The #1 Reason Business Owners Struggle to Get Clients

There’s a critical step most business owners miss, or resist, in their quest to grow a successful business. One that as soon as you do it will make it much easier for you to attract more of the right type of clients.

I’ve worked with so many clients over the years who have come to me looking for help in growing their business. They often ask questions such as:

  • How can I get more clients?
  • Where should I promote my products/services?
  • What’s the right price for me to charge?
  • Which marketing strategy will work best for me?
  • What social media platform should I be focussing on?

And I always respond with the same comment – that depends on who your ideal clients are…

That is the missing link – defining who your ideal clients are.


Because when you know who YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS are, if you ask them, they can tell you EVERYTHING you need to sign them up as clients – what to offer, how to price your products and services, the best way to let them know what you offer, the words to use in your marketing (e.g. on your website and when speaking to them), as well as how to find and build relationships with them.

By contrast, if you don’t know who your ideal clients are, you’re likely to find yourself running around wasting time, energy and money trying to sell your products/services to anyone, and not getting enough takers.

You see the big flaw in a scattered approach to marketing is that everyone has different needs, wants, priorities, budgets, habits, and behaviours – there is rarely a ‘one fits all’ solution.

Yes, what you offer may have the potential to be adapted to a vast range of different audiences, BUT no audience will connect and buy from you unless you supply exactly what they need, want and are willing to pay for. And unless THEY feel what you say in your marketing ‘speaks to them’ in a way that demonstrates you are the perfect solution.

If you don’t know who you’re creating your product and services for, how can you possibly provide what they are looking for?

One of the CORE foundations of business success is providing solutions to others’ problems, or aspirations.

No one product, service, price or marketing strategy works for everyone.

Just because everyone has a basic human need for food, doesn’t mean we all want to eat the same food!

If you want to serve different audiences, you still need to define each and come up with separate marketing strategies for each (including the specifics of your product/service, pricing and how you’ll promote to each audience).

So why do people resist doing this?

Most people resist defining their ideal clients for fear they will be reducing the potential number of people who will buy from them – but the opposite is true. I know this from personal experience and working with so many clients over the years.

As soon as you define your ideal clients, you’re likely start to get more clients and make more money – if you also follow the 10 Steps I share in my free ebook 101 Ways To Attract More Clients.


Because when you do, your ideal clients will be more likely to recognise you as someone who could solve their problems. You’ll also come across as being more focused, experienced and mindful of their needs.

Most people prefer to buy from experts or specialists, rather than someone who provides more generic solutions.

Think about it, if you wanted to install a new bathroom, who would you prefer to use – someone with lots of experience of installing gorgeous well-fitted bathrooms? Or someone who usually does odd jobs around the house, and in a bid to get your business says they could work it out?

When I suggest to people that they define their ideal clients, a typical response I get is “I don’t have an ideal client, I can help anyone” or “what I offer could help everyone.”

Now I love people who have huge hearts, and the desire to help as many people as possible is a lovely quality. But while it’s well-intentioned NO-ONE has the capacity to help everyone! Nor is anyone the best person to help everyone!

And even if you could, spending all your time and money marketing to everyone, would take you away from actually HELPING those you’d like to serve. So if you really want to have a positive impact in the world, consider how you can have the greatest impact with less effort.

In business, this involves being focused and coming up with great solutions you can sell to a large number of people who resonate with you, and what you’ve got to offer.

Your ideal clients will tell you what to do if you ask them

Once you’ve defined who your ideal clients are, it makes working out your marketing so much easier too because you’ll be able to ask them:

  • What do they need, want and willing to pay for?
  • What influences their decision to buy?
  • What price would they be willing to pay?
  • Where do they ‘hang out’ (so you know where/how to promote your offerings)?

Don’t waste time trying to work this out for yourself – it’s much easier and quicker to ask your ideal clients!!!! They are the only ones who can tell you what will work for them.

Yes a business mentor or someone with experience in the same sector/industry can share their knowledge, and help you put all the relevant pieces in place. Friends and family can tell you what they think but that’s totally useless unless they are your ideal clients or have experience in your type of business. A key to getting your marketing right is to find out what your ideal clients think.

That’s why large retailers invest in loyalty cards – they’re not just being nice in offering us cash-back or discounts. They are gathering valuable information about us, that helps them decide what to offer us, based on our spending patterns. Likewise many organisations gather information through customer surveys.

Defining your ideal clients is not saying you won’t sell to anyone who doesn’t fit this profile – of course you can sell to them if they want to buy what you’re offering!

It’s about deciding the focus of your business so you can be more effective in your marketing, and attract more clients, more quickly.

Those who run successful businesses will tell you that knowing who your ideal clients are, really could make the difference between succeeding and failing in business.

Who are your ideal clients?

If you know who your client is, congratulations, you’re well on your way. The next stage is to find out what they want by doing research so you can tailor your product/services and marketing to them.

If you don’t know who your clients are yet, a good place to start is to think about the people you’ve loved working with, or doing business with. What specifically about working with them did you enjoy? Did they have any similar traits or characteristics?

If I give you an example, in general terms my ideal clients are business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow profitable businesses that make a difference in the world. Kind souls who value financial success but are not driven solely by it. Social impact is important too. They are positive proactive people who take action. They are also those who can afford to pay me and see the value or benefit of investing in their personal development and business success. Because I use online marketing strategies they need to be IT literate and be on Facebook or Linkedin. Typically they are people who have been successful in other job, businesses, careers or areas of life. Defining my ideal client is something I do for every single new product/service/book I launch.

While you may have a very different ideal client, the one critical requirement I suggest is that they are those who can afford to pay you!

Who is your ideal client?

If you’d like any help with this, I offer a couple of one-to-one marketing strategy sessions a month. You can find out more about these here.

Kind wishes,

Alisoun signature

Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun runs an online training academy, hosts the Give-to-Profit Podcast Show and offers the following free resources:

  • Ebook: The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • Ebook: 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)
  • The Online Course Creator Checklist (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun’s website – 
  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE
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Comments (2)

  • I know who my ideal client is. She’s a powerful, creative entrepreneur in her 40’s. I do have more details 🙂

    But when I ask those questions, I can’t get a solid answer. I have tried asking in several different ways.

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