Identifying Your Ideal Client Profile

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Many agencies think about their ideal client profile as a static thing. That’s not true. Your ideal client profile changes as you and your business change. 

The best way to pick your first ideal client profile is by using my concept of “Return on Understanding.” You need to think about the businesses that you understand the best. When I started my marketing agencies, I focused on retailers because that was a world I understood. 

Once you have customers, you need to understand which you serve best because that’s indicative of who your ideal client should be. Think about the clients for whom the relationship is easiest, the work flows nicely, and the planning and looking forward all makes sense. This isn’t  necessarily where you get the best results. 

The definition of your ideal client profile will evolve over time. You first want to focus on what you understand. Then, as you grow, you want to focus on where there is the least amount of friction, the place where you are bringing the most value. Look at what the data and your experience tells you that you understand. The value and your sense of understanding is what makes client relationships great. 

Ideal client profiles aren’t limiting. They’re just a focal point. It doesn’t mean that you can’t take on other clients. That’s important because many people think that if you pick an ideal client profile, you must exclude all others. Your ideal client profile is the kind of client you prefer because you can serve them better. 

There isn’t one niche that’s more profitable than another. There’s only a niche or an ideal client profile that you can serve better and more effectively than others. If you see lists that say “The 12 most profitable niches for 2022,” realize that’s a load of horse poop. The idea of profitability in a niche only works if you can serve that niche really well. For example, I have clients who work with dentists, and they understand them. I’m a pretty good marketer, but I could not serve dentists because I don’t understand them. I probably can’t serve them effectively because I have no clue who they are, what they do, what drives them, what’s important to them, or how to deliver those. 

You create growth by maximizing your “Return on Understanding,” not necessarily maximizing your technical skills or your understanding of the Facebook algorithm. It’s the understanding of your client that drives profitability, efficiency, credibility, and joy. 

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