The ideal client trope

Let’s talk clients. Well, specifically, the clients you want to work with — you know, those dream or ideal clients.
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How often have you heard the terms dream and ideal client? I’m guessing if you run an online business of any sort, plenty.

Search “dream client” on Pinterest and you’re hit with thousands of blog posts and worksheets, ranging from attraction marketing to niching to just getting more of them.

The general outline they guide you to create looks a bit like this:

  • Who they are
  • Where they are
  • Their problem you solve
  • How you solve that problem
  • And, toward the end, they might sprinkle in some talk about beliefs and values

Which, when you combine them together, feels like a mishmash of vague demographics and a vision board of their aesthetic. None of which is helpful when you’re writing to, marketing for or communicating with said dream client.

And, this might have been helpful for you when you were starting your business and gathering all the resources and inspiration, so I won’t outright knock it.

But I will challenge you to look past this ideal client trope and get intimate with not just who you want to work with, but what emotional benefits they’re looking for and how you can provide those.

Why you should trash your ideal client profile

The tapestry of unhelpful information you’re able to put together with the conventional prompts and questions will not help you engage and convert an audience into clients.

It won’t tell you:

  • What they’re looking for in service providers or brands to partner with
  • What experiences they want more of
  • What specific emotional benefits they’re after when hiring someone

And when you’re creating content and marketing your business (girl’s gotta eat), these are the stars your brand messaging needs to follow.

A different approach

I rewrote this dream client trope into something that actually makes a difference for my clients and myself and something I've been building on and evolving since then. Something that cultivates an intimate understanding of who they are and what they value.

  1. Instead of fixating on creating a demographic-driven avatar for who your ideal client is, let’s first consider what a fab client means for you.
  2. You probably have some ideas in your head, but write them down and start to unpack what a great client within the context of your business and personal values looks like.
  3. Then look to clients you’ve had before that fit this concept, or look for people that you’d really want to work with. Friends, peers, general people scattered on Instagram. Take a snoop and draw up a short list of who those people are.
  4. Now (and this is the part where we veer off the trope track) look further than their demographics and start identifying what they value, believe in and what to experience more of in their lives.
  5. You can look toward activities they share/talk about, content they create and brands they follow to build an outline of what they value and believe in.

Value-focused profiles

And using those values to guide your own marketing and messaging is way more powerful than a list of boring demographics. Because it’s intimate. It looks past the performance of our lives and businesses, and aims to connect in a more meaningful way.

Niching yourself down in business with values over industry will always mean that you’re able to really see your clients outside of the context of how they fit into your business and engage with them as fellow, multi-faceted humans.

Want to get more fab clients by getting to know them in the ways that actually make a difference?

In the Get More Fab Clients workshop I get detailed as I walk you through my unique approach to getting to know your people reeeeaaally well beyond the boring demographic bs. So that you can refine your message and marketing (and offers!) and book more of them.

You’ll learn how to understand what they value and why, with a lesson in developing offers that are aligned with the emotional benefits they want, too.

Sign up for USD 47 here

2-month payment plan available

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The ideal client trope
The ideal client trope
The ideal client trope
The ideal client trope

Hi, I’m the author, Lorin

I love supporting you bring confidence, clarity and growth to a business already filled with so much meaning and love.

If you’re filled with ambition and purpose and looking for branding and business support that helps you achieve your vision, you’re in the right place.

I’m a brand and website designer with an approach centred on intimacy, so you’ll see that word a lot here.

I’m also a red wine enthusiast, amateur vegetable gardener, mom to an adventurous 5 year old, whippet lover with a thing for ginger cats and Cape Town local who loves the ocean.

Read more about me ⟶
Lorin Galloway branding and websites for small businesses with heartLorin Galloway strategist and designer for small business owners