This is the 2nd post of a marketing series by Jenna Kutcher. Did you miss the 1st post? Read it here.
Let’s talk about ideal clients! If you feel like you have a good grasp on your brand, the way it should make people feel, and the standards you will hold for it, it’s time to figure who your audience is and how to reach them. Sounds easy right? Well, it isn’t. One of the biggest questions I get when I teach marketing is, “How do I reach the right people?!” It’s hard, it’s super dang hard and I totally understand that, so let me tell you a little story before we dive into the good stuff.
When I first started my career as a wedding photographer, I was absolutely clueless. I needed to book 25 weddings in order to leave the security (and salary) of my windowless corporate job that had me wearing red and khaki every day, and so I was out to hustle. Any time I saw someone post that they had gotten engaged, I would send them a message on Facebook along the lines of, “Hey, I’m a wedding photographer, you should hire me.”
While it may have worked a tiny bit in terms of starving artist strategies, I missed one key point: every engaged human would not be my ideal client, in fact, I probably wasn’t the right fit for most of those people showing off their new bling!
Where was I confused? I was screaming into the void of social media and hoping that people would bite. I assumed that every bride was equipped to be my bride and so instead of talking to the right people, I was merely talking to anyone who would listen. Does this sound like you? Throwing out info, feeling like a scammy salesperson, and praying that it somehow lands in the laps of the right people… you know, the ones who will pay you to do what you love.
So who are your ideal clients? That’s for you to determine! I do an exercise every few months where I dream up my ideal client. I think of things like: where they shop, what the eat, their favorite clothing brands, how they spend their time, what’s important to them… and so on. Doing this helps me remember the types of posts that appeal to them (and the best part? They are a lot like ME!).
Y’all, I totally understand that it’s super frustrating when you’re getting inquiries that aren’t even close to the right fit or people who just want to price shop you. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re never going to make it because it feels like your ideal client doesn’t exist, or that you’ll be stuck working with budget clients for forever–I’ve been there, okay?
Here’s how to fix that: stop talking to the void. Direct your messaging to those 10 or 20 or 50 clients you need, not the 1000’s of people who may be potentially interested in your services. When you stop sounding sales-y, stop pumping out generic information to the general public, and stop using a voice that sounds like everyone else in your industry, your business will transform.
Want to get things changing today? Follow these three steps:
1. Go against the flow of your industry: only dead fish go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to be different, give people a chance to choose you (not just price shop you to see where your $$ fall.) You are more than your services, show that off! Your “about me” page is a great place to begin and I’ve created a free 10 minute training and cheat sheet on how to make a compelling bio for any business!
2. Refine your voice. Anything you post online, share in emails, or tie your work to should be in a voice that can be recognized as you! If you aren’t sure if things sound the way you talk, literally read them out loud. Make sure that the way you speak and the way you write are cohesive!
3. Focus on communicating to the people who are your clients not just any one who might need your services. When I stopped trying to reach every single engaged bride-to-be and started to focus on reaching the 15 brides that will love me, my work, and my style, things started to change.
You can do it, your ideal clients are out there! Start targeting them in a way they will respond to and invite them to get to know you beyond the services provide or the work you create! You are so much more than what you do!