One of the common challenges many us of face in marketing is 'How do we attract large numbers of ideal clients for our business?'
Ideal clients are usually clients who are profitable, easy to deal with, pay promptly and highly value and appreciate what you offer.
The opposite of ideal clients is clients who quibble over price, are hard to deal with, pay slowly and don't really value or appreciate what you offer.
So how do you attract large numbers of ideal clients for your business?
The starting point is to realise this.
"Everyone is not your ideal client"
Let's say you are a business coach.
And your area of expertise is helping business owners systematise their business so it runs smoothly and profitably even when they are not working in it full time.
Theoretically you could work with a large number of business owner clients.
However only a limited number of business owners would be ideal clients for your services.
First of all they would need to have a certain amount of revenue and profit right now so they could easily afford your business coaching services.
Secondly an ideal business client might have a pressing problem or important goal that your business services would help them to solve or reach quickly.
For instance your ideal business client might want to sell their business in the next 2-3 years and want to obtain the best price possible when they do this.
A business that is fully systemised and runs smoothly (whether or not the owner is actively involved full time working in the business) is usually far more attractive to potential buyers.
And will usually fetch a much higher price than a similar business that relies on the owner working in it full time. (So this is definitely a goal you could help business owners with.)
The main idea here is to first identify 'who is my ideal client?' and 'who is not my ideal client?'
Once you have identified who your ideal client is, your next step is attracting a good number of these people to talk to about the products and services that you offer.
One of my favourite ways of doing this is to use what I call 'Ideal Client Lead Magnets'.
An 'Ideal Client Lead Magnet' is very simple to create.
It's an information product (like a short video, a 'how to booklet', an introductory consultation etc) that contains valuable ideas and tips that an ideal client for your business would find useful.
Here are three examples to get you thinking:
1: The helpful video for professional services firms
After looking at my own business over the last 15 years I realised that I have two groups of ideal clients for my marketing services.
One of these groups is professional services firms who want to significantly increase their revenues.
So I've just created a brand new 32 minute video called
'The Revenue Accelerator for Professional Services- four keys that you can use to increase your revenues by $100,000 to $400,000 over the next 12 months'.
This video is free of charge and I'll happily give any professional services firm the link to watch this video.
(If you have a professional services firm yourself just contact me using either of the email links at the top and bottom of this Herald column and I'll give you the link to watch this video.)
This video explains in detail four keys that any professional services firm can use to significantly increase their revenues.
So any professional services firm that watches this video will find it very valuable.
2: The useful one page article for hotel general managers
A number of years ago I worked with a business that trained hotel staff to convert a
higher percentage of inbound phone calls into confirmed bookings for either accommodation or functions.
The ideal client for this business was the general manager of a major hotel.
We created a very simple one page magazine style article with the headline 'Opportunity only rings once'.
The article explained how large hotels could boost their profitability significantly by getting their staff to convert more inbound calls into confirmed bookings.
The article offered a free consultation explaining how do this this along with a copy of a free guide called '9 ways to handle price shoppers'.
My business client just sent this one page article by fax with a short cover letter to the general manager of each hotel he wanted to meet with.
10% of the general managers he faxed booked an introductory meeting with him.
And a large number being happy paying clients after this meeting.
3: The helpful 'how to guide' for lawyers
I worked with a business a while ago that specialised in office fit outs.
We identified that an ideal client for these services was a legal firm.
So we created a short and very informative guide that explained in detail 'The three secrets to a successful office fit out'.
We placed a small display ad in a local magazine that went to every legal firm in the city.
The ad cost $400 and the first time we ran it 29 legal firms ordered the free guide.
So my client now had 29 good quality potential clients that he could now start to communicate with about his office fit out services.
In many businesses there are ideal clients who are a great match for what you offer.
And once you identify these ideal clients an 'Ideal Client Lead Magnet' can be a useful way to encourage many of these ideal clients to contact your business.
'The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.' Peter Drucker
Take a few minutes and identify what an ideal client for your business might look like.
Then think about how you could create an 'Ideal Client Lead Magnet' that would give them a good reason to contact your business.