a bit of a daring thing to do.@@

 Everyone loves unicorns right now, right? Imagine your Dream Client as a beautiful unicorn. {Photo by  rawpixel.com  on  Unsplash }

Everyone loves unicorns right now, right? Imagine your Dream Client as a beautiful unicorn.
{Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash}

The most common mistake business owners make in marketing

Trying to talk about your business like it’s for everyone. It's the most common mistake I see people make in their marketing -- in any business. Why?

What's so scary about focusing on attracting your dream client?

Here's what: You're afraid that somehow, if you don't try to attract all the people, then you won't have enough. You won't have enough people paying attention to you, enough customers buying from you, enough money coming in. 

But the opposite is true.

@@When you say you’re for everyone, no one thinks you’re for them.@@

People need to see themselves in your business -- in how you talk about your business -- in order to choose your business. You have to tell them it’s for them. If they don't see themselves in what you're putting out there, they'll pass you by, thinking you're not for them.

So, it’s actually way more risky to not define your dream client than it is to dare to define them. And focus all your energy on figuring out how to find them. Or how to help them find you.

What's a Dream Client?

Not every client will be a fit for how you envision your business growing, or how you define success. In fact, the wrong clients can take you completely off course.

@@Your dream client is the one client who is most important to your success.@@

And by the way, you get to define success for yourself. It’s not necessarily earning seven figures in 60 days, or going from zero to 10,000 names on your email list, or any of the other massive promises filling your inbox.

It could be doing a set number of hours of client work each week, plus selling your knowledge at a lower rate to people who need it. Or filling your school with engaged parents and happy kids, plus never worrying about hitting your enrollment goals ever again. It could be anything. You decide. The important part is to decide. @@Decide what kind of success fits your dream. And then decide who the right client is to get you there.@@ {Yes, if you haven't caught on, that's your dream client.}

You totally know  your dream client. But...do you?

If you ever say things like, my best client is...or usually these people do best here… or ideally I’d like to only work with... or the people I work best with tend to be… you do have a dream client.

It’s in your bones, but it's not in your brain.

Part of it is that fear of limiting yourself, of not having enough. But the other part is this: Until you’ve done the right stuff to define your dream client, what you know isn't useful to your business. You can't use what you know in your bones to make good decisions about how you talk about your business, what you do to market it, or anything else that helps you attract and engage your very own Dreamy McDreamerson.

@@You have to actually define your dream client if you’re going to attract your dream client and build your dream business.@@

Dare to define your dream client. Or risk losing them.

Story time! Meet Sue. Sue’s been in business for about ten years. She knows her industry. She’s closed some pretty high-priced contracts for her service -- something no one else does and people really need.

Sue is about to find out something scary. And costly.

Sue tells me that she knows exactly who her customers are. Which companies they’re in. How to contact them at those companies. That’s why she and her team have chugged along ok so far. It's also, as you're about to see, why she’s frustrated with how long it takes to close a sale, plus how much time she puts into people who will never become clients.

As much as Sue knows about the business, she hasn't defined her dream clients. Sue knows the businesses she wants to sign. And she's been talking to an assortment of people in these businesses. She hasn't defined the right people to be talking to -- the ones who fit her vision for her business, the ones who need to solve what she's solving and will pay to solve it. And because she hasn't defined who those people are, she doesn't know enough about them to know how to talk to them. She doesn’t know who they look up to most. Or what their days are like. Or which sources they trust for industry know-how. So she's not saying things that resonate with them.

And now a competitor has cropped up. One who has defined Sue’s dream clients. And, after years of chugging along ok, Sue’s suddenly racing to catch up. She’s got to make some changes, fast, to get back on track for success.



here's how you define your dream client.

It’s got to be written down, in no uncertain terms. It’s only actionable if it’s written down. I know. You know your clients. You know your stuff. You’ve been doing what you do for a long time. You have so many details in your head about the people who want your business. But...

@@You have to get past knowing what you know to truly define your dream client in a way that helps you grow.@@

You’ve got to separate all the stuff you know from what's truly essential, what only applies to your dream client. Otherwise, you will convince yourself that you know what you need to know...and keep doing what you've been doing. Like our friend, Sue. And you won’t even know to go looking for the really important stuff about the most important people...again, like our friend Sue.

@@To define your dream client, focus on three key areas: who they are, what they care about, and why they’ll care about you.@@

Who they are.

The elements of who your dream client is will be specific to you, your business, and your clients.

Who they are encompasses everything that defines them, that also relates to how they’ll connect with your business.

Job title might matter a lot. Or whether or not they're parents. Or whether or not they’re married. How old they are, where they live, what they do for fun...it's all about what fits you.

Here are 45 questions to get you started on understanding who your dream clients are.

What they care about.

Once you know who they are, you can seek to understand what they care about.

When you get to this part, don’t think of it in terms of what they care about in terms of your business. No one is walking around all day long thinking about what they care about about any business. Not even Amazon or Google. Maybe Facebook right now. But that’s another matter.

What they care about can include who they care about most, what they worry about most in life, what gets them up in the morning, or what gets them mad. It can be who they respect most, or what they want most. Again, take a look at those 45 questions to get you started.

Why they’ll care about you.

It’s the big payoff! You know who your dream clients are, you know what matters to them. Now, you can think through why they’ll care about you.

This is most likely the place where what they care about most overlaps with what you have to offer them.

For instance, a test prep coach helps kids get better scores on the ACT/SAT while developing skills that will serve them better in life. The parents who hire him care more about their children than anything else in the world, and want to give their children every possible chance for a great life once they leave the nest. Yes, better scores are a part of that. But...it doesn’t start with that. It starts with what they care about most...and that’s their children’s wellbeing.

 

you can define your dream client. you can't afford not to.

Your business will thrive because you've defined your dream client. And empowered yourself to find them...and to do the right things to help them find you. 

It might feel less risky to try and talk about your business as though it's for everyone. But, if that's not a recipe for failure, it's certainly a recipe for crickets. Or for costly lessons in competition, like our friend Sue learned.

So take the time to figure this out; to write it out, not just rely on what you know in your bones. Or, if it's feeling overwhelming, take the smart step of finding the right person to help you. 


THIS STUFF IS HARD TO DO FOR YOURSELF, OR BY YOURSELF.
THAT'S WHY I'M HERE.

If you do great work, and the people who know you love you, but you don't know what's next...this might be where I come in. Let's talk about what you're doing and see if I can help.