Day 5 - Attracting Your Ideal Clients
Welcome to Day #5 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here to find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything. I am by no means an expert but after hearing a lot of the same questions, I figured others could benefit from a few lessons in branding. Hopefully it will give you a place to begin or even just a few tips to improve your business and bring you more clients. Feel free to add in your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments!
So the last few days we've been talking about this idea of getting your clients/followers to come to you vs. going out to find them. We also hinted at this idea of narrowing the market to attract an ideal type of client.
Do you know what your ideal client looks like?
A lot of frustration in business is from working with the WRONG type of client. When you attract the wrong type of client, you spend a lot of time trying to please someone who is never happy with your work. When you attract the wrong type of client, you go above and beyond and they still don't buy much. When you attract the wrong type of client, you are constantly reworking and perfecting and changing your methods in order to do what they want. When you attract the wrong type of client, you almost never get word-of-mouth referrals. When you attract the wrong type of client, you might have plenty of work but most of it is work that you don't LOVE to do.
Just to clarify...I'm not saying there is a problem with your clients.
The problem may just be that you aren't a good fit for each other.
Wouldn't you like to know that before you even get started? Before both of your time and money has been wasted?
That's the difference. You want to be a perfect fit for the clients you attract. Here are some steps you can take to make that happen...
1. Choose Favorites
In order to achieve your target market and draw your ideal client, you have to take a stand. For example, I like working with clients who prefer simplicity, keep up to date on style, and know what they want. I click well with clients that are positive, enthusiastic, wholeheartedly passionate and maybe even a little silly. As for designing, I like creating bright, fashion-inspired designs with clean layouts and bold type. Now it was really difficult for me to write those statements because I naturally think, "Wait, what about the people who like vintage or traditional or scrapbook styles? What about people who are are hard to read or no-nonsense? I don't want them to be left out or offended."
We naturally want to include everyone. But I have to ask who is MOST LIKELY going to love my work and love working with me? Most likely it is going to be people that click well with me that like the style I naturally design. I have to take a stand and target those people. Make sense?
2. Create an Experience
Every interaction you have with a client leads to an experience. How you word your emails, how you decorate your studio, even the font you choose for your blog will set the stage. So if you want to attract a certain type of client, you will want to create an experience for them. Pretend you were going to decorate a room for your ideal client. What colors would make them feel comfortable? What style of furniture would they adore? What products would be a necessity for them? What would they want to see hanging on the walls? Once you're in the room, how would the two of hang out? What would you talk about?
In the same way, you can use what you know about your clients and what their needs are to create a business experience for them. That way they will not only feel like what you do is perfect for them, but they will want to share with others they know who will love it too. And voila! Word-of-mouth marketing.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is key in creating the experience because you never know how your client might get their first impression. Let's say that you have an elegant website, elegant packaging, and an elegant studio. But when your ideal client (who likes things elegant, professional, serious) gets your contact info and they receive an email response like this, "Sup homie? Hit me up on the web if you want to see my work, yo." Haha. Are they even going to go look at your fancy elegant website? Probably not, because they were looking for professionalism. So everything you do and say and create should be infused with how you want to come across. It should have your personality and brand stamped all over it.
Your homework today...Figure out who is your ideal client? If you're having trouble narrowing it down, try to think about your best friends (if that's who you would want to work with). Or think about what comes most naturally to you - what are your strengths from earlier in the week? You can take your strengths and decide what type of person might benefit from (or enjoy) working with you the most? Try to picture their experience in every area of your business. What would they like/not like?