If there’s one thing us freelancers can’t survive without, it’s our clients. But taking on nightmare clients who you don’t enjoy working with, or who don’t value your expertise, is a recipe for feeling uninspired, misunderstood, and totally unhappy.

As small business owners trying to scale up, we naturally have a tendency to take on as many clients as we can fit in our schedule at one time, without first considering if they are the right fit for our business.

But growing your biz is no walk in the park. Pulling it off requires some strategic thinking around how you position your services, who you’re working with, and how you’ll align both of those with your long-term goals.

What you really need in order to sustainably scale, is clients who will grow with you, allow you to charge more, and build your reputation as an expert in your field.

So how do we find those clients who we have a great connection with, will pay us well, AND value our services?

This might sound like a pipe dream. But guess what? It isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Attracting your ideal client online doesn’t have to be a hard hustle.

Let’s take a look at the practical steps you can take to attract those ideal clients with ease.

It all starts with the first step…

Determining who they are

This might seem like a given… but you need to know what your ideal client looks like before you can think about the ways in which you’re going to reel them in.

We all have a set of basic requirements that we look for in a client. For example, we’d all love a client who:

  • We have a great connection with
  • Pays on time and at our ideal rate
  • Treats you like a professional
  • Values your services & expertise

However, for us OBMs, the next important thing to consider is which stage of your OBM journey you’re at. There are 3 main different OBM client types. And some are a better fit than others as you’re navigating the online biz space.

It’s also worth considering client attributes that align with the services you offer. Maybe you’re a systems junkie who wants to focus on helping clients with their tech setups. Perhaps you’re all about building your service packages around a 90-day biz transformation.

Ultimately, your ideal client’s goals should align with what you can offer, as that’s how you’ll attract them.

A great way to figure this out is also by utilizing the power of client intake questionnaires.

Align your messaging to your ideal client

Throughout your marketing efforts, your messaging should connect with your ideal client. You NEED to be speaking to their pain points and what their ultimate biz goals are. This is how you’ll get them to truly resonate with you.

Jen Bourne of Bourne Creative sums this concept up perfectly. She says:

“Positioning yourself as the best choice and not just another choice is all about packaging your expertise in a way that makes it look as appealing and tasty as possible. Because when you drop your bait in the water, you want the big fish to bite without hesitation.”

The bottom line is: our clients want us to solve their problems. So it’s important to address this across all your messaging. That includes your website, social media, your LinkedIn profile, and so on.

If you already have existing clients, a great way to align your messaging is to think about the problems you solve for them on a daily basis. What do they tell you they need help with? What are they frequently having issues with? What problems are you tackling the most?

Hang out where they hang out

This is my #1 tip when I’m asked by OBMs how to find & attract their ideal clients. Try to hang out where they hang out. No, I’m not talking about stalking them at the pizza place they love… it’s about figuring out where they hang out online.

Example: You’re an OBM who is a systems nerd and really knows their sh*t when it comes to CRM tools. You could list all the CRM tools you work with (like Dubsado, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign etc). Then find online support groups for these particular softwares. There are some awesome paid groups which are really worth the investment when it comes to finding quality leads and turning them into clients.

You could also look at particular industries. If you want to work with clients in the real estate biz, find places online where these business owners hang. This might be on social media, or attending industry-related events.

Once you’ve got your eye on these groups and someone cries out for help, that’s your time to shine! You can swoop in as the expert OBM and save the day! Take action and link them to your website or even invite them to hop on a discovery call.

Flaunt your testimonials

Client testimonials are incredibly useful for inspiring trust in potential clients. Let’s put it this way – who will your ideal client see as the more “credible” advocate for your services, you, or your former client?

A study by Big Commerce found that 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. And 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

Think back to aligning your messaging with solving your prospective clients’ problems. A shining testimonial is a fantastic way to illustrate exactly how you solved a challenge or issue for your former clients.

Plus, this also ‘humanises’ your brand and allows your customer to better connect with the results your services can deliver.

You can utilize testimonials across your website, social media platforms, and SO much more! And my top tip for testimonials in 2020: Harness the power of video!

Know your worth

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s SO crucial to know your worth when it comes to attracting your ideal client.

As newbies in the online biz space, we can have a tendency to work with anyone and everyone who’ll take us on. However, having the confidence to say NO to those clients who aren’t aligned with your greater vision is what will empower you and attract what is right for YOU.

Even if it seems counterintuitive, once you adopt a “take it or leave it” policy with your service offerings, you’ll be surprised how your business will flourish!

Key Takeaways

Determining who your ideal client is is the most important (and underrated) first step towards reeling them in. Once you have a clear idea of who they are, you can align your messaging and marketing to really speak to their pain points. In doing so, you’ll attract a steady stream of enjoyable clients who will value what you do and treat you accordingly.

Now over to you: How do you determine if a potential client is the right fit for your biz? Share your tips and stories in the comments below!