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Client Acquisition Strategies
Are your current clients bubbling with enthusiasm about your work? Are you being a big hit together? No? Well it might be you have the wrong clients. It may be time to try some new client acquisition strategies and be rid of much of the grind you’re experiencing.
If your consulting or marketing agency clients aren’t giving you glowing commendations about your work and contribution, you’re doing no one any favors by continuing with them.
Get the right clients and everything changes. This post on strategy reiterates what should always be your strategy – to identify your goal/ideal, then work your way back from there. Our beginning is the end – a happy customer who feels one single emotion – fulfilled. There’s something for every company or consultant below, and this post is updated constantly. Please bookmark it and come back again.
Let’s Explore Dream Client Strategy.
This is the EPIC post you’ve been waiting for. There’s tips wrapped in a strategy that will lead you to better business outcomes for you and your clients. And even if you don’t get your dream clients soon, you might discover your current clients suddenly will like you a whole lot more.
Acquiring dream clients is about positive outcomes. The real value in striving to acquire them is in how you improve your technique, strategy, and unique value proposition. You’ll learn more about yourself and your actual value which might sting at first, but soon will be your primary source of knowledge and skills growth. It won’t be perfect but it will take your life to a new level.
Dream Clients = happy partnership + reaching higher potential + higher earnings + better results
You’ve got the Wrong Clients
In business, you could work for great clients or employers who are sincere, intelligent, who want to build extraordinary outcomes. You might earn 100x more with these clients as opposed to a client from hell, who runs you both into the ground. Is it time you jumped off that rat wheel?
Take a quick scan down the page and you’ll see a study and actionable plan to help you supercharge your client acquisition and revenue simultaneously. It finishes with important questions to ask yourself and includes dream client meeting preparation tips.
I know you’re skeptical. That’s fine, we all are. But it won’t take long for you to grasp the potential of Dream Client Strategy. Here’s the sections:
- Why Dream Clients are the Best
- Why You Don’t Have Dream Clients
- The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan
- Right Now You’re Irrelevant
- Two Keys: Optimism and Confidence
- Dream Client Persona Development
- Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting
- More Questions to Ask
- The Key Goal to Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion
Dream Client Strategy — Sounds Wonderful!
It is, and it could easily generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for you as a freelancer, or millions if you operate an agency. In fact, below you’ll read about a Toronto marketing agency that takes it seriously. And what it takes is faith in yourself.
Few agency CEOs bother targeting perfect clients and instead, cast a wide net to work with whoever they get. Word of mouth is a good example of walk in traffic. The difference in money and satisfaction is staggering. And you won’t need hand me down anything when you get this strategy in place.
Imagine if you Landed just One Dream Client
This new EPIC business post covers a repeatable process of determining who your ideal client is and positioning your UVP to attract and win them over. I’ve done it and I know it’s worth it. Yet it is more difficult today, so let’s be positive and certain that we will succeed.
Dream Clients are the Essence of a Successful Business
The one thing all successful employees, freelancers, and businesses have is great customers, employers or clients. That’s what success is – great customers or clients to serve.
According to a study from Mark W. Schaefer, an internationally-acclaimed college educator, author, keynote speaker, and strategy consultant, 3 to 4 buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Our best clients generate our revenue.
As we venture into this topic, you’ll learn a repeatable, ever-improving process of understanding and focusing on the best clients possible. I’m happy to say I’m learning at a high rate myself and I’ll be updating this post with more insight and resources. Please return later.
We Deserve Fantastic Clients not Crappy Ones
Raise your Standards. Targeting and winning a quality client shows you’re serious about your business. Because if you have crappy clients, the future can’t look all that good. Once you’ve had dream clients, you won’t want crappy ones again. It’s not just money. It’s about living well. And it’s about working with people who’ll inspire and elevate you and make every second count.
Show You Do Care. This EPIC post on attracting and capturing dream clients is well worth sharing with friends and coworkers right now. There’s nothing more important you’re going to read today. From a 5 step plan to tips on how to maintain the dream client relationship, it’s all you need to know to take your business to the level it deserves.
Better still, consider having me help you with your digital marketing strategy and get truly business changing results.
Why Haven’t You Found your Dream Clients?
It’s most likely because you’ve never tried, understood who they are, or had a plan or strategy. From experience alone, I believe these are the most important reasons why. Here’s some reason below. Read all of them because the pain and frustration you feel can help you give up on your old techniques.
- low reach; they don’t know you exist or you were a flash in the pan
- successful people are busy and you aren’t intercepting or disrupting them
- successful people are obsessed with their routine business activities not being open to new solutions
- dream clients prefer specialists who are very good at whatever is their biggest pain point
- they don’t believe you offer anything special or of significant value
- dream clients have big expectations in terms of fit and character
- competition is overwhelming and you haven’t found a way to be more competitive and make the competition disappear
- you’re not yourself right now, you’re depressed or trying too hard and prospects are unsure who you really are
- your offer isn’t personalized and relevant enough to them (someone else is more relevant than you)
- you haven’t done enough research to identify your dream client accurately
- you haven’t shown thought leader type knowledge of their market and situation
- your style, tone of voice, and topics don’t appeal to them
- you’re too much this or not enough that
- you’re not catching their attention with a specific topic or a news item they’re very keyed into
- your brand image is unfocused – they can’t figure you out
- you have too much clutter for them to weed through
- you’re not telling what you like and admire so they can feel appreciated
- they don’t believe you really care about what they’re doing
Aside from SEO You’ll need to do some awesome outreach.
Okay, do you see how competitors have beaten you? You haven’t taken control of Dream Client’s field of vision, concerns, or their values. Here’s a simple 5 step plan that gets you on your way:
The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan
Just to get oriented, let’s map out a 5 Step Beginning Plan:
- a brief summary of what you offer and what makes you unique
- a brief statement of your target customer or dream client
- how you’ll get in front of them
- how you’ll convince them of your value and relevance
- how you’ll make beautiful music together – you become their dream partner
When I created my dream clients previously, it was easy. There were few competitors and prospects had a unified view of the help they needed. Now competition is insane and the prospect’s view is fragmented. Worse, many don’t even believe digital marketing works — it’s worthless.
That’s why a plan and strategy are so vital – for reach, visibility, impact, and convincing them you have a powerful and sustainable solution.
However, discovering who our dream clients are, what their interests and preferences are, and then connecting with them on their terms online is very difficult. That’s where attitude comes in.
Step 1: Define What you Offer
Take my situation as a marketing services provider.
— I generate leads and sales by attracting high quality targeted traffic and then strategically position my client’s brand and value proposition via epic content marketing pieces so their UVP is impactful, significant, engaging, and convincing, and they sell like crazy.
That’s a little long winded, however it’s important to highlight traffic, engagement and revenue since these are client’s 3 biggest pain points.
Step 2: Describe your Dream Client
— A SMB manager or professional in California who needs broad visibility on Google and high quality content marketing to engage and convince their prospects
Your ideal client may be in a number of industries in Florida, New York, California or Canada, so you can break your ideal clent down into let’s say 5 unique categories (e.g., legal, real estate, professional services, travel, finance) and geo location.
Step 3: How Will I get in Front of Them?
— I will use Google, Linkedin, Facebook (and email) to position content in relation to their search for perspectives, insight, data, and solutions they believe will serve their needs.
They will never find me via topics I am interested in. They search for solutions and information using their own unique inquiry process and questions. Therefore, I must write and create beginning with their problems and interests in mind.
Step 4: How Will You Convince Them?
— By blogging and posting unique perspectives with authoritative yet friendly insight into topics they believe are relevant and timely in their industry, and which makes an emotional impact to create one single emotion that makes them focus on me and my solution.
Convincing means bringing their beliefs into a new alignment and dissolving their fears because they don’t act until they feel good about it.
Step 5: How Will You Make Beautiful Music Together?
— I will show them how our work together will grow and sustain itself to create a feeling in them that results will only get better in the years ahead. I will reiterate why our dream business partnership will work and how we will share a role in it and help them see the vision of where we’re going.
You’ve got to allay their post-purchase anxiety before they purchase. You’ve convinced them them, but at the zero moment of decision, you must crystalize with a clear and fulfilling vision.
What I discovered previously is that BIG VISIBILITY gets their attention and is absolutely necessary. That means high Google rankings and a good social media strategy will be part of your “Dream Repertoire.” Patient positioning on the right topics is where it’s at. And it doesn’t matter what business you’re in.
Good prospects will be quietly impressed that you’re in the right zone, and are potentially a good choice. They’ll use their own process to check you out deeper. They don’t let enthusiasm get in the way of good judgement.
They’ll Talk to You When They Know You
So you’re thinking, how do you reach and connect with your dream client if they won’t talk with you? You have to let them find you, and discover your message of how relevant you are (your EPIC online content).
Did you know your marketing content determines which clients or customers you get? So does your choice of topics, words, phrases, characters, stories and tone of voice. That’s the thing here, is that we need to discover enough about them to build a pathway to their deepest gaps and dreams and then slowly build a pleasant relationship with them.
Right Now, You’re Unknown and Irrelevant
If you get turned down or discriminated against, it’s because you weren’t the right fit, which means you don’t fit into their dream. They believe you’re irrelevant to their goals and how they want to solve them.
We need to develop a target client persona and formulate a laser like understanding of the most essential needs they have. We need to look at their most recent activity and drill down to find the ideal they’re searching for. And we’ll need to speak to them via the media they like. That could be a blog, video, unique web design, visual content marketing piece, or a top ranking spot on Google rankings. They get the ball rolling.
Optimism and Confidence aren’t Skills, They’re a Vital Attitude
I really admire those who pursue ideals, because it takes the time, money, confidence, and an optimistic frame of mind that I want to have. That’s the kind of leader anyone wants to work with. Their forward vision carries you along in their tailwind, lifting your outlook and giving you courage and confidence you didn’t think you had.
LIFE’S MORE FUN WHEN YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY. BUSINESS IS TOO — Nikki Ellidge Brown
High Quality Dream Clients Also pay More
Focusing on high paying dream clients isn’t what this is about. However, dream clients will certainly pay more, and those with no resources might be the wrong clients to get involved with. Price depends on what they feel your perceived value is.
What Dream Clients Need
Here’s a quick list of why it’s smart to pursue dream clients, just to ease you into this topic of targeting ideal clients:
- ideal clients have the specific opportunities/gaps that you can fufill
- dream clients need your specific skills, attitude, and experience
- dream clients need your leadership
- dream clients will appreciate you more and thus will be sustainable clients
- dream clients want reliable providers/partners — and you’ll be able to cut down on your new client prospecting efforts
- dream clients know you aren’t the recognized greatest, but they know they will turn you into the greatest — they’re confident they can turn their partners into market leaders
- they need more money, enjoy more time and freedom, and to be happier
- they need confidence, focus, and support
You Must Maintain 100% Responsibility for the Relationship
Client management is a big task that we often neglect. But as your client goes, so goes you. You have to take care of your precious dream client.
This is one area I failed in and I’m still having trouble with it. I didn’t remove barriers for them, keep in close touch, nor keep my dream clients primed for ongoing success. Often I left them on their own (sometimes thousands of miles way) where they became bored, confused, stressed, lacked inspiration and confidence and thus found progress difficult.
Their imagination imploded and they simply lost it. I discovered they are human. Although I could see some of this beforehand and I questioned them about decisions (some poor quality clients for them) it wasn’t enough to get them back on track.
What I failed to understand well, is that I needed to step up and assume 100% responsibility for the relationship. 0% for them and 100% for me. Not fair, but that’s how it is.
They Think You’re a Leader
Clients view us as dominant leaders – authoritative, fearless and visionary. That’s why they’re hiring us and paying us big money. Yet when I saw that success was making them bored and ineffective, I failed to act and help them overcome their issues. I wasn’t the fearless leader after all.
That’s why you need money in the bank and plenty of new clients waiting. Options give you poise and courage and helps you make better decisions. Because sometimes people in your personal and business life won’t progress or take your advice, you might have to plant your feet. And sometimes they won’t participate or listen.
Let’s face it, if others are taking 0% responsibility persistently, you have to question why you’re involved with them. Or you have to teach them to be more involved in their own success. That’s what client account managers do.
However, in business, dominant leaders need to step up and take 100% responsibility. You’re there because you’re smarter, more optimistic, skilled, visionary, energetic, relentless and confident. Your outlook carries a company in your wake and you may have to keep the captain of the ship focused on the mission.
Keep your client properly directed, focused, informed, feeling good, and you may never have to face that situation where you have to fire them. You’re not a doormat or a cog in someone else’s wheel. You’re someone building genuine, authentic, mutually constructive relationships. And that means big picture planning.
88Creative in Toronto – Chasing the Dream Client
Some marketing agencies are very specific, such as Toronto’s 88Creative who targeted specific companies — with their gutsy Dream Client List. To me, the fact they had this list shows they are on the ball and driving themselves to big successes with great clients. It’s classic big picture thinking that shows us why a focus on details is the stuff of losers.
“We started a ‘dream 100’ client list, thinking about the types of brands and companies that we would love to work with someday, and Warby Parker was on that list,” said Erin Bury, managing director at 88 Creative. “When we heard that they were launching in Canada, we said, ‘okay, this is our chance and we need do something attention-grabbing.’”
Even if 88Creative didn’t land one of their listed dream clients, just doing this makes them think creatively, boldly, to perfect their process, assess results, and improve their attraction to dream clients. I’m not sure of Erin’s full expertise in dream client theory, but she seems very smart. What if you applied this dream client thinking to all of your business activities regardless of what industry you’re in?
And with respect to how 88Creative went about showcasing their attractiveness to dream clients, Erin Bury added, “The goal of this was always to get their attention, but I think the larger goal is to showcase the type of aesthetic we have as an agency and the type of creativity that we put into our ideas.”
That creativity can be expressed very effectively in blogs or marketing magazine articles where you explore the topics clients feel strongly about. The type of aesthetic and creativity should be relative to specfic types of issues prospects face. A lot of agencies exercise all their creative genius, but then apply it to the wrong topics and forget to highlight how they approach solutions.
Whenever prospects call me and say they loved my blogs, they always refer to a topic. It’s the topic itself that inspires them and they like that you recognized the importance of it.
10 More Questions to Ask to Identify Your Dream Clients
Back to analyzing who are your dream clients. Think deep:
- who have you enjoyed working with in the past and why was it so enjoyable?
- what do they talk about most on their blogs and Facebook page?
- what is their biggest problems and complaints?
- what topics, keywords, and values do they mention?
- what is their idea of heaven?
- who are they working with right now?
- are they going anywhere or are they spinning their wheels? Why?
- who do they talk about and link out to on their website?
- how do they talk and what events do they attend?
- what is the opportunity gap in markets, content, and visbility they could enjoy?
After you’ve done your surfing, stalking, and assessments, you’ll need to figure out what it is about you that will be compelling to them. That willl be the foundation of your future content strategy and your professional brand.
Yes, you probably should develop a list all of their needs, preferences and ambitions and then explain how your company’s solution is best for them or how you’re the ideal person or agency for them.
But let’s cut to the key stuff now.
What are their outlook, dreams, self-image, brand image, goals, assets, tools, staff, and market opportunity? Are they a winner and how do they view providers?
Dream Client Persona Development
You can use persona development solutions to help you understand your dream client better. I’m not sure it will create miracles for you, but it could help you get better organized. Check out Marianas, a company in San Mateo, California. They use artificial intelligence software to build detailed profiles of target customers.
You’ll need to go beyond software and worksheet templates. You’ll need to ask detailed questions about what your client needs, how they think and make decisions, and how you’ll be meaningful to them. Many times, it means getting out there and meeting them so you can learn their values and prejudices. And don’t think for a minute that you can’t overcome anything.
Wise Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting
When your ideal client invites you for an in-person a meeting, things get real. This is where it’s all about them and how you’ll make a difference. I like what I read in an article by Mike O’Horo about the preparation time for a dream client being months or years.
With all that prep for research, website development, published materials, and content marketing, your next stop is a meeting with them. Here’s some questions ato ask to create your meeting presentation:
- what is your goal for the meeting? You need to have a goal, using supporting material (if you have that material). This helps focus their attention on what they’re missing. Set that out in your power point presentation.
- what is it specifically you’ve discovered about their business? Use visual graphics to spell it out
- list their weaknesses and opportunities – and discuss issues and the future of their business
- what qualifies you to be their new advisor/solution provider (relate your relevant experience)
- what is impactful and compelling about you, your brand, skills, acumen, and capability? Match their needs with your skills, experience and capability.
- what is it you can do or will do to make you better than your competition?
- what unique skill or power makes you so over the top good that you launch new buying behavior in your dream client?
- explain how the business, decision maker, and influencers (staff) will benefit from your solution
- list what their staff criticisms and objections will be and then destroyo each one in the presentation
- don’t overrate your personal skills. I’ve spoken with many realtors for instance and none used the words brilliance, genius, master, or even skills. If they were vital then these words would have arisen at some point. Pay attention to their vocabulary.
- discuss the ROI and operational business affects from solving each pain point.
Prepare for your meeting with your dream client thoroughly and ensure all participants are thrilled and satisfied with your proposition – explain how they all will benefit not just the key decision maker.
Here’s an excerpt from lawyer coach Mike O’Horo on dream client meeting preparation. Its brilliant and a must read.
When your presentation is good, it makes you look like you care about their buiness. You’ve invested time, thought and energy. it’s likely that no one else has ever peered into their business. You’re the first! That’s something to smile about.
The Key Objective in Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion
Your content strategy matches you up with the emotion they feel about the issue and lays out the connections or path they need to take.
And when they feel one single emotion about you, that’s when your dream client contacts you. And they feel powerful that they found you and that it was their decision.
You’ll never achieve brilliance in business unless you’re willing to let go of what doesn’t work. I hope this post revolutionizes what you think about client acquisition and about the content you need to land them. Good Luck!
By the way, SEO and Content Strategy combined will have more impact on your clients than anything else you can do. Clients are always searching, and they’re hoping to find you in those search results. You’d better be there. Check out my book on how to build a dominant presence on Google, engage them, convince them, and show them how you’re the best asset they have.
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