Ideal Client vs. The Anti-Client

I was on a call with one of my private coaching clients this week and she was sharing how she had been struggling to update her free report and squeeze page copy so it really speaks to her ideal clients. Now, she KNOWS who her ideal clients are, so she’s definitely NOT struggling because she hasn’t yet identified them.

She went on to share that she had been speaking with a gentleman over the weekend and by everything he was saying she knew he was definitely NOT her ideal client. And she found herself very freely expressing to him the type of people she DOES work with, and subtly letting him know that in his current state he was not a good fit to work with her.

As she was sharing this story with me, she noted that it was very easy for her to talk about the clients she does work with and what they’re motivations are, when she was faced with someone who did NOT fit her ideal client profile.

As we talked further, she began to realize that what would best help her write TO her ideal clients, was to actually focus on what we affectionately coined her “Anti-Client,” because then the words and the message just flowed.  As we wrapped up the call, we decided her “homework” was to write up a description of this “Anti-Client” and to think of this gentleman she had met over the weekend, when she sat down to write her marketing copy.

My conclusion?

Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we DON’T want first in order to get clarity about what we DO want. I know when I started my first business back in 1998, it was because I didn’t want to keep working so many hours. I knew what kind of business I wanted to create by first knowing what I DIDN’T want to create.

And I think the same idea applies here. When confronted by a client that she didn’t want, my client was able to very easily distinguish how he was different from her ideal clients, and the clarity and words just flowed effortlessly.

The lesson?

Do whatever works for you to get clear about what you want and who you want to serve. If it works better to focus on your Anti-Client, then so be it. In the end, all that matters is that you’re able to clearly communicate your message so it resonates with those you are trying to attract.


About Debbie

Debbie worked in marketing for 32 years and ran a successful coaching and consulting business for 19. Now she helps people find greater happiness and success by learning how to Follow Inspiration.

10 comments on “Ideal Client vs. The Anti-Client

  1. That is so true Debbie! Sometimes it takes courage to define, and then NOT work with what I call your heart-sink clients (the ones where your heart sinks when you know their appointment is coming up!)especially when you’re starting out.
    However, as you said – until you know what you DON’T want, it’s hard to focus on what you DO want – they are two sides of the coin!
    Great post again!

    Tanya 🙂

  2. Great point! Love the perspective!

    Another thing is when we are talking to someone we know is not our ideal client, there is a freedom to express what we do with greater clarity. When we think that the person we are talking to has the potential to be a client, we get kind of weird in the beginning. So,because we don’t want to come across as trying to “sell” them, we act, well, weird! When we KNOW we aren’t selling them, we can be more natural!

    Can we conclude then, that we would do well to NEVER have the attitude that we are trying to sell anyone, but merely giving information that may be useful to them or someone they know?

  3. Thank you for this, it’s an excellent way to confirm what makes up your ideal client. I try to concentrate on what I do want, rather than on what I don’t want (a la Law of Attraction!), but this makes perfect sense.

    After all, we can’t do justice to those who aren’t a good fit, so it’s best all round to save our energy for those who will benefit most.

    Best wishes, Linda

  4. Yes Debbie this is a good idea.

    A lot of Quantum Living coaching books advise this system before you focus on ‘what you do want’ so to speak.

    It makes sense to use this in business.
    Great Stuff.

  5. Thank you all for sharing your comments. Guess my client and I weren’t the only ones who thought this seemed like a pretty good idea, as unexpected as it was!


  6. I love the other person’s expression “heart sink” client. I’ve been there and yes they take away your energy for future clients. Another great article Debbie!

  7. Great thoughts, Debbie. Knowing your Perfect Prospect is the first step toward working with your Ideal Client because prospects are pre-clients. Know them and you can speak their language to attract them like “magic.” Great post. Thanks!

  8. Love this phrase, “the Anti-Client”! I actually talked with a client yesterday about this very topic and she was struggling to figure out how to ‘avoid’ working with certain personalities/behavior types…I think I’ll share the Anti Client concept and it will help her feel empowered to really consider what she doesn’t like in a client! Thanks.

  9. Mention “anti-client” and my mind is flooded with images. You just gave me permission not to have say “yes” to every single person who walks through the door! As someone newer in business, I always feel that turning down someone is a bad thing. Not only do I now understand that I can “screen” but I have a polite, comfortable way of doing it while still maintaining my reputation!

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