PITCHING TO DREAM CLIENTS PART 1: WHO ARE THEY?
This is the first in a three part series on how to grow your business by pitching yourself to your ideal clients. I’m really excited to talk about this, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to share for a long time because pitching ourselves to potential clients has been surprisingly successful for us. We actually found our first client by sending an email, which you can read about here, and we found many of our other early clients by going to craft fairs which you can read about here.
If you run any sort of service-based business, you know how important it is to grow your client base. Without clients, you won’t be able to perform your services which means you won’t have a business at all. While there are many different ways to gain customers, the three main ways that we find clients are through referrals, companies finding us on social media, or through us reaching out.
The first two ways are somewhat more ideal because there is already a level of familiarity and interest, but pitching to clients can help get your business in front of dream clients who may never hear of you otherwise. I really believe that successful businesses are built proactively, not passively. There will always be slow seasons, but instead of sitting around waiting for clients to come to you, you can pursue businesses you want to work with and pitch your services to them.
A lot of people don’t reach out to companies because they are afraid of rejection, or too overwhelmed to know where to begin. I’ve been there, and I get it. In reality, the worst thing that someone can say is no, or just not respond, and the best thing that can happen is you find a consistent client that leads to even more work through referrals.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that this is a magical process that will suddenly give you hundreds and hundreds of clients. Honestly, it can be discouraging to put yourself out there at times, but if you continue to be persistent, eventually it will pay off.
So where do we begin? Before you can start looking for clients, you have to identify who your ideal customer is. Knowing this will help you weed out projects that may not be a good fit (read our post on turning down work here), and it will help you target the clients that you actually want. Having a solid client profile will also allow you to fill your portfolio with sample projects that will attract the right clients.
Here are a few questions that will help you nail down who your ideal client is:
What is your product or service, who would it be useful for? What is the need that you fill, and how will this benefit your clients?
What are your goals? Would a specific type of client help you reach these goals?
What kind of work do you enjoy? List out your favorite projects. What are you passionate about?
What qualities are important to you in a client? For example, it is important to us that our clients allow us to have input in the art direction and creative process of the shoot.
Is there a specific location or demographic that you want to target Does your business fit into a certain niche?
Take the answers to these questions and compile them into a client profile which is a paragraph about the person who would hire you for your services. You can create a few different client profiles if you have a few categories of ideal clients, but it should be written as if you were writing about a real person. This way you can actually picture the client and spot them more easily.
Spend some time on this, and stay tuned because in part two we will share where we find clients and how we actually reach out to them. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or comments on this topic! We would love to hear from you.
Is it the weekend yet?