Have you ever had the feeling that your business is the world’s best kept secret and, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to consistently get enough clients?
You’re not alone!
I’ve been helping creative professionals get gigs for more than 15 years. First as an agent for freelance art directors, copywriters and fashion illustrators, and now as a business coach, teaching freelancers and entrepreneurs how to land their own dream clients.
And we’ve all experienced down times in our business and we’ve all convinced ourselves of the reasons why:
- It’s the holidays and everyone’s busy
- All the great gigs go to the big-name industry players, I don’t stand a hope against them
- Cheaper talent is coming in and working for pennies, I can’t compete with them
- I don’t want to appear pushy
Any of those sound familiar?
There’s no judgment here. I’ve used ‘em myself. But here’s the thing; none of those factors make any difference.
The reason clients aren’t lined up outside your door is they don’t know (or remember) you exist. I know, that hurts, but it’s nothing personal (really!). You just aren’t top of mind.
And the antidote to that problem is….
If you’ve hung around with me for a while, you’ll know I LOVE marketing, when it’s done right. And doing it right means, figuring out what solutions you are uniquely equipped (and love) to provide, who is actively looking for those services (they would be your ideal clients), and packaging your offerings so it’s really easy for them to engage you.
No icky sales pitches or look-at-me tactics required. Just straight-up sharing what you do, and what to do next.
If you’re a little gun-shy about marketing, or simply don’t know where to start, read on for the top 3 things you need to know and remember:
Get clear on your goals.
The reason people get wigged out about marketing is they think there is one, perfect way to do it, and they didn’t get the memo. Learning how to love marketing starts with figuring out what you’re trying to achieve and charting a path towards it that works for you. For example, are you looking to:
- Hit a revenue number? If so, how much and by when?
- Acquire a certain number of new clients? If so, how many, and in what time frame?
- Launch a new product, event, or service? What are your expectations and timing?
- Increase your followers or subscribers? How many do you want and why do you want them? (Because popularity doesn’t equal profitability!)
Now you’re clear on your goal, it’s time to look at how you’ll get there.
What do you need to do to reach that goal?
If your goal is to hit a revenue number, the first action you need to take is review how many clients you’d need to hit it. If you’re a service provider that might mean getting three new clients/month at X dollars. If you have a product, subscription, or other volume based business, that might mean getting 100 new customers/month. Let’s assume you need three new clients/month. The next step would be to figure out how many meetings you need to have to close that many proposals. OK, let’s say you need nine meetings to close three jobs. How are you going to get those nine meetings? What prospects who expressed interest, but you didn’t close can you check in with? What new ideas could you pitch to existing clients? What new clients can you reach out to? What new services, packages or bundles could you brainstorm.
Admit it, having a plan based upon information and thinking, rather than spinning your wheels feels pretty great, doesn’t it?
Now it’s time to put your ideas out there; in other words, marketing. The outreach we just discussed counts as marketing, but it’s limited to getting clients, one-on-one. Let’s talk about ways in which you can market to many.
Play to your strengths
With so many marketing tools, opinions, and experts out there marketing can feel like the wild west. In my experience, marketing usually fails because people try to do something that’s working for someone else, rather than working with their natural talents. For example, of my colleagues finds writing a monthly newsletter excruciating, but can crank out an amazing video post in just a few minutes. Which do you think is the best activity for her? Exactly! The only way to find out what works for you, and your audience is by experimenting. Play different formats and platforms and figure out what comes most naturally to you and don’t take it all so seriously. The only way to do it wrong is not do it at all!
Are you ready to figure out this marketing puzzle once and for all? Comment below and share with me your #1 goal. I look forward to hearing from you!
Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Through a series of clear, actionable steps, Justine will teach you how to you identify what makes you stand out from the crowd, create a marketing message that resonates with your ideal clients, and build a successful and fulfilling creative business or career. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth and start making monumental changes in your creative business or career today.