Q: I’ve been in business for a few years now, but I feel like I’m running around in circles desperately trying to please everyone, because I’m afraid of losing any potential clients. How will I reach my ideal clients without alienating everyone else?
A: First of all, you’re not alone. Where you are head and shoulders ahead of majority of small business owners however, is that you are aware of what you are trying to do, and how it might not be working in your advantage. It’s a natural instinct to feel like we should be everything to everyone in order to thrive and have enough clients, but not having a clear grasp on who you want to serve is actually counter productive. If you try to please every possible client out there, you won’t connect with those people who would be your ideal clients. You need to know who you’re communicating to in order to engage them.
1. Create a Target Client Persona
Creating a Target Client persona is one of my favourite things to talk about at my workshops. It’s such a valuable process, and the closer you get to the right persona, the more excited you will start getting about your business again. You can begin the process of creating your persona by asking questions about what your ideal client is like, and what their needs are, you could even conduct a survey with your past clients to get more accurate data. The aim is to create a persona that feels like a real person to you.
2. Talk directly to your target client
Once you know your target client, talk directly to them! Do this with all your communication, from the copy on your website to your visual identity and the products that you offer. Yes, you are right, this might turn some people off. That’s ok! Repelling some prospective clients is actually a good indication that you are on your way to creating a business and a brand that will excite your ideal clients. Focusing on one ideal client gives you a clear voice.
3. Make all decisions with your target client in mind
When you have a specific persona in mind, all your decisions become that much easier. You don’t have to endlessly weigh your options, as you know that if the decision is right for your target client, it is right for your business.
4. Don’t worry about not pleasing everyone
It’s ok not to please everyone. There will be other business who will be a better fit for those who are not your target client, and you’ll have more energy and resources to pour towards the clients you should be working with. The more consistent you’ll get at attracting your ideal clients, the more fulfilled both you, and your clients will be, and the more your business will prosper.