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Ten Things You Need to KNOW To Attract The Right Clients

Ten Things You Need to KNOW To Attract The Right Clients

“How can I attract the right clients?”

It’s a question I am asked often, especially by my own ideal client – someone who has been in business for a while and wants to be (and can afford to be) more selective about who they work with.

Client Attraction

The word attraction describes the condition of being drawn to something and so client attraction is about creating the conditions so that your clients are drawn to YOU – naturally.

Now, whilst I don’t claim to be a marketing expert, the truth is that I have managed to successfully attract the exact clients that I want to work with and so, I thought I’d share the ten things I believe you need to know in order to attract the exact clients YOU want!

1.  YOUR CRAFT

It is one thing knowing how to market yourself, but if you don’t have the skills and competence to deliver, then you are unlikely to consistently attract the right clients.

Ask yourself: 
How can I continue to develop my competence to be at the top of my game?  What books could I read?  What courses or seminars could I attend?  And, who could I hire as my coach or mentor to challenge me to perform at my best?

2.  YOUR IDEAL CLIENT

You may have skills that mean that you can help lots of different types of clients, but if you try and attract everyone, you will attract no-one.

Ask yourself: 
What kind of client do I REALLY want to work with?  Who do I work with now that fits this profile?  What type of person are they?  And, what type of person, business and/or industry are they?

3.  THE PAIN THEY ARE IN

An undisturbed prospect doesn’t buy.  This is why, like it or not, you have to be clear about the pain your ideal client is experiencing (and how you take that pain away!) so that you can talk to ‘it’.

Ask yourself:  
What problems do they have?  Why do they have these problems?  And what stops them from resolving them themselves?

4.  THE SPECIFIC RESULTS YOU DELIVER

Your clients don’t really care what you ‘do’.  What they care about is what you do for them. 

Ask yourself: 
What do I ultimately deliver to my clients in terms of results?  And, what do they have once they’ve worked with me that they didn’t have before?

5.  THE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU DELIVER THOSE RESULTS

Results are important to your client, but different clients will have different preferences for how you deliver those results.  This means packaging your offering in way that enables them to ask “which one?” rather than “yes” or “no”.

Ask yourself: 
What different preferences do they have?  What different packages can I offer?  How can I deliver my value in different ways?  And, what fee structures would appeal to them?

6.  WHO YOUR COMPETITORS ARE

Your competitors are not just the people who do what you do.  Your competitors are also the people that claim to resolve the same pain that you do.

Ask yourself: 
Who targets the same clients as me?  Who claims to solve the same pain as me?  And, who do I lose business to on a regular basis?

7.  WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE

As you know, your competitors are out there marketing to your clients.  You need a unique claim – something that set’s you apart from them, so that your ideal client understands why they should work with you rather than your competitors.

Ask yourself:
Of all the people who do what I do, what do I deliver that others don’t?  What results can I promise that others can’t?  And, why should a prospective client work with me as opposed to someone else?

8.  WHY YOU ARE CREDIBLE

Credibility is important not only because it attracts clients, but also because it reminds you why others should work with you.  Listing your credibility factors enables you to stand by your claim with confidence which instils confidence in your ideal client.

Ask yourself:
What is it about my background that gives me credibility?  What knowledge do I have?  What qualifications have I gained?  What expertise do I have?  And, what experience do I bring?

9.  HOW TO COMMUNICATE THE VALUE YOU BRING

Knowing all of this stuff is great, but you need to be able to communicate it effectively.  The best way to ensure that your message is clear is to describe the benefit of working with you in a way that a 10 year old child could both understand and repeat.

Ask yourself: 
How can I convey my value in a way that compels the other person to ask me “How do you do that?”  How can I say that in 60 seconds?  And, how can I say that in ten words?

10.  WHERE TO FIND THEM!

Once you know who your ideal clients is, the pain they have and how you resolve that, and once you know how to communicate that to them in a way that they can understand and repeat, you need to find them!

Ask yourself: 
Where do they go?  What do they read?  What social media channels are they using?  And, who else do they do business with?

These are the things you need to KNOW to attract the right clients.  Of course, there are things that you need to DO too and that’s for a future blog.  However, you’ll be surprised at the difference having this conscious knowledge makes to your client attraction.

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What are you saying to yourself?!

What are you saying to yourself?!

I recently tweeted:  “If you have a business goal, but you’re not achieving it, the chances are you have a belief that is in conflict with it.” 

It led to a number of people asking how to find out what the belief is and then importantly, how to change it!

The best indicator of the beliefs we hold is the thoughts that we have – in other words, our ‘Self-talk’.

Self-talk is the dialogue we have inside our own head.  Many people are barely aware of their self-talk and others are acutely aware of it.

 

Now, you may be thinking:  “I don’t have voices in my head!”  Yes, you do.  That was one right there.

I often ask audiences to raise their hand if they know what I mean when I say ‘self talk’ and whilst half the room will raise their hand, many will sit looking at me and others will shake their head.  I will almost be able to ‘see’ the internal dialogue going on: “I have no idea what she’s talking about”, “I don’t talk to myself”, “I’m not admitting that, that’d make me look crazy”.  At this point I’ll say “for those of you without your hands up, thinking ‘I don’t have self-talk’… it’s that thought right there!”

EVERYONE has self-talk

Self-talk is not only normal, it is an essential part of the process of evaluating and processing information.

Each and every day, our mind is bombarded with suggestion: the things we do, see, hear, taste and touch, the people we interact with and the things they do and say, the stuff we read etc.  Our mind has to disseminate that information and make sense of it and our thoughts are part of that process.

So, the only difference between those who say they don’t have self-talk and those who say they do, is that those who say they don’t are unaware of theirs.  And whilst the extent to which you are aware of your self-talk has no bearing on the impact it has, awareness is important, because once you start to become aware of what you are saying to yourself, you begin to have a better understanding of the belief systems you hold and once you know what they are, you can then choose which ones to keep and which ones to lose.

Tune into your self-talk

The key to becoming aware of your belief systems is to intentionally tune into your internal voice and be aware of what it is saying to you and the feelings it generates.  Admittedly, this is easier for some than others, but most people find that when they apply themselves consciously to listening for their internal dialogue, they start to become aware of it almost immediately.

The times when you are most likely to be aware of your self-talk are times when you are on auto-pilot.  You know, those times when you are just ‘doing’ without thinking.  Like showering, or driving, or sitting on the loo!  When I first started to become aware of my self-talk, I would notice it when I was waiting for the kettle to boil, or listening to ‘on hold’ music on the phone, or waiting for a bus.  This is because the conscious mind is not ‘doing’ anything and so your mind is in what’s known as an ‘altered state’.  It’s in this state that your self-talk is most evident.

A helpful Coach or a Bully

Your self-talk can be like a helpful coach who believes in you: supporting and encouraging you, inspiring affirmative feelings in you and resulting in positive action.

Or, it can be like a bully:  undermining and criticising you, resulting in demotivation and self-destructive behaviour.

Some people are not surprised by what they discover when they tune into their self-talk, whilst others are very surprised.

Whatever the case, having this awareness is crucial as it provides an essential explanation for the things we currently have in our life.

What you think about you bring about

There’s a saying: What you think about, you bring about.

What this means is that your thoughts literally become things.  This is because thoughts generate feelings and both are responsible for behaviour.  As I said in my tweet, if you have goals, but you’re not achieving them, the chances are you have beliefs that are in conflict with them, and this will inevitably be showing up as negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is essentially thoughts that lead you to feel negative.  That’s because negative thoughts create stress.

For example, if you tell yourself that something you need to deal with will be ‘difficult’, then your body responds to that thought with the appropriate feelings, as the body starts to prepare itself for difficulty.  Whilst the good news is that this means that your body is working properly (it is providing you with the resources you need to deal with the pereceived situation), it is responding to a perceived threat that is not real.

If you were to view the same situation as a ‘positive challenge’ or ‘an opportunity for learning’ for instance, then your body would respond to that thought with feelings that are appropriate to dealing with that.  Whilst still preparing you, it is preparing you with the resources that will enable you to deal with a challenge or an opportunity, as opposed to facing difficulty.

The impact is HUGE

The difference may seem subtle, but the impact is significant.  Negative thoughts that are left to run their course manifest in negative outcomes because when we perceive that something is going to be a certain way, we prepare physiologically for that outcome and we are likely to manifest it.  Self-talk is self-fulfilling – always.

So, what are YOU saying to yourself?  And how is that showing up in your life?
 

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Reputation: you have one, but do you know what it is?

Reputation: you have one, but do you know what it is?


“I have no idea what my reputation is”

I run an online Personal and Business Growth Programme which leads business owners through a 12 step process to align their activity so that they gain traction in their business.

A big part of this process is being aware of how our behaviour impacts on the perception others have of us and the impact of that on our results.

Step 7 specifically, focuses on ‘Reputation’ and how our reputation affects the judgements people make about who we are, what we stand for and in effect the decisions they make about whether or not to buy into us (and that includes buying from us).

What I have observed is that this step in the process is often the greatest sticking point for people as they begin to look closely at the perception other people have of them and how that might differ from the reality, or from how they want to be perceived based on their future aspirations for themselves and their business.

 

So, firstly, what is reputation?

Reputation is the estimation or opinion in which a person, a company or a product is commonly held, by others.

As we progress through life, we develop personal beliefs, values and behaviours that distinguish our character and it’s our character that defines who we are and what we stand for.

Our reputation however is something quite different.  Our reputation is driven by other people’s perception of our character and it is not the by-product of our behaviour (what we say and do), but the by-product of what other people think and say about what we say and do.


How important is it?

Reputation is everything.

Firstly, it’s a great time-saver as it means that we don’t have to develop relationships with each and every person, company or product in order to make an assessment.

If you look around you now at your wider network, there will be some people who you identify with based mainly on their reputation.  Some of them you will have positive impressions of and perhaps even feel comfortable recommending to others, even though you have never worked with them, used their services, or in some cases even met them.  If you removed reputation from the equation, many of those people would simply be strangers with whom you have little way of relating.

Similarly, we are being evaluated every day by our peers, our clients and our friends both individually, and based on our associations with other people and groups.

People are making judgements about us all the time, based on what they perceive, and those judgements are often then articulated to other people who then make judgements based on what they perceive and so it goes on.

Ultimately, perception is reality and so very often reputation precedes reality.  And that’s why it is so important – especially in business!

Of course, this can work in our favour and many successful entrepreneurs have used this very cleverly to create hype around them.  It can also work detrimentally, which is why I advocate spending some time identifying the reputation you have right now, deciding what kind of reputation you want based on your vision for your business and then addressing the gap as a matter of importance.


So, why does our reputation not always reflect our true character?

I often observe people around me behaving in a way that doesn’t truly reflect what they say they stand for.  I also observe interactions between people where one walks away with an impression of the other which I know to be inaccurate based on my own experience of that person.

Why does this happen?

Sometimes when we feel inadequate or threatened, our behaviour can reflect those feelings rather than our belief/value system.

Just think about that for a moment.

Can you recall a time when you responded to someone or reacted to a situation in a way that later when you reflected on it, you wished you’d hadn’t?  I know I have, and whilst this is a perfectly natural behavioural response, the perception it might create could have a damaging affect on our reputation if the other person is vocal about their impression.

A ‘helpful’ reputation is one that is consistent regardless of the social group (work, social, family etc.) and which is formed through repeated, consistent behaviour over time.

What is a helpful reputation?

When your reputation is helpful it supports your vision.  In other words, it is based on behaviour that is intentional and purposeful and it attracts desired people, circumstances and opportunities to you, resulting in admiration and following, opening doors and paving the way for success.

When it’s not helpful, it can close doors.

So, what can you do to ensure that your reputation is ‘helpful’?

  • Think about who you are and what you stand for and write those things down.
  • Now think about what you want to achieve in your business (or your life) and write those things down.
  • Now think about how your behaviour represents those things: in your business, in your network and in your social interactions etc.
  • Does your behaviour back-up who you present yourself to be?  Write your observations down.

Now answer the following questions:

  • What do you think other people think of you?
  • What things do you know other people say about you?
  • What things have been written about you, or relayed back to you?
  • What do you know you are you ‘known’ for?
  • How would you describe your reputation

Put a star next to the things about your current reputation that you are happy with.  Circle the one’s you’re not so happy with.

Now answer the following questions:

  • What do you want people to say about you?
  • What do you want people to think of you?
  • What do you want people to read and hear about you?
  • What do you want to be ‘known’ for?

What are the gaps?  In other words, what reputational qualities do you want to create?   Write them down.

Ensuring that your behaviour reflects the things that are important to you will ensure that your reputation supports that, because it’s not enough to simply ‘be’ the character that you are – you need to be ‘seen’ to be that character too!

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The Role Model, The Oracle and The Boss

The Role Model, The Oracle and The Boss


“What kind of mentor do I need?”

Running your own business requires clarity of vision and strength of character in addition to an extensive toolkit of knowledge, experience and skill.

Yet the reality is that none of us has a full toolkit.

We all have weaknesses (or ‘areas for improvement’ if you prefer!) and one of the best ways to plug the gaps is a mentoring relationship with someone who has real-life experience in the areas you lack, and subsequent wisdom to share.

 

In my experience, most successful people have people to whom they turn for advice, support and guidance and sometimes for direction and help with decision making.

Being a business owner can be challenging. We start with an idea which is usually based on our passion, knowledge or expertise and then we are faced with the reality of needing to be multidimensional in order to make it happen.

This is where a Mentor adds value.

Their role is to provide another dimension and they do this through sharing insights and lessons from their own experiences and because they’ve been there and done it and made mistakes along the way, their input into your business can prevent you from making the same ones!

In this highly competitive environment, the right mentoring relationship can give you a competitive edge, but what is the ‘right mentoring relationship’ for you?

The Role ModelYou model their behaviour

The Role Model has already achieved the level of success you aspire to achieve and ideally in a similar type of business and/or industry.

They’ve walked a similar path to the one you are walking and so they have learnt and developed the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to succeed. Much of what they have learnt has come directly as a result of the mistakes they’ve made, the obstacles they’ve encountered and how they have overcome them to achieve the results they have, and it’s those experiences that enable them to provide specific advice and guidance.


The Oracle
You seek their counsel

The Oracle has extensive business experience and ideally across many different types of business and industries.

They may not have specific knowledge or experience of your industry or type of business and that doesn’t matter. What they do have is a ‘bigger picture’ perspective on business generally and they help you to get out of the detail and see your business globally, so that you can make more strategic decisions.

They advise on your business model, your pricing, your systems, processes and team and they help you to identify and reach new products and markets. Because they have a lateral perspective, they naturally challenge the narrow assumptions that you make about your business.

 

The BossYou report to them

The Boss is not really your boss, but they are someone (or a group of people) that you purposely use to keep you on track – a bit like a boss would.

They don’t need to understand your business in detail, or even to understand your industry. Their purpose is to be there for you to brainstorm with, to commit to, to check in with regularly and to hold you accountable to the actions you have committed to doing.

So, what kind of mentor is your mentor?

And if you’ve not got one – what kind of mentor would you like to have?

What do you need more: help with specifics, a ‘big picture’ perspective, or someone to kick you up the bum?

A Role Model, The Oracle, or A Boss – you need one of them, which one is it?

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Do You Need A Coach?  Or A Mentor?

Do You Need A Coach? Or A Mentor?

Every one of my clients has recognised the value in having someone to support them in their business.

The truth is, none of us have the full tool kit required to start, develop and run a business.

The energy, attitude and skills required to get a business off the ground are quite different to those required to manage a business that’s already established.

Think about it.  If we had all of the skills required to both start and run a business, we’d not excel at anything!

Recognising this makes admitting to lacking skills in certain areas more appealing and is the first step is sourcing the support of a coach or a mentor!

I say a coach OR a mentor because contrary to what many people think, although many coaches do an element of mentoring and many mentors also have coaching skills, the two roles are fundamentally very different.

Whilst coaching and mentoring are both concerned with enabling an individual to identify issues and solutions and to achieve success, coaching does this through skilled questioning and facilitation and mentoring does this through advising and directing.

What is a Coach?

A Coach is typically someone that you hire to support you with a specific issue or project, and sometimes for a specified amount of time.

Coaching is a set of skills that enable the coach to observe and analyse your attitude, skills and behaviour and to provide you with an objective perspective in order to enable you to develop and grow. A coach is focused specifically on your personal development and learning, and a business coach is focused on this with the specific aim of supporting you in growing and/or improving your business.

Coaching involves questioning techniques to explore the individuals wants, needs, motivations, skills and thought processes, so that they can identify their own solutions and set goals and activities to achieve them.

Contrary to what many people think, it is not essential for a business coach to have built or run a business, or to have any previous knowledge of the individual’s area of expertise, industry, or product.  Their value is defined by their ability to challenge and support their client to identify areas for growth and solutions to problems.

A good coach is someone who you respect and who you feel respects you. They are someone you feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with and by whom you are prepared to be challenged.

What is a Mentor?

A Mentor is someone who has specific skills and experience in the area you want to develop those things and a business mentor is someone who has owned, developed, or run a successful business and has demonstrated that they have the skills required to succeed in business. Anyone in this position will have had failings a well as successes and it is their ability to turn a failing into a success that makes their input into your business so valuable.

Ideally they will have had experience running businesses similar to yours.  However, the industry is less important than the type of business.  For instance, if you sell services, a good mentor for you is someone who has built and/or run a business that sells services.

A mentor may be someone you pay to support you, or they may be a friend or a previous boss or colleague who has an interest in your success and shares their experience and wisdom willingly.

A good mentor is someone who is committed to helping you achieve your business goals. They are the first person to whom you turn for advice and they are the first to hear of your successes. They explore options and solutions with you, and they help you to deal with obstacles.  For this reason, a good mentor will always be honest with you. They will tell you if they think an idea you have is a good one, or too risky. They will also tell you if they don’t know something, and ideally, they will have an extensive network of other experts and suppliers to leverage to get the right answer.

Both a coach and a mentor play an important role in your success and there is argument for having both. I do!

 

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The Missing Element To The Law Of Attraction

The Missing Element To The Law Of Attraction

If you have ever wondered why it is that some people appear to create success in their lives with ease whilst others appear destined to struggle, the answer lies in ‘Attraction’.

Sound a bit ‘Woo Woo’?! Bear with me… 

You may already have an understanding of ‘attraction’ in the pursuit of success as a result of knowing about the universal Law of Attraction.

This said law is believed to determine the order of the universe based on the principle ‘like attracts like’.

It states that when we experience thoughts and feelings, we send an equivalent energy frequency out into the universe and that the universe responds by sending back to us events and circumstances that are on that same frequency.

 

So, for example, if you have angry thoughts and subsequently feel angry, then an angry frequency is emitted and you attract events and circumstances that cause you to feel more anger. Conversely, if your thoughts are positive and your feelings are ones of happiness, you attract back positive, happy events and circumstances.

Now, if you, like I, buy-into the basic premise that perception is reality, then actually, it is easy to accept that how we think and feel affects how we experience life.

However, The Law of Attraction also claims that desirable outcomes such as health and wealth are attracted into our lives through the way we think and feel, and that by simply changing the way we think and feel we can change the material content of our lives: that we simply need to be clear about what we want, visualise it and ask for it, believe that we deserve it and have faith that we will receive it, give thanks for it as if it has already happened, and it will miraculously manifest.

Hmm.

Whilst I have personally worked with The Law of Attraction for many years and whilst I have experienced successes which can be attributed in many ways to the way I think and feel, the most significant success I have experienced in my life has come as a result of combining these principles with actual action. In short – it’s been because of the things I actually DID.

So, whilst The Law of Attraction is a great start, it alone will not manifest the success you want – you’ve got to actually ‘do’ something too!

There is a reason why the word Attraction contains the word Action – and THAT’s the missing element!

Check out The ACT Of Attraction In Business:  Less Woo Woo and More Do Do! (sorry!)

 

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