Defining Your Ideal Client
Finding clients starts with defining your ideal client. Creating an ideal client profile helps target your marketing efforts. Elasticizing the boundaries of this criteria is yours to decide, but keeping this ideal client profile in mind as you craft your marketing will start to attract a group of people with similar needs and tastes, and that’s what will really start defining your presence in the market.
Defining your ideal client has been a vital strategy for years. In fact, it’s also sometimes referred to as “ideal client sweet spot” because it really helps narrow down all the relevant details about what you define as your perfect ideal.
It may seem obvious to work through defining your ideal client sweet spot when you’re first starting out, but it’s also really helpful as you evolve and level up to a new client profile.
Here are a few questions with examples as you work through the process of defining your ideal client sweet spot. Notice how I’m narrowing in on exactly who “they” are… in this case the ideal client is female. Having a vivid visual of who she is will be helpful as you make your way through these questions, and as you create copywriting and captions for your marketing!
Who is she?
It’s easy to cast a wide brush, but that’s not what you want when identifying the clients that are right for you. Getting really clear on who you’re serving is imperative to your business success just as it is to your marketing efforts.
Example → My ideal client is a woman in her mid-40’s who lives in a 4 bedroom home in Oakville, Ontario. She is college-educated, career-oriented with a demanding job, and has a partner who also works full-time in a demanding job; one partner is a business owner. They have a few school-aged children.
What does she enjoy outside of work?
Being able to identify your ideal client holistically, as the whole person, will help you cultivate a deeper connection. See these attributes as a connection to like interests. Lead with your interests, it invites conversation and your ideal client will be more likely chime in.
Example → A relaxing day to my client would be quiet moments of mediation and coffee before the kids wake up, and a healthy breakfast because eating well is important to her. She reads often and enjoys listening to music with daily casual exercise. She enjoys regular short stays at luxury resorts because she’s all about balance. She prioritizes self-care and rest because she’s taking care of herself for herself but long baths aren’t glamorous.
What are some of the struggles she has both externally and internally?
External struggles are often challenges that are obvious. For example; your ideal client’s potential external struggle could be their home needs a refresh, a reconfiguration to accommodate a busy family of 4, or their home aesthetically doesn’t represent their style.
Internal struggles are feelings and emotions that appear as thoughts. For example; your ideal client’s potential internal struggle could be they’re not feeling connected to their surrounding as an extension of their personality, or maybe they feel a little embarrassed by the visual inconsistency of their home and they’re professional status. Doesn’t matter what it is, see it and identify it for what it is.
Example → My ideal client wants to be in harmony with herself in all aspects of her life including her livable surroundings. Staying true to self is the life lesson she teaches through her everyday choices and she stays in awareness in making a living and making a life.
Culture and Personalty Fit
What environment gives her the best outcome?
People differ in attitudes and values, and having a deep understanding of our individual personalities is important in maximizing happiness and enjoyment in working together.
Example → My ideal client wants an interior design partner that enjoys getting to know each other and building a relationship. One that feels comfortable and not intimating or overpowering. A design partner that naturally leads the way to a successful result taking into account an individual differences approach for an exceptional experience.
Design & Decor Style
What’s her interpretation of living her best life?
Just as fashion is a personal choice of showcasing your individualism the same holds true for choices in design and home decor. Identifying what your ideal client appreciates and values, by way of showcasing their personal preferences is another angle to consider.
Example → My ideal client prefers an approachable luxury space where no space is off-limits and there’s an appreciation for well-being for everyone in the home. Choices that create a deep visceral sensation of happiness are profoundly important. Intentional choices to spacial & architectural details mixed with distinctive choices in decorative items that represent personal style are important to them.
What does she value?
Understanding what your ideal client values will be your guiding light to budget. Things like peace of mind, ease of living, done correctly, done efficiently, quality over quantity, longevity over disposable, examine the tangibles, and the intangibles. One of the ways to start is by identifying the attributes you value for your own quality of life.
Example → My ideal client prioritizes quality, and joyfulness to her life over just cost. She is willing to spend on the decisions that will impact the quality of her life and deeply respects the way it makes her feel.
How to Reach Her
What is she (first) searching for before she finds you?
Remember what they’re looking for and what they need might be two different things; just like the words they’re typing into search fields might be different than what you would use. Identify the “hooks” that will be the pathway to you, be mindful that they may be different given the channel.
Example → The preferred social media outlet is Facebook, but she also uses Instagram and LinkedIn, where she follows her favorite fashion retailers and similar local career-oriented women. She may occasionally read national design magazines but is more likely to pick up the LCBO publication. She spends limited time in groups for her kids’ schools or interest groups but could group socials at the cottage or private clubs. On the weekends, she (and her spouse) may frequent upscale restaurants near their neighborhood or downtown. They go to concerts and rarely attend theatre or galas.
This exercise isn’t meant to be rushed. Take your time and explore your ideal client from every facet. There’s a reason we deep dive into your ideal client sweet spot. It becomes the bedrock for your branding, marketing, and even the client experience you’re creating.
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