All of the experts online talk about ideal clients and how you can do things to attract them. I know from experience that you can easily book clients, but that doesn’t mean you’re landing your ideal clients. I used to struggle to book the type of work I wanted to be working on, and I know if I struggled with this then you may as well.
So in today’s episode, we’re chatting about why you’re not booking your ideal clients so you can work on landing all of those dream projects in 2019!
You don’t actually know your ideal clients
So first and foremost, this may seem obvious, but it’s a good reminder – if you’re not booking your ideal clients, you may want to ask yourself if you actually know who they are. Now, we talked about this in depth in episode 54, but part of this comes down to niching your business. You have to do more than say you want to work with “business owners” or “female creatives” because for most of the communities we’re in online that describes everyone.
Instead, take some time to actually get to know your ideal client. Ask yourself these questions:
- What aesthetics are they drawn to?
- What matters to them?
- What are they struggling with in their business?
- What goals do they have?
Make a note of who your ideal clients are and keep it with your brand files on your computer or on a sticky note on your desk. Make sure you refer back to it every time you’re creating new content, services, or products for your business.
You’re marketing to other designers
So now that you’re getting a little introspective, I want you to take a second to consider the past 5 pieces of content you’ve put online. Who were they created for? Before I started intentionally creating content for designers, I did this a lot by accident. A great example of this is posting to Instagram and using design related hashtags. Yes, your clients may be looking at those hashtags, but it’s much better to use hashtags related to their niche.
Even if you want to create informational content for other designers or lifestyle content just for fun, the bulk of your content should be created for your clients. This doesn’t just mean social media, either. Think about your blog posts and newsletters as well. Refer back to the questions we asked above to help you get an idea of who your ideal clients are and what they’re struggling with so you can create content specifically for them.
You’re not designing for your ideal clients
This may not be the first thing you’re paying attention to, and truthfully, this is a chicken before the egg situation. I fell into this trap with a lot of the client projects I had several years ago. I wanted clients who were looking for a more sophisticated design, but I kept getting the same ol’ projects of bloggers who wanted the trendy look their peers had. This is a hard situation to get out of, but it’s possible!
The biggest thing I recommend here is to make sure your portfolio and website are reflecting the work you want to be doing. It took me waaay too long to do this with my portfolio, and I know once I adjusted what I was showing off I stopped getting so many inquiries for the work I didn’t necessarily want to be doing. But think about this: like attracts like. So the design work you’re currently doing and showing off online is going to attract more people who want that same style. If you’re struggling to book people with a different aesthetic, create a personal project or two that will align with that different style you like working on and get those in your portfolio. If you want to hear us chat more about portfolios, be sure to head over to episode 22!
Your services are confusing / overwhelming
This is very related to the type of design work you’re creating. Now hear us out here: you don’t have to offer everything under the sun to get your ideal clients. In fact, we talked about this in episode 67. While you’re laying out your services, especially as you consider it for the new year, you want to make sure that everything you’re offering is easy to understand. This is something we talked about in episode 47.
It’s really important to offer exactly what your ideal clients need. For example, if your ideal clients are established brands who need a design assistant to create graphic on the go, then offering branding is not going to land those clients. So go back to the questions we asked at the beginning of the episode and create 2-3 services that will help them with what they’re struggling with.
- Define your ideal client
- Review your content, portfolio, and services to make sure those things are working for you to attract those ideal clients
- Wow Your Clients – Define your ideal clients and create a stellar client experience exactly for them. Use the code ‘podcast’ for 15% off!
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