Learn how to avoid bad clients or clients who simply aren’t a good fit and find the amazing clients who are a perfect fit and happy to pay your full rate.
Whether you’re offering freelance services or you’re an agency, there is one thing you can’t survive without — clients. If your business model is centered around providing client services, clients are both your greatest need and biggest asset, because without them there is no business.
To maintain or grow your freelance business, you need a consistent stream of enjoyable clients who value what you do, respect your expertise, happily pay your full rate, and are ready to get started. But, if you’ve been working with clients for any length of time, you know that description doesn’t even come close to accurate for all clients.
So how do you avoid the so-called bad clients or clients who simply aren’t a good fit for your agency and find the amazing clients who are a perfect fit?
There are three steps to attracting all the ideal clients you’ll ever need:
- Narrow your focus
- Expand your visibility
- Position your expertise
STEP 1: Narrow Your Focus
Often, bad clients aren’t really bad clients, they’re just not the right client for you. If you’ve found yourself struggling with difficult clients and you’re uninspired to do the work you’ve been hired for, chances are you’re casting your client attraction net too wide.
When you try to serve everyone, you end up serving no one well. When your marketing messages are general and broad-reaching, few will take notice. And, if you say yes to every prospect that comes along, you end up with projects you don’t like and clients that seem impossible to please. Instead, it’s critical that you narrow your focus to a specific niche and build your expert reputation for that niche—this could be a specific client persona, type of service, or industry.
Think about using a small hand-held net to scoop the exact fish you want from a giant fish tank instead of using a big mechanical net to scoop up all the fish and then weeding through them to find the one fish you wanted.
When you narrow your focus, all branding, marketing, and sales efforts can be:
- Created to solve precise industry challenges
- Tailored to speak directly to and resonate with an ideal client
- Centered around a distinct service package or offering
The key is gaining clarity around:
- Who you serve
- What problems you solve
- What service you provide
- How you are different from others
- What big results your clients achieve
- Why you’re the best choice
When your branding, marketing, and sales messages are crystal clear, it becomes easy for prospects to identify themselves as a perfect fit, which means you’ll not only attract more ideal clients, you’ll enjoy a shorter sales cycle.
STEP 2: Expand Your Visibility
No one can hire you to build a WordPress website if they don’t know that you exist. Once you’ve decided to sell WordPress services, your new primary job as a freelancer or agency owner is making sure that other people, especially those in your niche, know that you exist, how you can help, and why you’re the best choice.
You need to exponentially expand your visibility through highly-targeted, strategic branding and marketing initiatives.
All of your efforts should be on building your brand reputation and getting your business in front of your niche in as many ways as possible:
- Find out if there are relevant industry or trade organizations, join them, and take advantage of any member benefits that would increase visibility.
- Research which networking events, conferences, workshops, and seminars your niche typically goes to and invest in attending, sponsoring, or speaking.
- Identify the experts and centers of influence your niche looks to for information, build personal relationships with these leaders and look for ways to partner or align your brand with theirs.
- Discover what Facebook groups or online communities exist to serve your niche and join them—even if that means paying for access.
- Invest in advertising and marketing initiatives both online and offline.
In today’s fast-paced, overcrowded marketplace, your prospects are bombarded with sales messages and overwhelmed with distractions, so your efforts to be seen must be clear, consistent, and constant. And, the best time to double-down on those efforts is when you’re busy so your pipeline of new clients is always full.
If you need to catch a fish for dinner, you wouldn’t spend the day fishing in a lake with little to no fish, nor would you drop a hook and bait in the water then ignore it all day. Instead, you’d find a body of water with the most fish possible, test different fishing spots, try different tackle and bait, and cast and recast several times. Simply put, you need to put forth a lot of effort to get your bait in front of a fish who is ready to bite—and if you’re smart, you’ll catch more than one fish so you know you’ll have dinner tomorrow too.
STEP 3: Position Your Expertise
While narrowing your focus and expanding your visibility will catch the attention of ideal prospects, it’s not enough to convince them of your expertise and guarantee a booked-solid business. You also need to position your expertise in the market so you become a trusted thought leader and go-to resource.
Your ideal clients have a challenge or problem they can’t solve on their own and they’re looking for the best solution—an expert to hire that will take care of their needs, architect a solution, take away some stress. You have the experience, knowledge, skills, and expertise prospects need and it’s up to you to make sure they understand that.
Just a few ways to do this include:
- Use case studies and testimonials to showcase past projects, successes, and positive results.
- Leverage your credibility to demonstrate industry and niche authority.
- Publish blog posts, articles, white papers, and ebooks on topics your prospects need help with, areas they want to improve, and questions they need answers for.
- Speak at events, be a guest on podcasts, and host webinars to share your wisdom and expertise.
- Participate in the online communities your niche frequents—skip the self-promotion and focus on answering all questions remotely related to your niche and the services you offer.
Positioning yourself as the best choice and not just another choice is all about packaging your expertise in a way that makes it look as appealing and tasty as possible because when you drop your bait in the water, you want the big fish to bite without hesitation.
The Logical Next Step
By effectively narrowing your focus, expanding your visibility, and positioning your expertise, your freelance business or agency will be primed to attract a consistent stream of enjoyable clients who value what you do, respect your expertise, happily pay your full rate, and are ready to get started. And, with a strategic WordPress lead inquiry form, you can effectively segment and qualify each prospect to weed out the tire-kicking prospects who aren’t a good fit and make room for the amazing, ideal clients who are.
This article was originally written for and published at Liquid Web.