When you choose to hyper-focus your expertise, it might seem harder to find ideal clients (because you’re inherently “narrowing” your options). Networking can feel like a fruitless endeavor. But if you know where to show up, the right folks will find you and know right away that you’ve got what they want.
Here are four places—some online, some offline—where you’ll be sure to find and have an instant spark with your ideal people:
1. Where you feel most in your element
Each of us has a natural way of connecting with people—a way that isn’t forced or contrived, doesn’t make us feel like a complete oddball and allows us to just be our regular selves. What that looks like for you will determine where you’ll be most in your element.
For example, if you thrive best in one-on-one or intimate settings, you’ll probably find success in small-group workshops or coworking meetups. This is where you’ll find people who can get to know you more personally, beyond the standard name, what you do and where you’re from spiel. It’s also a built-in opportunity to learn something meaningful about the people you connect with—a goal, what they’re working on or what they may be struggling with—so you can think of ways your work can benefit them.
2. Where you can flaunt your genius
Before they can make a well-informed decision about working with you, people need to get a taste of what you know, what you can do and what interacting with you is like. Showing up in settings where you can let your genius flag fly gives your would-be prospects a triple-dose of exposure to you.
There are lots of options when it comes to this, so it helps to be attuned to the attributes that are quintessentially “you” and think of how you can highlight them. Perhaps you’ve always had a keen eye for visual aesthetics—color, contrast, scale, and so on—that people around you seem to notice and be impressed with. You would probably shine on a platform like Instagram, where you can use visuals to tell stories, show the personal side of your work, give people an inside look at what you do, share your insights and show off your mad cameraphonography skills.
Or perhaps, like me, you’ve got the gift of gab and do well in podcast interviews or panel discussions. When you embrace situations that feel natural, easy and even fun, you’re likely to make a great impression.
Remember, it isn’t always about selling what you do. The folks who’ll find you will likely share a common interest—there’s already an established “like” factor if they literally like what you’re sharing. And because discussion (i.e., commenting) is encouraged on these platforms, you have a ready-made channel for direct interaction with them.
3. Where your ideal client is most likely looking for you
Unless you’ve become a minor celebrity, your people probably won’t be searching for you by name. They will, however, be searching for someone who does what you do. Be sure you’re showing up in places where the results you deliver can be put on display for those who are looking for precisely that.
In another post, I shared an example of a communications designer, whose ideal client is probably scrolling through LinkedIn right this second looking for what she’s offering. It makes sense that they’d be searching there, because the site is used primarily in a professional context.
If your service is more consumer-focused, your ideal client may be looking for you in a membership community or social group, where they already have an established connection with the other members and are more likely to trust their recommendations.
4. Where your ideal client is most likely looking for answers/ideas/inspiration
The path to connecting with your ideal client won’t always be as straightforward as them looking for someone who does what you do. Instead, they might be looking for information, ideas or inspiration that’s related to what you offer.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a dietitian who helps people incorporate more whole foods into their daily eating habits. Your ideal client knows that in addition to exercise, a cleaner diet will help them get better, longer-lasting results.
While they probably aren’t looking for help from a dietitian at this point, you could stand out as a go-to expert for them by showing up in places where they’re likely to be looking for meal ideas, recipes or products to address their specific challenges (e.g., dietary restrictions, medical conditions, etc). Pinterest, YouTube, wellness seminars and even the grocery store are all viable options. If done well, the people you’ll connect with in these situations will associate you with something they need or desire and they’ll keep coming back to you as the source for their answers.
Ready to get started?
The possibilities for finding clients you love are endless—and it can actually be a lot of fun if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, get creative and let your genius shine. The right people won’t be able to take their eyes off you. Follow these quick steps to get going:
Over to you
What situations or settings do you think will let your genius shine and help you connect with your ideal client? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
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