7 Reasons Why You're Not Landing Your Dream Clients
In the beginning of your business it's exciting to get any enquiries at all. But you've been working hard at it for a while now, you deserve to be getting high quality inquiries with clients you've always dreamed of working with, right? Your true ideal client *swoon*.
You're getting sick of receiving dead end inquiries and having to work with people who just aren't perfect. Yup, I get it.
This is a pretty common problem for people in the service based industry, especially in the beginning. But even if you're 5 years in or only just starting, it's beneficial to implement the following practices as soon as possible to ensure you're on the right track for attracting your dream clients.
So let's get into it!
1. Your services aren't quite right
I'm putting this point front and center, because it seems really obvious, right? But I couldn't write this post without making this clear: create your services with your ideal customers in mind!
And be specific about it (I'll probably be saying that a lot in this post). Think about exactly what they need. Don't include things that they don't need. Keep it simple and specific to them.
Your services, or whatever you're offering, is the first thing to check. Get in the headspace of your dream client, are they looking at your packages and thinking "Yes, this is exactly what I need!" or are they thinking, "Hmm, I think I probably need this, but I'm not exactly sure what some of those things are for and... maybe it's better suited to someone else".
Remember, if you start building your services to include everything and everyone, you're actually attracting no one. You're better off scaling back, getting rid the stuff that isn't going to serve your ideal clients and only marketing the stuff that is perfect for them.
I know a lot of you out there dabble in a lot of things, especially in the beginning of business (gotta pay those bills!). But I don't want to you advertise anything just for the money. For example, if you're making good money doing Social Media Management, but that's really not the work or the type of clients you want, don't advertise that you do Social Media Management! Or you're just going to attract more of the wrong clients. But I understand if it's making you a good base salary that you'll want to keep doing it while you're scouting for better clients. My suggestion is to keep doing it behind the scenes, just don't make it front and center in your list of services.
2. Your Pricing is off
This is another important one, and goes hand in hand with getting your services right.
I totally believe in not undercharging for your services and charging for exactly what they are worth, but what defines their worth? Their worth is defined by what your ideal client is willing to pay for them.
Obviously, if you have a really extensive, high-end experience service, you'll want to charge top dollar for it. But if you're ideal customers aren't wealthy high end customers, then you're not going to land any clients, or at least sell any of that service.
If you're clients are start up businesses, you'll want to create a product that is targeted specifically at start up businesses, then priced to attract start up businesses.
If that means scaling back your product to only the essentials and being able to charge a bit less for it, then that's what you'll need to do.
If you want to attract clients that have been in business for a while and are ready and willing to pay top dollar, then you'll have to create a premium experience product, and price it high to attract premium clients.
There is psychology behind this. Higher priced products are automatically considered more premium and higher value, so you're not going to sell a lower priced product to someone looking for a premium experience.
Know your ideal customer, know what they would be willing to pay and price accordingly!
3. You're not displaying your pricing
This is a bit of a controversial opinion, but I wholeheartedly believe in clearly displaying your prices.
By displaying your prices you are attracting more of the right clients, and removing the clients that aren't willing to pay your price. Getting lots of inquiries is great, but when all of these inquiries end up not willing to pay what you charge, well, you've just wasted a lot of your precious time.
That's why it's so important you have priced your products to attract your ideal clients. When you're confident that your ideal client will be comfortable with the price you have set (and of course you are comfortable with it), then you can display it. Then the only inquiries you will get are people who are already willing to pay what you have requested.
You know when you walk into a store, and there's no price tags on anything? You immediately think "sh*t, this place must be expensive". It's just a natural, automatic reaction. Whether it's expensive or not defeats the purpose. I know what I do when that happens, I walk out. I can't be bothered asking what the price is on everything, I'll just go to the next shop where I know the prices of the things I'm looking at without having to lift a finger or be embarrassed.
So on that note, I believe the only time where it's appropriate to not display your pricing is when you're product is so premium and your ideal clients are wealthy enough that they don't actually care what the price is. This is a pretty rare situation for small online businesses (aka most of you reading this), but if you're going for that exclusive and premium vibe, then you can try this technique.
4. You're not in the right places
Ok, so you're sure that your services and products are perfect for your ideal customers, and the price of them is spot on. So, where are your darn dream clients already!?
Ah, good question. Where are they? They're obviously not on your website, so where are they hanging out?
Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? All of the above?
If you really know your ideal customer, you should know exactly which social media they are on, and what they do on each platform. Because let's be real, almost everyone is on social media these days.
It's a great thing for us business owners, I mean, it's basically free marketing. But it can get a bit overwhelming, there are so many platforms and we think we need to show up on all of them.
Well, I'm telling you now, we DON'T need to show up on all of them! We need to show up where our ideal clients are hanging out, and show up there well.
If your ideal client is a wealthy 50-60 year old business man, do you really need a presence on Instagram? Probably not.
Don't spread yourself thin across all of the platforms. Figure out where your people are and go there, use that platform well and wisely to bring those perfect people to your website so they can see your perfect services and your perfect pricing and BOOK!
5. You're not speaking directly to them
This is something that is so effective but so often overlooked.
When you're writing copy for your website, blog posts or social media posts, are you speaking to your ideal clients?
The two main things that you should try to do are:
- Write/speak using wording and phrases that they use.
- Addressing their pain points and how you will solve them.
Using these two things, go through your copy of your website and your previous posts and see how you can improve.
Brainstorm words and phrases that your clients would commonly use, and use them frequently in your copy.
Listen to the words or phrases your audience commonly say when they come to you asking for your help and use those same words back to them.
Every time you write or speak, consider it from your ideal clients perspective. Is this helping them? Is this solving any problems for them?
When you're writing blog posts and social media posts always think "Is this something that my audience will benefit from?" because if it's not, you're attracting someone else, and it's a waste of a post.
6. Your portfolio isn't attracting them
Another thing that is often overlooked but very important.
If you don't have a portfolio, this maybe isn't relevant. But, so many businesses do. So, are you displaying the right pieces?
We'll take the example from point #1: If you're doing Social Media Management and it's not something that you want to continue doing, don't display it in your core list of services. But just as importantly, don't display it in your portfolio!
Potential clients look to portfolios to see if you're going to be a good match. Your portfolio is a HUGE selling point for your business.
So, it's simple. Show off the work that would attract your ideal clients. Do not show off the work that would send your ideal clients away.
Less is more when it comes to your portfolio. Only display your best pieces to attract your ideal clients, don't just show everything you've ever done. Just like your services, this will spread you thin. Trying to attract everyone really means you're attracting no one.
You'll be much more successful if you get specific and clear your portfolio clutter so that it aligns with your ideal clients services.
7. Your Brand isn't attracting them
I say "Brand" but what I really mean here is your brand design. I like to clear that up because really, your brand is so much more than just your design.
But since we've really already covered the other 2 main elements of your brand above, we need to touch on design.
Equally as important, but not as often overlooked. People put a huge emphasis on getting their brand design perfect, which as a brand designer, I think that is GREAT! It's definitely important.
But, having a brand design that is gorgeous is not the same as having a brand design that is effective (but don't worry, you can have both)
Sure, you can go and choose a Logo from Etsy and whack a few things together on Canva, but is your branding going to be really effective? Unless you're a professional, probably not.
Like everything else in this post, you need to really define your ideal client before you jump into designing your brand. Because with the right brand design, you can attract your ideal clients.
You can really tell a story with your brand design, you can portray any vibe and message you want through you graphics. Whatever your ideal client wants to hear and see, you can create that with great design.
These 7 steps are so important, and they're actually pretty easy to do. As long as you know who your ideal client is, you can take these ideas and run with them.
The biggest lesson from this post that I really want you to take away is that if you're trying to sell to everyone, you're attracting no one! It can be scary to really trim the fat and get specific with your services and marketing, but once you do, you'll see that it actually brings more opportunities, better quality clients and a loyal following.
Think about that in everything you do in your business from now on, if it's not serving your ideal client, get rid of it!