How to find and engage with elusive ideal clients

You’ll hopefully know by now that I don’t do the whole ‘ideal client avatar’ (ICA) thing (and actually, ever since I stopped using ICA framework I started to generate not only more regular leads, but better quality ones!).

You can find out more on why I don’t do the ICA stuff by clicking here.

Even though I don’t think having a specific ICA is necessary, it definitely doesn’t mean I think you should just target anyone and everyone who *could* use your service. Also, this approach may not work for every single person out there. Some people feel happier with having a detailed ICA and that’s fine if it works for them!

You do need to have an idea of a dream client – you can work that out by reading the doc I linked to above – but how do you find and engage with your dream clients on LinkedIn if they don’t have a certain job title or aren’t in a particular industry?

This can be more challenging, as some professionals work with people whose ‘dream client’ status isn’t as easy to figure out. For example, you might base your dream client on the situation they’re in, an income level or a personality trait.

EXAMPLE 1: You’re a relationship coach and your dream client is a woman who is in an unhappy marriage, and who wants to improve their marriage rather than get divorced.

You are unlikely to find these women writing content that says “I hate my husband!” (I mean it’s possible… but unlikely!). So how do you know? Well, you don’t. But you can make educated guesses.

Firstly, consider the perceived age of those you’re finding and engaging with. The average age someone gets married is 35-38 in the UK, so you can bear this in mind when you’re adding ideal clients. Adding ten women who look like they’re in their early twenties is going to be less useful than adding ten women who look like they’re in their mid-forties, as the latter group are more likely to be married and therefore more likely to be your ideal client.

Next, you can do a content keyword search. At the top of your LinkedIn feed, type a word or phrase into the search bar e.g. ‘my husband’. Then, click ‘content’. Then, click the ‘date posted’ filter and choose content that’s been posted either in the last 24 hours or last week (no point finding something that was posted six months ago). You can then scroll through this content and choose to connect with the people who mention their husband in their content because you know for certain that they’re married.

True, they may not always be in an unhappy marriage, but considering so many marriages end in divorce, there are bound to be a few! 

By engaging with these people who are married, you are going to become visible to them. They’re unlikely to post about being unhappily married and wanting to improve their relationship, but if you’re engaging on their general content, and putting out your own fantastic content at the same time, they’ll start to notice you.

EXAMPLE 2: You’re a therapist and your dream client is someone with anxiety or depression or PTSD (or something else mental health related).

Again, it’s unlikely that someone is going to post saying “I am dealing with crippling anxiety/depression/PTSD” or whatever. Some people do and it’s great that we’re talking more openly about mental health these days 🙂 

Do the same as above. Search for ‘anxiety’ or another phrase they may use a lot — you’re the therapist and therefore the expert so you should be aware of what your potential clients may say in their content that could reveal whether they’re dealing with a mental health issue.

As with the example above, post great content which directly invites such people to make contact with you, at the same time as engaging with them.

EXAMPLE 3: You’re a VA or a coach or any other professional service provider, and your dream client is someone who is turning over £250k+ per year.

This one is a bit easier to figure out. You’re again unlikely to find someone posting about the piles of cash they’re sitting on (who knows though!) so you need to use your brain.

Search for the keywords that your dream client is likely to use to describe themselves e.g. CEO, founder, director, owner – that kind of thing. When you look at their profile, check how long they’ve been running their business. 

Less than a year? Unlikely to be turning over £250k. More than a year? More likely. Two years+? Even more likely.

Do they have a couple of members of staff? Then they’re more likely to be turning over a certain amount than someone who works completely on their own.

You can also search them on Companies House and check their accounts statement if you’re that way inclined.

EXAMPLE 4: You’re a mindset coach who helps male business owners improve their confidence. 

If you work with men who have confidence issues, you’re more unlikely to find them openly talking about this than if it were a woman. Therefore, you need to be savvy. 

Find men who you think *may* have an issue with confidence. You might notice that someone often comments on other people’s posts but never really posts his own content: this could potentially be a confidence issue!

And here’s what I recommend doing if your dream clients don’t seem to be posting their own content… one option is to check their profile ‘activity’ action to see what they’re liking/commenting on. Lots of people engage but don’t post. You’d be surprised!

If they’re engaging on content that also catches your eye, comment on it too. But don’t do this for the sake of it. Engage authentically. And don’t start doing it every single time you see them comment on something, unless you wanna get done for stalking.

If you come across someone who seems to be an ideal client but they’re not commenting on anything whatsoever, then you can’t be sure they’re active so move on and focus on someone else.

Overall, there’s no ‘hack’ or super duper quick way to find all of these dream clients at first, but the more relevant, well written and consistent your content is, the more likely you are to have your dream clients reaching out to you. Nothing is easy or quick if it returns fantastic results. It’s as simple as that really. Get to know your audience. 

Plus, the more relevant, targeted your audience is, the more likely you are to have LinkedIn ‘recommend’ the same types of people on your ‘my network’ page.

Finding and engaging with their absolute dream clients on LinkedIn is one of the things I work with my clients on in my four week private mentoring programme. If you’re an online, service-based business owner and you’re already hitting around £5k+ a month, but you want to increase this by at least double in as little as three to six weeks, send me a message stating your interest in the programme.

We will have a quick chat over messenger to see if you’re a good fit. If you are, I can get you signed up and your first assignment sent over to you all within a few minutes!