Picture the scene: you’ve just signed up a fabulous client. You’re jumping around with a great big grin on your face, thinking of all the lovely cash that’s going to be pouring into your bank account.  But fast forward a few months, and you’re now swearing under your breath every time you see this client’s name in your inbox.  Sod the money – you’d rather be broke than put up with someone who gives you the run around and moans every time you send an invoice. You’re cursing the day you ever said yes to working with this person.

Have you experienced something similar?  Whether it’s happened to you or not, I’m sure you’ve heard stories about “pain in the ass” clients.  Those people who expect you to jump to attention whatever the hour of day or night, but always drag their feet when it comes to paying your invoices.  Basically they want a first class service at a second class price.

Now many people will tell you that difficult clients are all part of being in business.  You’ve got to accept the rough with the smooth.  And that’s absolutely true up to a point.  But you didn’t go into business to spend your time running around after people who don’t value what you do.  So how can you focus on bringing in clients who appreciate what you do and are happy to pay you great wads of cash for it?

Well let me ask you a simple question: “Who do you work with?”.  Can you describe the type of people you’re looking to attract to your business?

If you can’t then don’t worry, you’re not alone.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea either when I first set up in business.  I knew that I wanted to work with people who would pay top dollar for what I did but I had no clue as to who these people were or what they looked like.  Whenever anyone asked me this, my brain would go into reverse as I stuttered and stammered before finally bursting out with something along the lines of “anyone with a pulse!”.

Let’s be honest here: as someone fairly new to running your own business, your initial focus is to get people to work with you so you can bring in the money to pay the bills.  You don’t want to start saying no to people who want to hire you – especially when there’s a big fat zero in your bank account and you’ve got bills to pay!  Also if you’re superstitious like me, you don’t want to start saying no too often in case it sends out a signal that you don’t want any work at all.  I used to get so stressed out about this that I had visions of work drying up completely, and me ending up as a bag lady living out on the streets!

But there’s 2 very good reasons why you shouldn’t sign up every Tom, Dick and Harriet who walks through your door:

By working with anyone and everyone, you’ll find that a big chunk of your time and energy is being spent working with people who don’t value who you are and what you do. And while they’re building their business on the back of your hard work, you’re running around earning peanuts without an hour to spare to think about how you can grow your business to suit you.

Your marketing efforts will be bland, boring and ignored as you pump out generic messages that don’t engage the people who need to hear them. You can’t create compelling marketing messages if you have no idea who you need to be getting in front of and the challenges they face.

Knowing your ideal client is essential to growing a fulfilling business Click To Tweet

So finding out who you want to work with is essential if you want to run a business that not only inspires and fulfills you, but starts to bring in some real money.

But how do you do it?  Is it like dating?  Do you have to kiss a lot of frogs until you find your prince (or princess)?

Luckily no kissing of frogs is required!

And I’m not going to start talking about attracting your “ideal client” and creating a “customer avatar” either.  My mission is to ditch the jargon and make it easy for entrepreneurs to understand what they need to do to get in front of the right people for their business.

Here’s what you need to do…

Block out an hour in your diary, sit down with a pen and paper, or open up a blank computer screen – and answer the following questions.  (Examples in brackets).

  • What kind of people most benefit from what you do in terms of gender, age group, job type, income level, location?
    (Solo entrepreneurs established for at least 2 years, based in the UK)
  • What are the main challenges they’re facing?
    (Overwhelm, getting little or no clients from marketing)
  • What’s the main benefit people get from what you do?
    (Clear strategy on how to get in front of right people for their business)
  • Why are you offering this service? What inspired you to do what you’re doing?
    (I’ve been there myself and now sharing strategies that worked for me)
  • What type of people/businesses do you like to work with?
    (Coaches, consultants, therapists)
  • When people are searching for what you do, what kind of things would they be looking for? (You can get inspiration from what your competitors are offering).
    (Range of packages, personal service, evidence of experience)
  • How do you like to work?
    (Virtually, flexible hours)
  • What are your core values?
    (Honesty, integrity, openness, co-operation)

Now use the answers to create a profile of the person who you would love to work with, who would love to work with you and has the money to pay for what you do.

And if you’ve spent too much time kissing frogs, then contact us now.  We can help you to connect with your dream clients so you can start to grow a business that rocks both you and your bank account!

About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

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