Welcome to Day 2 of the 31 Days of Marketing Your Freelance Business Series! For the month of October we are going to be covering a ton of different ways you can market your business and get more clients.
Before we get into any marketing, it’s good to know who we’re marketing to. If you have a marketing background you would call this your target audience. But over here in the freelance/entrepreneurial/consulting world, we call them our ideal clients.
An ideal client is someone you want to work with again and again. They pay you what you ask for, you’re excited to work on their projects, and working together is easy like Sunday morning. Working with your ideal client makes the entrepreneurial thing seem like a breeze.
So how do you go about finding these mythical creatures that make your work life easier? First you need to figure out who they are.
What do you want to work on?
The first step is figuring out what kind of jobs and projects you most want to work on. What type of work do you enjoy doing most? How long do you typically want to work with one client? Do you prefer short one time projects, or an ongoing working relationship?
What kind of company are they?
Consider not only the kind of work you’ll be doing, but also the kinds of companies or people you want to work with. Do you want to work with small business owners or major advertising agencies? Is there a particular industry you like working with most?
What values must you share?
Your clients don’t have to share every single one of your values, but some might be important to you. If you’re an environmental activist you may not be happy working with an oil company. Your ideal client should care about some of the same things as you. Write down your deal breaker values.
What kind of people do you like working with?
What are some of the traits of your favourite clients, coworkers, or bosses in the past? Were they super organized and clear about deadlines? Were they easygoing and quick to hand over the ropes? What about them made it easy for you to work together? And what made it easy to get along? Write down some of these personality traits that you would want to see in your clients.
By now you should have a pretty clear picture of who your ideal client is. Note: You should be specific, but don’t get ridiculous. Maybe your ideal client is women in their 20’s & 30’s at the building stage of a passion based business who have a modern and colourful aesthetic, an open mind about their marketing strategy, and a laid back sense of humour. That’s great. But adding that ‘if they don’t watch Girls and eat popcorn at least twice weekly then you probably won’t jive because you just aren’t on the same wavelength’ is too much. You’re looking for people that you can happily work with, not your new BFF.
What are their pain points?
The next step in this process is to determine what your ideal clients pain points are. What are the problems they can’t solve on their own that you can help them with? Think about the problems they are having in their business or life that you have a solution to.
Now you know who your ideal clients are and exactly what they need. From this point forward you can tailor your messaging and target your marketing to speak to these people. Once you start marketing to your ideal clients you can stop taking on those headache inducing jobs and start working on projects that leave you feeling fulfilled.