“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” – Peter Drucker

As a business coach, I teach creative entrepreneurs and freelancers how to uniquely position themselves as an expert in their industry, build relationships with ideal clients and turn a prospect into a long-term client.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably painfully aware of how hit and miss this process can be. Either you’re stuck in a cycle of trying strategies that appear to work like gangbusters for others, but not for you, or you’re hustling harder, only to get more low-paying fast turnaround clients that leave you burned out and frustrated.

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. I’m going to share the most common mistake freelancer’s make, and give you an opportunity to learn the exact steps you need to start attracting and landing better clients.

Here’s the #1 mistake you’re probably making:

Your marketing message is all about YOU, not your ideal clients and THEIR needs

Ouch!

Left to our own devices, we tend to talk about ourselves, our process, what school we graduated from, the awards we’ve won, etc. etc. But the truth is, clients don’t care about you. They care about what you can do for them!

Stay with me here, because as harsh as that might sound, understanding this will set you free and transform the way you attract clients. Because, when you know what your ideal client struggles with, what they aspire to and what they need right now, you can create a marketing message, content and services that speak to your their unique needs, attract and connect with your ideal clients more easily, and fill your pipeline with high-quality leads.

Sound good?

Here’s the first step to gaining that clarity; go straight to the source! You’re going to develop a list of questions, and invite 3 to 5 of your favorite clients out for coffee and a chat. Most people are more than happy to share their opinions and help, so don’t be shy.

Here are a few questions you might ask:

  • Why did you come to me?
  • Why did you continue to work with me?
  • What was your biggest struggle prior to working with me?
  • What challenges do you consistently come up against?
  • What publications/blogs do you read?
  • What conferences do you attend?

Aim for 10-20 questions in total. Remember, your goal is to really get very clear on who they are as a person and what their interests are, as well as their professional needs.

Don’t have ideal clients to interview yet? No problem. You can interview bosses, co-workers or even family and friends.

I promise, this is one of the most enlightening exercises any freelancer or entrepreneur can do!

So now you’re one (giant) step closer to understanding who your ideal client is, I’d like to invite you to join me in a FREE training where I will share my 6-step system to positioning yourself as an expert, attracting your ideal clients, and getting paid what you’re worth.

If you’ve been struggling to build a thriving creative business or career, I’m going to show you exactly how to overcome those challenges!

Justine Clay helps freelance creative talent build thriving careers. As the founder of Plum Creative, she matches high-level, independent creative professionals and top tier clients.