Lesson 11: Define your ideal client and target market!
Defining your ideal client and target market can be a tough one especially when you’re starting out and all work is good work, but you will eventually work out who you like working with.
When defining your ideal client it is important to get really specific. So for me it is professionals in medical and legal, as well as non executive and executive directors; men over the age of 35; professional businessmen and solopreneurs in Australia, the US, UK and other English as a first language countries. (I said specific right?)
My target market tends to be in English as a first language countries and those that are culturally aligned to me. This has helped me avoid any kind of cultural misunderstandings, differences in meaning and ethics. This sort of specificity will depend on the type of work you actually do in your practice.
This does not mean I won’t work with other clients but it gives me a good idea of who I work well with and historically these have been the clients who stick with me long-term – and my practice looks for the long-term relationships.
I prefer not to work with women primarily because in my experience the women I have encountered have tended to be micro managers and I don’t work well that way. That doesn’t mean I NEVER work with women… it depends on the project and needs of the client.
Men are more likely in my experience to tell you what they want done and trust you to do it. They also speak in straight lines and call a spade a spade. That works well with my personality – I’m not one for emotion or manipulation. Authenticity to me is just as important a trait as honesty and integrity.
I do know many VAs who love working with women which is great! They know their ideal client and it works for them. But for me, it has rarely worked out because often times women misinterpret my straight shooting style for rudeness.
In addition I’ve found the women who have approached me have the attitude that they can either do the work themselves, or do it better or faster. Women are very used to multitasking and doing everything, and so sometimes it can be hard for them to let go and allow themselves to be supported. The male clients I have tend not to view things that way. They generally tend to be very practical, no nonsense, and value the importance of delegation and outsourcing.
Not every client is for you – just like you are not for every client. It is okay to say no to clients you don’t think are a good fit just like they will say no to you.
© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com