There are three main reasons for this: they’re more enjoyable to work with, more profitable, or they fit the long term vision of your ideal client base. You might even find that all three of these factors put together make up your ideal client. Even still, you want to dig a little deeper.
Target which industry, niche, locations, staff size, etc. you want to get in front of. Really learn about these factors. A great way to do this is to get to know your top clients. Target what it is about them that makes them so awesome. This might be the way they communicate, how much they can spend with you, their behavior, and so on.
Figure out these common denominators between your top clients to design your ideal client. From there, you get in front of them. Here are three strategies I use at Loud Rumor to do this:
1 – Regularly meet with your top clients.
80% of my meetings are spent with top clients, those who have referred me top clients, vendors who my top clients work with, or people who I already know would be top clients if they signed.
Your goal is to touch base with these people regularly. Invite them to lunch, drop into their office, give them a call to see how things are going. Take yourself out of the vendor box and into the relationship box. Get on the same level as their friends and family. This increases their trust.
The deeper the conversations you have with your top clients, referrals, vendors, and so on, the better you understand their short and long term goals. They begin to feel comfortable enough to open up to you about what’s important to them. Build that great relationship so they understand your priority is their success and wellbeing.
This way, when you suggest additional services to them, they’ll know it’s not because you want to make a sale, but because it’s honestly in their best interest. They will see that this new feature, product, or service is something that will really help their business succeed if it’s something you recommend. Because you wouldn’t steer your top clients wrong.
2 – Learn who your clients’ top vendors are.
As an internet marketing company, people hire me to get them more customers from the internet. But there’s so many other vendors my clients work with that I want to know. This includes web designers, video producers, social media managers, business coaches, and more.
Identify who these vendors are for your top clients. If those vendors work with one of your guys, they probably work with other people who would also fit the mold of your ideal client.
So I’ll ask my clients who does their printing or web design, and I’ll tell them I want to meet that vendor. This gives me a better understanding of their business so that me and their other vendor can collaborate on a whole new level and piece their company goals together. It’s a great way to share ideas and expand my customer’s internet marketing program. Top clients always get excited when two of their vendors meet to discuss their success.
When you get that meeting set up with the other vendor, continue this flow. Introduce yourself as another service provide for that client. This automatically gives you both something in common, and they’ll be open to what you have to say since you guys care about the same thing. Once they get to know and trust you, they might send some of their own clients your way.
3 – Find out where your top clients go.
Figure out where your top clients go to connect with other like-minded people. Get their calendar for the next 6-12 months and ask if you tag along to the conferences, seminars, and other events that they attend to learn more about their industry and goals for those outings. And tag along in style…
Mike is the founder and CEO of Loud Rumor, an online marketing company that helps small businesses grow with AdWords management, local SEO, social media marketing, and YouTube advertising.
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