How To Attract Only Ideal Client’s To Build Business Great
There is no business without clients. But not every client is going to help you build your business. Here’s how to pick and attract only the ones that can.
Oh, as if you weren’t doing enough already!
In spite of so many odds, Google updates and instability of the industry, you still deliver results. You report regularly and explain every SEO intricacy. Hell, you answer even the silliest questions, respond to support calls on weekends, put up with the most unreasonable requests and even update their WordPress installations when needed.
And yet, they still want more.
Who? Clients of course.
I am sure there were days when you secretly hoped they didn’t exist. When you looked at those guys running successful affiliate businesses, seemingly free of clients and problems they generate, thinking how lucky they are.
But like it or not, there is no business without clients. Even those companies that seem client-free do have customers. They might not be as vocal as clients in services but they’re still there, with their support calls and feature requests.
Being a fan of simplicity, I classify customers in two categories:
the right ones and,
the not-so-right ones.
And the secret to running a healthy business is in realising who each are and attracting the first kind only.
1. Start by Creating Your Ideal Client Profile
Before you do anything, you need to establish who you want to work with. But I’m sure you can identify your ideal clients’ characteristics without thinking much about them. Most likely these would be people who:
- Value your service.
- Never ask you to lower your prices.
- Pay on time.
- Understand what your services can help them accomplish.
- Refer you to others.
- Come back to buy more.
- Support you emotionally and financially.
Use this as a guideline in creating the profile. Take this list and match it with you current customers to see who makes up your top clients. Next, pick your top 5 clients and compare them, looking for similarities. These will make up your ideal client characteristics. You can use them to identify ideal clients in the future.
2. Set Prices According to Your Ideal Customer Profile
Your price sets the expectation of value. Moreover, it communicates who you want to speak to. Many customers use it as the main differentiator between vendors and depending on their perception of value, choose either the best or the cheapest guy.
When setting up your prices, apart from the typical advice on costs and profit margins, consider also how it communicates with your target audience. Following Nick Reese’s categorisation, there are 4 archetypes of clients when it comes to price:
Irrationally Free – the first group are high maintenance and low paying clients. They are demanding, at the same time, they focus on one thing only – getting things for free. And the minute they realise that they can, they’re gone.
Price Shoppers – these clients constantly seek the best deals. You can spot them from afar by their haggling. They never seem to be satisfied with the price and are on the lookout for yet another deal.
But, there can be some great clients among them. And certainly, this is a group of clients to target when you’re only starting out. They might not pay you your ideal fee. At the same time, they might let you get away with many mistakes you are bound to make at the beginning.
Value Seekers – these clients are focused on how they can get the best results at a fair price. They see the value your business provides and are willing to pay for it. Many of your ideal customers would fall into this category.
Results Driven – As the label suggests, these clients are focused solely on results. They are great to work with but you really need to be the best at what you do to satisfy them.
Your price will send a clear message about which group you want to attract. Set a very low price and you may only see the Irrationally Free clients knocking on your door. But a too-high one, not backed up by experience and results might not guarantee even the Results-Driven clients.
3. Communicate your intentions
Next, rewrite your marketing copy to state clearly who you want to work with. All your marketing communications should now boast about your ideal client. You can include a short indication of them in your business tagline, website or brochure copy and include their description in your elevator pitch etc.
4. Review your competition
You don’t do business on your own. There are other businesses trying to attract similar clients. To attract them to your company, you need to differentiate it from your competition. Compare your offering with theirs, find out what you do better and improve those. It could be insane customer service, education for clients, qualifications, proprietary software or anything else that makes you stand out.
5. Predict your customer behaviour
Lastly, you need to be where your ideal clients are. Every customer takes a specific path in search for a vendor. They may start with a Google search or asking around for recommendations. Your task is to align yourself on this path. This could mean restructuring your entire marketing, introducing new channels to your marketing mix or modifying and strengthening the existing ones. The point is that you need to position your message right in front of the very people it is addressed to.
What to do with your current clients?
The transition from working with any client that comes your way to servicing only a particular customer type will take time. You may have to work hard for a couple of months before you even see an indication of a new, ideal client base forming. Therefore your current clients, even though that don’t meet your new criteria might be needed to support you during this process. Having said that, you should consider letting go of the most problematic ones. Even if only to make space for more ideal clients to come onboard.