Identifying what your ideal client values, and aligning this with your own business values, is probably the most important factor in helping your business move forward. What your clients value most will determine which services and/or products you offer, how you will market them, and what you will charge for them.
When you first launched your business, you were probably focused on getting clients above all else. And while you may have heard about creating a niche or defining your ICA (Ideal Client Avatar), you may not have heard as much about client values and how they can impact your business.
Identifying what your ideal client values, and aligning this with your own business values, is probably the most important factor in helping your business move forward.
These values will determine…
If you remain a solopreneur or grow a team.
If your average client pays you $500, $5000, or $50,000.
If you work with 10 clients a year or 100.
Your entire marketing strategy, including the countless hours (and money) you spend marketing your business.
Three values in particular help you determine the answers to the questions above; Price, Quality, and Service. Each of these is distinctly different from the others, and your ideal client will primarily align with one of these over the others.
Which one does your ideal client value most?
PRICE – Price can be defined as price, quantity, or value-driven. These clients are looking to get the most for their money. High quantity at the lowest price. If they are comparing similar services, they will go with the one which costs the least.
QUALITY – Quality can be defined as trust, experience, or results-driven. The quality focused client isn’t interested in how much they can get for their money, they want someone they can trust to deliver what they want, with the skills and expertise to deliver it, and are willing to pay more for it. If they are comparing similar services, they will go with the one they deem to be of the highest quality, whether that be talent, experience, or proven results.
SERVICE – Service can be defined as time-driven. The biggest priority for these clients is maximizing their time, and they seek to delegate as much work as they can to others. They value their time most, and they want to spend it as they see fit. They are willing to pay others, sometimes at a premium, to free up their time. If they are comparing similar service providers, they will go with the one who can do the most for them. The one who can provide the widest range of services in a timely fashion.
How does this help you grow your business?
It helps you set your prices
It helps you know what to sell (and not sell), and how to sell it
It helps you identify your ideal market – and not waste time/resources/money marketing to those outside of your market
Which of these do YOU offer?
Take a moment to look at your current list of services and ask yourself, “which one of these do I primarily offer to my clients?” While you may strive to provide all three, consider that one of them is most important to you.
If you focus on providing value at an affordable rate, PRICE is what you offer. If so, you can create several, value-based options that will appeal to your market. Focus on offering low prices and high value. Include this in your copy and marketing material, and aim to reach a wider audience. Like your clients who are price and quantity-driven, you will also need to be quantity-driven. In order to achieve higher revenue, you will need to sell in greater quantities.
If you strive to exceed expectations, pride yourself on the quality of your work, and you are highly skilled and experienced, with expertise that will deliver results, you provide QUALITY. With this focus, unlike the price/value-driven, you can only work with a limited number of clients at one time. Your revenue will come from fewer clients who pay premium pricing. Also unlike the price/value-driven, you will not market to the masses. Your marketing efforts will be highly selective, and will emphasize quality and results, but never price.
Finally, if you focus on taking care of your clients’ needs, and pride yourself on being their “go-to” person whenever they call, you provide SERVICE. Clients who seek service believe delegating work out to others is the best way to maximize their productivity. Hiring you gives them the freedom to focus on what matters most to them, while trusting you will take care of everything. Their biggest concern is checking off their to-do list and getting things finished. You help them do this.
If SERVICE is your focus, your clients will be willing to pay more than the price-driven, as they realize service is worth paying for, but they value quickness and completion more than the quality-driven who is focused more on the quality of the results rather than how quickly they happen. Your pricing will be somewhere in the middle of PRICE and QUALITY-driven markets. You’ll have less clients than the price-driven, but more clients than the quality-driven. Your marketing strategy will be more generalized, less of a niche than the quality-driven, but more of a niche than the price-driven.
How does this help you choose your next revenue stream?
Suppose your ideal client seeks service as their top priority. Because they value their time the most, don’t launch a DIY product and try to sell it to them. They don’t want it. Instead, try selling them premium services. In contrast, if your market seeks value and is most concerned with price, a DIY product is a great way to add a revenue stream and appeal to your ideal client. If you provide quality above all else, your offerings should be special, personalized, and higher priced. If they aren’t, you risk devaluing your services and negatively affecting your brand.
As you expand into new products or services while building your business, you can apply these principles to help guide you in choosing what to offer next and how to price it. There are many popular ways to add revenue streams and scale your business, just make sure you know what you value, and what your market values, before deciding which path is best for you.