I’ve been doing a ton of market research lately to get super clear on my “next big thing” and I discovered a really interesting way to figure out where a ton of my ideal clients hangout. I wanted to share it with you because one of the questions I most often get asked is…
“How do I find my ideal clients?”
Once you’re really clear on who you’re working with – or want to work with – your next step is to go out and learn as much as you can about your potential clients.
You can check out online forums like Quora and Reddit to see what they’re talking about (you could even post your own question), visit the websites they visit, read the blogs they read, go to the local hangouts where they spend a lot of their time, talk to them (I know this can be kinda scary but super, super valuable). It’s kinda like you’re doing a sociological experiment and immersing yourself in your ideal client’s life.
You want to know them – their struggles, pains, obstacles, fears, hopes, dreams, needs and wants – better than even they do.
I’m guessing you can see why this is so important – the more you know your ideal clients, the easier it is to create amazing offerings, and market and sell them without worrying, “Will they buy?!” You already did the hard work by doing this kind of research so you know exactly what they want, and exactly how to package it.
Obviously the first step in being able to research and talk with your potential ideal clients is to actually find them. And knowing where your ideal clients are hanging out has all sorts of benefits beyond simply being able to do market research. You could…
- Develop relationships with other people your ideal clients are following and potentially refer clients each others’ way
- Pitch guest blog post ideas to blogs they’re visiting so you can get in front of them
- Get more active on blogs they’re reading by commenting and providing valuable goodness
- Get to know them better and develop trust and showcase your credibility so selling becomes that much easier down the road
- Invite other experts to do guest blogs or interviews for your site and ask them to invite their followers to check out the awesomeness
There are so many benefits to knowing where your ideal clients hangout and who else they follow. And it doesn’t have to take a ton of time to figure out where to look for your ideal clients so you can learn more about them and get in front of them. I’m going to show you how to find tons of places your ideal clients hangout in an hour or less.
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: Make a list of the “popular crowd”
Write down names of the “famous” people inside your industry (for extra points list some that are outside your industry as well). These are people you think your potential clients might follow (don’t worry if you don’t know for sure if they’re actually following them, just assume that at least a handful of them probably do follow those people if they’re somewhat or very well known).
If you don’t know who these people are, Google things your potential clients would Google and you’ll probably get some results on the first page that drive you to websites of popular people in your industry.
The reason I recommend that you look for people outside your industry (as well as inside it) is because you want to have a really well-rounded understanding of your ideal clients. For example, since I work with a lot of health coaches I check out popular health bloggers, coaches and speakers.
You don’t just want to know other people like you they follow, you want to know the whole spectrum of people they follow – from who they get makeup tips from, to who teaches them about international tax law, to who gives them advice on which clothes to wear. Of course, you know your ideal clients best and you’ll know what kind of advice and resources they’re looking for.
So, think of the different categories your potential clients would be interested in. For example, some categories I thought of for myself are…
- Health & Wellness
- Blogging & Writing
- Business & Marketing
- Lifestyle & Inspirational/Motivational
- Productivity & Organization
My potential clients would possibly be interested in all those categories (and I know I could think of more). What categories are your potential clients interested in? Write ’em down and then go find the top 3-5 famous people in those categories.
Here are some examples from my big long list (I have over 50 people and companies on my list that I’ve found using the method I’m sharing with you in this post):
Step 2: Go to their Facebook page
The next thing I want you to do is go to the Facebook page of each person you thought of. Your potential clients have probably “liked” these people and are hanging out on their page from time-to-time.
You can get some insight into what’s going on inside their heads by scrolling through and looking at comments people have made, what posts they’ve liked and commented on, versus which ones they’ve ignored, and checking out questions they’ve asked/things they’ve said in the “Recent Posts By Others” section.
Keep in mind that not everyone on someone else’s page will be a potential ideal client, and I actually don’t recommend spending a lot of time focused on things people are saying on Facebook. You’ll get a lot more insight from having actual conversations with people.
The main point of this method is to simply find places and people your ideal clients are following so you know where to find them.
But we’re not done yet. We can find even more places your potential clients are hanging out really easily using this as our jumping off platform. That takes us to step 3.
Step 3: Check out who they’ve “liked”
To get more leads on other places your ideal clients might be hanging out, on the pages of experts you already know about scroll down to the “Likes” section where there’s a list of other people and pages they’ve liked. Chances are they’ve liked people who your ideal clients might also follow.
You can then go to their Facebook page and find even more people who your potential clients might be following by looking at the people that those people have liked.
While you could literally spend hours and hours going down the rabbit hole and finding all sorts of goodness using this method you can definitely get great insight in under an hour.
So, set a timer and see how much you can get done in the next hour.
Step 4: Record your insights
Your last step is to make a note of anything you want to remember. Make a list of all the people you found through your search. Take screenshots, or jot down notes of anything that surprises you, speaks to you, or reveals something you didn’t know about your ideal clients.
Again, the idea here is not to find places where you can get all salesy and try to pitch your ebook over, and over, and over, and over…
Nobody likes that. It’s not cool and won’t make you look good!
Remember, the point of finding out where your ideal clients hang out is so that you can…
- Learn more about them
- Do some research on other people who are doing something similar to you and see how you could uniquely position yourself
- Start to develop relationships with them – by being helpful in the comments section of other people’s blogs, for example (again, not by pitching your stuff but by actually being helpful)
- Make friends with other experts in your field – it’s hard to get to the top if you’re sitting behind your laptop 24/7 and not making an effort to develop relationships with other entrepreneurs inside and outside your industry
- And so much more…
If you want to figure out where your ideal clients hang out and learn more about them, give this method a try. Decide what your goal will be – what you want to get out of it – more exposure? More knowledge? More mutually beneficial relationships?… All of the above and more?
Just remember, having actual conversations with clients is the best kind of research to do to get a really deep inside look at what’s going on for your clients (and next week I’ll be teaching you what questions to ask to get the best inside scoop).
But doing this Facebook “like” research can help you learn what other experts your ideal clients follow so you know where they hangout.
Tell me in the comments below…
- What strategies have you used to find where your ideal clients hangout?
- Are you going to give this method a test drive?
- Are you nervous to do some market research? Remember, this research could be all the difference for your business so if you’re scared to do it, tell me about it below. I’d love to help!
I’m excited to see how this works out for you!
Lots of love,