006: Ideal clients – How to attract the right clients for your business

Struggling to attract your ideal clients and create your dream business? Here are 7 steps to attracting the right clients for your business.

In our latest episode of Authentic Influence podcast, we run through the 7 steps to attracting the right clients for your business.

Listen to the 5-minute episode now.

Prefer to listen on itunes or Google Play Music? Go here.

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7 Steps to attracting the ideal clients for your business

1. Determine your value.

Firstly, watch this 3-min video to understand the value creation cycle:

Secondly, read Breaking the time barrier to better understand how to price your product or service so that you’re pricing based on value, and not devaluing yourself and struggling from the outset (a common problem for new businesses).

2. Map out your business model.

Business plans take too long to write, are rarely updated, and almost never read by others. Seriously, who wants to read 30+ pages of a business plan? ?

However, documenting your business hypothesis is critical.

Lean Canvas solves this problem using a 1-page business model and it only takes 20 minutes to create.

Here’s what Uber’s business model looks like using the Lean canvas:

canvas 2 en 2 uber
(Image Source: Heflo)

See how much easier it is to understand and give feedback on Uber’s business model when it’s laid out visually like this? Make it easier for the Uber team to tweak the business model and clarify their value proposition as they learn more about their ideal clients.

Download the lean canvas for free now.

3. Identify your ideal client.

Who are the right clients for you? Who are the wrong clients for you?

Here are 10 questions to help you clarify your ideal customer:

chart 1
(Image Source: AutopilotHQ)

In addition to the above, it’s important to take into account financials. You do want your ideal client to be able to pay you what you’re worth right? (remember step 1 above?)

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To make this process easier, grab our free Ideal Client Identifier cheatsheet and work through it.

4. Create an empathy map

How well do you know and understand what motivates your ideal clients?

You may have heard the phrase “people like to work with people they like, know and trust” before.

What that means is that your ideal prospects are more likely to hire you if and when they feel that you get them as a person, and can empathise with their goals, frustrations and desires.

Creating an empathy map is a great way to do this.

Sample empathy map (source)

You can grab our free template to create an empathy map just like the one above.

5. Create a 1 page brochure (or landing page) about your product or service

Using the business model canvas and empathy map you’ve created, put together a 1-page brochure (or landing page online) defining who you serve, what key challenge they face, and how you can help them, with a full plus introductory rate.

Don’t go for perfect, just something to begin with and get feedback on.

When we started our content writing service, we did it with the following landing page. It only took me one day to get it up using a free landing page creator. Click on the below image to view the full landing page.

Bloggermates abovefold

7. Validate your assumptions by getting in front of your ideal clients, and be open to being wrong and adjusting.

Where many entrepreneurs screw up is they make assumptions based on what they want themselves, but don’t verify with their target audience if that’s what they want too.

When I started 1 on 1 coaching, I was fresh out of my NLP practitioner training, and my trainer at the time suggested to our class that good coaches should aim to get 10 x $1,000 per month coaching clients.

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Now that would work for an experienced coach and consultant like my trainer, but I discovered quickly that finding clients willing to pay that amount was extremely difficult. Furthermore, I didn’t feel like I had enough coaching experience and success to be awarded that rate.

There’s a better way…

Let the market tell you what they want, need, and are willing to pay for.


Have 100 coffees in 90 days with people in your target audience.

This is a business validation process created by my friend Jenny Vandyke, managing director at Startup Adelaide.

As Jenny states:

These are not sales pitches, so be clear to them that you are wanting to speak to a few people who fit your target market to deepen your understanding of your market.

Avoid saying, “can I buy you a coffee” or “can I pick your brain.” These phrases raise massive red flags for busy (time-poor) people.

Use your 100 coffees to build a deep understanding of your clients, their needs and wants, their pains, and the language they use when speaking about your product.

Oh, and if you’re building a location-independent business like ours, then you could conduct these “coffee meetings” over skype or Zoom. The main thing is having actual conversations (also known as “in-depth interviews”) with people and not just sending out a survey.

Show each person your 1-pager (and your Lean Canvas if they prefer a visual model).

Refine your pitch and business model as you gather more feedback.

Jenny recommends the following approach to get started:

Start with 3, then at the end of those 3 conversations, ask each to introduce you to 2 people they know who would be a good fit for your product. Don’t know 3 people? Find the 3 people in your network who know your market, can advise you on how to proceed, and who could introduce you to 2 potential clients.

– Jenny Vandyke

Essentially what you’re doing by meeting with 100 people is you’re building your network and list of contacts in your target audience. I highly recommend that before you end each meeting you ask the person if they’d like to be added to your email list so you can notify them of updates to your project.

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You could then use a tool like Convertkit to send regular newsletters/updates.

If you want a more sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to track all the conversations, we recommend you use something like Salesflare (in addition to using a newsletter tool like Mailchimp to send emails to everyone on your list at once).

8. Follow up with anyone who expresses interest in what you’re building.

Once you’ve had enough conversations you’ll then have a revised pitch based on actual feedback from people in your target audience.

It’s important then to follow up with anyone who has expressed interest and see if they’re ready to work with you.

You can give them the urgency to act by letting them know your actual capacity i.e., how many more clients can you actually take on before you’ve got a full plate?

Once you’ve got ideal clients paying you, you’re on your way! Your responsibility from then on is to deliver remarkable quality work, so that word of mouth starts to spread about the great work you’re producing.

Remember – your clients are the heroes of your business, so make sure you share their wins along the way.

Now it’s over to you…

What did you find most valuable about this podcast episode/blog post? Which action step are you going to take next? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please leave a 5-star rating and a comment on itunes or your favourite podcasting app. That would absolutely make my day.

authentic influence podcast itunes cover

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