When starting a business, one of the biggest worries or fears can be how to go about finding people who will pay for your services. Often this can be what holds people back from starting their business in the first place.
Even if already running a business for a number of years, entrepreneurs can find themselves hitting an income plateau and finding it a challenge to attract new paying clients. I have worked with a lot of women who have not even slightly increased their prices in years.
From working for others in the past, working for myself and working with my clients, there are a few lessons I've learned in attracting people who are willing to pay you what you deserve.
Before I officially started my business, I would do the odd piece of work for FREE or as a bartering agreement. This seems to be a normal thing to do when starting out. We are told we need the experience, the portfolio, the exposure or the testimonials to be able to get our foot on the first rung of the ladder and start earning an income.
Think about what this does energetically. It sends the message out to potential clients that what you do is worth nothing. And then from a mindset perspective, you are working with a belief that you don’t deserve to be paid or compensated for the service you provide.
The same applies if you are under charging for what you do. Maybe you don’t work for free or barter but perhaps you keep your prices low to ensure you secure the client or the piece of business.
If you don't believe you should be paid and paid highly for what you do then nobody else will either.
Value you what you do and charge accordingly.
A couple of my clients have had a hard time defining their ideal client. Simply because they have so much to offer and they enjoy helping lots of different types of people with their varied skillset. And as wonderful as it is to be able to help everyone, from a marketing point of view, trying to do this dilutes your message and instead of helping everyone you could end up helping no–one.
I know a couple of my clients have done out their ideal client avatar or customer personas multiple times. They wrote out a description of who they were and gave them an age and hobbies and devices they would most likely use. And then they closed down the word document or the journal and never looked at it again. Does this sound familiar?
The point of creating these personas is to get to know them and learn how to communicate with them so you can attract them to your business.
The best way, I have found to learn how to speak their language, is to focus on the problem that you solve. What are the pain points or challenges that they are suffering with. Describe them, describe how it makes them feel, or what they experience because of this problem. Then think about what their life would be like if they worked with you and their problem had eased or disappeared entirely. What would they feel and experience then?
Write as much as you can and use this language when you are creating content for social media, landing pages and speaking to camera either on social or webinars.
Become fluent in their language.
The three S's. Show up for your business, share your personality and showcase what you offer!
Get comfortable with being the face of your business and sharing what you do. Yes on social media but also in networking groups, in person events, as a guest speaker on podcasts or IGTV interviews.
If you don't invite people to the party, you won't have any guests!
The same goes for your ideal clients. And when you do show up make it clear what you do and what you're offering to do for them. As mentioned above, speak their language and focus on how you can solve a problem for them.
Don't forget, mentioning a course or programme or event online once is not enough. People like to consume different types of content. Not everyone will open their email or watch your stories or read your posts. They can also need more time to make a decision and seeing or hearing about something a few times, in different ways can help them make that decision.
Some of my clients feel like they're being a broken record going on and on about something. My advice is to have different ways of speaking about the same topic. Share different stories and anecdotes related to what you're promoting. Utilise all the different media options online. Be creative and make something entertaining that relates to your offering. Invite others into a discussion about the topic and answer questions.
Don't shy away from showing up because you think they've heard it before. Show up and invite them to the party!
(If you're someone who hasn't fully gotten into the whole social media thing with your business yet, that's okay. Focus on Lesson 2 first, learn your ideal client's language and get clarity in your message. Once you know that creating content will become so much easier.)
Please don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials. If you’ve ran an event or training or you’ve brought a client through a programme, or provided a service for a client, please ask them for a testimonial. I know it can feel a bit awkward, as If you are saying “praise me praise me!” Especially for those of us who are Irish, it is in our DNA to brush off compliments not to mind ask for them.
Make it easy for yourself and make it a habit. This is one of the systems you can get set up. Perhaps create an email template requesting feedback. You may include a couple of areas or topics in particular that you would like mentioned. Have this template saved somewhere so it's easy to edit and send straight away when the event or work has been completed.
The sooner you request it the better, you don’t want the emotion of their experience to fade.
The most important step is to then use this valuable piece of text! Don't read it and say thanks and forget about it. Add it to your website, share it on social media, use it in email campaigns and launches etc.
Testimonials are valuable in that they show exactly what your potential clients could experience for themselves should they choose to work with you. And not only that but they can give you a the lift you might need to keep doing what you're doing! They may help you see the value in what you offer and give you the confidence to charge your worth!
Make it a habit to request testimonials and utilise them to your advantage.
I don't mean the F word!
Pay attention to what you say and think around securing clients and pricing business.
Language is a powerful thing and if you are in the habit of saying things like:
“I enjoy chasing business” then you will always chase business and not ‘catch it’.
“People around here won’t pay that kind of money” – then they certainly won’t pay you that kind of money.
“I’m not afraid to haggle” – then enjoy haggling often
“There’s no rush in paying that invoice” – then you’ll be waiting to be paid
“I’m not in it for the payday” – Then there may be few paydays
The above are real phrases I have caught my clients saying and some things I’ve caught myself saying!
Pay attention to what you say around this topic and take note of what could be preventing you from getting the results you desire.
I could keep talking about this topic all day. There are so many things both practically and energetically that can affect how we do business and generate an income. There are also, of course, a million and one different techniques and strategies for marketing and growing your business. But if you don't have the above taken into account there is only so much those things can do for you.
If you would like to take a deep dive into your business and how you can implement any of the above you can either book an Instant Clarity Call and get started or Book a FREE Connection Call to see if I'm the right person to help you!