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Determine your Ideal Customer Profile

So far you have figured out the unique insights from your customer interviews, researched and analyzed your competition, and created a Venn diagram of your unique skills that map onto your clients’ needs. This work has prepared you to determine your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), aka your ideal client. This will help you map your services to clients, make it easier to do prospective outreach, crisp up your pitch, and make it easier to figure out which clients you should say yes to.

Ultimately this helps you run a tighter ship — as more of your clients have similar needs and are easy to work with, you’ll be able to manage your services more easily. Work through the steps in this lesson and document your observations along the way.

Your ideal consulting client

1. Review your customer archetype and insights from your interviews. In your workbook, make a list of the work they would hire someone for.

  • What are their biggest problems? What are the unique insights you discovered?

  • How much would they pay for these things?

  • Based on your research, Are there things that you know about them that other people don’t?

2. Using your Venn diagram as a reference point, specify the work that you could offer.

  • How do your skills map up against their needs? What could you help them with?

  • Write out the types of services you could offer.

3. Thinking about the competitive analysis, your Venn diagram, and your goals, specify the work that you want to offer.

  • What work do you enjoy? How much can you charge for this?

  • What projects would fit with your income requirements?

  • What are areas that competitors aren’t good at but you are?

  • What type of clients do you like working with? How do they communicate? Who are the type of people you like working with? What is the ideal deliverable?

4. Narrowly define your ideal client. The following components are starting points, so feel free to go beyond our suggestions.

  • Company: Size, location, industry, type of product

  • Pricing: Hourly rate, retainer, project-based?

  • What problems does the client have that you want to solve?

  • Communication: Zoom, phone, in-person, email?

  • Main contact: Typical role, professional background, personality

  • Deliverable: Immersed in the team, separate, includes execution?

  • Length: Discrete project, open-ended?

Get as specific as you want with this. The important part is that you can proactively spot the type of client you want to work with. This will serve as your foundation for future business growth and/or pivots to new clients.

And voila — you’ve identified your niche through designing a customer archetype, conducting interviews, research, and analysis, crafting a Venn diagram of your unique strengths, and defining your ideal client!

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