“I can’t find clients!” Oh, how many times we have heard that at networking events and business gatherings around town. This statement begs so many questions, such as – Do you really believe that there are no clients out there for you? Are you really looking? Are you looking for the right clients in the right place at the right price with the right marketing strategy? Do you have a marketing strategy and are you working it consistently?
Think of it like fishing. Are you fishing in a pond that contains the fish that you are interested in catching? Are you using the correct net to catch or bait that will attract the fish you’re looking for? You are never going to catch bass if you are fishing in a lake full of only pike, regardless of what kind of fortune you have spent on fancy on bait.
The most important thing, that cannot be stressed enough, is to make sure you are crystal clear on your target market and your ideal client. You MUST know this to understand if you are doing the right things to attract the right clients to you. Know your Avatar! Be an expert in their demographics, characteristics, motivations, hangouts, etc.
Knowing your target market and ideal client will guide you to where and how to spend your marketing time and dollars most efficiently and effectively. You will know where your customer spends their time, what marketing strategy will work best for them, and the way to package and sell your product in a way that will be most attractive to them.
With thorough knowledge of your ideal client, you can craft a clear, attractive message that invites them to do business with you. It will be something they understand and connect with. The message needs to be consistent and you must be persistent about presenting it.
There is a myriad of ways to attract clients these days. You have traditional physical marketing such as networking, direct mail, radio, tv, etc.; and virtual or digital marketing such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to name a few. Make sure you are using the best marketing tool for attracting your target client, be consistent – even when business is booming.
If you are unclear on your ideal client or their habits, do market analysis. There are tools available to track digital marketing channels (some are free.) You can also tap into grassroots methods, such as talking with others to find out what is working, e.g. former clients, competitors, and industry experts. In Chapter 3 of our bestselling book, Suck It Up, Buttercup: 10 Tough-Love Strategies To Get You Off Your Butt and Making Money, we share strategies for gaining access to your client base and offer powerful exercises you can work through to improve your client acquisition.
Marketing is all about testing, analyzing, and fine tuning along the way to hone in on what works best for your business. Another important thing to understand is your close rate for each of your marketing avenues. Different marketing sources come with differences in people’s ability and willingness to buy from you.
A quick word about networking. Do it! Let other business owners get to know you and learn about your business. Clearly convey your ideal client. This way, when they are talking with someone who says, “Hey, I need a ________. Do you know of anyone?”, your network contact will immediately think of you.
We have said before, building a successful, profitable, sustainable business takes smart work. It also takes a particular mindset. Know that there are clients out there for you. Do the work it takes to create a plan to find your clients, attract, and retain them. Be deliberate, consistent and persistent.
And know that you don’t need to do it alone! Visit a KMA Network Chapter to tap into friendly, collaborative business owners who love to share learnings and mastermind for each other’s success.