How to Find Your Ideal Client by Going Fishing


Image compliments of chefrandan

Is your marketing going fishing?  Not real fish, though this one is a lovely example (done on a computer).

I mean fishing for ideal clients.  It turns out that marketing, and finding your ideal customers, has quite a lot in common with fishing.

Don’t try to please everybody

One of the hardest lessons for many solopreneurs (and even bigger companies) to learn is to not try to please everyone, only your own school of fish.

Apple doesn’t care what “everybody” thinks. Some people love the iPad. Some don’t care. Others hate it. Apple focuses only on the first group – and it’s a big enough tribe that they sold $150,000,000 worth of iPads in one day.

They know how to find a niche market, determine what they want, and how to deliver it.

Focus only on  your “fish”

Before you can sell anything, you need to know what your ideal client “fish” look like, what information they need, and how you can help them get it.

Are they big fish (companies)? Small fish (solopreneurs)? Are they older fish (established businesses) or newly-hatched fry (baby fish)? Knowing this will tell you more about how to reach them, who to talk to, and how much they can afford to spend on your products or services.  For example, bigger companies have more resources, but are also likely to be more bureaucratic.

Where are they?

Where do they swim?  In lakes? Or the ocean? Or are they in rivers?  Apply this same principle to the clients you want to reach. Where are they? Locally? Nationally? Internationally?

What meetings or industry events do they regularly attend?  What industry magazines do they read?

This also applies, by the way, to their online presence. Which social networks do they use (if any)? What forums are they active in?  What industry sites to they comment on? Or do they own one, where you can comment?

What do they want?

Actual fish want to know what’s for dinner and where to find it…the best sources for smaller fish, or plants, or flies.

Your clients probably don’t eat flies (at least I hope not), but they will want to know how to get their contract employees’ tax files processed. Or how to set up a blog. Or an ebook on how to get more web site sales.

Have you been able to find a market niche (or your fish)? Want some help figuring it out? Try this free ideal client profile worksheet (just download it, no obligation).