Imagine what it would feel like if all your clients were like your all-time favorite client. And before you think I'm living in fantasyland, let me assure you: you can make it happen.
Take Karen, for example: she’s a print designer who’s found her sweet spot with a particular kind of client. She's been able to leverage much of her past work experience in her role with them, they trust her enough to give her complete creative domain over their projects, and she’s fascinated by what they do. And because of the many projects they run throughout the year, she's been able to maintain an ongoing service relationship with them (hooray for steady income!).
This client is the very definition of ideal for Karen. I-D-E-A-L. “Now if I could just clone them three or four times,” she finds herself saying, “I'd be pretty much set.”
Karen's fantasy is far from uncommon. Working with clients you love is one of the biggest perks of working for yourself—and the reason many of us do it in the first place. More than that, loving the clients you have means you're far more motivated to show up, do the work, and consistently knock it out the park.
So what’s it going to take to get more clients just like your favorite ones? The key is positioning yourself to attract more people like them.
Here's what you need to do:
1. Develop a profile of your ideal client
Before you bring in more of the clients you really want, you have to understand what makes them your ideal so you have a full picture of the kind of experience you want to replicate. I previously shared some insights on how to get clear on what ideal means to you. You can read about it in this post.
Once you have that part figured out, gather what you know about them to build a profile of their key attributes. In particular, you want to be sure to capture:
Also, don't skimp on details that can help you further refine your niche, like:
2. Come up with a hit list of potential clients to target
Now that you've got a better understanding of your ideal client, you can start to focus on the “cloning” part of this process. That is, creating more clients out of the folks that are just like them.
I'm sure you can think of at least three people, off the top of your head, who fit this profile. Better still, run a quick LinkedIn search using some of those key attributes; you'll come up with at least 10 more!
Compile a list of people to whom you can offer your services, taking note of anything you notice that might be lacking from their current practices or strategies.
3. Tailor your offer to what they want, not what you do
This is where many service-providers go wrong. When it comes to making an offer, they are not clear about the distinction between what they do and what their people get by working with them. I've said it before, and I’m quite happy to repeat it:
Your clients (even the ideal ones) care less about what you do than the fact that you understand what they want and have a solution that will help them get it.
So once you know who you want to target, use what you understand about their desired outcome and their challenges to develop an offer you can share with them that specifically addresses them. And, as much as possible, use the words they use to describe what they want while making your offer.
In Karen's case, what she’s offering isn't just “print design services” for health care facilities, but environmental communications that help companies deliver engaging messages that keep their staff and visitors informed and safe (How's that for value proposition, eh?!).
4. Identify opportunities for them to connect with you
Let me be clear: you will need to make the effort to reach out to your new potential clients. However, now that you’re offering something so concrete, you can make it a no-brainer for them to also find and connect with you—which means you won’t have to hustle to so hard to bring them to your door.
Karen, for instance, knows that her ideal client is probably scrolling through LinkedIn right this second. Looking for her? Probably not. Looking for what she’s offering? Hell. Yes. So as she’s “casually” viewing the profiles of communications directors for the companies she’s targeting, her gorgeous face and headline are popping up in their Who’s Viewed You feed.
To make sure they’ll take notice, she can use the specific words that describe what she’s offering (and what they want!) in the key areas of her profile, where they’re most likely to look. And to make sure they take action, she can have a clear call-to-action in each of those key areas telling them exactly how they can start working with her.
Follow these steps and you’ll be cloning your favorite clients—and multiplying your income—faster than you can say tall dark roast soy misto.
Now, time for coffee.
Over to you
Ready to use this process to shift the way you've been positioning yourself as a service-provider to attract more of your ideal client? Tell me all about it in the comments.
And if you need expert guidance on who to target and what to offer them, feel free to schedule a consult with me. I’ll help you get clear on how you want to position yourself and we’ll discuss how I can help you attract more of the clients you love working with.
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