By Liz Dennery Sanders
It’s rare to come across a professional today who isn’t concerned with client attraction. In my practice I often find clients focused on the wrong things: talking about themselves too much, reading all the “right” books, creating a “bigger, better” website or building a better widget.
In order to attract more clients, you have to have clarity around who is your ideal client, who YOU are and the value of what you provide. You also have to be willing to give some of that value away (yes, for free!) to effectively communicate, connect and engage.
If you’re ready to become a client magnet, here are seven strategies to get you there:
1. Create a Client Avatar – A lot of people are walking around thinking they should work with everyone. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s imperative that you narrow down exactly WHO you want to work with, WHAT are their greatest struggles and HOW you are going to help them. Start making a list of all the qualities you want in an ideal client. Rip out pictures and graphics from magazines that best depict your client and create a vision board. The clearer you are about who you want to work with, the easier it will be for them to find you.
2. Listen More Than You Talk – Most people are dead-set on showing a potential client how much they know. Here’s a wake-up call for you: your potential client doesn’t care how much you know, she wants to know how you are going to fix her problems. Ask yourself the WIIFM question from the client’s perspective, “What’s in it for me?” and then focus on the results clients will get from working with you. Ask open-ended questions that will help you get to know your client and show your level of interest. Build rapport and your client will get a feel for how you work.
3. Clarify Your Unique Value – When asked what they do, most professionals will respond with, “I’m an Executive Coach” or “I’m an acupuncturist.” While this certainly gives potential clients a label to categorize you, it doesn’t describe the value you provide, which is what attracts them to you in the first place. My unique value, for example, is that I help women entrepreneurs build their confidence, their brands and their bank accounts. An acupuncturist specializing in women’s health might say something like, “I help women over 40 feel vibrant, energetic and pain-free.” Hello, can you say client magnet?!
4. Understand What Keeps Your Ideal Client Up At Night – Take the time to ask questions about what your client is struggling with; what is her #1 problem? If she could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in her life, what would it be? When you are able to accurately identify a prospect’s pain and show her how you have eliminated this pain for others, you’ll have a line of people waiting to work with you.
5. Showcase Value & Results – If you aren’t featuring the results that others have experienced from working with you on your website and/or in other marketing materials, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to attract more clients. One way to do this is to use testimonials and case studies. Effective testimonials always highlight benefits and results, i.e. “After just one month or working with Jane I lost 10 lbs. and now sleep a full eight hours a night,” or “Thanks to my work with Alycia, I’ve clarified my message, created a spectacular logo, built an engaging Facebook page and taken on three new clients in just 60 days!”
6. Develop a “Pull” Strategy – A “push” strategy, where you are constantly knocking on doors, cold-calling and chasing down clients, is very hard work. A “pull” or attraction strategy, as I like to call it, is when clients come to you based on your visibility and level of engagement. In other words, from reading a blog post or article, hearing you speak at an event, connecting on a social media platform or a referral from yet another satisfied client. What platforms are you currently using to connect with people? How are you rewarding current clients and asking for referrals?
7. Give Some of Your Expertise Away – Notice I said “some” of your expertise, not all. Many people get nervous or defensive when I suggest this. Yet, one of the best methods I know to develop your “know, like & trust” factor is to give your potential clients a taste of your knowledge and experience. Let them get to know you a little bit and help them with some of their issues. You can do this through a newsletter, blog, giveaways on your website or many of the countless social media platforms available today. In order to build influence, you’ve got to have trust. And once you have trust, you won’t have to worry about where your next clients are coming from.
Liz Dennery Sanders wants you to build your brand with style. As the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a brand development and celebrity outreach firm, she founded SheBrand, to help female entrepreneurs build powerful personal brands, attract more clients and position themselves as authorities in their industries. You can reach her directly at email@example.com or www.shebrand.com.