How To Attract Your Ideal Clients
So you’ve launched your business - that's fantastic! Now what?
I know how daunting it is to start your own business, or to quit your corporate job (or both, ya, I’ve done it!) And if you haven’t done it yet, but are thinking about it, what’s stopping you? I’m going to guess it’s probably money. Knowing that your steady paycheck is going to be out the window, and you have to rely on being able to get some clients to make any money.
That’s a lot of pressure. I know, I totally get it.
I see a lot of brave, seriously talented and deserving people take the plunge, and not find much success. I’ve realized more and more in this small biz world; it’s not about how talented you are (but I’m sure you are) it’s about how much you work for it.
You can’t just start a business, post about it on Facebook once and expect people to come to you. It doesn't work that way. If it were *that* easy, everyone would be starting a business. You have to work hard for clients, especially in the beginning, because they don’t come easily. However, a bit of hard work, in the beginning, is the price you’ll have to pay if you want to run your own business (ps. It’s totally worth it).
Moreover, I can pretty much guarantee, as long as you put the hard work in, (and have just a little bit of talent, seriously, just a little bit is fine) you will get clients. Once you start getting the clients, everything gets a bit easier and less stressful, your business will begin to grow, and you’ll be able to pay your bills - win!
I get asked all of the time how I get clients and how I started my whole business (that’s a story for another day), and it’s not a quick answer, so I thought I’d get into all of the deets here on my blog! There are so many elements that go into building a successful business, and none of them involve a shiny new office filed with the latest and greatest to attract your ideal clients. Client acquisition is probably undoubtedly the most challenging part of launching a new business.
This post is about how I got clients right at the very beginning of my business, and although my business has grown a lot and I get more than enough clients now, I still use all of these strategies.
Having a website is one of the most important and useful things when you’re out trying to find clients. It’s a place for potential clients to see exactly what you do, read about your services, learn a bit more about you and (importantly) contact you!
Just as important as having a good website is making sure you 1. have people coming to your site and 2. have your website set up to capture the right type of clients.
In this article, I’m not going to talk too much about how you generate traffic to your website, although it is super important! You’re not going to get any inquiries if you don’t have anyone visiting your site.
I’ve gained much traffic on my website through Blogging, Pinterest and Instagram, and you can read those blog posts to see the strategies I’ve been using throughout my business.
Today we’re going to be talking about how to capture your dream clients once they’re ON your website!
You might think “well that’s simple, of course, they’ll contact me once they’re on my website, they’re my dream client! It’s getting them there that is the hard part!”
However, it’s not that simple. If your website isn’t set up to attract them, then it’s probably set up to repel them *mic drop*.
Lucky for you, I’ve listed out all of the tweaks you can make to your client acquisition plan so that you can guarantee when your dream client lands on your site, social, or wherever you are planning on marketing yourself and your business, they’ll for sure be reaching out!
Defining Your Dream Client
We ALL have a dream client. They are dying to work with us, absolutely adore the work we do and want to pay us in full as soon as possible, right? That’s the type of client we want contacting us!
However, knowing that much isn’t enough. You need to go much deeper than that and identify your ideal client avatar (also known as your typical client/customer, or your target customer).
If you have already defined your ideal client, that’s great! You can move on to the next steps. If you haven’t, stop right now and DO it. If you’re serious about attracting clients you want to work with, then you need to define precisely who that is.
Moreover, I mean exactly who that is. Male or Female? What is their occupation? What do they like to do on the weekends? How many kids do they have? What are their business struggles? What social media platforms do they spend the most time on and why? What brands do they love? What is their NAME?
Get out a pen and paper and brainstorm to your heart's content. Get so detailed on this person that you know them inside out.
If you want a guided workbook on how to do this, you can join my free course 5 Steps to DIY Your Dream Website where we go in-depth on how to define your ideal client.
Now that you have done that critical step, we’ll move on to the actual design details of your website!
Craft Your Brand Message Statement
What does your business do, and who do you do it for?
You need to have a 1-2 sentence statement that explains exactly this, so once your ideal client lands on your site, they know what you do straight away.
Some basic examples:
“Brand and Website Design for Creative Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners”
“Social Media Management for Busy Entrepreneurs”
“Brand Management for Social Media Influencers”
I recommend you give it your own spin and personality to sound less generic, less basic, and more unique, but hopefully, you get the idea.
Be completely clear on what you do. I see so many websites that don’t have a statement like this, so I’m left searching through their website to see what they’re really offering — usually by that point I plainly leave, and imagine that most visitors will do the same.
Put this statement front and center on your website. Once you’ve crafted your brand message statement, it needs to be in a place people can see it. Usually, you should place this front and center on your home page, so it’s one of the first things people see when they land on your site.
You can use it throughout the rest of your site too, but it’s essential that you have it on your homepage so that when someone lands on your site, they can decide straight away if your business is right for them or not. Do not worry that your message will send people away. Actually, that’s ideal! You want your message to attract the right people and repel the wrong people — clearing the clutter is what I like to call it!
Your Niche Target Audience
If you’re just starting out you may not have any idea who your ideal client is, or what that even means (and if you do already, kudos to you!). Basically, your ideal client is exactly that: a customer or client that you DREAM to work with. In the beginning of business this can be a little bit hard to nail down, because, right now, you’ll work with whoever will pay you, right? Even if that’s the case, you still have a perfect client in mind, and that’s who we’re going to design your website around attracting.
You may think it’s easier to just market to everyone, and while this might seem like the way to go, (more clients, right?) it’s not. If you’re marketing to EVERYONE you’re marketing to NO ONE. You will be so much more successful if you are consistently marketing towards your one ideal client. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to attract other clients, it just means that you’ll attract more of the right people and you’ll steer away the people that aren’t right anyway (we’re just clearing the clutter!).
Your Website Design
This might sound simple, but if your site design is something that your ideal client would be attracted to? Think of your website as the first intro to you, your brand and business online.
If you have your brand message statement front a center, that’s a great start. So of course, you need your site to be simple to navigate and clear. A great user experience will speak volumes for your ideal client, and accessible to browse sites will keep visitors engaged. However, let’s dig deeper into the actual design elements here like colors, fonts, and images.
Now I’m not going to give you a lesson on website design (although I’m struggling to stop myself) because you can find that information all over my website. I’m talking more about how your website design is going to attract your ideal client.
What are their favorite colors? Do they like a more feminine style or a more masculine style? Are more fun or professional? Do they like bright and fun or neutral and sleek? As much fun as it is designing your site, you have to think less about what you want and more about what will attract your ideal client.
Images play a significant role in attracting your ideal client. It’s essential that you choose images that not only look good with your colors but also attract your ideal client by invoking the right emotion in them and displaying relevant sort of people or objects. If you want to get more into how and where to find perfect images for your site that attract your ideal client, sign up to my free course 5 Steps to DIY Your Dream Website. Always view your website through your ideal client's eyes.
Strategically Write Your Copy
How does your ideal client speak? What sort of words do they use? Are they more professional and corporate, or are they more laid back and slang?
When you’re writing your copy, think about exactly who you are speaking to.
Again, don’t worry about turning the wrong people away with how you speak; just focus on attracting that one dreamy client.
Tell Everyone And Tell Them Again
The fastest way to get clients, in the beginning, is by reaching out to family and friends. Your social circle is a great way to client prospect. Your family and friends will be your biggest cheerleaders, they want to see you succeed! (If they don’t, time to replace them...).
Not only will they be potential first clients, but they’ll also be the first people to refer you to their friends, or share your social media posts. They’re going to be super helpful. You would do the same for them, wouldn’t you? I know, it’s pretty daunting telling everyone that you’re starting a biz. To put so much pressure on something that may not work? It’s a bit stressful.
I remember feeling like if I told everyone and then my business failed, that I would be totally embarrassed. But here’s the thing, if you DON’T tell anyone, your business WILL fail.
Utilize your existing Facebook friends as potential clients. Do you see someone starting a new business? Private message them and see if they need a VA! Is someone getting married? Private message them and put your name in the hat for their wedding photography! Seriously, you have to have no shame here.
If you meet someone and they ask you what you do, tell them that you run your own business doing “......”. Don't underplay it!
When I started my business I didn’t preach it enough. Though, as soon as I told people, I got a bit of work lined up with family members, and my Dad also hooked me up with his business partners for even more work. Having this work in the beginning really tied me over for the first few months while I could work on getting more clientsBe PROUD of what you're doing and tell EVERYONE!
Get On Social Media
You’ve probably already done this, but if you haven’t, go and get your business signed up on Social.
Now, don’t get this confused with posting on your personal Social Media accounts about your new business. I want you to sign up to business accounts with your business name and details.
It’s free, and it’s easy to get signed up. It increases your trust factor, your legitimacy and of course your reach. The more places you can be, the more potential clients you’re going to find!
However, don’t go signing up to every social media platform just because you can. I recommend only signing up to the platforms: That you like. If you don’t want a platform, you’re not going to be good at using it for your business. Most importantly, where your potential clients are hanging out. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn?
Pick a couple of platforms, research the best strategies, and do them well.
In my case, I chose Pinterest first. I just always loved Pinterest, and I knew that’s where my dream clients were hanging out. The second platform that followed was Instagram. Naturally, my social following had grown because of all the food and travel photos I posted, but I knew that I wanted to utilize it as a way to get the word out. I’ve looked up Instagram strategies and have been working hard at growing my Instagram since I started it. I have a Facebook page too, but honestly, I don’t do a whole lot on there, I share my posts from Pinterest and Instagram, and use it as a place to collect reviews from clients.
For this step, you have to make sure you choose the right social media for you, don't just copy what I have done; otherwise, it just won't work!
Go Above and Beyond
Once you score your first client, make sure you go above and beyond for this client. Moreover, your next one. So your next one! This will at least lead to a raving review, it probably will lead to more future work from them, and they will be willing to refer you on to others.
You need to over-deliver on everything. Do you best to knock your first clients out of the water?
I mean, you should do this with all of your clients. However, when you're first starting, I see it as entirely OK to do a bit of free overtime or extras. You’re just starting, so as long as you’re learning in the process, and getting some great reviews, experience and portfolio pieces, then it’s worth putting in the extra unpaid time.
When I first started, I did anything and everything for my clients on their small budgets. I bent over backward for them. I still bend over backward for my clients, but now I make sure that I get paid for my extra time.
Making sure I gave my client a premium experience was more important to me than making a good profit. I wanted to give my clients something to rave about. So then when I did put my prices up, people were willing to pay for it because they knew they were going to get a great experience.
You will likely be lacking a bit of confidence and experience right now. Even if you’ve been working on your craft for your whole life, you’re probably still not confident at running a business, working one on one with clients or perfecting your process and systems. This all comes with experience. Moreover, it definitely WILL come. However, until you have your processes seamless and clients fighting to book a spot with you, you’ll need to work your butt off to please them.
Don’t Stop, Keep At It
If you’re not getting any clients yet, use that free time to be doing one of these other things! Don’t just sit around, clients will not just come to you. This is the best time to be out there promoting yourself. Business is a hustle and getting after clients is a hustle. There will be a couple of months where you have less clients than you want, but you need to use that spare time to work on these things. Because if you do, soon you’ll have so many clients that you have no time left to do any of the above *points to self*
If you can define your ideal client avatar really well, the rest of your website should fall into place. Whether it’s your copy, your design or your portfolio — everything on your site should attract your ideal client, down to the last little detail. Then, you’ll have your dream clients reaching out to you more often, and less of those not-so-dreamy clients.
Having a good idea of who your ideal customer or client is is REALLY important. How To Attract Your Ideal Clients Workbook and Mini Course available 3/1/2019!!