Here’s why I think the ideal client is bullshit.
Because #letsgetreal … these ideal client exercises have gotten out of control.
We’re chasing an ideal that doesn’t exist.
We’re creating a checklist, not a guidepost.
We’re trying to figure out things about them that have ZERO to do with what we help with and how we serve.
We’re basically asking for blood types. Am I right?
I truly believe that there’s still mega-importance to know you who love working with, and who you want to speak to and serve in your content and programs.
BUT ALSO… I think the pendulum has swung way past the point of these being helpful and much more toward keeping us stuck.
I want to share with you how you can still identify your audience without feeling like each clients has to meet all the requirements of a 50 item checklist before they can work with you.
Here’s the thing… I totally believe that ideal client exercises are important. CRUCIAL in fact.
I also believe they’re keeping us stuck.
So many of us are telling ourselves a story that if we don’t have the “perfect ideal client” then we can’t move forward. It’s keeping us from getting visible, creating content, and signing clients.
What if we decided that we were going to drop all of “perfect” and “ideal” titles?
We all know that NOTHING is actually ideal…. Relationships, businesses, friendships, etc. so why are we chasing this ideal client?
We’ve gotten too far away from the initial purpose of this exercise to simply identify an avatar of who we’d want to talk to in our content and marketing and ultimately work with.
Instead we’ve created lists, check boxes, etc. and we’re always chasing the IDEAL client, which doesn’t actually exist.
I know that at the beginning of my business I turned down people that I felt like didn’t “fit” my profile or perfection, and I’ve had clients do the same.
This limits our businesses, messes with our mindset, and has us chasing perfection… and don’t we all do that way too much already?
I’d love to change our mindset from looking for an IDEAL client to figuring out who would be an amazing client and staying open to all of the opportunities that present themselves to us!
What if we shifted from the concept of creating an “ideal client” to creating an “amazing client”?
What if we stopped chasing perfection, and started to serve those that are amazing clients and good fits for us without having to ask their favorite candy and blood type?
The best strategy for this is to figure out what results you’re delivering to your clients and what matters for getting them there.
What I mean by that is, instead of looking at all of these concepts that aren’t even relevant to our work that supposedly make someone “ideal” like…
*What does your ideal client do on Saturday nights?
*What’s your ideal clients favorite store to shop?
We take a look at things that MATTER to the services and results we deliver.
Now, maybe that is their Saturday night if you run a matchmaking website or maybe you DO need to know their favorite store if you’re a stylist. But the point is… it needs to MATCH what you do and whom you serve!
For me, my “amazing client” does completely different things on a Saturday night, shops at different places, and are a variety of ages.
However, things that matter include their goals, their business dreams, their desire for impact, their entrepreneurial mindset, etc.
I need to know that they want to achieve the results I can support them in, that they have foundational pieces that I think are crucial for getting there and that we are A GOOD FIT.
So, another strategy, apart from asking the right questions and making sure it’s someone who you can help create the result they desire is… do they feel like a good fit?
This is just like dating… someone can meet ALL of your checklist requirements but do you FEEL like they’re a good match for you?
An “amazing client” is the same. You just KNOW that you have chemistry, that you can create a relationship with them, and that you FIT.
There is no checklist that will ever be a better strategy than just being available to listen to your intuition, explore that relationship, and feel into what it would look like to work together.
I’d love to encourage you to start doing the work and being open to the clients that show up for you. That doesn’t mean “work with anyone” but it does mean… stop sitting behind your computer waiting for the perfect client to show up.
Start giving free sessions, exploring what it would look like to be less rigid, and re-creating an “amazing client” profile AFTER doing the work.
So often we create the profile and pour hours upon hours into it before we’ve ever provided our service or done the work, and then we go start seeking the perfect client and find ourselves frustrated when they don’t show up.
What’s the number one pain point you help people solve? If you just started with that one question and started helping people solve it things would begin to shift.
Then once you do the work you can look for those threads that connect all of the people you enjoyed working with.
Did they all think they have one specific problem you’re a whiz at helping them solve? Maybe they all identify with a certain term (for example, almost all my clients identify as “high-performers”)? Whatever those threads are, you can start building your “amazing client” profile off of that.
This also helps you to increase your confidence in the work you do and the value you offer. You know you can help people in certain ways and you’re not ONLY able to help someone that meets 100-item checklist of requirements.
Again, this doesn’t mean “HELP EVERYONE” and “WORK WITH PEOPLE THAT AREN’T A GOOD FIT” but it does mean… don’t make it so complicated.