9 Stories About Finding Your Ideal Client
Hellooooo babes! I’m so excited to share today’s Top Knot Tuesday post. Put that hair in a top knot, fill up your mug, & let’s get to these small business tips and stories about dun dun dun…. the ideal client. What is an ‘ideal client’ you might ask? It’s someone who wants what you’re offering, is willing to pay you for your services or products, and who digs you & your brand. Your ideal clients or customers are out there & they want to hear from you. It’s all about being honest & consistent in your messaging about what you do— and your tribe will find you. And they will be so glad they did. We have 8 stories from totally awesome babes from all over Tampa Bay & the country.
These are stories about a specific ideal client, what ‘ideal client’ means to them, or even a tip for you on how to find your ideal client. Check them out & share your questions or tips in the comments below. Also! Allie Heemstra was so kind to share her “Ideal Client Workbook” on her resources page. It’s free to download & it’ll help you either discover who your target customer is or help you refresh who you’re looking for. How can you hit your target if you don’t know where you’re aiming, right?! Enjoy! Stay boss. xx
“Niching down into the travel/adventure realm really helped booster PaperFinch. Even product-based businesses have a target customer and the more you can speak to them specifically, the more loyal customers you're going to have coming back time and time again.
My story is that I started sharing gorgeous photography from other travel-based brands around the world and made sure I was targeting people who traveled or had wanderlusty hearts. I found exposure in front of another audience (not just people looking to buy art on Etsy) and grew my audience exponentially.”
St. Petersburg, FL
“The 'ideal client' is any client who admires my craft and wants to hire me. I think it is more important to focus on being great at what you do, given any challenge. Can you imagine telling a bride who wants hire me for her wedding I can't take her wedding on.. because her wedding isn't ideal, the room is too dark? No way! I am going to be my best in any situation. I would encourage other photographers to get into that mindset.”
“My life as a freelancer has been marked by moments of moxie and connection.
A few months before I stepped out from under the umbrella of a safe salary paid job, I made a commitment to try to network with at least one person a week. Feeling like such a novice, I was eager to hear the stories of others who had forged their own paths. So I went to networking events. I asked people I’d just met if I could buy them a coffee and pick their brain about their area of expertise. I asked my friends to connect me with other writers and freelancers and other badass trailblazers.
As I started to form an idea of who my ideal future clients would be, I tried to show up to the types places they’d be drawn to, attend the events they’d be hosting, and engage in the online spaces they’d be paying attention to. My motive wasn’t to get hired right out of the gate. I was a primarily a question-asker and a listener—curious to hear their insights and perspective about the world I was about to dive into headlong.
As a natural introvert, it felt very vulnerable. But the risk was always worth it. Those moments of boldness always led to something good. Some people I met with became mentors, the people I called freaking out when I landed my first client a few months later. Other conversations helped me clarify what I wasn’t interested in doing. One woman became an immediate friend and invaluable mentor, and then my favorite client six months later.
All those little moments of confidence shifted me into a posture of being open to possibility. It was as if the practice of bravery opened my eyes to this reality: the people I was seeking were also seeking me.”
“I am currently wrapping up finish details on a dream project for a Dream client! She found me through my reviews and online presence. I try to connect with clients on a personal level. The minute I walked in her house I knew we were meant to work together- and I made sure she knew how I felt! My best advice is to share your thoughts openly with your clients, and tell them why you know you will Work well together. People want to work with people they like and are comfortable with.”
St. Peterburg, FL
“I found my newest client in a Facebook Group for copywriters. I was scrolling through one day and saw that someone put out a call for writers with knowledge and experience in breast pumping. As a mom of two, it’s always been a goal of mine to get paid to write about being a mom! So I jumped on it. I commented on her post and emailed her within the hour. I’m now the mommy blogger for a brand I love and it truly doesn’t feel like work. So my advice is that Facebook Groups are a gold mine. Even though I found this client in a copywriting group, use the “Discover” feature in Facebook to find groups made up of your target audience. If you’re a wedding planner, search for a Brides group. If you’re an interior designer, search for a Real Estate or Architect or lifestyle group. Look for your audience — but also people who can connect you with your target audience. Don't promote yourself directly by dropping the links. Instead, answer questions and show them you're the expert. They might think of you when they need to hire someone.”
“When just starting out, it’s natural to take any client that comes your way whether or not they are a good fit for you and your company. The bad experiences have shaped my process on determining my ideal client just as much as the positive experiences have. Also, trust your gut and when see a red flag waving, pay attention!”
St. Petersburg, FL
“One of our favorite clients is Hattricks Tavern. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to build the custom cake for their 20th Anniversary Party. The Hattricks team was incredible to work with, they gave us a lot of inspiration up front and then encouraged us to go wild. They trusted our vision for such an important event and we were able to deliver a completely edible cake that looked just like french fries, celery, and their Shake & Bake Wings.”
"My husband and I have a branding & copywriting business. Our own marketing is unapologetically packed with our personalities, personal opinions, general fun and silliness. We've found that we consistently attract dream clients this way. And when we're writing for a client, we always build their messaging around THEIR unique voice and personality. We've worked out that the best way to differentiate from your competitors isn't really in WHAT you offer, it's who you are and how you do it. Your innate 'you-ness' that nobody else has."
“I have always been mildly obsessed with business owners. Because of this obsession I seem to find myself in constant circles of consulting companies who work with business owners or in their social circles. When we launched Wolf and Rabbit Marketing I was surprised by #1) How many business owners we actually knew, and #2) How many wanted information on what we were doing.
As much as we have built our livelihood through online marketing services – the funny thing is that the BEST and most IDEAL clients that we meet are all through WORD OF MOUTH! It is still human connection and a personal recommendation that trumps EVERYTHING! When our clients refer someone to us, it is like this gloriously open and symbiotic meeting where we all win in the end. Your current clients have a great way of pre-qualifying people for you and that’s the best way to do it!
To encourage this, we offer a competitive referral program to keep our clients excited and motivated to help us grow while we empower them with digital marketing strategy and solutions.”