Identifying Your Ideal Client: Customer Profiling For Freelancers


Finding the right clients is essential if you want to succeed as a freelancer. You could be the best at what you do and have expert skills but if your clients are not a match, your business will suffer. This is why it’s important to identify your ideal client. Read on to find out how you can do this and get tips on how to create a customer profile that fits your needs!

  1. What is an Ideal Customer Profile or ICP?
  2. Benefits of customer profiling and having an Ideal Customer Profile
  3. How to create an Ideal Customer Profile Template as a freelancer
  4. Ideal Client Profile Template: Checklist to find your ideal client
  5. Example of an Ideal Client Profile
  6. How to use your Ideal Client Profile to your advantage
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What is an Ideal Customer Profile or ICP?

An Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP, is defined as the perfect company or client that would benefit the most from your work, expertise and skills. It is a hypothetical example of the type of company or client that would realise the most value from you as a freelancer.

Getting clients as a freelancer is great but as your freelance business grows, you need to make sure that the projects you’re working on are worth the resources you’re expanding.

To do this, you need to start defining, and then selling to your ideal customer profile.

Knowing your ideal client will allow you to build a strategy to talk about your services, so that you can build a marketing plan, find work and ultimately, get hired.

A customer profile is different from a buyer persona because you define the ideal client based on the clients that you already have and not on imaginary attributes that you think you would like your client to have.

Benefits of customer profiling and having an Ideal Customer Profile

Before we tell you how to go about creating an Ideal Customer Profile, let’s first take a look at the advantages it can provide freelancers:

#1 Increased profit

Having an ICP allows you to tailor your marketing efforts to people who actually need your services. After all, as a freelancer, your time is precious and you don’t want to waste it advertising your profile to people that won’t convert and lead to profit or exposure.

By knowing your ideal customer, you can better target them on advertising campaigns and so the cost of acquisition (CAC) will be lower.

#2 Increased customer engagement

Another benefit that an Ideal Client Profile provides is the ability to engage your customers and clients further

As a freelancer, you can use your Customer Profile to create more engaging content and to communicate with them better

For example, if you’re looking to provide new services as a freelancer, you can use an Ideal Customer Profile to determine which age group might benefit the most from them. You can then market these services to relevant customers and clients.

#3 Makes you understand your customers

An Ideal Customer Profile is an essential part of understanding your customers. It allows you to analyse who your customers actually are, where they’re located, what they spend their time and money on, etc.

The better you know your client, the better you will serve them. 

If you know exactly what bothers them, their personal preferences, and their attributes, you can deliver a better experience by, for example, anticipating issues before they arise.

#4 Can help you identify and convert leads

As a freelancer, you can use an ICP to qualify and target the right prospects you want to develop long-term contracts with. An Ideal Client Profile can assist you in everything from lead selection and reducing client churn risks to shortening sales cycles

#5 Increased ROI via brand loyalty and referrals

When working with an ICP, the goal is to focus on creating brand loyalty with your existing customers and use those customers to generate further referrals. Research after research has shown that customers who gain true value from your services are far more likely to refer you as a freelancer to other potential clients

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How to create an Ideal Customer Profile

Now that you know the benefits that an ICP can provide you as a freelancer, let’s take a look at how you can create one that fits your needs. Here’re the steps you will need to follow when identifying your ideal client:

1. Demographics

Figuring out your ideal client demographic is the first step to creating an ideal client profile. This should include basic information such as your ideal client location, age, gender, and/or other demographic factors such as educational background, profession, family status, etc.

If you are profiling in the B2B sector rather than individuals, you might need to consider other aspects such as industry, company size, hierarchies, etc.

If you’re a freelancer with your own website for your services, Google Analytics is a great way to source this information since it can give you data relating to your website visits. This ensures that your Ideal Customer Profile is focused on real data and allows you to deploy the right marketing campaigns to reach your target client. 

Additionally, using this information can help you build an ICP around your existing audience of customers rather than building one from scratch.

2. Personality traits and behaviour

Besides the pure demographics, you need to understand what moves that ideal client. What influences their buying decisions?

For that, you’ll need to understand their motivations and behaviours. For example:

  • Interests
  • Habits
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Pains
  • Engagement with brands

3. Create a description by using customer feedback

The next step is to come up with a general description of some of your ideal clients using client-generated feedback

  • What do your clients really want? 
  • What would they like to change about the services you offer? 

Gathering demographic data is one thing, but if you don’t interact with your customers, it’s difficult to really get to know them and what they require. 

As such, conducting client interviews and surveys is one of the best ways to gather information for a customer profile. Make it a habit to send out a short feedback survey after each project and you’ll gain valuable insight for your ideal customer profile

4. Consider their needs and goals

Think about what it is that your customers are trying to achieve. If the goals of a certain group of customers and clients are in line with your products and services, these are the ones you need to focus on.

Ideally, you’ll want your profile template to cover your clients’ problems and challenges. Not only will this help you position yourself as the solution to all their needs, it will also help you avoid wasting time.

5. Consider values and lifestyle

Once you’ve considered your client’s goals and needs, think about what their values and lifestyles are. For example, your client could be someone who hates wasting time on routine tasks and will therefore appreciate solutions from you that save time. 

Likewise, if your ideal client is someone who travels a lot and is always on the move, you’ll want to provide them with a solution that fits their unique lifestyle.

You also need to think of your own values: philosophies, political, religious or environmental aspects, etc. What is important for you and thus, for your business? I’m sure you won’t enjoy working with someone who doesn’t share your values. 

6. Focus on their interests and online behaviours

As stated above, understanding your client’s interests can help you market your freelance services in a much more personalised way. For example, if your client is interested in movies, you could use pop culture references in your freelance proposals!

You should also take note of your client’s online behaviour. Think about:

  • What kind of websites and platforms they’re on
  • Groups or activities they’re interested in
  • Conferences they like to attend
  • Influencers, if any, they like to follow

All of this information can help you narrow your focus and help you create some parameters for what projects and clients you accept.

Join our IT freelancer community today! Create your freelance profile in just 2 minutes.  

7. Understand your industry

Understanding how your clients perceive you and your personal brand can give you a good idea of the type of clients you want to attract and retain. It also helps you define your brand identity and gives you a way to stand out from other freelancers.

8. Consider the type of people you want to work with

Finally, ask yourself what kind of clients you are most happy working with and what kind of clients you are not

Remember, your ideal client should not just be about how much they pay you. You’ll also want to factor in things like mutual respect, on-time payment, appreciation, friendliness, etc.

For example, you could make a list of people you’ve worked with and really enjoyed working with. Once you see all the people together, you will be able to find similarities and patterns.

What do they have in common?` Why did you enjoy working with them so much? That’s something your ideal client will need to share, too.

And you don’t have to only think of people you have worked with already, what about those big clients you would love to work with?

We can see a lot of people’s values and products online so list those people you follow on LinkedIn and you are absolutely inspired by, to have an idea of the type of people you want to work with.

Ideal Client Profile Template: Checklist to find your ideal client

Use this template to create the perfect Ideal Client Profile for your freelance business!

Ideal Client Profile Checklist
Ideal Client Profile Checklist

Example of an Ideal Client Profile

Here is an example of an ICP filled out:

Ideal Client Profile Checklist Example
Ideal Client Profile Checklist Example

You can then use the data on top to create a detailed profile: 

Ideal Client Profile Example
Ideal Client Profile Example

How to use your Ideal Client Profile to your advantage

Once you’ve identified your ideal client, it’s time to start using it to your advantage. Don’t make the common mistake of filling out your template and then filing it away! 

Instead, use it to: 

  • Improve your freelance brand: When creating content for your brand, tailor your content as if you’re speaking to your ideal client directly.
  • Improve your marketing techniques: Use your ICP to narrow your audience and refine your market. 
  • Send better proposals to potential clients: Create more effective proposals with your ideal client in mind
  • Retain existing clients and improve relationships: Address the needs of the existing clients and build trust and loyalty.

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Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at

By Natalia Campana

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