I want to help you make 2020 your most successful year yet!
And for most marketer-entrepreneurs, that’s going to include getting more clients.
Whether you’re a copywriter, agency, consultant, or coach — or involved with whatever other client-serving business…
Clients are the lifeblood of your business.
And the ability to get clients at-will dictates whether or not you’re going to have a good week, month, year, decade… whatever!
Today’s Mailbox Monday question is all about getting clients. But before we dive into that, I have a request.
If I’m going to deliver a ton of value for you around getting clients in the coming weeks and months, I need to make sure I’m on target.
So will you do me a favor?
This helps me be crystal-clear where your biggest challenges and needs are.
So as I share what I know, it will be as targeted to YOUR needs as possible.
Okay, on with today’s issue.
Remember, every Monday I open my mailbox to answer YOUR most pressing questions on marketing, copywriting, sales, business, entrepreneurship, and more.
Here’s today’s question…
Can you give me advice on how to generate new clients?
School is in session kids, so get out your pen and paper…
Because the following advice, while presented as an article, could just as easily be a worksheet.
If you answer these six simple questions, you’re going to be about 95% of the way to getting the clients you desire.
The questions are below in bold, with some insights and perspectives on finding your answer below each.
“Who is your perfect client?”
You don’t sell everything to everybody.
In fact, you don’t even sell ONE THING to everybody.
Everybody is not a fit for any offer. All offers are limited in audience.
Further, even Jeff Bezos would struggle to afford to put an offer in front of everybody in a way that would be truly impactful.
So, start filtering. Think about who you want to serve. Think about whose life you want to improve. Think about who you want to help.
The most specific, the better.
Honestly, even though a more specific market is smaller, it’s almost always dramatically easier to make more money serving a smaller market. Because you can speak with them ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS, and truly resonate.
When you try to make your message or product or service or offer generic enough to serve anyone, it ends up serving nobody.
This sounds trite, but it’s true.
Pick a narrow target market. Define a very specific profile or avatar of who your perfect client would be. Learn as much as you can about them. Their fears, frustrations, and failures. Their dreams, desires, and what they see as their destiny.
What do they think? What do they believe? Who do they think they are, inside? (Even better if you understand this in a way that they don’t even think their loved ones get.)
“What pressing problem do they wish to have solved?”
Problems are markets.
Your ideal client has a problem they need to have solved. So do a lot of people like them.
It’s better if it’s a pressing problem. Also better if it’s somehow complex or difficult or time- and labor-intensive to solve.
Better still if they’ve tried a variety of things to solve it, and they still can’t.
Or if it’s the kind of perennial problem (having enough money, staying healthy, etc.) that never really gets permanently solved, even when you have a really good temporary solution in place.
You want to find a problem they are willing to INVEST IN a solution to. Preferably, that they’d be happy to invest in a proven solution TODAY, if they only had clarity that the solution existed and would solve their problem.
“What do you understand about why they haven’t solved the problem?”
Assuming you have a solution of value for this ideal client, to solve this problem, you probably have some level of expertise around the problem.
Which means you understand why they still have the problem… Why they haven’t been able to solve it… And what they need to do to solve the problem.
In other words, you have the “New Understanding of a Persistent Problem” — or NUPP — that will give them instant clarity about what they need in a solution (that just so happens to favor YOU).
This will establish buying criteria for them, to select a solution.
Not only that, it establishes buying criteria that leads them to pick YOU.
(Note: in smaller markets, or markets where they’re going to choose only ONE service provider, this may not even have to be that unique. What matters most is that it feels like something they are discovering for the first time, exclusively from you.)
“How do you solve the problem for them?”
Once you’re clear about who you’re speaking with, what problem you solve, and why they haven’t been able to solve it yet…
Now you get into what you’re actually doing to solve it.
How are you able to solve the problem? What’s your clear and proven method? What’s unique about it? What about your solution ensures their success?
This should be simple to explain. It should be clearly linked to the problem. And it should satisfy the buying criteria created by the new understanding of their problem.
It’s even better if there’s something completely unique about it — especially in a competitive market. (NOTE: If you are positioned as an expert, and there is some service or one-on-one component to the solution, YOU are part of the uniqueness.)
Part of how you define your solution needs to be packaging and price. This should be your Core Offer. (That training is an even better deal as part of the Freelance Copywriter’s Independence Package.)
In short, you should have a clear solution to their problem, packaged up in a way that is clear to the prospect what they’re buying and what they get.
“What is the first step to them solving their problem with you?”
Here we get into the mechanics of getting clients.
Low-end offers are solved buy plopping down their credit card, getting a product, and walking away.
But often an offer with a 4-, 5-, or 6-figure price tag ($1,000-$100,000+) involves a little more interaction.
There’s a process. A call with you or your team. Perhaps an application, or an action plan.
What does that look like?
If you’ve just told me, your perfect client, about what you do… You’ve made it clear you understand me, the problem, why I haven’t solved it yet, and what I need to do to solve it… And you offer to help me…
What’s that first action step I need to take to move forward with you?
Yes, you should have a plan for the rest. But in terms of getting leads and clients, this is the key step. Because once they take it, you can then guide them from there…
“How can you get this message in front of them?”
Here’s where it would be really easy for me to say, “You need a 5-step Facebook funnel with a webinar and call scheduler,” or… Something else.
That’s the answer at a very tactical level.
But at a much more strategic level (useful for the long term, across markets), you simply need to know how to put the message in front of your ideal prospects, preferably in a way you can scale at favorable economics.
Maybe for you it’s direct mail, with a targeted direct mail list. (e.g. Business owners in a certain business category, in a certain geographic area, with certain characteristics.)
Maybe it’s targeted Facebook ads.
Maybe it’s a podcast, or YouTube videos, or other web content.
Maybe it’s cold-approaching a short list of targeted prospects.
Maybe it’s going to conferences and industry events.
Maybe it’s something else entirely.
The question is: where can you reach your perfect potential clients, with this message?
What media are they already consuming, that you can use to deliver the message? Where are they going that you can meet them? Where do they already have their attention, as they are struggling with the problem?
In some markets, we’re talking Google Search ads.
In others, something far less direct.
But ALL of those questions are answered by asking how you can get the message defined by the previous five questions in front of your ideal prospective client.
Who is willing to do this work?
The above assignment is pretty simple, but it may not be easy. It involves some hard thinking, and perhaps a substantial amount of research. And there’s a chance you could do it all, test, and discover you missed the mark on the prospect, the problem, or your solution. In which case you need to try again.
The end result, if you get it right, is a successful client business.
The end result, if you don’t do the work or give up early, is more struggle and pain.
The question is: a year or a decade from now, will you be asking again what it takes to get clients? Or will you have followed this advice and have all the work you desire?
I’ll have plenty more for you if you’re willing to do the work it takes to move forward.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,