Today’s post was inspired by a question that finds its way into my inbox or my DMs on Instagram every now and then — “How do I market my brand to my ideal client without scaring off other clients in the process?” And, boss lady, I totally get where you’re coming from here! You’re hustling to grow your business and the thought of scaring off potential clients (and their hard-earned dollars) feels a little scary. You also might be thinking that if you take big steps to market your brand solely to your ideal client, your inquiries will totally dry up! And both of those scenarios are intimidating.
But here’s the truth, friend — in order to craft a brand that resonates with your ideal client authentically, you will end up turning some people off by default. And that’s a good thing! Now, let me share why it’s such a good thing…
In a creative industry saturated with talented people just like you, there are thousands of brands who are trying with all their might to be everything to everyone. And in the process, they end up being nothing to nobody. Because if we aren’t speaking clearly and confidently to your ideal client, then it’s impossible for them to hear our voice through all the noise! On top of that, it’s impossible for them to understand how your work fits into their life.
So in order to capture their attention, we have to tailor our offerings, our experiences, and our messaging to reach them right where they are. But if we don’t commit to that fully, then we find ourselves back in the danger zone where we’re trying to talk to too many people all at once! Which is when we end up speaking to no one. (Womp, womp!)
Think of it this way — are you more likely to invest thousands of dollars to work with a wedding photographer who specializes in high-end weddings for coastal couples or would you rather hire the wedding photographer who offers packages for any and all couples? If you’re a bride planning an ocean-side wedding, then you’re probably going to hire the photographer who has experience shooting coastal weddings and who makes that type of celebration her speciality! Why? Because she’s offering a service that not only meets you right where you are in your current season of life, but she understands what matters to you. She gets the call of the ocean and how the water holds a special place in your life, and in your love story, because it holds a similar place in her heart, too.
Now, that coastal wedding photographer might not be booking every bride and groom who comes her way, but I’d bet that she is booking all the brides and grooms who are planning coastal weddings in her area. Because she focuses on crafting a brand that speaks to her ideal client only she is able to attract her dream couples time and time again.
When we create brands that speak directly to our ideal clients and no one else, then we give ourselves the opportunity to attract the kind of clients and the kind of work we want. If we only half-heartedly commit to this idea of attracting our ideal clients and repelling any not-so-ideal clients by default, then we create confusion, make it difficult for any type of client to get a clear read on who you are or what you do, and do our brand equity no favors.
But I get it! It’s intimidating to market to one type of client and only that type of client. You’re potentially missing out on other projects! Instead of focusing on all the business you might be turning down from not-so-ideal clients, think about the profitability that’s possible when you become a specific brand that speaks to a specific type of ideal client. This changes the way you can market yourself, enables you to inspire deeper connection with the right types of clients, and enables you to do the work that you love without compromise.
And isn’t that more appealing than the hustle that comes when you try to be everything to everyone?