I had a conversation with a VA last week who was trying to decide who her ideal client was. She had selected a market to work with that she thought would be a 'good market' because they needed a lot of support.

I asked her if she had any experience in that industry. She said no. I asked her if she was interested in what they did. She said no. I asked her why she would want to work with them, and she couldn't figure out what would get her excited to work with them every day.

As we talked, she said she really would rather work with an industry that she was passionate about. We talked about how it's important to love the work you do, but it's also important to LIKE the clients you work with, and having a common interest with them would certainly help you get excited about their needs. We discussed what types of clients she could work with who could use her expertise, and narrowed down her target market in our 15 minute consultation call!

This is all part of selecting your ideal client. Why are they ideal? Because you are the perfect person to work with them, and they are the perfect person to work with you. You provide expert support that they need to grow their business. You understand everything about them, and about their industry and their business, and you will become a proactive partner in their business.

If you would like to grow a referral only business, the best way to start is by getting in touch with your ideal client ... because once you find one, you find many (they often hang out in the same places!) And when you start successfully working with your ideal client, you will get referrals to more ideal clients, and you will be well on your way to a referral only business.

Ask yourself these questions:

- are they male or female?
- how old are they?
- are they married? do they have children?
- what nationality are they?
- how do they spend their time online? offline?
- what business are they in?
- where do they live/work?
- do you love what they do?
- are you interested in or knowledgeable about their industry or profession?
- where do they hang out and network online? offline?
- who are their clients?
- what specific benefits will they get by working with you?
- why do you want to work with them?
- what do they want help with? what do they need help with?
- how can you solve their problems?

Asking yourself questions like these will help you really narrow down who your ideal client is, and by doing so you can craft your marketing message to speak directly to them.

Sometimes when we get started with a list of questions like this, we can't answer them, and that's okay! If you aren't sure, then you aren't yet clear enough on who you can best serve. Brainstorm with someone else - it often helps, like it did with the VA I spoke with last week.

The clearer you get on your ideal client, the more time you will save yourself in marketing your business, and the more successful you will become at building your business. You will build a clear, focused message and you will also build the perfect network to get you on the way to those referrals!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at www.yourvamentor.com