8 Steps to Creative Client Attraction

Marketing for the solopreneur really means attracting more clients. People in my circle of influence consistently comment about my ability to be creative yet practical about attracting ideal clients for myself.

How do I do it? I have an eight step process that I follow consistently to keep my pipeline filled with my ideal clients. Not all of them are ready to work with me at the same time or in the same program, and that's perfectly fine with me. Filling my pipeline with my ideal clients and building a genuine relationship with them is paramount to my immediate and future success. Here are my eight steps.

1. Commit to Attracting New Clients

I find that most solopreneurs find it difficult, if not impossible, to find time in their day to commit to marketing. This is a big catch 22 because if you don't spend time on attracting your ideal clients, you will end up either working with anyone to crosses your path, even though they may not be ideal for you, or not finding any clients or customers.

What you can do today:

You calendar is your best friend when it comes to client attraction! Use it. Find a minimum of eight hours in your week to focus on attracting your ideal clients. Don't worry right now what you will do with this time. Just carve out time on your calendar by noting: Creative Client Attraction Time.

2. Profile your Ideal Clients

It may be true that anyone can buy your products and services, but figuring out who is most likely to buy your services will benefit you tremendously. When you know who is most likely to buy from you, you can spend some of your creative client attraction time to find large groups of these people. This allows you to be very strategic and targeted in the way that you use your time and where you spend your marketing budget. In addition, when you carve out a niche market, you become an instant expert! Who would you rather see if you have a heart issue: a family doctor or a cardiologist?

What you can do today:

Look at your existing client list - who do you like working with the most? Which clients and customers bought the most from you? What are common characteristics? Do they share a common trait - for example, are they all attorneys, mothers of preschoolers, business owners? Keep asking questions until you find some commonalities. These are clues to your target market.

3. Know Your Target Market's Problems

Now that you have identified your target market, it's imperative to learn what their struggles are. What are their pain points? What would they pay almost anything to have fixed? Once you have uncovered their problems, you can then create a meaningful solution. Once you create and communicate your solution, making sales and helping others becomes much easier.

What you can do today:

Understand that people don't really care what you do. They only want to know if you can solve their problems. Take some of the client attraction time you've set aside and figure out the problems that your niche wants solved. You can do this in a variety of ways: a written survey, an online survey, informal communication with your clients and prospects, a focus group or even an email with a single question.

4. Define Your Unique Selling Proposition

Chances are very good that you can name at least one other business that does the same kind of work that you do. So how are your clients and customers to decide who to work with? This is where your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) comes into play. Your USP tells the world how and why you are different than the rest. Think of the Food Channel. This channel is filled with cooking show after cooking show. We can see a variety of chefs prepare glorious meals and teach us how to make them in our own homes. What is it about each show that either draws us in or not? Here' an example, "I'm Rachael Ray and I make 30 minute meals." In 10 words, we understand what we're going to get from her. Fast meals. Is she the only person who can make fast meals in 30 minutes? Absolutely not! But she's the first one to say it and build her empire around it.

What you can do today:

During one of your Creative Client Attraction time blocks, write down 100 (yes, 100!) things that make you unique from your colleagues and competitors. The reason why I say 100 is that I want you to really dig deep and get beyond the superficial. Once you have that list, determine how you can use one or two of those things create statement that makes you stand out. Perhaps on Rachael's list she wrote down: Fast meals.

5. Create a Marketing Plan of Action

Now that you know all of the foundational pieces to your creative client attraction plan, you are ready to take a thirty thousand foot view of your current marketing activities. Your marketing plan of action is just that: an action plan that spells out exactly how you will reach out to your target market and, like a magnet, start attracting them to you.

What you can do today:

During one of your Creative Client Attraction time blocks, assign yourself this task: Make a list of all of the marketing tactics you are currently using. Which ones are paying off for you? Which ones are costing you money? Do you have the basics down: a great marketing message, an elevator speech, a high quality business card? Do you have a way to constantly reach out to your prospects, like an ezine? Do you have a compelling free offer to entice your target market to sign up for your ezine? Doing this assignment gives you the power to start making important decisions on where you spend your client attraction time and where you don't.

6. Leverage Your Business

Creating leverage in your business is imperative. By leveraging your knowledge, you can start to shift your business away from only working hours for dollars, as in, "I charge $1000 a month for my services." The truth is, if you only offer one way for your clients and prospect to work with you, you are leaving money on the table and are not serving them as well as you can. By creating packages and products, you can help more people and make more money. It's the definition of a win/win!

What you can do today:

What common questions, problems or concerns do you hear from your customers and clients? How can you bottle and sell your solutions? There are many ways to do this but here are just a few ideas: ebooks, membership programs, teleseminars, coaching clubs. You can really get creative in this area of your client attraction! Put this assignment in your Creative Client Attraction time blocks.

7. Create Systems in Your Business

Have you ever said, "I just need to duplicate myself!" If you have, then you are ready to create a system around whatever you are frustrated with. To get ahead and stay ahead, having systems in place will help alleviate your frustration. Plus, having systems makes scaling your business so much easier.

What you can do today:

During one of your Creative Client Attraction time blocks, add the things that you would like to systematize. Processes like your client intake system, invoicing and tracking, filing, appointment setting, social media are all good things to systematize.

8. Closing - Turn Prospects Into Clients

To be great at creative client attraction, you need to know how to turn prospects in to clients. Otherwise, you're just engaging in prospect attraction! Closing the sale does not ever have to make you feel pushy. If you are like most business people, women particularly, you have leads, but you don't follow up. Why? Most of the time, it's due to fear. Fear of being perceived as pushy, or having to talk about money or fear of being rejected.

What you can do today:

During one of your Creative Client Attraction time blocks, task yourself with making a list of your prospects. You will probably have between 5 and 50 if you really think about it. These are people who have shown some interest in your business. Make a decision to contact them and like Nike says, just do it.

By Meredith Liepelt
Photography by Jay Masta

© 2011 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called "101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile," which can be downloaded immediately at RichLifeMarketing.com.



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