Pretty much every business blog or website has at least one post or article about defining your “ideal client” or “target market”, if not many. Maybe they talk about creating a “customer profile” or “perfect client avatar” instead, or finding your “best customers” or “right people”. There are many ways to talk about it, but the basic idea is the same. You need to know who your potential clients and/or customers are before you will be able to attract them.
This is true, but a lot of people have trouble with it.
When you’re just starting out it can be hard to define who you work with best or who is likely to buy your stuff because you haven’t worked with or attracted very many people yet. If you try to define your ideal client when you honestly have no idea who they might be, you’re just guessing. That’s not necessarily bad, and who knows, maybe you’ll turn out to be right, but that doesn’t help with the fact that you know you’re just guessing and you don’t really have much confidence in your description.
And lack of confidence can hold you back.
Going Against Conventional Advice
Here’s the deal. Everyone tells you that you need to create an extremely specific and detailed profile of your target clients or customers.
For a first time solo-preneur this can often range from fun (but ultimately useless because you’re getting specific about the wrong things) to “impossible” (because you know you don’t know who they are yet).
So why waste your time on it?
Yes, the more you know about your ideal client the better. But KNOW is the key word there. And most first time tiny online business owners don’t know. And we usually don’t know how to do market research either. And that’s ok.
What Nobody Tells You About Figuring Out Who Your Ideal Clients/Customers Are
The truth is, you don’t need to know everything about your potential clients/customers when you first start.
Now that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook entirely. You can’t stop at “people who need what I offer” and declare it done. You need to get a bit more specific than that. Try “busy moms” or “artists and creative solopreneurs” or “health and wellness professionals”. Maybe define the level of experience they’re likely to have with your topic, and the types of people you tend to get along with best.
After that, it really comes down to what you have in common and what they like about you/your brand. You can try to guess these things if you’d like (you may very likely be right), but you don’t have to. You can discover these things over time.
So, to sum things up…
Your ideal client is someone who:
- wants what you offer
- thinks you’re great and/or is attracted to your brand
- values, believes in, likes, wants, and cares about some of the same things you do (or similar things)
- thinks your prices are reasonable and is ready and willing to pay you
- And you will fill in more details about them over time.
As long as you’ve narrowed things down enough to start to find and attract people, just be yourself and see who sticks around. Over time, you will see who you work with best and start to define your ideal clients/customers in more detail.
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