Fire the deadbeats and find the dream clients (part 2)

Yesterday, I wrote about how to make room for your ideal clients by firing the deadbeats.

Once that’s in process, you can begin the process of garnering great clients. These may cost a little time and money too but well worth it:

  1. Join associations. Research the trade organizations in your area, then figure out which one or two may be the best networking possibilities for you. Which ones have members that may be the kind of clients you’d like to work with? Which dues fit into your budget?
  2. Beef up your online presence. That means portfolio, website, resume and maybe your LinkedIn Profile. Request help from a copywriter, photographer or web designer if they have greater expertise than you in any of these areas. Ken Kaminesky paid for marketing help. See how his photography portfolio now shines – Sometimes you can barter. But even if you do have to pay for help, your brand will be elevated.
  3. Research what other professionals in your field are doing to expand their client list. Need more expertise or education yourself? Then go get it to make yourself more marketable. Investment in your growth is always good for business.
  4. Volunteer to speak, run a panel, help with a conference, bake cookies. You may meet others in the community or within your professional network that can help build your client list.
  5. Set goals and reach them. Just like any other successful part of your business, you need to set ‘new client’ goals as well. How many new clients are you going to bring on this quarter or year? What incremental action steps do you need to achieve to make that goal a reality? Partner with a mentor (Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor even offers a free half hour to get you started. Sign up here.) or friend to stay accountable and moving forward. There is no such thing as a missed goal, just a reset button.

There are many other creative ways to diminish dead beats in your business and add positive, repeat clients, so I’d love to hear from you! How are you going to add healthier client relationships and get rid of the dead beats this year?

3 thoughts on “Fire the deadbeats and find the dream clients (part 2)

  1. Di

    Very helpful posts on eliminating bad and bringing in good clients. Here’s my thought on an ideal client: There are polar definitions for such–practical vs. emotional.

    For example, I’d love to focus my target toward what I call the ‘Save’ industries: Save the Earth, Save the History, Save your Health (organic food), and Save your Soul. These are industries of which I’m very, very knowledgable and I relate well with the people. They are who I am.

    Yet, they’re certainly not economically viable. In terms of profit, They’re not ideal clients. Is there a way of merging practical and emotional to equal profitable? Or, do you have to sacrifice and choose one over the other?

  2. Damien Golden

    Hi Di-
    Great question! I’d like to think you can eventually have both. I think it is good, and satisfying to the soul, to have a pro-bono or trade client that you work with because you absolutely believe in their cause/product/company. It is just very important to set goals on what you can financially afford to provide -in time and services. (You never know, they may grow big enough to one day afford your regular charges.) You just want to keep a close eye on the time you spend with them VS the time you spend with paying clients. I also think if you devise a game plan, you could probably add more clients that align with your beliefs. Another good thing to keep an eye out for is the direct mailers or other promotional items you may get from these “Save” industries. Ever get a postcard or other collateral that could of been designed/written/laid out better? If they are spending money sending direct mail pieces, maybe they have some budget for you too. Be creative and allow yourself time to cultivate those you really want to work with.

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