Welcome to Week 2...
Finding Your Ideal Client
Before we can get to the selling part, we have to know who we are selling to! Not everyone will want to buy from you, nor should they. Knowing your ideal client will help you focus your offers and message.
Because the reality is, when you try to market yourself to everyone, your message gets diluted and you're going to end up spinning your wheels in your business. Finding your ideal client often feels like a huge challenge because it feels like we are trying to exclude people, and that feels unkind. But in reality, your are narrowing your focus so you can help the people you want to help in the best way possible.
Plus, just because you know your ideal client, and market to them, does not mean you have to turn away people who fall outside of the profile. I'll touch on that more in a moment, but first, let's talk about the two major components that go into figuring out your ideal client: demographics and psychographics.
Demographics: statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it. These are specific, set things that help differentiate people. Some examples are age, education level, marital status, gender, religion, or annual income.
Psychographics: the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research. These are things that are more subjective. Some examples are their personal values, buying habits, hobbies, fears, hopes, pain points, and personal goals or aspirations.
You might not be able to get super specific at first, but as you keep going and work with different people, you could begin to see patterns emerge. Take note of these things because they can help you focus your marketing efforts over time.
Things to consider when thinking about your ideal client:
Who do you enjoy working with? Who would you work with even if you weren’t getting paid?
Who would value what you do? (Don’t think about who “needs” what you do. People need water to survive, but not everyone places a value on buying fancy, bottled water.)
What are their perceived needs?
What “problem” could you solve for them?
Where do they live? What do they do for fun? What do they do for work? How old are they? What’s their gender? Do they have kids?
Does a certain type of person seem to gravitate to you? Who appreciates you and refers you to others?
Conversely, who would you rather not work with? I don’t mean in a discriminatory way, I mean which types of clients would be energy sucking rather than energizing? Which wouldn’t align well with your personality?
My ideal clients:
I primarily work with, and market to, women. Most of my clients tend to be women without a formal business background. They are often women who started their businesses because of a passion, or sometimes just as a "side hustle." They tend to be college educated and people who never really intended to become entrepreneurs. They don't just have a business for the sake of having a business; they do it because they want to share what they do with others because they believe in it. And they are women who are willing to invest in themselves and their businesses to have more success and fulfillment. If they had to close up their businesses it would be more emotionally disappointing than financially devastating.
Even though I market to women, I have worked with men, and would do so in the future. It's just not the population I'm trying to target. Sometimes the people you aren't intending to target will resonate with you anyway and want to do business with you. But if you are trying to reach everyone, it won't be very effective.
Write out some preferred demographics.
Write out some preferred psychographics.
Don't get hung up on niching down too narrowly right now if you can't. Get a good outline of the type of people you'd really like to work with. If the profile ends up being similar to you, that's normal! Often we start a business because we want to help people like ourselves and those we spend time with. It's better to get a good baseline profile now and then expand on it as your business grows.
-----> Use Page 3 in the worksheets. Download them here.
Make an "avatar" of your ideal client. You can write it out in words, draw a picture, or even print a picture of someone online to use as the stand-in for your ideal client. You want this to be the person you would LOVE working with all the time.
An example could be a woman in her 30s, married with kids, upper-middle class, doesn't mind spending money on things that make her life easier and provide experiences for her family. Has a bubbly personality and is well-educated. Include where she shops, what she likes to do for fun, where she likes to travel, etc.
When you have this avatar completed, picture her in your mind whenever you are writing/speaking something directed at your audience. This could be an email to your list, a Facebook post, a video, or sales page. It will make it so much easier for you to focus on speaking to that one ideal person than trying to be too vague and appeal to anyone and everyone.
Additional Resource: More about your ideal client can be found here
Your Zone of Genius
The term "zone of genius" was popularized in the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. When you are working in your ZoG you feel in the “flow.” You lose track of time. You have abundant energy and focus. It lights you up. By leveraging your ZoG not only will work be more enjoyable, but you'll see more success because you'll be able to delegate out tasks you struggle with to others who excel at them.
Think of your "zones" as 4 quadrants.
Zone of Incompetence: This is something you aren't very good at. A lot of people can do this better than you can. Working in this quadrant feels like walking through mud.
Zone of Competence: You are average at this stuff. Some people can do it better. It can either feel "meh" or actually drain your energy.
Zone of Excellence: These are things you are highly skilled at. Not many people are better than you at this. Things in this zone feel easy and fun usually.
Zone of Genius: Exceptional at this. Nobody does this thing quite like you do.
And before you go thinking that you have no ZoG, I'll tell you that's not true. Another reason this feels hard is because it feels a little "braggy." But think of it this way...everyone has something they really shine at, and we each have a different "thing." That's what makes the world so cool and interesting! If everyone were Mozart, then Mozart wouldn't be special. We all have gifts and talents that we are meant to share with others. It's our job to uncover these things so we can share them.
This can be haaaaaaard to figure out though because when we are working in our ZoG it seems so fun and easy, we can hardly imagine getting paid to do it. It's often something we take for granted. So start with the easiest quadrants first (Incompetence and Competence), and work your way to the other ones. But use the following key points to help you get to your own ZoG...
Things to consider when thinking about your Zone of Genius:
When you are in a work or social setting, what do you “bring to the table?” Do you help lead? Are you a connector? Put people at ease? Problem solve? Bring clarity to situations?
When you are working at things you are excellent at, when do you get the most excited? What are you doing in those moments? When does it feel like it “spills over” into genius or “flow” territory?
What are some things you do (work or otherwise) that “light you up?” These are things that actually give you energy instead of take it away. How do you do this thing? What are you thinking about? How do you feel? Some people almost describe it as a “buzzing” sensation.
Incompetence: Anything involving data or spreadsheets. It freaks me out. Seriously I get anxiety looking at spreadsheets. If I had to do my own business taxes I would probably cry. I'm so scared of screwing stuff like that up. I'm pretty good at teaching myself stuff, but this is an area where I struggle a ton, so I have no qualms about paying a professional to do my taxes.
Competence: I'm pretty good about understanding social media marketing and other important business "tasks" as I think of them. I can teach myself email marketing, making social media graphics, writing blog posts, using Instagram, etc. but it's not what I'd love to be doing all day. In fact, sometimes I'll drag my feet on this stuff because even though I know how to do it, and it usually doesn't take my too much time, it often feels a little "meh." It's not the thing that's going to get me out of my 3pm slump.
Excellence: I'm pretty darn good at problem solving and I like to do it. You'll learn soon enough that all selling boils down to is solving other people's problems. I really enjoy selling, and I'm good at it, because it feels really freaking good to help someone solve their problem. It's why I enjoy the business I have, and why I don't feel bad about getting paid for it. Just like you shouldn't feel bad or weird about getting paid for the ways in which you solve your clients' "problems." (More on that later in this course.)
Genius: I love teaching, training, leading, and connecting with people. You in when you're younger and you take those quizzes in school that tell you what type of field you should work in when you are older? I would always getting teaching or counseling. Always. I thought that meant I had to be a regular classroom teacher, and that's what I went to school for. As I got older, I realized that teaching can come in many forms. Teaching people how to run their own businesses better and with more confidence is something I could talk about literally all day. When I give talks or webinars, or do podcast interviews, I feel "lit up" after I'm done. It feels like only 20 minutes has gone by, when it's really been an hour. Helping someone get to their "A-HA" moment puts pep in my step.
The worksheet is structured so you are essentially going from Incompetence to Genius. I find it's so much easier this way.
Remember that none of this is set in stone and if you have an epiphany later you can absolutely go back and change your answers.
-----> Use Page 4 in the worksheets. Download them here.
Once you know your zones of Incompetence and Competence you can start outsourcing! This is one of the scariest but most liberating things in business. We feel like we have to #doitall but we DON'T! Things in your Incompetence Quadrant should be outsourced first. Chances are you are procrastinating on these things anyway and they simply aren't getting done. If they aren't essential, you might not even have to worry about it. But in my case, I have to pay taxes, so I just budget that in as an expense come tax season. Then look at what's in your Competence Zone. You might not be able to hire a social media manager right now (using my example) BUT you can decide that you are going to take a couple hours to plan out your social media for the month and do the work once. Then treat yourself to ice cream or a pedicure or something. ;) I hired two different women to help me with this course. One did my Facebook ads and the other helped me set up some automations on the back end. These are things I could've learned with enough time, but I didn't have the time, so I happily paid them. Did it feel a little weird at first? Sure. But when I saw what they were taking off my plate, and how they did it better than I could, it felt like the smartest decision in the world!