By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
Have you clearly defined who you are? Hopefully you will admit that you can’t be one-size-fits-all taking any clients who will hire you. But you won’t be able to attract those ideal clients if you can’t define your business and what you do best. What do you answer when someone asks about your business? Before you begin searching for your firm’s ideal clients, you need to clearly identify your tagline and your unique selling proposition. Everyone on your team needs to be able to have a powerful and concise answer that quickly identifies what makes your firm stand out from your competitors.
Do you really know your competitors? How can you share what sets you apart from those competitors if you know little to nothing about them? Study them thoroughly and regularly and understand where they succeed and where they fail. This knowledge will help you find openings for your firm to find more ideal clients and possibly understand what you need to improve to find and attract more of your ideal clients.
Do you regularly educate yourself? This includes reading the material related to our industry and focusing on what leaders in the industry are saying about the future of our industry. Just set aside a short time each week to keep up on this type of news. If you have alerts set up for key terms in our industry, have them delivered just once a week – you don’t want this to take too much time away from your billable activities
Do you mix and mingle with your peers to get their input to more clearly understand who would be interested in your services? You can also take advantage of the opportunity created to gather information from those ideal clients whom you wish to attract – or those directly connected to those ideal clients. You can connect with them by conducting interviews or surveys which can offer a way to reach people you might either hesitate to approach or with whom you do not normally mingle.
And the last question is, how visible are you in the community where your ideal clients are active? If this “community” is not in your geographical area then this visibility will need to be through articles printed in their local news media, blogs, etc. But if you are trying to attract ideal clients in your general geographic area then first identify where they spend time (chamber events, children’s events, specific non-profit groups, etc.) and take advantage of opportunities presented. If you have a chance to give a short talk to one or more of these groups, that can be very effective. Keep it short and focused on a topic of interest to them and related to your expertise.
If you are prepared with a plan, you will find that you will be able to attract your ideal clients as they understand that you have the knowledge and expertise to be a resource for them.