Are you wondering how to begin to determine who your ideal client is before you’ve had a chance to sell many (or any) of your offerings? Do you feel like you’re in a catch-22 because you don’t have your business up and running yet, so you’re not sure whom to focus on as you venture out to make your first offer? Or maybe you are selling your offers already, or getting hired to work as an artist, but know you could narrow down your ideal client profile even more to create a deeper, more fulfilling and prosperous pathway for yourself and your business?
If you’re feeling any of the above, there is good news, and then there is better news, about how you can begin to pinpoint who your ideal clients are now, regardless of where you are on your journey of building your business as an artist. There is a simple equation you can follow time and again, no matter where you are on your journey of creating the work that shapes your life’s mission.
The good news is that whether you have started to make offers for your work or not, you can begin to uncover who your ideal client is based on information you have right now. This is the creative side of the ideal client equation.
The better news is that once you have uncovered the fans of your work, you can then understand exactly what each of those people need from you and why they need what you have to offer. This is the business side of the equation.
Here are three checklists for you to use now, no matter what stage of your business development you are in, to clarify both sides of the ideal client equation and to put that information into action:
1. Your Ideal Client Checklist:
These three questions are ones you can refer back to continuously throughout the life of your business to uncover your ideal client’s profile and to stay certain that you are in tune with those most in need of your offers. Take the answers to these three questions and begin to look for patterns in the people who comprise this list. No detail is too small in getting to know each person’s profile and what they have in common.
2. Your Ideal Client Survey
These three questions are essential for you to know the answers to from a business standpoint. They allow you to understand what age range of people are interested in your work, why they’re interested and what they want to see more of. You can use these three questions as a starting point to gather more in-depth information while getting to know your current and potential clients on a deeper, more intimate level. These questions work for every business, whether you are selling your art online or auditioning for work as a dancer or an actor.
3. Your Course Of Action
Once you have those two sides figured out, it’s time to take action to figure out how you can create more of what is already working for you and for those who are waiting for more of your creations. Here are three questions to ask yourself, right now, about what the best next step is for you to take:
I’ve said this many times in my working with artists on building a thriving business: creatively-passionate people are hardwired to run a thriving business better than most anyone. I know this not only because I’m a witness to it on a daily basis but also because it is a proven fact that creativity opens your mind to learning and comprehending information faster and more efficiently. This allows you to make quicker decisions around the financial side of your business, once you have the tools to do so, that are stronger and more grounded in your long-term vision than those who are not able to stay in a creatively-stimulated state of mind. Being able to make these decisions is what will keep your business alive for as long as you want.
The bottom line is this: there is a creative side and a factual side to running a thriving business, and each decision you make needs to include a merging of both sides of this equation. The only time this merging does not happen with artists who are focused on building their business is when they do not have a particular tool to help them make the factual side of the decision. The best news yet- better than all of the above- is that we can bridge that gap starting right here and now to help you build a thriving business with your art, your way.
Now it’s time for you to take action! What have you discovered from the creative side about who your ideal client is or might be? And what is one factual answer you know about who they are and why they are in need of what you have to offer? There is no answer too large or too small for this, as often the smallest concerns lead to the biggest revelations. So please, share yours in the comments below.