Hello! Welcome to 2022!
Wow what a wild start to the year, how are you feeling about this new year?! The energy for me is one of excitement and exhaustion. I worked right through the Christmas break putting the finishing touches on Elevate with eCommerce which is my signature Shopify course for designers. It launched Friday week ago with enrolments closing last Wednesday and wow I am really so happy and honoured to have had some really amazing designers jump into the enrolment and some are already sitting at 66% completion rates, and yes if you’re a student and listening to this episode, I do check your completion rates 😉
So today I really want to tap into the energy of the New Year, New Opportunities and New ways of looking at things, and perhaps planting some seeds for you where you can start thinking about how you can begin to attract more dream clients.
And before we kick off, if you love freebies, then I have created an actionable workbook for this exact topic which runs you through the steps I am about to go through and a bit more, so check out the course notes OR download here: Four Steps to Attracting your Dream Clients
So, I know for me when I was first starting out, I worked with anyone! I mean anyone. And what I found was, working with anyone, and creating content that speaks to anyone, means you begin working with clients who don’t align with you or the way you work, or the work that you create. And this can start to feel stressful, it starts to feel forced and from my experience it starts to feel like a 9-5 again and that is doing things you don’t want to do for people you don’t want to do these things for, right!
With that being said, I want to share my insights into how you can really get clear on attracting your dream clients into your business. Attracting and working with dream clients means you get to work on the Project you want to work on, in the area of Design that lights you up, and you get to work with Clients you want to work with!
What I want you to focus on here, is asking yourself the following questions and write these down, so if you’re driving or on a walk with your doggo, thats a-ok, answer these in your head but then I want you to re-listen to this episode when you’re sitting down at your desk, with a clear mind and focus.
So ask yourself – What do you enjoy doing as a Designer – is it packaging, is it Shopify Websites, is it Branding? Is it social media templates, is it managing someones’ Pinterest? Is it working with clients in a specific industry, or type of business?
How do you want to structure your day?
What are your long term goals and vision for your business? What is your north star?
What do you not really enjoy doing? Perhaps you don’t like designing social media templates, or designing email marketing but you do it anyway perhaps because of the feeling of scarcity or not wanting to say no to your client, right?
What are your strengths, what are you really good at?! And usually this directly ties in with the things you love doing.. Write those down.
And which projects or clients in the past made you the most happy, who or what did you enjoy the most? And why, why did you love working on this particular project?
You can’t manifest your dreams or dream clients without first asking for exactly what you want. For this step I want you to get really clear on who your dream client is, and a very crucial part of this step is ensuring that your dream clients are going to align with you and how you work and what you have to offer.
There is no point wanting to work with Corporate Clients and that is your goal, when your personality and how you work aligns more with say a one-on-one client in a small business for example – because chances are with CorporateProjects you are going to be dealing with multiple people on the project like board of directors, or sales/marketing and brand managers, so ensure that the types of clients fit within the way you want to work.
I now want you to write down the following details about your Dream Clients:
What characteristics do they have?
I’m talking about location, budget, style of running their business, ways they communicate, how organized they are, their style in general, where do they hang out, what is their business space like, who are their friends, what do they do on weekends, what are their big goals, what are their values?
What Industry are they in? (and if there is a common theme – where you hear yourself saying, “well I love working with Fashion Brands”, or “I love working with Interior Designers”) then this could be an opportunity to niche down into these industries as well.
What are their pain points? Is it that they are in a growth phase, and want an expert to help take their packaging to the next level, do they have a clunky old WordPress website which is holding them back with their goals, and need something more functional and beautiful, what are you dream clients’ problems that your specific skills can solve for them?
So once you can really determine who your dream clients are, it’s time to think about where they might hang out, and places they might be looking for you!
Are your dream clients more on Pinterest (for example Interior Designers) or are they more on Linked In (Coaches or Corporate), think about where they hang out to consume information both in a state of relax (mindlessly scrolling) and when they’re potentially actively looking for a Designer like you – This could be more on their socials, or talking to friends or inside Business Groups is one great example.
So now we have a really clear idea of how you are going to align yourself and your amazing qualities WITH your dream client.
In this step, we are now going to ensure that you can be seen as the go-to Designer for your dream client. It’s all well and good to know about yourself and know about your dream client, but we now want to attract them! And the best way to do this is by showcasing your talents and in a way that speaks directly to your dream Client.
How to do this? Firstly you will want to audit your portfolio or recent projects on your website. Be sure to include any and all projects that you think will appeal to your dream client, even if a Project you have doesn’t match their industry, but if the aesthetic is on point and this project in question has similar vibes to what your dream client would be looking for, showcase it!
But I hear you say ‘April, I have only worked with corporate clients, and I don’t have any portfolio pieces that showcase how good I am at elegant style branding for example.” Start following a few instagram accounts like – Brief Club or #briefbabes where Designers or accounts will put up an imaginary client brief and then you can use these to design out concepts in your own style. This way you can showcase your ability to follow a brief, plus these Designs can absolutely be showcased on your social accounts and on your website as a portfolio piece.
Now that you have these strategies in place you should hopefully find you start attracting more clients who align with you and your designs. The important part about this step is that your entire process should reflect the style that you have put out the world, so if you are niching down or you have really defined yourself and your style to the world, ensure that each part of your design process including your onboarding documents, your Brand Style Guide, the way you communicate, even things like your email signature reflect who you are and your Brand.
Another point I want to reflect is this, in my experience business owners who sit within a particular niche, or business group, or even location – will have business friends and in my experience, if you reach and exceed your clients expectations, that client will refer you to their community of other entrepreneurs, business owners, mums group, business groups or friends.
It’s important that your client results and positive outcomes are at the heart of everything you do in your design business.
Ok that is it from me today! I hope this episode has given you a better framework around how to get into the mindset of attracting more of your dream clients and once you start energetically knowing who you want to work with, it’s amazing to see how quickly these clients start finding you.