How to identify your ideal client

coaching courses membership communities May 31, 2022

Recently, my son and I had the opportunity to have lunch with Dan Miller. If you aren't already familiar with Dan, he's the author of the book "48 Days to the Work you Love." It's a very popular book that I first learned about through listening to Dave Ramsey's show because Dan and Dave are very good friends and Dave often recommends it.

Several months before our lunch, Dan made an offer on his podcast. He said that he would be happy to treat a small group of listeners to lunch on a certain day if they took the time to fill out a quick form on his website. From the entries, he would select several people. My son and I followed his instructions, and Dan graciously selected us.

Dan is someone I look up to, and I never miss an episode of his show. I actually spoke with him at a conference last year and he endorsed one of my books, but in some ways, I still feel like I'm getting to know him. I was thrilled, however, for my son to meet Dan and his wife Joanne, and to spend time gleaning wisdom from the group Dan assembled for that lunch.

As I observed the group, I noticed a commonality. I'm sure there are many different people that listen to Dan's show and read his books, but that lunch showed me that Dan seems to have an "ideal client." Other than my son and Dan's wife, everyone at that table was a middle-aged man. That's who responded to Dan's offer to have lunch with him. That's who took the time to fill out the form on his website. That's who was selected to experience this unique and generous opportunity.

If you and I are going to build successful online platforms, we need to attempt to identify our ideal client as well. Let me suggest five simple questions you can ask yourself that might help you do that.



1. Are you clear about the help you offer?

Being clear about the help you offer is vitally important if you're going to successfully target your ideal client. Ironically, I often see people launch online platforms without being very clear about the kind of help they're planning to offer.

I oversee two online platforms. My faith-based platform at includes years of content geared toward helping people grow spiritually. That's my great passion, and I enjoy writing and recording material that helps accomplish that goal.

My business platform at also has a specific goal. My goal is to help others build, grow, and monetize a message-based online platform. I help people discover their message, deliver their content, and derive their income. I mentor a group that's mastering skills like; podcasting, blogging, web-design, writing books, marketing, membership communities, coaching, courses, and earning a recurring income.

I'm very clear about the help I offer, and that helps me find my ideal clients.



2. Who seems to be resonating with your message?

When I talk about developing a message-based business or building an online platform, there are some people who look at me confused and others who know exactly what I mean. Most often, the people who know what I'm talking about are going to be the people that I'm most likely to work with. They connect with my message. They see the need for the services I offer. They dream about the same things I'm dreaming about.

The people that resonate with my message are more likely to work with me, and the same is true for you. Keep your eyes open for those who seem to connect with what you're talking about.



3. Who reaches out to you?

Every day, I receive messages from people who read and listen to my content. I try to respond to every message I receive, although I'm sure there are a few that I've missed through the years. But there is definitely a pattern I'm seeing with the people who reach out to me, and I'll share a few of the characteristics I see.

Many are entrepreneurial, motivated, action-takers with a heart for serving others. They also tend to be gifted teachers and communicators. I think it's fair to say that many of them are dreamers and visionaries as well. Observing those personality traits helps me identify my ideal clients.



4. Who do you enjoy working with?

There are certain personality types I enjoy working with, and others that I don't. I enjoy working with optimistic action-takers who aren't afraid to fail. I don't enjoy working with negative people who only seem to focus on the three reasons why an idea might not work, instead of the thirty reasons it might.



5. Who would you rather not work with?

I was recently speaking with another friend who leads an online membership community, and we were talking about the kind of people who seem to be attracted to what he's offering. He commented to me that he's selective about who he chooses to work with because he doesn't want to have to teach his members "basic life skills." He wants to work with people that are operating at a more advanced stage.

His comments forced me to think more about who I would rather not work with. Since I like to work with people who take action, I would rather not work with people who are paralyzed by emotional stress. We all deal with emotional stress, but if it constantly paralyzes us or we get good at making excuses, that's not helpful and I don't want to work with people who have a habit of doing that.


Identifying your ideal client will help you tailor your offerings and target your marketing.

If you're attempting to build an online business or a message-based platform, have you asked yourself the questions I'm suggesting you ask? Are you clear about the help you offer? Can you pinpoint the kind of personalities that will inspire you and the kind that might drain you?

If you take time to thoughtfully identify your ideal client, you'll be able to tailor your services to meet their needs, and you'll also be able to target your messaging and marketing to reach them directly.

I would encourage you to wrestle with these questions to see what you come up with. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the clarity it helps you develop, and the time it helps you save as you keep working toward your dream.


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