I think I’ve figured this out, or maybe scratched the surface! And I wish I would have known these things years ago.
Did you just book a client who you know is not the best fit for you? Are you not looking forward to it? But it pays the bills, right?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ve been in this thing for ten years now, and only months ago did a lightbulb hit. I realized my inbox was filling with inquiries I dreamed of. The ones that valued my work and signed the contract, no questions asked, because they knew I was worth it.
I was getting that music-to-my-ears phrase, “Just run with it. I trust you and I won’t put you in a box.” You have no idea what that does to a designer AND for the client’s results!
^[Translate that to your ‘dream-client-phrase.’]
I wasn’t complaining one bit, but my entrepreneur mind couldn’t help but wonder, why the sudden shift? Where were they coming from? Why did it take almost ten years to get here? And how can I help other business owners find themselves in this same position a lot sooner?
I believe it comes down to 3 powerful things, and they aren’t major secrets. They simply work.
Exposure. Relationship. Service.
1. Exposure – If they don’t know you exist. They won’t come knocking. Know where you dream client hangs out, and find her there. Is she scrolling Instagram? Is she pinning away on her down time? Is she drowning in emails and just waiting for something more exciting than an office memo to pop in? Wherever she is, find her. Intrigue her. And guide her in.
2. Relationship – Today’s market is more personal than ever. With the rise in social media, I think we’ve mistaken it for a platform to advertise, rather than a place to build connections. People connect with people first. Then, they consider monetary investment.
It’s not about manipulating a ‘relationship’ into a sale. It’s about making connections that encourage, help, and equip on both ends.
So, get personal. Connect. Comment. Engage. Put your face out there. Put your personal story out there. Put your past clients’ faces and testimonials out there. You’ll be astonished at the growth in connections and oftentimes, followers turned clients.
If you hate social media, connect in person. Give them face to face time. Connect to the hearts, not the numbers.
3. Serve. Go the extra mile. Take the time to explain further when there are questions. Show mercy when they doubt. Be patient when they hesitate. Do a phone consult and engage in real live conversation – even if you’re an introvert.
When the customer isn’t right, cause let’s be honest, they can be wrong, guide them in grace. Position yourself as the expert, but with kindness.
When you serve this way – word of mouth trumps what any social media platform can ever do.
Again – Exposure. Relationship. Serve.
Try it. Let me know if it changes your inbox too!