The number one question we get when talking about positioning and branding yourself to attract your dream client is: “But what if I don’t know who my dream client is?”
Whether you’re transitioning career paths, pivoting to try out a new offering or service, or entirely new to your creative career – you might not only be wondering “how do I get more clients?” but trying to figure out “who the heck is this client, exactly?”
So, I’m going to give you my best advice for identifying the dream client you’ve never had.
Before we dig in – I want to tell you that we’re going to be hosting a free mini-training where we’ll be deep-diving on getting more of the clients you want on Friday, March 31st. Save your spot here >>
To attract dream clients, you have to be clear about who you are and what you’re offering.
If you stumble over telling people what you do and are vague about what you deliver after they hire you, you will confuse any potential customers or worse… attract terrible fits. It’s important that you are able to articulate what you deliver and for whom – on your website, social media profiles, and in your content and conversations.
Who isn’t your dream client?
Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you want by getting clear about what you don’t want. So let’s begin by identifying who isn’t your dream client.
Now, if you really don’t know who your dream client isn’t, it might be a good idea to collect information as you go. Say yes more than you say no, and take note of what works and what doesn’t along the way.
Who do you already know that fits the profile?
Even if you’ve never worked with your dream client, you probably already know who they are. Write down a list of everybody you know (I recently read that we have the capacity to hold 150 names at any given time in our minds – so aim for 150). As you read through that list cross off anyone who is an instant “no.” For anyone that is left, begin asking yourself:
It’s a lot of work, but once you begin to analyze the dream client you already know, you will begin to see common threads and make patterns out of what your potential dream client struggles with and what they desire. And the more you can speak to your dream clients’ exact stresses and desires, the more they will trust that you can really see them for who they are – and the more they will want to hire you to solve their problem, coach them to the next level, or buy your product that will deliver what they really need to know.
Now, write that person a helpful email (but publish it to your entire audience).
Once you know exactly who your dream client is, go ahead and write them an email. Read it out loud. Does it sound like something you would actually say to that specific person? And if you were to actually share this content with your dream customer, what kinds of follow-up or clarifying questions would they ask next?
Be sure to include that next-level information in your email too – that’s where the secret sauce is. Now… publish this email as a blog post or newsletter that goes out to your entire list! It might feel too specific since you were just writing it to one person but – I promise – that’s the content that resonates with hundreds.
>> Free mini-training: GET THE DREAM CLIENTS YOU WANT<<
Join Tara & Kathleen for a live webinar on March 31st at 12PM central
Save your spot here
(A recording will be available at the same link you RSVP)
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Kathleen here. I want to tell you a few secrets – Tara and I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs. In fact, before creating Braid Creative, we had never really imagined working for ourselves. We were perfectly comfortable collecting gold stars (and a paycheck with a matching 401k) from somebody else.
But here’s another secret: even with our lack of experience, we were profitable since day one. Our goal was to simply replace our day job salaries, but I was surprised when in our first year of business together, I made more than I ever had working as an art director at an advertising agency.
What’s the secret to being profitable since day one? We positioned ourselves as creative experts, created really good content, and narrowed in on our offering to attract just the right dream customers.
I recently invited Tara to chat with us on the Being Boss podcast to chat with us about:
P.S. The Braid Method Branding ECourse is where we share everything we know, plus helpful how-tos, on how to package and position yourself to attract more dream clients. It’s now open to new students. Learn more and register for this DIY complete-at-your-own-pace branding course.
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I have an incredibly talented friend (and former Braid client) who makes a living as a professional photographer. We were recently hanging out and she was sharing her business insights and frustrations alike with me. This friend of mine is incredibly grateful for the clients she has, the reputation she’s building, and the work she is getting, but like any creative entrepreneur, there are seasons when she’s racking her brain to come up with new tactics and ideas to book her schedule solid with dream clients. Since chatting with my friend, I’ve been racking my brain thinking of ways she can get more clients too. So this post is for her (but I have a feeling it might help you too).
It’s easy enough to say “I want more clients,” which was what my friend was originally expressing in her frustrations, but that’s not an easily measurable goal. So I asked my friend over the course of our conversation to get more specific and she said, “I want to book 20 weddings this year.” Okay! Now we have a number to work with. 20 weddings a year = 5 per quarter.
1B. MAKE SPACE FOR YOUR GOALS
My favorite tool for making my goals visual is The Chalkboard Method. So I would advise my friend to create her own chalkboard pronto. (Seriously, it works.)
Knowing that booking weddings are her goal, she can now put her efforts toward booking couples getting married. However, before you even begin marketing toward those brides or grooms, begin nurturing your relationships with wedding venues, event planners, florists, and caterers. These are the folks that are going to recommend you and help you create a name for yourself within the industry. Here are just a couple ideas for nurturing those valuable relationships:
Gay marriage is still newly legal (yay!) which means a lot more gay couples are getting, well, married. My friend was telling me how much she’d love to photograph more LGBTQ couples, and many LGBTQ couples shopping for vendors are cautiously looking for folks who will be enthusiastic and supportive of their union. My friend already has LGBTQ couples in her portfolio, but using gender-neutral language when talking about couples, and explicitly telling her potential clients on your website that she is LGBTQ friendly could go a long way in getting more dream clients.
My photographer friend takes really amazing boudoir-style shots of women out in nature. So, while she wants more weddings (that pay the bills!) my thought is to ask brides if they’d be game for a sexy shoot they can surprise their spouse-to-be with. Including the kind of photos you want to be known for in the packages you’re already getting hired for is a great way to boost your portfolio with the kind of work you want to be known for.
The other day I noticed that my friend has over 20k followers on Instagram, and she’s great about consistently posting, but wasn’t so great at explicitly reminding her audience to hire her. She was unsure about bombarding her followers with calls to action. but creative professionals have to make a living by consistently selling themselves. You can’t worry too much about what other people might think when your livelihood is at stake. Trust that people want to hire you, they just need to be consistently reminded that you are available.
These are little nuggets of advice that are simple enough and can make a big difference in your bottom line. I hope these not only help my photographer friend land more dream clients but that you’re able to take away a few tidbits you can apply to your own small business.
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