I recently had a conversation with a real estate agent where I asked him, “Who is your ideal client?” His response “I don’t know, anyone looking to buy or sell a house.” Here’s why that just won’t work.

Whether you are trying to write compelling web content or build a strong referral market it is imperative for you to have a clear vision of exactly who your are looking for. If you can’t describe your ideal clients, how will anyone else be able to find them for you?

Drawing Referral Partners a Picture

Think of it like sitting down with a sketch artist. Your referral partners are out there looking for the guy you need to close your case (or deal), but they need to know whether to bring you the big guy with glasses or the slender young man with freckles.

That’s why it is so important to be clear in who you are looking for. Let’s face it, your referral partners probably know several people who do what you do. When someone comes to them looking for a real estate agent, for example, they will try to find the contact they know who fits the referral best.

So if your idea is “anyone looking to buy or sell a house” your ideal customer is a carbon copy of every other real estate agent they know. Nothing makes you stand out.

If instead, you have targeted your work on divorcees looking to sell their marital homes and move into smaller homes, you will stand out in your referral partners’ minds when a newly single home buyer comes to call.

It may seem like that will cause you to miss the referrals that don’t fit the description. But if you are a master of nothing then you are more likely to be forgotten in the Rolodex of contacts that most good networkers maintain. The question is whether you want to be known for something or nothing.

Giving Yourself a Target

A well-defined ideal client will help your marketing efforts too. A clear picture of who you are looking for can inspire new blog posts, focus social media efforts, and prioritize in-person networking events.

A generic real estate agent can be pulled in many directions, targeting parents one day and retirees the next. The only common thread being home buying and selling. But for the agent focused on divorcees, the choices are clear. Their blog can focus on divorce issue. They can curate content on their social media that deals with divorce, even if it doesn’t directly address moving. And they can focus their networking efforts on other people who work with divorcees, like family lawyers.

Having a clear picture of your ideal customer doesn’t mean you will have less business. It means you will be less busy chasing people that don’t fit what you love to do. Before you go to your next networking event, sit down and draw yourself a picture. Your blog posts and referral sources will thank you for it.

Lisa Schmidt is a blogging coach for Legal Linguist. She can help you find your ideal client and learn how to write custom content that attracts that kind of person to your door. If you need help focusing your web marketing, contact Legal Linguist today.