So you’ve identified your ideal client (and if you haven’t yet, start here!). Now what???
Now you have a solid foundation to begin reaching your ideal clients, because you actually know who they are!
You can now start finding and connecting with your ideal client. I have started using the term "connecting with" rather than "marketing to" because I find that this actually feels like a more accurate description of what we do once we know our ideal client.
We aren't just randomly jumping up and down, yelling "Look, I'm over here!!! Please notice me!". We are going into the world in various ways (online, in person, through social media) and saying "hey, I know you and get you and can actually help you."
Doesn't that feel better?
So, how do we connect with our ideal clients?
Writing a Website for Your Ideal Client
Have you noticed how a lot of therapist websites are mostly all about them and not really geared towards the client? Or they provide a laundry list of issues or problems that they work with that feels like a Chinese food take-out menu?
This is not helpful in allowing your clients to get a glimpse into how well you understand them or can help them. If this is what your website is like though, do not beat yourself up! My first (few) website versions were bland, boring and just plain ‘ol crappy. It took multiple tries to set up an Epic Website and you can can create one too!
When you are writing your website copy, think about the language that your client uses. How do they describe their concerns?
I started noticing that my ideal clients does not initially think of herself as having an anxiety disorder. She describes herself as a “worrier” or “overwhelmed” or “burnt out.” Once I started using that language on my site, I started hearing from clients that it felt like my site had been written especially for them. They knew that I understood them before they even made the first contact.
That is powerful stuff.
Knowing your ideal client also gives you a wealth of topics for your blog. When I first starting blogging, my posts were really bad. They were stiff, formal and really generic. Again, I was trying to appeal to everyone and appealed to no one in the process.
Once I got super clear on who my ideal client was, I was able to create blog posts that were really powerful for clients to read. The two blog posts that are constantly mentioned by my clients are about being an anxious over-achiever and experiencing imposter syndrome. I likely would have never written those blog posts if I wasn’t really clear on my ideal client.
Developing Referral Sources
Knowing your ideal client, can also help you identify potential referral sources in your community.
Who is likely to already be interacting with your ideal client? I often see therapists agonizing over how to make contact with psychiatrists and family physicians. However, are these the ideal referral sources?
Does your ideal client see a psychiatrist? Do they view therapy as part of their “medical” treatment and see a need to involve their primary physician?
My niche is overwhelmed, worried women. I would ask them if they wanted me to send a note to their family physicians, and the vast majority said no. This allowed me to understand that it would likely be wasted energy to chase family physicians.
However, I also work with women who are going through infertility and in the area of perinatal mental health (they also happen to worried and overwhelmed!). I knew that these women were being seen by midwives, doulas, lactation consultants and at fertility clinics. It made way more sense to develop these relationships rather than hoping a general practitioner would agree to meet with me and hope that a few of their caseload would be an ideal client.
However, if your ideal client struggles with depression and is likely to talk their family physician first, then it totally makes sense to develop these relationships! Again, this is why knowing your ideal client is so critical in figuring out who to network with.
When you have a good sense of your ideal client, you can also be very specific with your referral sources as to who the best fit would be for you. I have seen therapists receiving inappropriate referrals from sources and it can be a real struggle with how to handle it. By being clear with who you work, your referral sources will remember you immediately when that type of client sees them.
Using Social Media with Your Ideal Client in Mind
Social media can be incredibly overwhelming; there is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Periscope, Instagram, SnapChat and more that I probably am not aware of yet!
However, knowing your ideal client will actually help with that overwhelm as you can start eliminating platforms that likely won’t be particularly useful for you. If you notice your clients talking about spending time on a social media platform that it is a good clue that more of your ideal clients are also there.
I noticed that many of my ideal clients struggled with comparing themselves with what they were seeing on Facebook, which let me know that this is the primary social media network they were on. No one was talking about tweeting, that’s for sure!
By understanding your ideal client, you can start sharing and creating content on the media platforms that they are already on. Maybe your ideal client is drawn to visual media and spends a lot of time on Instagram; maybe that’s where you need to be, sharing inspirational quotes. Or maybe your ideal client is a professional who loves reading blogs on LinkedIn; that’s where you need to be!
Are you convinced yet that knowing your ideal client will make connecting so much easier?