Do you listen to webinars to stay on top of trends in your field? I do. Lately, it seems that anyone involved in online marketing brings up the importance of identifying one’s perfect client — whether that be during a webinar on e-mail marketing, social media communication, blogging, or even building a WordPress website. It all gets down to knowing who is your perfect client.
How I’m identifying my perfect client
My business coach gave me this valuable exercise:
1. Write down the name of every client you’ve worked with.
2. Categorize them into 3 camps: (1) Ideal (2) Mid-Range (3) Duds
3. Ask what you can do to move the “Duds” up, so that they become “Mid-Range”?
4. If you can’t find an answer, cross them off the list, and learn how to say, “No.”
Knowing what you want by knowing what you don’t want
I’ve been in business 21 years, have designed over 1,000 business materials and have had lots of clients.
When I was just starting out, my perfect client was the one who paid on time. Then it was the client who paid on time, plus respected my office hours. Sadly, I’ve had clients who’ve phoned me at home, at 6 a.m., 10:30 p.m., and non-stop over the weekends. It happens, if you let it happen.
A few years later my “Star” client was the one who ‘stayed in their own lane.’ For example, occasionally a client will insist on coming to my office, and then stand over my shoulder and directed me as to where to put “this” graphic, and what color to make “that” text, or what fonts they think look better. One client even grabbed my keyboard and mouse one day, and began moving things around on the computer screen, exclaiming, “Gee…This is fun!” This was tough because we’re all visual creatures, and most of us don’t know what we like until we “see” it. Me, too!
I also understand that all my clients need someone to give their ideas and dreams a voice … their voice. They desire someone who will listen to what they want, and give them options, so they’ll know ‘it’ when they see ‘it’ in front of them — whether that be on a sheet of paper, or as a web page on a computer screen.
The big lesson learned
As a business owner it’s not about me. It’s never about me. It’s about what’s best for my clients, and serving them well. As a business owner the only real power I have is being able to say, “No” to the ‘Duds.’