The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee is a book that I often recommend to my coachsulting clients.
One of my favorite sections in the book deals with developing a description of the perfect client (or customer) for your solo business.
Lee writes, “When a portrait artist paints a subject, he takes time observing her. He takes in the subtle details of her face, notices the color and texture of her clothes, and attempts to capture the energy and essence she exudes. Look at defining your perfect customers with that same level of fascination and engagement. The more you know about your perfect customers, the easier it will be to connect with them.”
Lee is right. She goes on to list questions that can be asked — and answered — in order to arrive at a picture of your perfect client. The questions include: age, gender, education level, home-life situation, what they wear, their personalities, and more.
After you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to put the information together to describe your perfect client.
When I did the exercise, this is what I ended up with. First, here’s the female version:
My perfect client is someone like Michelle, a thirtysomething college graduate who lives in a large city. Michelle is a self-reliant, independent person who nevertheless places great value on being in community with other people. Michelle’s friends say she’s “the smartest person in the room” and has a great sense of humor. Michelle’s objectives with her solo business are to improve the lives of other people and to support a lifestyle that gives her the freedom and ability to pursue varied interests, which include rock-climbing and playing the cello in a chamber orchestra. Michelle volunteers twice a week at the elementary school in her neighborhood, and she loves watching “Glee.” Michelle recently resigned her high-paying, high-stress job at an advertising agency. She has roughly 1,087 great ideas for a solo business; she needs help deciding which direction to take and prioritizing what should come next as she launches her business.
Next, here’s the male representation:
My perfect client is someone like Mark, a fortysomething college graduate with a law degree who lives in a small city. Mark’s friends say “he appears to be quiet, but he’s not, once you get to know him.” Mark and his wife — who is the assistant principal at the junior high — have two children, who are 10 and 7. In his community, Mark volunteers at the literacy council, and he helps to coach his kids’ soccer teams. Mark recently left his job as a corporate attorney in order to hang his own shingle. Mark’s dream with his solo practice is to provide high-quality legal services at a reasonable price. He also wants to support a lifestyle that gives him the freedom to hop on his bike if the weather is good and go for a long ride in the countryside that surrounds the city where he lives. Mark needs help with branding and with getting new clients.
Can you see how powerful this exercise can be? I encourage you to give it a try. I think it will help you attract more clients (or customers).
What Do You Think?
Please share your opinion below.