This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Customers who don’t value your work appropriately are a financial and emotional drain.
5 min read
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New customers and consistent sales are what build businesses.
So naturally, you might assume that any paying customer is a good customer. But that’s not so. If you have been an entrepreneur for any amount of time, there’s no doubt you have had customers you regretted onboarding. They want more than they pay for, are always complaining, derailing your focus, and taking up too much time.
If you’re going to experience record growth this year, don’t take on just any clients. Make sure you’re building your customer base with ideal clients.
Clients That Make Business Fun
No matter what kind of business you’re building, working with your ideal target client will make the work feel easier.
You’ll be excited about customer calls, you’ll feel challenged mentally (in a good way), and your business will flourish because you’ll be spending your time doing what brings you fulfillment.
Ideal clients pay more and understand the value of what you offer.
The thing is, to fill your client roster with ideal customers requires some clarity on your part. You have to know who your ideal client is and have a clear understanding of what makes them the right fit for your business.
A Different Path to Client Acquisition
It’s not uncommon to see entrepreneurs or even organizations looking to get products or services for a ridiculously low prices.
The creation of Fiverr, Canva, Upwork, and other freelancer platforms has entrepreneurs thinking they can get products and services to build their business for peanuts — or that they can create them on their own.
For you, as the entrepreneur or business providing these types of products and services, it can be deeply frustrating. You’re doing good work and want to be paid for the value you provide. The issue is that you’re looking for business in the wrong places.
Your goal should be to reach potential customers that understand the value of what you provide. You should be targeting an “unaware” customer base.
On the Internet, everybody knows everything and they think they can get it done for close to free. Too many businesses are making money but not building anything real, or lasting. They don’t understand the value of investing back into what they’re building.
That’s why things like personal development coaching are not prioritized, even though they should be. That’s why graphics, websites, sales copy, and common business necessities like liability insurance, an attorney, an accountant (and so on) aren’t utilized by a majority of entrepreneurs.
These are all essential components in a solid business, but they’re not seen as a necessary. The type of people who have this mindset are not your ideal clients.
The person whose first question is, “How much will it cost?” is not your ideal client.
My message is simple: Stop chasing customers who don’t get it. Don’t get involved with clients who think that R.O.I. is simply a dollar amount they can get back from working with you.
Target a customer base to create awareness of what you do and why it’s important. When you create awareness and offer a solution to the awareness you’ve created, you’re reaching the best type of client.
You can create that awareness through the content you publish on social media, on your blog, through your email list, in media appearances, and by showing up in your local community.
This is nurture marketing at its finest. You’re adding value, building trust, and showing expertise in the places that bring consumers to you — instead of you chasing them.
If you don’t know who your ideal target customer is, that should be your first homework assignment.
- Who they are
- What they do
- What their pain points are
- Where they do business
- Where they spend time online
- How they speak
That clarity helps you map out a strategy to reach your ideal client in the places they are and in the way they’ll respond to. It will make them feel like you’re talking directly to them. Don’t worry about excluding those who are not the right fit.
Your goal should be to become a big fish in a little pond, and a little research will show you where better potential customers are. Building a business is about more than sales numbers. Your goal should be to build something you enjoy, and attract clients you enjoy working with.
Don’t spend any of your time hustling to prove your worth to clients that aren’t the right fit. Save your energy for the ones who deserve you.