In the business world, we put a ton of emphasis on finding and selling to our ideal client. Theoretically, serving our ideal client means we’re creating offerings that solve an important problem for a specific group of people. By solving this problem consistently, efficiently, and with our own unique approach, we are (hopefully) guaranteeing ourselves a pool of clients that will keep coming back, will refer us to their like-minded friends, and will sing our praises wherever they go. 

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs inadvertently create an ideal client that’s inaccurate. And I use the term “create” very intentionally!

Sometimes we think we know what our ideal client wants because we assume they think and act like we do. Instead of listening wholeheartedly to our target market, we assume their wants and needs match our own. 

But you have to actually listen to your target market and your ideal client to find out what’s missing in your market. Often times, it’s not what you think it is.

The best way to learn what your people need is to go straight to the source. Connect with your audience and have real conversations. You can chat with people over the phone, on Facebook, via email, whatever works for you both. But plan to spend significant time learning what they really want and need. Try to just listen for about 80% of the conversation – that way, you’ll give your partner the space to tell you what’s bothering them, what they wish they had more of, and how you could actually help. 

You have to find the common denominators in your conversations to find your target audience because zeroing in on just one person or one conversation won’t allow you to reproduce your results over time. What statements are coming up over and over again? What overarching patterns are showing up when you look at all of your conversations with a birds-eye view?

Finding your target audience is one of the most challenging and fundamental aspects of having a business. Don’t waste time, money, and energy on creating services for a market you never spent time listening to first. <3