Who is your Ideal Client? This comes up with great frequency in the world of entrepreneurs and I frequently feel as if my answer is inadequate. The goal is to be able to describe this person so well, that people can see him/her in their mind. You want your description to be so complete that the person can be recognized walking down the street.
“Easily” defined attributes of an ideal client include: gender, age, profession, income, political bent, where they live, where they work, marital status, number of children, religious bent, behavior style, and so on.
Me, I couldn’t care less about most of that stuff. I look for passion. I love working with people who love what they do. People who love what they do so much, that they still do what they went into business to do – maybe not as much as they’d like, but some.
OK, that narrows it down some, I look for passionate business owners.
Passionate business owners who are fun. As a recovering engineer, I’m the first to admit that I have a warped sense of fun, so let’s sum it up with: I find fun in passion. It’s contagious.
It helps that I like to learn. I find that people who are passionate about what they do, enjoy explaining it to others. I enjoy catching some of that passion, learning about what makes them so excited, and explaining it in a way that gets other people excited too. And, if not excited, at least interested. Yes, I find it fun. And, yes, I’m warped.
I do not find fun in judgment. Our opinions on politics, god, nature, science, and sex education can be as different as the day is long. Do not judge me on my beliefs and I will not judge you on yours, and if that’s not possible, then I’m not the writer for you.
I’ve worked with flakes and control freaks, energy healers and scientists, and had a great time with them all. There are only two clients I would not take on again: the man who had no passion, and the woman who could not make any sort of accommodation for how I work.
Ah, another attribute: at least somewhat accommodating. I bust my buns to work with my clients in a way that works best for them, however, there are some things I have to do a specific way. For example, I know that email communication is the best way for me to keep a record of what’s happened, what’s wanted, and what’s said. A client that will not check and/or respond to emails is not a good client for me.
Finally, I need them to have enough income to pay me. As much as I love my clients, and am inspired by their passion, I do need reimbursement for my work. Because it is work. It is work I love, work that fulfills me, work I am glad to do, and work that has value and deserves compensation. Better yet, it is work that others generally do not enjoy. How many people – me included – have you met that went into business to write?
Oops, that leads me to one more attribute: appreciates writing.
So, a passionate, fun, nonjudgmental business owner who will appreciate my work, make some allowances for me, and pay my invoices is my ideal client. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Do you know this person?
If you do, would you please send them my way? I’d love to meet them.