If you’ve been in business for a while, you would have heard from more than one marketing expert that knowing your target audience and clients REALLY well, is the beginning of a positive upward spiral for attracting more clients to your business.
This speaks for itself, because the better you know your clients, the better you can tailor your marketing message to solve their biggest problems, the better they’ll relate to your message – making it easier for you to attract them and convert them into paying clients.
Thus, knowing your clients is critical to your business success….and it starts with your ability to put yourself in your clients’ shoes – to truly understand who they are and what they need.
So, here are 8 important things to know about your clients that will put your business and client attraction on an upward success spiral.
1) Who are they?
Everyone talks about the importance of defining a target audience and ideal client…yet very few businesses actually do it. However, the clearer you are about who you work with, the easier it will be to get to know them AND to identify places to find them.
2) Where do they spend their time?
Knowing where they spend their time, helps you to also be present – either in person or via your marketing materials.
3) What do they struggle with?
Every business has a number of frustrations and struggles that they want to get rid of. What are those struggles for your clients as it pertains to what you do? Knowing what they struggle with can help you position your business to become their problem solver.
4) Why are they struggling with it?
There is always a reason why people struggle with something. E.g. do they have these struggles due to time constraints or lack of specific knowledge and skills or lack of technology and equipment? Finding the reasons can help you tailor your services and marketing to solve those problems.
5) Why would they work with you?
Do you stand out from your competitors? What will be the deciding factor to help your clients decide that you are the one to work with?
6) Why do they need your services?
Understanding why a client needs your services means that you can approach him at the right moment when he is ready to work with you. E.g. if you provide financial tax support, you can start promoting your tax related expertise during the start of tax season, increasing the likelihood of attracting clients searching for tax help and advice, because they might not feel confident enough to do it themselves or they want to save time.
7) What do they expect when working with you?
Understanding client expectations means you can encourage a positive customer experience from the start and maximize the chance of repeat business. E.g.when you know what they expect, you can bring that into your very first client conversation to put them at ease about working with you. Then ensure you do that to retain their business.
8) What are their top 3-5 priorities / goals?
The more information you have on what your clients’ top priorities are, the better you can position your marketing and your services to assist them reaching those goals faster.
Knowing your clients is a powerful way to propel your business forward. It allows you to make positive changes in your own business to accommodate their unique and varied needs. This helps you stand out and makes you much more client attractive.
To Your Success
One of the things that make getting more clients into a services business trickier is that you are asking people to trust you with some of the more personal areas of their lives and/or business – you are asking them to trust you enough to spend a lot of money with you.
It’s tricky because in today’s “anonymous” online world, it’s not that easy to earn trust by just sending prospects a brochure or a couple of emails or having a great website or even by connecting with them via social media.
Although these are all great marketing tactics, they take time to instill and build the important “know, like and trust factor”.
Also, most people don’t buy professional and personal services from an anonymous company and certainly not the first time they land on your website. And the more personal (or the more expensive) the service you offer, the more likely this is to be true.
So here are…
5 Ways that work best for most services professionals when you want to get paying clients easy and fast.
- Meet and talk to people in person – at events or by appointment
- Reach out and talk to people via phone or Skype
- Send personal letters and emails and invite people for a short phone / Skype conversation.
- Follow up personally afterwards. Send a note to thank them for their time. Make them feel important because you’ve remembered them. Look for opportunities to stay in touch.
- Speak to groups – at your own events, meetings and conferences or on other people’s stages. Invite attendees to personal 1-to-1 discussions afterwards.
5 Reasons why personal 1-to-1 discussions with people can help you get clients.
- It is cost effective. You do not need a big marketing budget for this. It only involves a little bit of time.
- It is an excellent opportunity to build relationships. When you take the time to meet potential clients in person or over the phone, you open the door for a friendly discussion. You now have the chance to ask them questions about their concerns, problems and desires in relation to the services you offer – even understand them as an individual and not just another “anonymous” potential client.
- You can tailor your message to their specific needs or desires. During the discussion you can demonstrate you understand what they struggle with and discuss the solutions you provide to help them achieve their goals faster. This quickly instills trust.
- People prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust. It has been proven time and again that personally talking to potential clients quickly provides that element of trust they crave for making the decision to work with you.
- You overcome “marketing noise”. With personal 1-to-1 discussions, you have the client’s full attention. It creates the opportunity to be enthusiastic and energetic about what you do. You can outshine the competition and it is much more powerful than just being another email in his /her already overloaded inbox.
5 Effective tips for face-to-face meetings
- Dress for success. When you look and feel good, it does wonders for your self-confidence. People, who look and feel successful, often are.
- Be prepared. Know your ideal type clients in terms of their problems, challenges, frustrations and desires and know how your services can benefit them. Good knowledge of these basic elements can create wonders in any communication situation. Be prepared when someone asks you what you do for a living. Stuttering and stammering and “uhm” and “ah”, will not create the trust factor.
- Maintain eye contact with the person you talk to. Don’t look around the room, at a desk, or anywhere other than the person’s eyes. If multiple people are in the room, maintain eye contact with each person, rotating your eyes from person to person.
- Ask open-ended questions about their business. People like to talk about themselves and you can get wonderful information to demonstrate how you are the best person to help them.
- Listen carefully and do not interrupt when others are speaking.
Talking to people in person (or over the phone) about what you do, can be extremely effective to build relationships and find new clients.
To Your Success
Do you sometimes find yourself in a tight spot where you need to get clients NOW!? A spot where you simply cannot wait for carefully planted marketing seeds to bloom into clients over time?
Well, you’ve probably heard from many marketing gurus that the best way to get clients is through building your list and taking clients through the Know, Like and Trust (KLT) cycle where you nurture the relationship, showcase your expertise, build trust and eventually convert them into paying clients.
Although those are great strategies and can result in a steady stream of clients, the scary thing is, it is a long-term strategy. It seldom generates clients immediately.
So what do you do if you are in business, but you do not have a list already? What if you are just starting out? What activities can you undertake right now to get new clients and income this week?
The best thing you can do and the fastest way to get clients, is to personally reach out to people in your immediate sphere of influence. Yes, this means that you have to speak to people, either in person or via the telephone.
So, here are 2 very effective “Get Clients Now” tips you can start using today.
1. Get in touch with current and past clients:
There is a common (and very true) saying in business: ‘It’s easier to get a repeat sale from an existing or past client, than to get a sale from a new client.’
The reason for this is that you already took your current and past clients through the KLT cycle and they already trust you.
So, personally reach out to those clients and have meaningful conversations with them. Ask what is going on in their business. Listen if there is anything they need right now. Are there any challenges they experience? Do they need additional support that you perhaps can help them with? When you pick up on something during the discussion, a great question to get the conversation into a place where you can offer your help is this: “If I can help you solve that problem / get that result, would you like to know more about it?”
They will almost always say ‘yes’. At this point you can share more about what you have for them, how they will benefit and how to take it further.
Also, if you start delivering a new service or designed a new product or program, get in touch with your past and current clients and introduce it to them. Offer this new service / program / product from a standpoint of being of service to them. You can simply say something like: “When I thought of who might benefit from this, I immediately thought of you. Would you like to hear more about it?”
…and I guess, they probably would.
2. Ask for referrals
Have you ever heard the saying: “Ask and you will receive”? This is not only true in the biblical sense of it, but it does apply to business as well.
If you do not ask for referrals, it is highly unlikely that you’ll receive some – not because people do not want to give them, but simply because they do not always think about it. However, when you do ask, you’ll be surprised at how willing people is to help out.
So, get in touch with current and past clients and ask if they know other people like them who might benefit from your services. Odds are, they’ll likely do.
Get in touch with people in your normal circle of influence – people who already know you. Your friends, family, acquaintances, collegues…even your hairdresser. Tell them how you help your clients and very important… tell them what kind of clients you are looking for. Then ask if they know someone who fits the description. You never know if these people might have the right connections for you.
A basic script to ask for referrals are as follows: “Is there someone you know who might benefit from [getting this solution to this problem]? I’d love to get in touch with them.”
If they say yes, simply continue with: “Would it be possible to please introduce us with a three way email and mention that you referred them to me? I’ll take it from there.”
If they say no, simply ask: “Would you be on the lookout for friends and acquaintances who might benefit from [getting this solution to this problem]. If you do see a match, they are welcome to call me directly on xxx or you can introduce us via email.
When you get a referral and gets introduced, it is time to take action and personally reach out. Get those referrals on the phone and have a meaningful conversation to find out more about their business and to see if you can help them get what they want.
Bottom line: when you need clients fast, it is important NOT to play the waiting game. You simply cannot wait for people to get back to you on quotes or wait for people to send you referrals or wait for replies on emails or wait for people to contact you via your website.
Rather make the decision today, gather the courage and take action to personally reach out to people.
Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results you’ll get.
The next step: Sign up for the free action guide: “6 Steps to go from no clients to paying clients”. It will show you a proven road map to attract the clients you want. And as a bonus gift, you’ll receive more practical tips like this on a regular basis.
To Your Continued Success
I want to start today, by telling you a simple, basic truth about marketing…
People can’t work with you if they don’t know about you.
This is the first and most important principle in the expression, “people buy from people they know, like and trust.”
When it’s spelled out this way, it all sounds pretty obvious, right?
Yet, there are so many entrepreneurs who don’t have enough clients, simply because they are unwilling or even afraid to share their message and to take action on their marketing.
I’ve literally had women say things to me such as, “I don’t like to go around telling people what I do. I rather prefer to wait until I know if that person is a good fit for my business and then I let them know that I’m a coach / consultant / trainer / therapist / virtual assistant etc.”
My response is sometimes: “So how’s that working for you?” 🙂
The thing is, whether you have a professional services business, sell physical products or sell information products or some combination of those, one of the critical ingredients to growing and sustaining your business is to get your business / services / products in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
That means getting in front of many more people than just the few hundred or even a few thousand people who subscribe to your e-zine list, your Facebook fan page, follow your tweets or happen to stumble across your website.
Thus, to truly be successful and grow your small business, your marketing must include tactics and strategies that put your business and your expertise squarely in front of your ideal clients.
It is extremely important to actively extend your reach to more and more people within your target market on a continual basis.
So, how do you know which marketing and client attraction tactics are best for your business?
Well, it is those marketing tactics that:
- Effectively reach your target audience where they typically hang out.
- Easily reach a large number of your target audience with little time and energy from your side.
- You enjoy most and thus are most likely to stick with.
- Fit your time frame and budget.
A big part of this is also simple trial and error. So, don’t give up on a tactic after just one attempt. There’s always a learning curve involved, and marketing requires repetition, consistency and continuous improvement.
So, to get those creative juices flowing, below is a list of more than 30 ways to market and get your business in front of more eyeballs.
- Know who you want to work with
- Have a magnetic marketing message and 30s self-intro that engages people
- Know how many clients you need, to reach your income goals per month
- Have an effective marketing plan
- Go to networking events
- Hold a grand opening/re-opening of your business
- Host your own live events and workshops
- Invite target clients to a wine tasting
- Join the board or organizing committee of 1 or more associations
- Speak to groups at least once per week
- Have a client attractive website
- Place your URL in all your social media profiles
- Write a free e-book, special report or e-course to give away
- Use keywords to improve your website ranking
- Submit your website to online directories
- Blog regularly
- Contribute guest articles to blogs
- Hold tele-classes, webinars
- Invest in pay-per-click advertising on sites like Facebook , Google, Yahoo! and Bing
- Submit articles regularly to article sites
- Post videos on YouTube showcasing your expertise
- Join forums where your target market spends time
- Send out a regular newsletter / e-zine
- Create a direct mail campaign – newsletter, postcards, etc.
- Call a client / new prospect each day
- Contact a local magazine to do an article on you
- Invest in “yard” signs
- Pass out flyers
- Have a custom iPhone App developed
- Identify the 20 percent who can get you the 80 percent
- Show up at places that scare you
- Continuously improve your marketing skills
- Have a coach / mentor
There’s truly no limit to the creative ways you can get your business in front of more people and attract more clients. The above list is by no means complete, but it will get you started for now…..and remember, effective marketing and getting more clients ask that you only take one small step every day to expand your reach.
So, start small, take consistent action and expand from there.
I also want you to understand that when you offer a service or product that can improve someone’s life (which most of us do), then you’re doing a disservice to the world by not letting more people know about it.
So, go out there, do your marketing with confidence and create some awesome client chemistry this week!
To Your Success!!
Image source: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Every person has knowledge that other people will find valuable.
There will always be people who don’t know what YOU know about your industry, trade or line of work.
So, here are 5 different ways to use that knowledge buried deep inside your head, to help more people, to grow your client base and to grow your income.
1. Create Written Content:
The first way, clients and others can learn from you or learn more about you is to read information that you’ve written. This means that you can create how-to solutions for your target audience through things like articles, blog posts, e-books, guides, transcripts and workbooks that they can simply read.
For Example: Let’s say someone is an avid bonsai tree enthusiast**. He can create an e-book or guide around some solution he provides to one or more of the pressing problems people have with growing or pruning their beloved bonsais. He can post the e-book online so people can download it and even choose if he wants to charge money for it OR offer it for free in exchange for someone’s email address.
2. Create Audio Content:
Your target audience might want to hear your information in an audio format. This can lead you to creating podcasts, audio CDs, audio programs, mp3 recordings, tele-classes or one-on-one calls.
For Example: Our bonsai enthusiast can take a few articles he has written on bonsais and create podcasts from it to put on iTunes. Or he can create a step by step “how-to” information guide that teaches his audience the steps, concepts or framework to grow and prune the perfect bonsai and sell it as an audio program.
3. Create Visual Content
Video is the buzz word these days as more and more people want to watch information on a computer or mobile device. So create videos, webinars, online programs or DVD home study courses.
For Example: Our bonsai guy can create a video of how he trims his bonsais and publish it on Youtube for people to watch. He can even create a series of videos with step by step instructions and sell it as a DVD program or online video course.
4. Create an Experience
Some clients might want to experience you and your information in person. So you can create live events like workshops, seminars, retreats, adventure trips, networking opportunities and even expos.
For Example: Our bonsai guy can arrange an expo where everybody showcases their beloved bonsais and then he can give them some tips and pointers during the expo to help them improve on their “bonsai” skills.
5. Create An Opportunity For Personal Service Or Mastery
A segment of your audience will always want to have more access to you and work with you in person. Or they’ll want to master the things you teach. For these clients you can create exclusive 1-on-1 service packages and programs, mastermind groups or private coaching and mentorship opportunities.
For Example: Our bonsai guy can create a mentoring program where he exclusively helps someone (or even a small group) to master the finer details of growing and trimming a bonsai. He can even deliver a trimming service for his clients and prune their bonsais for them.
Diversifying you knowledge into different modalities gives you multiple entry points for clients to know about you and to work with you. Someone might read an article and enter your client pipeline that way. Someone might see one of your videos on YouTube and as a result buy one of your video programs.
It also allows you to help more people. Because if someone cannot afford to work with you 1-on-1 or take part in one of your “mastery” services or programs, you can still help them in different ways through free and paid written, audio or video content or via providing an opportunity where they can personally experience what you do.
So here is what I want you to do today: Use the 5 different approaches explained above and think about how you can use your current knowledge in one or more ways to help more people, to grow your client base and to grow your income.
Caveat. You do not have to do all 5. Obviously that will be great and something to work towards. But, in the beginning, just start with one and gradually add other modalities over time.
Just think how this can extend your reach and your capability to help more people by allowing your ideas, your systems, your framework, your knowledge, your services transforms the lives of people you’ve never even met.
Let’s DO this!
To Your success
**PS: I just want to let you know that I’m not a bonsai enthusiast. In fact I know absolute nothing about bonsai trees. It just popped into my mind as an example when I was thinking about explaining the different ways to use your knowledge. So, if I could come up with some ideas to re-purpose knowledge on a topic that I don’t have any understanding about, just image what you can come up with on those topics that you are really knowledgeable about. 🙂
Image source: Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
PS: “Did you enjoy this article? The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others. It’s really easy! Just use the buttons below. Thanks!”
Bill Cosby said “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
That is some pretty good marketing advice as well, because your marketing message can take your business to the next level and as a solo-preneur it is foolish to try and be all things to all people. If you are trying to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of clients, you may end up being so generic that you’re not meeting the specific needs of any one target group.
Alternatively, when you focus on (and thoroughly understand) a specific smaller target audience, it enables you to develop an effective marketing message that will resonate with them and bring more high quality, ideal clients to your doorstep.
Take for example a person that sells insurance.
Who needs insurance? Individuals? Employers? Small businesses? Large corporations? Well, the answer is all of them – but their needs are not the same. So, if the insurance guy focuses on one targeted group (for example self-employed individuals), he can truly understand what makes that group “tick”….and it will be totally different from what large corporations or even small business owners need. But by understanding his target audience, he is in the best possible position to develop a strong marketing message that resonates with that specific group and enables him to attract them as clients.
So What Is A Marketing Message?
Your marketing message is what you communicate to your target audience. It is the big idea and solution you want to share with the world.
The way I look at it is like this: you want your marketing message to be compelling – a way of describing your business to your ideal client that will make them respond enthusiastically; a message that will make them say: “Wow. You are exactly what I’ve been looking for all this time. How quickly can I start working with you?”
To get this type of enthusiastic response, it is critically important to have a message that positively resonates with your audience. And because people are naturally wired according to the what-is-in-it-for-me-principle, your marketing message needs to tell them that. Thus, as a minimum, your message needs to include a description of:
- Who you work with (your ideal clients / target audience);
- What particular struggles or problems they’re experiencing right now;
- How working with you will solve those problems;
Where Can I Use My Marketing Message?
Once you’re clear on all the above points, you can use it in various formats.
You can use it in:
- A written message. For example the content on your website, a sales page, the bio in an article that you’ve written, a brochure or your business card. In other words any content or marketing materials that you write and people read.
- A verbal message. This can be your 30s introduction speech when people ask you what you do for a living or your signature talk, at networking events or any other verbal communication where you speak to people about your business and what you offer.
- A visual message. That is your website look and feel, your business name, logo, tagline, the colors you use, your videos, the total image you project to the outside world.
…and it’s important that all three work in unison to send out the same message.
Why Is It So Fundamentally Important to Get My Message Right?
People are naturally wired according to the “WIIFM” way of thinking. Before they make a decision to work with you, they immediately think: “What’s In It For Me”.
Just think about it. You are bombarded with so many marketing messages every day: via email or on TV, over the radio and on billboards when they drive around. And the truth is: if those marketing messages are not directed to you specifically, your mind automatically filters out 99% and you simply ignore it! Right? You don’t take action on any of them.
But when you see something and realize: “There’s something in it for me”. That is when you suddenly stop and take notice.
It is the same for your prospects and clients. So, your marketing message must specifically addresses your target audience, so their minds can immediately pick up the wave and know there’s something in it for them.
Remember… it is your marketing message that takes your business to the next level because it can ignite your audience into action and position you as the leader in your field. The big idea of your marketing message is to join the conversation that’s already going on in the heads of your target market so that you connect effortlessly with your audience, they feel understood on the deepest level, and you are naturally perceived as the expert you are.
So go out today and create your compelling and jaw dropping marketing message and if you’d like more support on crafting a powerful and effective message that magnetizes and gets your target audience to fall in love with you, check out my Create More Marketing Momentum Program here.
To Your Success!