How to develop your unique personal brand and portray it to your ideal client effectively via your website.
You and I are in the same boat, regardless of how similar or different our businesses are, I bet we have the same desire.
We want to attract our ideal client online and convert them effortlessly!
But somehow this is easier said than done when it comes to our own brands.
So how do you attract your ideal client online?
Do you find that when you look at other people’s businesses or marketing or branding you can immediately see how they are getting it so right, or can immediately advise them how to better define, attract or convert their ideal clients?
Do you find yourself doing this constantly … Looking, assessing and judging brands out there, it’s normal … Advertisers are counting on us do that, we’re doing it even when we aren’t thinking about it.
Do you find that when it comes to your own brand, your own passion, your own website, your own business, that it’s anything but easy to advise yourself accurately and then follow that advice? Me too! Why do we find this so difficult?
I’m on my own personal branding journey at the moment, so trust me when I say you’re not alone in feeling this way!
I sat down and thought about all the “reasons” holding me back … And I use the inverted commas because these are all total bullshit … Excuse the French … But all these are are excuses. You make them, I make them, let’s face it we all make them and sometimes you just have to get the proverbial “ostrich head out the ground”, put those big girl panties on and take responsibility and then take action.
So, first of all let’s be clear on the “how”s that will help you attract and convert your ideal client.
As an expert web designer and developer, let me tell you the formula is the same every time, regardless of industry, business size, service type, whatever …
This is the secret to attracting your ideal client online
Know who they are!
Trying to create a brand or website for everyone is a fool’s errand. You know the saying, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time!”? … Well s’truth!!! The language, images, colors, technologies, hell … Everything really is different if you are talking to different people. Being confused about who you are talking to will have your message lost in translation and attracting no-one at all!!!
Know their pain and make sure your offering speaks to that pain!
So if you know the answer to the above, the next thing you need to answer is what pain, frustration, NEED does this ideal client have that you are able to solve? If your offering isn’t directly solving a need or want for your ideal client then “Houston, we have a problem!”
Know what you want to get out of your client, specifically online.
Do you want them to buy a product, sign up for a membership, phone you, email you, book time with you?
And this is a biggy!
Are you communicating clearly to your client how your offering is solving their need in a language and tone they identify with and understand?
I have been so guilty of this in my business so it’s a particular pain (and growth) point … I was clear on who you are (my client) and clear on my amazing service which speaks to your need … But somehow when it came to the communicating it part, I lost my way, I couldn’t find my voice … I hadn’t invested time and effort into finding my “voice” … My tone … My language … And I quite simply wasn’t speaking to you with the right voice or tone.
So what are the excuses that may be holding you back from doing this online thing right?
Here are some of my top “reasons” aka excuses for not speaking to my client effectively and suggestions on how to overcome these reasons.
Fear of failure
Oh yeah, I know you feel me on this one … The bigger and more successful you are, the greater your fear of failure. What if I try it and it fails? What does that say about me and my business? What harm will it do to my reputation? What financial implications will it have? … Yadda yadda yadda. Yup, I’ve been there, I hear you, I’ve had those fears. Now I’m no business coach … But I’ll tell you what is a bigger fear that overrides this one for me and motivates me to action … Fear of never knowing what could have, would have, should have IF I ONLY TRIED! Imagine achieving that lofty goal … What chance do you have if you never try? 0%! We really have to remind ourselves that “failing” isn’t always a negative thing and should actually be embraced. Learning what doesn’t work is a great way for us to move closer to learning what does. It’s “school fees”. So let’s not fear failure … Let’s embrace it, hell, even celebrate it, it’s got us one step closer to success. So if getting one step closer to success is the worst outcome of our failure why fear it?
Fear of never knowing what could have, would have, should have IF I ONLY TRIED!
Fear of comparison or judgement
Following on directly from the above is the fear of what other people will think of you. Will they compare me to my competition? Will the comparison be favorable? Will everyone I know point and cackle with laughter? You know what, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t! So we may as well do! This can be an absolutely paralyzing fear. Think of what you’d say to your child if they had this fear and they all go through this … Wouldn’t you tell them, “Don’t worry about what other people think”, “Just do it and everyone will see how amazing you are”, “They’re just jealous if they’re mocking you” … I bet you can think of hundreds of sayings your parents used on you and that you teach your children every day … So hello there … Why aren’t we listening to ourselves … Why aren’t we following advice that we’ve been hearing an giving our whole lives?
Fear of the ever out of date solution
This is a biggy if your industry is rapidly evolving and developing … For me with website design and development it totally is … Things move at such breakneck speed that to put a stake in the ground today means next week I’m behind the curve and this leads back to fear number 2 again … Will I be judged if what I’m putting out there isn’t the latest, slickest, what not? Bull crap … Some of the most successful ventures or offerings were downright ugly and clunky to start … But if they didn’t just start and get out those opening gates they would never have achieved what they did. Think Apple, think Amazon, think Virgin … None of these mega brands started as perfectly slick and awesome so tell me why we are holding ourselves to such lofty goals?
Guilt over time spent on you and not your clients, family, parter, children, etc.
Another biggy for me because I’m passionate about you and extremely motivated to provide you with the best service, I feel like any minute spent on “me” or “my business” is time I should be spending on you or your website. So I limit myself and only allow myself tiny bits of time on myself or my brand. Do you struggle with the same guilt? I keep asking myself what I’d advise my own clients. We really should take our own advice. An we really should take ourselves and our businesses seriously and this means allocating both time and budget to them. And yes, this may even mean hiring experts! Which leads me to …
Believing that you can be your own service provider
Why do we do this? Entrepreneurs are especially guilty of this. We are generally working with tight budgets that we don’t part with easily and so the “logical” solution is “hey, I’m sure I can do this myself, so why don’t I try that?”! Oh my gosh! Can I be quite frank? What would you think of a hair stylist trying to cut their own hair? Or a doctor trying to consult with themselves? And these are examples of specialists trying to do for themselves what they do for others. I bet you’ve even found yourself trying to do things by yourself that aren’t your specialty … Like creating you own logo or your own website. Again, we really need to take ourselves as seriously as we would advise our clients to. Despite our best efforts we can’t be experts in everything. So we should be choosing great service providers to deliver expert solutions for us and we’ll probably end up saving money if we consider the real cost of trying to do it all for ourselves.
Not allocating budget to your own business
I’m not going to write about this at length. I’m going to quote one of the best tag lines ever and say “just do it”.
Thinking that “corporate speak” buys you credibility
Oh my word … I am so guilty of this. The first version of my brand was all we, our, list of features, bla bla bla … No, just no! This is not effective if you have a personal brand … And frankly every brand should be personal. People choose to work with people not nameless, faceless, impersonal brands. I don’t know why many of us believe this but there’s this belief out there that if you brand your personal brand as a “business” and not a “person” that this gains you credibility or clout somehow. I think it’s because we come from that “old school corporate” era where getting a job in a big corporate was a desirable outcome … People would see me as a success then. Well … At the fear of sounding old, I’m gonna say, “times have changed” … This is the age of entrepreneurs, femtrepreneurs, momtrepreneurs, personal branding specialists, personal branding photo shoots, and embracing my “you-niqueness”. So I think we should stop doing this corporate speak thing immediately and just talk as if we were talking to our ideal client about how to solve their need.
Okay so this is certainly not the definitive list … Just me openly sharing experiences from my own personal branding journey in the hopes it might help you in your own journey … So I want to leave you with two last nuggets if you’ll indulge the length of this post.
Learn to listen to your ideal client AND be open to hearing what they are telling you.
Sometimes we can be so invested in what we think and what we want our clients to want from us that we don’t hear what they are actually asking for. I’ll tell you a great way I use to find out what my ideal client wants … I ask them! And I try not to interrupt them until they have told me their story. When they stop talking, I ask “Why?” and I keep asking “Why?” and I just listen. And the correct question to start with is something like this, “What are you frustrated with in your business right now that you’d love a solution to?” You can make this more industry specific by adjusting the question like “What is your biggest challenge or frustration with your online marketing (or finances, or administration, whatever) of your business?”. Sometimes we can find ourselves trying to sell a solution to our clients that they just don’t need because we missed this step.
And then one of my final bug bears
You are not necessarily your ideal client
Many times our ideal clients are not like us and we really have to bear this in mind when finding our personal branding voice and in structuring our offerings. Just because it’s my business doesn’t mean that I’m my ideal client.
The worst thing you can do for your brand is put your fears, challenges and weaknesses onto your client that are actually your issues, not theirs.
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