My favourite TV show of late is Love on the Spectrum. I just love it. It’s an ABC series about a group of adults on the autism spectrum that is looking for love. It’s lovely, sweet and fills me with optimism about the world. One of the participants is Michael (you can see Michael and his family here), who is such an absolute gentleman. Unlike me, where I might keep my intimate thoughts to myself, Michael shares them openly and unreservedly. It’s truly beautiful.
Of course, the premise of the show is that each person is looking for love. But being on the spectrum can pose certain (and totally individual) challenges to each.
Jody Rodgers is a therapist and relationship expert who gives advice and support to the people on the show. And there is one beautiful moment when she’s speaking to Michael and she asks him who his dream girlfriend is. Well, Michael knows straight away. He says it’s Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.
Jody tells Michael that she wants him to think about all the traits that make Mary Ann his perfect woman. And that when he’s out on his dates with women he should keep Mary Ann and her traits in his mind. That way he’ll be able to see if the woman he’s out with fits within those very specific qualities. As it turns out Mary Ann happened to be in town for an event and Michael was lucky enough to meet her and beyond thrilled!
This is the power of being specific. Jody’s advice was also brilliant for anyone looking to build their own practice.
The Power of Being Specific
When my clients come to me and are looking to build their practice, I often ask them who their ideal client is. They’ll answer with the kinds of demographics you often hear – a woman, in her 40s, who works too hard and puts herself last. Or a burned out CEO, overseeing at least 1000 staff in Sydney.
This is a good start. But after they’ve finished with the demographics I usually say, ‘Great. Now can you give me a name?’
Giving a Name to Your Ideal Client
Having a specific name for your ideal client is more empowering than it sounds. And I don’t mean putting a name to the imaginary woman in her 40s. I mean picking out an actual person, with an actual name, who represents who you see as your ideal client.
When I asked Seth Godin to be interviewed on my podcast I didn’t say, ‘I want to interview a world leading marketer’. I said, ‘I want to interview Seth Godin’. And once I said the name, I just needed to work out how to get there.
Keeping it general makes it hard to put together a targeted plan to get your ideal clients. But when you have a specific person in mind, then you know where and how to concentrate your efforts.
You can imagine it’s like a stiletto shoe. All that energy going into a single point makes it a weapon to be wary of. And you can use that to build your practice and get the clients you want and who need the services that you offer. That’s the power of being specific.
One of my favourite books is Become a Better You, written by Israelmore Ayivor and he says ‘I have discovered that you will achieve nothing if you pursue everything. Be specific and stay.’
How to Reach Out
- Look at your email list – you may have your ideal client there already
- Utilise LinkedIn – it’s designed for networking and making contacts
- Go where they are – if your ideal client is giving a keynote address at a symposium, then attend. Or if they participate in a networking group, go to it.
- Send them your book – and if you haven’t written it yet, get onto it
- Get in touch directly – this is probably the best way to reach them if you can
- Ask around- can you get an introduction? Who do you know who knows them?
Being Specific is the Key
Being specific is a great way to target and reach out to your ideal client, but it doesn’t end there. Being specific needs to be part of every part of your business. Be specific when you offer your services to a client. Be specific about the results and outcomes you can achieve.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…