How to Clone Your Favorite Client

 

Command the Fees You Deserve

 

Lesson Info

How to Clone Your Favorite Client

Lesson seventeen is how to clone your favorite clients so the first question I have for our in studio audience is who do you love working with and why we don't want any names obviously we're not going to name names completely anonymously can each of you give an example of who you love working with and why and then I will tell you about my favorite client so that we can clone them zane what about you? Sure so I I really like working with clients or projects that I would want to use myself, so since I had developed aps I try to go after ideas start of opportunities products that I would want to use myself that's usually what I'm focusing on. Okay, good raina um I have a client who has a catering business and cooking school um and it's not that that's her business but I like the personality and what I most like about the relationship is that I feel like there's a really a lot of mutual trust and respect their um and she's so enthusiastic about my work that it's really fun and we just both...

I think really enjoy the process so you focused in your first answer here on the personality of the actual person which is an important thing to be thinking about in terms of cloning your favorite clients and I'm going to show next the form that each of you can fill out and that's part of the exercise of what the other qualities are, but personality is definitely one of them. So excellent went about you, justin. I think one of my favorite clients was a startup that involved travel was a travel start up and they was able to go all over the world. So love a client that helped me because I love travel teo to produce in different places on earth. So what you're focused on there, then, is what kind of work they're looking for you to do, that you could do more of that's what your focus is ok, excellent responses three eighteen media saying my target markets were healthcare organizations and polished it politicians. When I first started out, jeff large says his target market simply. People who value me, my team and our work on dh laddie says their target is to get those who are serious about their business, and they tend to be more focus and understand that they work. Sorry that they work, they are getting from me is well worth the cost. Right, so we have all different ways of approaching this idea of the favorite client to clone, which is good, but you also have to put them all together, because if you say I want someone who values my work, I can't say well, here's, where you go to find them, and really the answer to the question, how does one find clients? Is to get as specific as possible about exactly what you're looking for, with characteristics that will allow you to find them. All right? So I want to tell you about my favorite clients, and I'm not going to name names here, either, but I can tell you that on this is the form that I want you to fill out for each of your favorite clients think about their location. Where do they need to be? Do they need to be local to you? Is it easier for you to work with people who are local? Is it easier for them to work with people like you who are local, or could they be anywhere? For me? My kinds can be anywhere, because I work on the phone and skype, so location is not an issue. In fact, I kind of prefer that they're not local, because it doesn't really matter, and it's, much less efficient to meet in person than it is to meet virtually so think about location. Maybe we should go through with each of you, actually the particular qualities on the form. So, justin, what about location with you? Doesn't matter, it know doesn't matter. And so anywhere. Okay, what about you, raina? Mostly done business locally, and I like the in person contact, but I've also done work remotely and that can be fined as well, so I'm not too locked in on what's interesting is that ah lot of people think that they automatically assume that they're clients have to be local, and if you live in a rural area or in a small town than you might imagine that you're relegated toe working with whoever's there. But if you shift your marketing, if you use different marketing tools, then you can reach out to anywhere and that's really one way to expand and find clients beyond just the people who are immediately accessible. How would you answer this question in terms of location? Zane yeah, location doesn't really matter to me too much, but typically I like collaborating in person, so I like having clients in san francisco and new york and toronto because I love those three cities and most and I traveled between those, so, uh, yeah. Okay, so that means that I like the idea of travel that means that you're going to have to put budget in two travel also for your clients, or you're going to put it in your proposals that they cover your travel expenses because of the location. All right, so let's go to industry. This is the one that people have often the most trouble with picking and industry. So for me, as is probably clear already the industry that my favorite clients are in is creative, creative professionals and especially designers, copywriters, photographers, illustrators, other consultants, those are my up, not only my favorite clients, but the people I am best qualified to help. And I was explaining this to actually yesterday, raina, that what it is that makes me of value to those particular people is that I understand their target markets also, and so I kenbrell that to the table. So that's an important thing to be thinking about. So in your situation, justin let's, start with you. What industries are your favorite clients in? Um, I guess, like this transformative industry where you know you're creating show change in people's, whether be yoga or what you're doing here, like with a desired result, I don't know what that industry would be called. Okay and that's tricky and that actually will relate to how to find your focus when I talk about the five ways to focus and I think it's the next lesson thie idea that if you come up with an industry that doesn't exactly exist it's going to make it trickier to actually find those people or there will be different industries that you have tto find them in so I don't know of the transformation industry or even sometimes people think about sustainability, which at a certain point wasn't an industry and now has become in industry and there's a whole, you know, events and publications and websites all about it so that's also part of how you find it and determine whether it's viable but try to think in terms of specifics that you would be able to find right? And so if you say yoga, that might be one and one quality of that, uh, industry is transformation, but be thinking in terms of things you can actually look for and find. All right, what about you? Specialty food, specialty foods and that's a very easy to find one. In fact, you were telling me that you went to the fancy food show just last week, right? So that is very specific, and that can also be local or national or international, I'd like I liketo also, like sometimes expanded a little bit because I like working with organizations also that have to do with food policy people like caters cooking schools kitchen incubators so that it can expand a little bit from that excellent okay, we'll get to that also that idea yeah when we talk about the five ways to focus, what about using for me it's meanly startups that I focus on but the type of products that I would like I like working on our areas that I'm passionate about which include personal development, talent, fitness, education and entrepreneurship now start ups you have to be careful with because often they don't have a lot of money to work with right? So there has to be a balance usually like venture back startups mentor back startups but even frankly venture back startups don't always value the services that you might be offering that might be something they do later on so be careful with startups right? Just be sure that you know going in that they may not have the budget for what you want to charge you may not be able to command the fees from the start ups alright, next quality is title what is the actual title of the person who is the contact that hires you that's a very important piece of information to identify right for me and we were talking about this in session one when we talked about linked in the title is not that relevant so in this case it would be a self employed person or a solo preneurs or an independent professional but you can use the title as one of the ways to literally search on linked in especially for your actual prospect so it's important to know the person with this title usually hires the services that I offer justin do you know what that would be for you? Um I guess the first thing that comes to mind is like entrepreneur or like a lot of instructors like a ceo of you know of their own companies so okay, I think that's something you need to research a little bit right? Because sometimes it could be more than one title but you need to know what those options are to look for them. Raina what about you what's the title of the person who generally hires you or of your favorite client generally it's the owner of the company okay, they generally don't even have a title because they're so small so if they're ending up being creative on lengthen I don't know how I would huh and also in session one we were talking about how you might want to be pursuing larger prospects and companies anyway so maybe this is a good opportunity to figure out what is the title of the person in the larger companies who would hire you and be able to pay you more right all right, so it sounds like you're speaking historically as opposed to aspirational e, which kind of makes sense because I asked for your favorite clients but let's also be thinking aspirational e about some of these qualities. Zane, for me is typically the founder, but if it's a larger organization, the product managers perfect and those air founder not so much on linked in but product manager certainly on ly din is easy to do a simple search and come up with a list of prospects. All right, okay, now personality is the next characteristic, and we were talking already about the personality unenthusiastic person that raina would like to work with. For me, I'm looking for people who are driven and serious, right? Because part of the problem sometimes with all of us, is we think anyone can use our services, anyone with this title anyone with this particular business in my case, anyone who's marketing their own creative service could use me as a mentor. But not everybody wants the help and not everybody is ready and I identify my best prospects as people who are driven and who I can characterize as serious and I can spot them right away and that's how I know who would a put my effort and attention on and then I don't have to waste my time with other people all right so this is the type of thing you want to be sure is clear in your mind so that you can look for serena you've already told us about the personality what about using what is the personality of the person your favorite client or the person you would like to be reckoned with people that are generally like collaborative have they know how to collaborate well and they they like the idea of working with teams you know coming up with cool innovative ideas that were so great so you need to know what the behaviors of a collaborative person is so you can recognize it when it comes to you right because you're not there not going to come and say I'm a collaborative person we should work together or even you can can shouldn't say do you collaborate well right but what are the behavioral signs that you can have your ears open our eyes open for you justin what about you in terms of personality I said something similar collaborators on dh then I guess fun and people that are like pushing boundaries that are going on the edge on dh wanting to do something new or are doing something new I think that's I think that's a really important personalities interesting so what are the behaviors where do those people go how can you find those people what will you recognize when they come to you for someone who is pushing or fun? Right? Pushing the boundaries. I have another one. Tell me. I really like working with people who are articulate ah ha! And good communicator, huh? Right. And those are the behaviors right there, right? And you can tell if someone is in fact, this came up actually with a colleague the other day where I put two people together and one was not communicating enough with the other for her toe want to continue the conversation. She had a criteria. No, I if I am going to communicate with someone, she needs to be doing this and this and this that's what she's looking for great good to know, right? Because that way she doesn't have to waste her time. So we check in and see what people are saying about some of these qualities so far, yes, office sandra saying when it comes to the personality she's looking actually for trendy on a value of the with a unique appeal on a lot of people talk about very specifically for what they need in their in their individual industries. Coasters saying, driven and serious are two personalities that they look for this's really important, because if you can't identify who exactly you want to work with, you're not going to be able to find them. It's a simple as that and you will be relegated to taking whatever comes along and not quite know that those are not really the people I want to work, but they'll just be like there's something wrong here, but you won't know what teo to replace them with. So this is a really, really important exercise, so even if you don't do it right this second, if you're at home, be sure to take time to do this exercise. Now people really come back actually say mvp to director, level of marketing or sales in research or executive directors. So people sort of, I think, looking for high heip positions within different organizations. Excellent. Okay, the next quality is in terms of favorite clients. What do they need, right? You want to make sure that what they need is what you offer. So for me, in this case, we're talking about the scope or the type of work for me, its guidance and accountability. I'm looking for people who need guidance and accountability if someone wants me, too, do their marketing for them. It's not a good fit, because I don't do that. Right but if I did if I wasn't clear on the difference between you want me to tell you what to do or you want me to do it for you then all these people would be coming and I wouldn't necessarily know how to say yes to these and no to that so be really clear about exactly what the scope of work is that you're looking for don't say I could do anything for anyone so in terms of needs and scope and type of work justin, are you ready for your, um, type of work? I guess um somebody who's looking for like content that has like strong conversion rates and the content that is very aesthetically pleasing that speaks to their brand into their audience so this is actually very interesting because the language that you're using and the language that anyone is using to define the needs of the client is actually language that you could put on your website to attract the people that you want to work with and I'm I have some websites teed up to show you how people are doing that but just keep in mind that you know people who are interested in conversion rates you can use that language to attract those people is that clear raina what about you? What are the needs the scope of work, the type of work I would say companies that want to upgrade their branding and all ready for the next step two sort of success of your company whether they're getting on the shelf for getting into more stores or going international um yes so the upgrade a next step and that and again that's great language to be using in your own marketing in your positioning because and we'll get to that actually in the next flight about what they actually say that you can hear and then recognize okay that's the person I want to work with and you can use that language to essentially draw them in and that's where the connection is made zane what about you? Yeah, so for me the type of work is uh more on side of the client is looking for great user experience and uh innovative ideas and so that's kind of the type of fresh relationship I'd like to have is our ongoing relationship we're uh we're more of a partnership then then just uh job and again to know that and then use that language in your marketing on your web site is how you connect with the people who find your website and also want the same thing so that's why it's really important to know these things about ourselves and about the people that were looking for all right here's the one that's also very important what is the budget range of your favorite clients right for me it's for exes per year right whatever that is you need to know what you generally want people to be spending, especially if you're looking for, um, fewer clients with more money fight so that you could do less work for less time and make more money, like jill was talking about yesterday, right? So what is the budget range? Let's? Just have general budget range for general projects that are your ideal, what you're looking for, zane. Yeah, for me, like, when it comes to budget, I priced my client's based on the value that I deliver to them. So I always start with the goal of how much they want they want to achieve, and if we kind established that, then we come upon a price that I could help them get to that level, and that allows me to price higher a swell as having invested interest in their project. So typically, projects would be certain budget for the actual work and also, um, a revenue revenue share, huh? So this kind of motivates me to do a good job and also stay focused and build a better partnership with them rather than just get the job done and be over with. So zane just described something I will be talking about in session three in the pricing section, he just described value based pricing essentially where you price your services, not according to what time you spend or what effort you make but to the value that your clients get as a result of your work it's tricky it doesn't always work it's not for everyone will go into more detail about it in session three but thank you because that is very clear and I think something that a lot of people are aiming for but important to know excellent raina what aboutyou budget range can you throw some numbers out for us? I never I never thought about hundred range per year I always price proco project and it could be per project teo that's fine. Okay, so you obviously it depends on you know, what do you look for your bail? Okay, I was ideally maybe ten thousand per project. Okay, ten thousand per project. You might want to aim a little higher. Okay? All right on what's interesting is that I think we often aim low maybe because we don't know if we're going to be able to get it, but the only way to get it is to go looking for it, right? So just think about it. You know what is possible? Not necessarily what you've done or based on the people that you know, we are talking about favorite clients, but we're really talking about who else could become a favorite client, okay, justin, what about you? Uh oh, uh, by the way, let's just remind people that you said in session one that you wanted to earn one hundred fifty thousand dollars a year, so this budget that you're looking for, it needs to be relative to that. Yeah, and I was just adding that up I was I was looking at that on backed, adding up how many clients that would be a good goal and, you know, I guess I'm interested in, like, the package pricing I'm later in session three, but I guess my initial response would be, like, twenty five thousand dollars minimum or is that average that's going? I well, that's hopefully, like, like, the low in of a package deal, and but I still that's kind of still fuzzy for me that, you know, like that's kind of the aim, but there's still work to be done, okay? And I don't necessarily expect any of you to know this today, but to be thinking of what is this budget range that I'm looking for so that I can go looking for it? So yes, it takes time. What about budget ranges in the online chat room? I'm sure there's some numbers in their lease has come back and said her ideal budget range is a retainer client in the twenty thousand dollars range twenty thousand per month yeah, I was going to ask if we can clarify that I that may be for the much as well lady says I do get to charge what I want because I'm waking a hand handmade thing they turn to sorry, it's moving too quickly. They tend to think on the lines of work, cost money so they often don't think I should be charging more so they don't really have a budget a set because they they're pricing things individually. So maybe it is a mind shift on that isto how how many they need to sell perhaps three, eighty meters says for retainer clients I need three thousand four thousand a month, but for standalone projects I need around five thousand to ten thousand k each so and this also allows you to figure out and decide what you need. I need x number of clients at this budget range to equal my monthly number, which equals my yearly number that's the basics. And once you have that, you could go looking for it. All right, all right. And finally, I think one of the qualities should also be what is the internal political situation? Because this is where the nightmare clients come in right often it is because of internal politics now I'm in a very enviable position I think because for the most part none of my clients have internal politics is just me and them there's nothing between us so I'm looking for no internal politics but what would you say justin about like what would you tolerate in terms of internal politics I would from the sounds of it none I'd be in the same boat as you but I guess depends like it depends and I think there are ways to assess it and certain things you know you can tolerate and other things you know you can't tolerate based on this idea of the nightmare clients that we talked about so that's just something to think about what is it that you would be willing to deal with on? What is it that you're not willing to deal with in your favorite clients may know what about you what you thought kind of thinking about the type of clients and I haven't had this in a while but where you're dealing with more of a junior person the whole time and then at the presentation they bring in more decision makers who all of a sudden there's a complete disconnect that's a nightmare to me that's a big waste of time and um I think there are steps to take before toh avoid that right so again if you're trying to identify your favorite client and you know that that's, the type of situation you I can't work with, because it's a waste of your time than in your marketing process and in your qualifying process you, khun b, having that question you in your mind asking that question, saying it to actual prospects. What is your decision making process? Can I have the decision makers in the room when I present? Can they be involved in the very first meeting? Right? So they're things you can do what, you know what this internal political focus is for yourself? Because they're saying working with a company with partners and co owners has been the worst, and also, I think, committees, you know, nonprofits, especially where everything is decided by committee, that's a perfect example of a kind of political situation people try to stay away from, and krista actually is echoing exactly what you're saying. Elisa says she now writes it into her contract that the decision makers have to be aware of every step, and sometimes also, um, you can ask for a single contact. This is related to the chaos, a nightmare, clients where if there are too many people making decisions or sending messages or connecting with you, you can put it in your contract to say, one single contact contact for all of the information that I get otherwise it's too chaotic that could be part of your internal political quality qualification process st yeah really like just working directly with the decision is I've been in situations where I have worked with larger organizations and just goes nowhere you're raising a lot of time exactly and it's just lose lose and so we're not saying I mean you could say I on ly work with clients where I can work directly with the's decision maker on dh that will limit you certainly but is there enough work out there for you and your business? Probably right so you can make that otherwise you khun say here's my preference and I will on a case by case basis decide is this project doesn't bring other qualities to the table that I'm interested in even though the internal political situation is not exactly what I need, right? So again the importance of knowing these things so that you can make your decisions case by case and get as much as you can of what you're looking for, not necessarily always everything. The other element here is to know exactly what your favorite clients say literally what they say and I've been doing this long enough that I've identified two sentences that I hear from my best clients one is I'm doing pretty well but I think I can do better another is I'm serious about taking my business to the next level but I need guidance and someone to bounce ideas off of you'll notice that that's a lot of what's in my own marketing language not because I made it up but because people have said it to me and now I'm just reflecting it back to them and they identify with it right? So if you can listen for that language here's what I need I know it when you hear it and then put it in your marketing that's how you attract her ideal clients is that clear? Okay, good so here's the list the form essentially to fill out when you're trying to identify your ideal clients and before we get to the exercise I do want to show you to web pages so um here I'm showing you whole brain creative dot com which is ah the website of tiffany estes who was a kind of mine that's her home page and what I want to show you is she has a page if you can see it here called are we a good match? And so on her website she literally gives a list of the qualities she's looking for she has a lot of description here it's hard to define an ideal client by size blah, blah blah we're going to gel if and she has a bulleted list of the qualities and the situations with the people that she gels with and on ideal client can read this and say, oh yes that's me you take pride in your image and how others perceive your organization you value high quality marketing materials and consider them a reflection of the quality of your own goods and services. All right, you take the list that we just came up with and you turn into a language that you can put on your own website that says we are a good match if you fit this description, I want to show you one more example of that from kirk roberts at kirk roberts design he's a web designer and you can see on his pages he says you plus me equals website bliss very simple clear message his website is very clean and in the navigation menu you'll see right here he has about you, right? He has he doesn't even have about me he's got about you let's talk about you because he understands it's not about him it's about you and he also has a bulleted list you are personally invested in your business so this would be perhaps the ceo and founder away to say that you are a delegator who relies on finding trusted and responsive partners you want a collaborator who naturally extends and compliments your expertise and capabilities so essentially this is a description of him phrased in the second person right, you are a person who appreciates this and that happens to be me, so we're a good fit. This is so important in terms of attracting your ideal client, you need to know who you're looking for. You need to put the message out there in his many ways as you can in your marketing language. And then, of course, you have to get the people to your website, but that we will tackle later, but once they get there, this will help them realize, oh, this is the perfect fit for me, because here, this person is describing me essentially. Okay, so now we'll get to the exercise, which we've kind of already done here in the room. Right? So if you're at home, you can pause and do this on your own. But the question is, who is your favorite client? Identify your favorite client, fill out the form according to all of those qualities and characteristics, and then, no, you may not know this already. What do most of them say to you? This could be a question of listening starting toe listen differently to the people that you talk to and then you want to fill out the form according to this example.

Class Description

Earn more money for the work you love to do – let Ilise Benun show you how in the complete guide to marketing, pricing, and booking freelance work: Command the Fees You Deserve.

Ilise has built a career advising the independently employed. She has authored 7 guidebooks for creative entrepreneurs and runs the popular online freelance resource, The Marketing Mentor. In Command the Fees You Deserve, she will teach you how to land clients who value your services and stop the self-defeating cycle of taking whatever comes along. Ilise will share:

  • Inspiring ideas for finding and approaching clients
  • Step-by-step instructions on pricing and proposals
  • Tips for keeping clients happy and projects on track

You’ll learn how to identify quality prospects, deal with problem clients, and structure your marketing to avoid the feast or famine cycle of freelance work.

Command the Fees You Deserve will help you enjoy greater stability and security by finding the right niche, marketing and pricing your work, and sifting good clients from bad ones.

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