Are you stuck in a bit of a client rut?
I have sooooo been there!
If you are tired of clients that complain about your pricing, are indecisive, and basically just don't feel like the right fit, this is for you. Even if you are just starting out, you can do these things and avoid client rut.
Read on my friend! I can help!
Change Your Idea of How Clients Come to Hire You
1. Be Intentional. Make to-do lists and set firm goals, with steps needed to meet those goals.
Your To-Do List That Will Get You The Right-For-You Clients
- Write down your goal for this week.
- Write down what you need to do to reach your goal.
Ex. Email that person that has been on your bucket list to write a blog post for or take a challenge or e-course that will help you reach that goal. The last two things are great so that you can get free support and accountability!
- Revisit who your favorite client is. Make a list of who you think that is.
- Go to google analytics on your website and SEE who your audience really is. Click on Interests and Overview and you will see a break down of your visitor's likes online. It is really interesting! Then click on demographics >> age. This shows you the ages that you are attracting. These statistics showed me that my target audience was different than I thought.
- Use this info to create graphics for a week's worth of social media. I suggest starting with five days of social post designs, to avoid overwhelm. The easiest way to do this, EVEN IF YOU ARE A DESIGNER, go to Create Market and buy social media templates or go to Canva and customize their templates. Include an image that gets a reaction out of you and would appeal to the client you discovered above. Designers need to find what shortcuts work for them. This will help you avoid burn-out when you don't have the budget yet to outsource the admin side of things.
- Look to the experts. Not sure how your graphic should look? Examples are at your fingertips!!! Go to google and type in the type of graphic you need an example for, to get started. Whatever it is, add the name of someone like Melyssa Griffin or any other person that specializes in this area. For instance, I wanted to create an ad for Facebook, so I entered names like James Wedmore, Farideh Danger, and Amy Porterfield, into Google and clicked the image button so I could get all of the examples of the way successful ads should look. Why do I know that these are successful? Because it is the format that these successful gurus are using, which gives me something to model my ads after. Get the picture? (Ha ha! See what I did there?!) No need to start from scratch! Don't copy either. Just use the format and put your spin on it.
2. Be social.
Grab my free Social Strategy Worksheet and make a simple plan. After you have filled that out, you want to create your branded images and schedule them in advance. I call this the moving-around-the-room-laughing-and-talking-and-sharing-stories-while-shaking-hands technique. You have lots to do, right? Right! So, this is going to do the work for you. If you look below, this is my analytics of how my audience is coming to my website right now. The largest piece of the pie is coming from my social media marketing! To be successful on social media, you need to be consistent. To do that, you need to plan, design graphics and schedule them. To get started, use my Social Strategy Worksheet, buy a set of templates or create them using Canva or Creative Market. If you haven't noticed, those are my go-to's and they make my business look great, while saving me time!
3. Be proactive.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. What is one thing that you do that is self-sabotaging and prevents profits in your business? Procrastination? Blaming clients? Lack of boundaries and clear package pricing? Be honest with yourself. Making a list of my weak points, and eliminating services I hated providing, helped me attract my highest paying client, one week after I made the changes to my design services page! That was a $6,000 victory!!!
4. Be a writer of problem solving blog posts.
Even if you write one post a month, you will attract clients that need your help. Hate writing blog posts? I did! But I couldn't grow an email list without it because it helps connect all the dots. Think about it; if you have a blog post, you can create an image that is the "hero image" of your blog that can be pinned to Pinterest. Pinterest is basically a search engine. This means that the copy that you write for the description, turns into key words and gets picked up by google. Anyone searching these key words online, will be led to your pin, which then leads to your website. Once you have attracted people that need help from your blog posts, you have the opportunity to lead them to another helpful nugget of info. This little piece of gold comes in the form of what is called an Opt-In Freebie. Place a link to your email marketing platform into the post itself and/or as a button at the end. This encourages them to take action at that moment, without procrastinating. Once they click the link and enter their email, they are given the Opt-In Freebie that you were marketing in your post. It is an even exchange, you get their valuable email address for nurturing a business relationship and future sales, and they get something that solves a problem. Win/win!
5. Be Savvy. Do your research.
Find your competition. I don't mean just in your city or town. I mean, look to the creative solopreneurs that have a large following. Why? Because they are consistent with their blog posts and they have comments from people that are your target audience too. Grab your notepad and skim the comments. They will talk about the problems that were solved, fears that were calmed, tools that saved them time and money. All of this is valuable info so that you can find out the exact pain points, in their own words, that they need a solution for. This is target market research that is easy and free. There is no survey to set up, which is a bonus if you don't have an email list yet! Set your business up with offerings that work for you, based on your research. This REALLY WORKS!
6. Be Clickable.
Writing clickable headlines is something that is invaluable, but needs to be learned. My click-through rate increased after I started using Coschedule's Headline Analyzer. It is easy to use, to hit on the right combo of words, based on grades that you get for each headline. Tip: I always shoot for 70 and above.
7. Be a Complimentary Collaborator.
Finding businesses that are a compliment to your products and/or services, will also help you reach your people. For example, if you are a content writer, web designers, social media marketers and graphic designers would be a good fit. Find those that have a larger following than you, but would be fairly easy to reach out to. Send an email that states who you are and how you could help their audience. Also, state the collaboration you have in mind. It could be a guest blog post, an interview, podcast guest or a Facebook Live guest appearance, to name a few. Suggest a virtual coffee chat. If the answer is yes, head to Calendly right after you get that yes and send three choices for the online coffee chat. If you are not ready to do any of those things yet, reach out for just a 30 minute Zoom or Skype call and have a no-sales, just who-you-both-are type of chat. Ask questions and be a good listener. Everyone loves when you show an interest in how they got started. You are sure to get off on solid footing if you aren't me-centered on the call. As a thank you for their time, send a $5 Starbucks card to their email address. Create relationships, without always trying to sell your services.
8. Be Profitable.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but your pricing attracts the type of client that would be a perfect fit. If you are just starting out, or having been frustrated with the clients coming through your virtual door, you need to raise your prices. Seasoned creative solopreneurs will tell you that if you are providing services, whatever you are charging now, DOUBLE IT! It will feel weird, but it is so true.
9. Be Transparent.
If you want to book more clients, ASK! Create graphics for the different social media platforms the that you use or want to use and announce that you are booking for each month. If you want to start filling your calendar for the next year, create that graphic. Make sure to put a link in your post to your website's contact page so they can take action. Make sure your contact page clearly states your rules of engagement.
Here is what to include for a successful contact page:
- A professional picture of you
- Your name, email, office hours
- Your social media icons with the words: Let's Connect!
- An introductory paragraph
- Current booking availability
- a fillable form with individual boxes for their name, email, name of business, location, website, how they heard about you, their timeline, what type of style they are looking for, a little info about their business, and state your availability at the bottom of the form, along with a link to your package pricing in PDF format.
10. Be An Information Gatherer.
Asking what your audience needs and likes, helps you save time and money! Many times what they are hungry for, doesn't match up with what you think they need. A simple survey is a great way to start! If you have an email list already, you can use TypeForm or Survey Monkey. I personally prefer Typeform, because I liked being able to add my branded icons to the questions, which created more interest for each question.
If you don't have an email list, but have a Facebook page or group, you can now post short surveys right on your page. Instagram Stories has a polling option as well.
In exchange for their feedback, offer a short 15 or 30 minute call and let them ask you questions. It is a way to make connections beyond the computer screen, show that you appreciate their input and flex your genius skill muscles! I learned this from Business and Marketing Strategist, Maggie Giele and have only done this with one person so far, but the info from her was invaluable!
Before you start attracting your ideal client, there are some things that you need to do to your website. By putting these things in place, you are setting up your virtual office to sell to your potential clients before you even hop on a call! I touched on quite a few today, but the meat and potatoes of a successful and profitable services page is in my new signature course. Click the link for my free three day email course that is super simple, with your very own pretty workbooks. If you feel like you have the client thing nailed down, and are ready to set up your elevator pitch, your package pricing and much more, click the second button! I look forward to helping you with your creative entrepreneur's journey. My systems take away the fear about what to do next. I have you covered!