Getting clear on your ideal client or ideal community is one of the most important things you can do for your business. I would even go as far as saying this is essential for ANY business.
Otherwise, you’re just not speaking clearly to your audience.
Underneath are 6 key questions you need to ask yourself about your ideal client or community so that you can begin to:
- Create clear messaging
- Create a clear brand
- Build your like, know and trust factor with your ideal client
- Create offers that your ideal community needs and buys
I also cover some other key considerations such as how to interview your ideal client and what to ask.
What is an ideal client?
Your ideal client or ideal community is basically who you want to provide help for or who you will serve in your business. I’m leaning towards thinking of this concept as more community now, because as Amy Porterfield rightly points out, you want to be inclusive towards the tribe you want to attract.
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Why can’t you help everyone?
Trying to appeal to everyone will end up with you not really connecting with anyone. If your message is quite general, no-one is going to think that you can help them with their challenges. Think about it – they may be thinking about parting with a lot of money, so they want to be absolutely sure they invest in the right person or product.
Serve people who you feel most connected with. Is there anyone that you really vibed with? I really want you to note this down.
For me, I like to work with a variety of people, because I would get bored, and also I love to learn more about people. Did you enjoy working with outdoorsy people, who make surfwear?
Love writing for real estate agents? Think about where you feel ignited when you picture the person.
Marie Forleo sums this up awesomely – If you choose the people who you have a deep heart-centred love towards, you are gonna want to work your ass off to deliver value to them
What exactly do you do?
Defining your services in a simple way can be useful here too. Also what can you do say for example in the scope of copywriting.
Also here I want you to star the services you have enjoyed providing. Marie Forleo recommends never to provide services that ‘make you want to stick a fork in your eye’.
What does their life look like before they work with you?
Are they running around trying to be all things to all people? Trying to be the entrepreneur, the VA, the copywriter?
Are they trying to balance their business with their home lives or other commitments?
Tell me about your business is a great line to start off a discovery call or call where you want to find out more about your ideal client. Chances are nobody will have asked them that and they may want to offload some things to you.
My friend, these moments are absolute gold for you. To really dig in and get to know how their lives operate and what gets in their way.
What are their external pain points?
External paint points are pressures from the outside. So ask them about their business and what is hard for them. What is working well? If you are a copywriter, tailor this question to ask about how the copy is created, and what are the pressure points.
Does it work?
Why are they asking for your help?
It’s important with all of these questions to think about adapting them to fit your services.
So if they need help with copy, you would be asking what is about their copy that isn’t working, what do they use to create it?
What do they find hard about messaging?
What are their internal challenges?
Internal challenges are more to do with how they feel and think inside. You can make this really easy for them to answer by breaking down the question to something like…
How do you feel when you think of tackling your website copy? Can you explain?
What thoughts do you have right now about your messaging?
What are they looking for when they first find you? How aware are they of their problem?
I just love asking my ideal community this question. You will get some really surprising answers that may have you racing back to your service section to make your offers even more specific!
I’d love to know what you find out below. Feel free to comment below.
Where does your ideal community hang out?
This is a very powerful way to start conversations. Do some research on social channels and find out where your ideal community hangs out. One thing that really worked for me was to send out a post, asking your ideal client if they were interested in hopping on a quick call, to find out more about what they need. Offer an incentive like a coffee e-voucher in return.
Other things to consider when nailing down your ideal community
Look at who you have helped in the past
Go through all your previous clients. Make a note of who you enjoyed helping and why.
What or who gave you joy – if it gave you joy, you will always want to do more of it, so why not start now, looking at ways you can bring more joy into your business.
Consider their current habits
Thinking of the people who brought you joy, what do they do on a regular basis that you could help with? Are they entrepreneurs that like to rest over the summer? Do they work a 4-day week? Why is that? What are their values generally?
Think about when would be best in the year to attract them to you.
What do they need, dream of, and what holds them back?
Going from there, we can start to build a detailed picture of your ideal community. By far the best way to ascertain this, from my experience, is to interview them and actually ask them.
Be prepared for some surprises and aha moments when you do!
As I said above, I offered coffee vouchers in return for their time – and it was the best research I ever did. So much so that I’m planning to do it again in the near future to see if my audience needs new things and whether their dreams and pain points have shifted.
What do they know about you and your services already
While on a call with them, I like to ask them this question because it gives me an overall sense of how visible online I am. From there I tend to edit my strategy to address gaps in people’s knowledge about me. Say for example – creating clearer messaging on social media about what services I offer.
Ask open-ended questions
Okay so boring teacher moment here – but it’s a really useful strategy to use when interviewing.
An open question or open-ended question allows the person to explain things in more detail.
So instead of asking a question that is closed (has only yes or no as an answer)
Download my free cheatsheet for interviewing your ideal community here:
It contains a few ideas for open-ended questions, to encourage the interviewee to explain and give more detailed answers.