Photo: Rayi Christian W
Jana was a student of Ramit Sethi. She was very busy. Jana is a freelance writer and she was doing “everything everyone told her to do.”
She was updating Facebook. She was attending networking events. She was passing out her business cards. She was tweeting. And she was barely staying afloat, financially.
Sound familiar? Ramit hears stories like Jana’s all of the time.
“This is a very common thing for us, right? Like, I’m doing all these things. I’m so busy every day. But I’m not actually making any money.”
Which is why Ramit developed his Earn1K program and a simple, straight-forward process for getting there which he taught in the CreativeLive class, Money and Business for Creatives.
Ramit doesn’t want independent entrepreneurs spinning their wheels trying to reach unrealistic goals through busy work. He wants you to focus on the goal that means money in the bank.
Ramit’s approach: Make your goal to land three perfect clients.
“You have to focus on only the things that will lead you to three paying clients. That’s it.”
Why three? “One, two might be fluke. Three is real. It’s validation.”
By taking a narrow focus, you free yourself up to actually develop and activate a coherent plan. It is tempting to cast a wide net in an attempt to reach your big goals, but in order to create real, repeatable success you have to know your target, inside and out, and have a specific plan for reaching it.
Ramit has a distilled his action plan for helping you land those three perfect clients into three steps.
“Identify who they are, reach out directly, and chat with them.”
It’s really that simple. Ramit explains that when you start your business and you focus on finding paying clients, landing them you validates that you’re doing the right thing. And in this process you start to understand client psychology – which tells you more about how you can tailor your services to offer real value to the people you want to serve.
The action plan for connecting with those clients flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
Turn off Twitter. Twitter is oft-described as an online cocktail party. You get clever quips, news updates, and self-promotion, but like a cocktail party, it is rare for all of that chatter to lead to lasting relationships. As Ramit says, “It is possible to get clients off of Twitter. But is it the most likely? No, definitely not.”
Stop Attending Networking Events. Networking events take an investment of time. And that time isn’t limited to your actual attendance, there is the planning, the transit, and the follow-up.
“Instead of going to some networking event where everyone else is unemployed as well and they’re handing out business cards to each other in the weirdest echo chamber of all.” Ramit advices you, “Study four or five potential clients? Go out to coffee with them, email them.”
No more Facebook. “Let’s get brutally honest with ourselves. We’re always doing all these things that everyone tells us to do. But if you were to actually eliminate all the time wasters, you would have tons of time.” Boom.
Forget about the business cards. “Yeah, at a certain point you might want to get business cards. But to get your first three clients, focus on reaching out to the right people, understanding who they are, studying them, changing the way you talk. Instead of talking about yourself, talk about them.”
And there you have it, three simple steps (identify, reach out, and chat) for landing those three perfect clients – those clients who prove you are on the right path, who put money in the bank and who teach you more about how to land the next client than any awkward conversation at a networking event ever could.