In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of identifying and defining your ideal client. Now that you know the importance and how to define your ideal client or customer, how do you find them? Or how do they find you? This blog will give you some ideas to make sure that you are fishing in the right fishing holes for the right clients. I will also discuss how to hire the right employees so that you can provide the maximum value to your ideal clients and customers.
Obviously, you need to know where to fish to find your ideal client. In other words, where do they congregate, what do they read, and what are their interests? If you want to catch a tuna, you clearly have to go to the ocean, not the local creek.
Let’s say that your ideal clients are CEOs of mid-market companies that need your consulting services. Where can you find them in-person or otherwise? I suggest they can be found at higher-level industry conferences and trade shows. If this is the right fishing hole for you, don’t just show up. Try to speak at the event or invest in a trade booth. In addition to these high-level events, where else can you meet CEOs?
For example’s sake, let’s assume your ideal clients are smaller businesses and you want to target the business owner. Start at your local chamber of commerce or other small business associations. These groups are easy to find and pretty inexpensive to join. But what other fishing holes can you try to catch small business owners?
Some other ideas may include:
Whether your ideal client is a big or little fish, the key is to do your research. None of us have time or money to waste. Therefore, finding the right fishing holes is essential to developing more of your ideal clients.
Regardless of your ideal client (or desired fish), you need the right bait to attract them. Using the two examples above, it should be clear that these audiences are completely different. After all, you should not use corn kernels to catch pike. Trout maybe, but not pike.
Seriously, think about the differences when creating marketing plans that will help you get in front of the right audience. Something that sets you apart from the competition. CEOs may resonate with a higher-end content strategy such as white papers, books, and the like. Smaller businesses may be attracted to blogs, social media posts, and email marketing.
Find your unique fishing hole; it might even be in a completely different industry.
You may be thinking, what does knowing where to find your ideal client have to do with finding your ideal employees? Well, as a business coach, I can tell you that the two go hand-in-hand. Without the right people in the right seat who live by your core values and culture, you won’t be able to deliver to your ideal client. Rather, you may be only able to attract less-than-ideal clients. Let me say it again, ideal employees must live by the company’s core values and culture. If you do not have your company’s core values defined, call me.
So how do you fish for ideal employees?
Okay, let’s assume you have clearly defined values and culture. The first step, like anything, starts at the beginning. When writing job descriptions, include those principles, beliefs, and behaviors that define your organization. For instance, if teamwork and innovation are crucial, make that explicit. This means putting it into any job descriptions and related job postings. Of course, you should also include all required technical qualifications and experience.
The next step is to find potential ideal employees through the interview process. Interviews should be structured to get both technical and behavioral information from candidates. For my clients, we use tools that can actually measure how a candidate will adapt to the company’s core values and how they will fit into the organization’s culture.
Some other ideas may include:
In my experience, it is not that difficult to find people who can do the work. However, it is more challenging to find those who can do the job. Doing the job means fitting into the company’s culture, adhering to its core values, and rowing in the same direction as the rest of the team.
Because I talked a lot about fishing - I try to live by this core value:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
If you want more help in finding the right fishing holes for your ideal client or employees, let me know. I am happy to have a discussion and teach you how to catch some fish.