Blog Entries

The Sweet Spot

perfect client avatar card

The truth is, there is no shortcut to getting better clients. Sorry to disappoint you so early on in our relationship. However, there IS a process you can follow. So while everyone else is chasing the next shiny object, you can focus on setting yourself up for success. This takes a little bit of work and a little bit of time, but it works. I promise.

In this post I’m going to help you:

  • Get clear about your value offering
  • Differentiate yourself from everyone else
  • Avoid wasting time on clients who are just wrong
  • Start finding the right clients.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Who Do You Serve?

I’ve written about this before. The key to building a great business is to only work with clients who absolutely love us and love what we do. It’s how you get referrals and eliminate the usual stress that goes along with client work. It’s also how you add massive value, which is the only way to get paid higher fees.

So, how can you define the work that you love doing? How can you find clients who love you? How can you make them real and get them out of your head and into real life?

With Web Design and Web Development rapidly becoming a commodity, you cannot compete on price. You need to work out how you are different from everyone else, otherwise, it’s a race to the bottom with clients who are price shopping and designers who are discounting to get the gig. Not all clients are right for you! You should know when to pass the ill-fitting clients off.

What are you good at and what do you enjoy?

Building your own business is hard work. Around 80% of startups and small businesses fail within the first 2 years. You have to enjoy what you’re doing.

Writing something down gets it out of your head and body and makes it real. So take out a piece of paper and divide it into two columns; Skills and Passion.

Skills

In the Skills column, write down what your skills are, where you’re really strong. And BE HONEST about it.

For instance, I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m a good designer. I’m good with people and understanding a client’s problem and designing an overall solution. Your job is to work out what you are the most skillful at and what you are most passionate about.

You can repeat over and over that you want to be a millionaire one day. But write it down on paper and you have to confront that voice in your head. Then, you can either dismiss it, deal with it, or action it and bring it to life.

Passion

Now write down everything that you LOVE doing, everything that you’re passionate about. Even if you’re really bad at it. For me, it’s design. I love it, but I suck at it.

If you’re good at it, write about it on the Skills column, regardless of whether or not you love it. If you’re passionate about it, write it in the Passions column, regardless of whether or not you’re good at it.

Your Sweet Spot

Combine the two. Find what’s common between your Skills and Passion. Maybe you love SEO and you’re really good at it. That’s great! Be honest with yourself about these answers. Find where your skills and passion overlap.

Now write down the five things you want to do in your business over the next couple of years. The five things that you’re really good at and passionate about. There are no rules, restrictions or impossibilities.

One of the 5 things that I’m really is good at and love doing is presenting. So I want to present more all around the world. So what are the five things that you’re good at and love that you want to do in your business over the next 2-3 years?

What Benefits Do You Offer?

If you’re really good at SEO and it’s also what you love doing, ask yourself what benefit that offers someone. Whoever you work with will probably end up with more visitors on their website than they had before. Since you’re good at it and love doing it, you’re going to be more devoted to this area.

The benefit is not SEO; that’s the feature. The benefit is that the person you work with is going to end up with more human beings visiting their website, which should result in more leads and sales.

Remember, you don’t have to do these exercises if you don’t want to. But if you don’t, nothing will change. So take out your piece of paper and write “Benefits” at the top.

List all the benefits that your clients will receive when you use your skills and your passions.

Who Benefits the Most?

Who stands to benefit the most from what it is you have to offer? List everyone who could possibly benefit from the skills and passion and benefits that you offer.

Example: I’m good at helping nonprofits get more email addresses off their websites. So nonprofits benefit the most. But who exactly? The campaign manager or marketing director who is probably getting heat from the boss about losing regular donors and increasing their donor database.

Bring Them To Life

Marketing Manager, Campaign Manager; these are just titles, not human beings. We’re going to borrow a formula from John Janstch, author of Duct Tape Marketing. (Thank you John!)

Here’s how to bring your new potential client to life:

Physical Description + What They Want + Biggest Problem + How They Buy + Best Way to Communicate

Now, take out a sheet of paper and you guessed, write it down

  • Physical Description – gives a name, a place, a title.
  • What They Want – their outcome, what they desire.
  • Biggest Problem – what’s stopping them from getting what they want (hopefully you can help!).
  • How They Buy and How They’re Influenced
  • Best Way To Communicate – If they don’t spend any time online, your blogging is not the best way to communicate. Figure out the best way to communicate to this specific person.

So now you have a client profile card. We’ll call our example perfect client “Jenny”.

Jenny is a marketing manager at a medium-sized nonprofit in the Chicago area (physical description). She is recruiting new ambassadors for their cause and is overwhelmed with tactics but lacks a coherent online strategy (that’s what she wants and her problem). Jenny is influenced by the opinions of her peers and spends a lot of time online researching new ideas to try and attract influencers to her organisation (how she buys and the best way to communicate).

Now everything we do is for Jenny. Every blog post, tweet, conference, tutorial. It’s all designed for Jenny.

perfect client avatar card

Feedback

I’d love to hear if this is helpful to you or if you have any questions.

10 Easy Wins for Small Business Websites

Easy-Wins-For-Small-Business-Websites

When push comes to shove, you can get a business website up in a few hours, and I’m all for the ‘having something is better than nothing’ approach if it serves your business well. But with an organised approach, adding value to your small business website and getting good results from it should be the aim.

Having worked on dozens of sites over the last year, I’ve come up with some quick and easy wins for small business websites. They are easy to implement, and their impact is usually measurable within a few short months.

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12 Subject Lines That Worked (and 4 That Didn’t)

12 Subject Lines That Worked (and 4 That Didn’t)

To Website Design Customers

These are subject lines that I’ve sent to my customers for my website design company. The business builds marketing funnels using WordPress websites for businesses that sell to other small businesses. It’s a relatively small list, around 100 subscribers, but at least half are customers and most have maintenance plans with me.

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5 Reasons Why Difficult Clients Are Your Fault

5Resons_Option1

Disclaimer: This post involves a heavy dose of tough love. But we all need some strong medicine now and again, so I know you’ll forgive me.

I’m going to start off with a pretty radical statement: the reason your client is difficult is your fault. We can look at this in a positive light, however; if it’s your fault, you can fix it. Yes, I know not every situation is able to be salvaged (been there). But it’s worth exploring what we can do so that we can learn to work our way back from the brink and restore a productive and positive relationship with our clients.

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Soloist Ubiquity

Desk and Table

Last week I visited one of my 1-1 website strategy clients and his first comment to me was “I’ve got to say Cath, you’re everywhere. I go to ask a question and the answer is right there, already in my inbox”.

This makes me think 1) I’m doing this job right 2) My clients respond to the additional hand holding and 3) The little systems I’ve put in place go a long way to reinforce my professionalism, brand consistency and reassure my clients that I’ve got their backs.

In this article, I’ll introduce some ideas to gear your internal systems for ensuring your customers, clients, audience – whoever you’re targeting – are getting a consistent impression of your business. I’ll show you some really simple things that will help you carefully perfect the ‘voice’ of your business, even when you are asleep.

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Getting That Bad Feeling in Your Gut vs. Getting Paid

Getting That Bad Feeling in Your Gut vs. Getting Paid

We’ve all been there. Hell, I’m there right now.

There’s a customer that I’m talking to, but something just doesn’t feel right. They interrupt me; they call websites and social “a load of old nonsense” and they continually make references to how much this is costing them.

The problem is that our fundamental business desire to receive revenue and get paid often overrides our common sense to work with high value, better customers.

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Travelling the World on Recurring Revenue

Panorama Of Wawel Castle In Cracow, Poland

I thought I would share my WP Elevation story as I’m sure many of you would be interested to know how I went from a freelancer just scraping by to a digital nomad traveling the world and working minimal hours per week.

Prior to owning my own business, I worked as a web designer for an agency. I gained valuable experience learning about web design and front end development from senior web designers and developers. While working there full time, I was steadily growing a freelance business on the side. However, I still knew nothing about managing a business. For example, I was charging under $1,000 for an entire website!After working for the agency for a little over a year, I decided to pull the pin and go out on my own, even though I was only 25 and had zero business experience. I reasoned that I had enough work to keep me going for a few months and, once those projects were completed, I would be back on Seek, looking for a new job.

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WP Elevation Case Study – Vincent Wondra

https://vimeo.com/152248579/

“It’s given me this confidence that I know how to go out and get those new clients. I know I’m doing things the right way now instead of just guessing. I’m using proven techniques and proven processes that hundreds of other people are currently using – fellow WP Elevators, and we’re all sharing similar successes. It’s not a fluke.”

Hello, my name is Vincent Wondra. I’m the founder of The BBS Agency; we’re a WordPress website design and development agency based out of Wisconsin in the United States.

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