🐧 Your ideal client profile (ICP)

INSIDE: Why ICP?, How to Define ICP, 2 Case Studies, Notion Template
January 28, 2024

If you’re starting a side hustle, do this first:

Define a clear Ideal Client Profile (ICP).

Today, in 10 minutes or less, you'll learn:

  • Why an Ideal Client Profile?
  • How to define an Ideal Client Profile
  • Case study #1
  • Case study #2
  • Bonus: Try it yourself

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Your Ideal Client Profile

No matter if you’re offering B2B SaaS advising or selling digital products for yoga teachers, this step is foundational.

Nailing your ICP can be the difference between hearing rave reviews on your services vs crickets when you offer to setup a discovery call. 🦗

But if you skip figuring out who you’re solving the problem for, then you’ll waste tons of effort and likely regret it.

🤔 Why an Ideal Client Profile?

“We did not think about ICP. I wish we did earlier on. It’s one of my biggest mistakes.” - Mathilde Collin, co-founder and CEO of Front

Without talking to the right people, even if you have a great idea, you’ll still end up barking up the wrong tree.

Side hustles similar to startups in this way.

Talking to the right people can be the difference between a game-changing side hustle idea vs hearing crickets when you ask for a discovery call.

🎯 How to define an Ideal Client Profile

I did some research online to find different methods of crafting your Ideal Client Profile.

Everything from using a combination of business attributes to a scoring rubric.

My personal preference is to use specific business attributes that describe your ideal client:

B2C and B2B businesses

  • Job title (e.g. product designer)
  • Income/Revenue (e.g. US$100k-130k/year)
  • Geo (e.g. Tier 1 cities in the US)
  • Marital/kids status (e.g. not married/no kids)
  • Gender (e.g. female)
  • Age range (e.g. 27-32)
  • Where they spent their time (e.g. Linkedin, deign Slack communities)
  • Pain point (e.g. struggling with business & leadership skills)

B2B businesses (e.g. consulting)

  • Company size (e.g. 100-500 employees)
  • Industry / type of business (e.g. B2B SaaS, Healthtech, etc.)
  • Price point (e.g. sells $10k+ ACV contracts)

📘 Case study #1

Here is my ICP I defined for career coaching four years ago (I have evolved it since then):

My Ideal Clients:

  • Tech professionals
  • Ages 27-32
  • Live in a tier 1 US city (e.g. San Francisco, New York)
  • Feel stuck in their current job, wanted to change roles or companies

It was a decent start.

With this ICP in mind, I took a few actions:

  • prioritized my limited slots for discovery calls
  • wrote a collection of career-related guides and Linkedin posts, attracting more of my ideal clients
  • tailored my offering for this profile

Over time, this helped me to convert more of the right clients.

But if I could go back, I would have narrowed it down further by adding:

  • job title (Product Manager)
  • career stage (5-8 years of work experience, working in 2nd/3rd job, unsure which path to pick next in career trajectory)

This would have helped me differentiate my offering, deliver more value to my clients, and potentially increase close rates.

📘 Case study #2

After accumulating experience as a founder & partnerships lead at Stripe, Lily Wu started a business development & GTM consulting service.

Here is Lily’s ICP:

  • 100-500 employees
  • Series B or C startup
  • Expanding into new geographic market (e.g. US, Australia, SEA)
  • Seeking rapid execution, but slowed by lack of on-the-ground network

Using this ICP led her to talking to her first clients, working on geographic expansion projects.

🧠 Summary

  • Start with a minimum of three of your most important attributes for your ideal client
  • Be super specific about your attributes
  • This is just the start—it can take several months of refining your ICP

🤩 Bonus: Try it yourself

Duplicate this Notion ICP template and fill out the attributes with your own.

📚️ Further reading

🌐 Beyond your borders

🛫 2024 report says Digital Nomads make ~$121k on average, most male Digital Nomads are software developers (why am I not surprised), while women had more varied professions. I had fun reading the stats (link)

🇸🇬 2024 Singapore job market trends: Rage applying, moonlighting, and quiet quitting. It’s starting to look like another turbulent year, which is causing people to search for new opportunities (link)

🤑 Reddit r/fatFIRE thread: What do you want that people richer than you have? Private chef, gifts to siblings, and dozens more — including some surprising comments (link)

🚀 If you’re a founder, my good friend Tam Pham from Hustle Fund created the ultimate tactical cheat guide to fundraising $$$ for your startup. I rarely promote fundraising content, but Tam creates amazing resources. Read here → (link)

📆 How I can help

That’s all for today!

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:

1. Work with my tax team - Get personalized guidance from a US expat tax professional.

2. Sponsor this newsletter - Get in front of over 5,000 professionals and business owners in the US and Singapore.

For daily insights, follow me on X (@dexteryz) or Linkedin.

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Dexter Zhuang

Dexter is the founder of Money Abroad, a weekly newsletter and website that help professionals build wealth overseas. Over the last decade, he's been building and growing internet products across Silicon Valley and Asia at top companies like Dropbox and Xendit. His work has been featured in global publications like Business Insider, CBS, US News & World Report, and Tech in Asia. He graduated from Dartmouth College.

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