Ideal Client Profile

TSS #012: Your Ideal Client Profile: The Philosopher's Stone of Consulting Gold

Sep 23, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Do you ever feel like you're attracting the wrong clients as a consultant?

Many L&D consultants face this.

Here's the thing - most consultants market themselves too broadly.

They try to appeal to everyone in hopes of getting more leads.

But generic messaging rarely resonates.

It mostly attracts tire kickers, not serious buyers.

And even if you do land clients, they might not be a great fit.

There's a better way.

Instead of a wide net, get clear on your ideal client profile.

When you understand your ideal client, you can engineer your entire consulting business around them.

Here’s how:

1. Survey your clients

The best place to start is your current clients.

Ask them demographic questions and business questions like revenue, number of employees, etc. And ask about their goals, needs and reasons for purchasing your services.

You can send out a survey or do interviews.

2. Identify your best clients

Now look at your client data and identify the top 20% of clients - the ones you love working with who spend the most and are repeat buyers.

Ignore the rest for now.

3. Find common traits

Analyze what your best clients have in common.

Look for 3-5 key traits they share such as industry, company size, role, goals, etc.

Write these down as this will form your ideal client profile.

4. Refine your marketing and sales

With your ideal client profile defined, adjust your marketing and sales process:

  • Update messaging to speak directly to your ideal client. This will attract more of them.
  • Only sell to prospects who fit the profile. Decline those who don't.
  • Focus marketing on the channels and tactics that reach your ideal clients.
  • Engineer your sales process around how your ideal clients want to buy.

Defining your ideal client allows you to be intentional about who you sell to and attract.

This results in higher conversions, less churn, and more referrals from happy, ideal clients.

You make more money from the right clients

Allow us to explain...

The profit you earn comes from what premium you can charge.

Your ideal clients have money and see the value in what you provide. So you can charge them more.

Even though it's the same work for you, you bring way more value to the right type of client.

Picture this...

Say you're an L&D consultant who can cut technical sales onboarding time by 30-50%.

For client A, that saved them $10k per month in ramp up costs. Nice improvement.

But for client B, you saved them $100k per month with faster onboarding.

Both Client A and Client B experienced the same percentage reduction in onboarding time due to your expertise. However, the impact on their businesses was vastly different.

Recognizing this, you’d price your services accordingly.

You're justified charging Client B a lot more — aligning with the impact you have on their business.

Now you see why the right clients make you bank!

It's not about what you do; it's about who you do it for.

What if you don't have any clients yet?

No clients. No worries.

Here's what to do:

Start with an industry or niche you already know really well.

Look at your own experiences. Think about past jobs, friends, family members, etc. Identify a group you have existing insider knowledge about; a competitive advantage.

Then drill down to find people within that niche who you can help the most. Start super narrow.

Help those people first to get client data. Survey them to create your initial ideal client profile.

Once you have experience under your belt, expand from there.

But don't get overwhelmed trying to serve everyone in the beginning.

Leverage your existing expertise to identify and help a tight niche. Grow from there once you gain more clients.


Precisely defining your ideal client is a game-changer for consulting businesses.

By surveying your clients, analyzing common traits, and refining your marketing and sales process, you can:

  • Attract more of the right prospective clients through targeted messaging
  • Increase conversions and reduce churn by only working with great-fit clients
  • Charge premium value-based pricing to clients that see your true impact
  • Dramatically grow your profits by serving clients that value what you provide

Following the steps outlined in this post will allow you to transform your consulting practice.

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