What to do if you keep attracting non-ideal clients

Keep finding yourself working with non-ideal clients? Clients who just aren't a good fit for your services? Here's what you can do to stop that from happening.

Ever feel like you’re working really hard on your marketing efforts and on improving your online visibility, and yet you’re not attracting the kind of potential clients you actually want to work with? The people who get in touch just aren’t a good fit.

Maybe they can’t afford your services. Or they’re looking for services you don’t actually offer. It could be that they just don’t have the values of a person you want to do business with. One way or another, they’re non-ideal clients.

If the leads your marketing are bringing in aren’t a match for your ideal client, then I can almost guarantee that there’s some work to do on your branding. The image you’re putting out into the world isn’t lining up with the business you’re aiming to create.

Here are some possible problems with your branding that is causing you to keep attracting non-ideal clients, and what you can do to fix them.

1. Your visual branding doesn’t appeal to your target audience

The visual elements of your brand are often going set the first impression that people get of your business. This is especially true in the online space where we gather information by looking at it. 

People aren’t hearing about your business first. They’re not being introduced to it by a friend. They’re seeing an ad or a social media post or a website — something visual. So, you need to catch their eye and make the visuals appeal to them. This is why the design of your brand is worth careful consideration.

You want your branding to set the right tone for your business. Does it match the personality of your brand? Is it creating the kind of experience you want to deliver? Consider your logo, the colours of your brand, the way you use different typefaces to design the text. The images, textures, patterns, icons. Make sure they’re all sending the right message to your audience about what kind of business you are and the kind of people you work with.

2. You aren’t expressing your shared values

As owners of service-based businesses, trust and likability is crucial. We work closely with our clients and they have to feel like they can rely on us to keep their best interests in mind. They like to know that we share the same values that they do.

It’s important to express those values in your branding. To let your audience know what beliefs you uphold and promises you keep about the way you operate your business. Your values are a key pillar of your messaging.

Identify about 3 important values for your brand and make sure you talk about them. Use them to help you attract the kind of clients who would be a great fit to work with you.

Related post: Why brand values are important for connecting with clients

3. Your purpose isn’t clear

Why does your business exist? What is it there to do? This isn’t just about making your services clear. It’s about making it clear why your services matter. If someone hires you, how will their life be improved?

To attract a certain type of client, you’ve got to know what their true desired outcome looks like. What would a total win be for them? What’s stopping them from reaching that result? Be very clear on that and make sure you’re connecting it to the services you offer.

4. You’re offering the wrong lead magnet(s)

The perfect lead magnet will meet your ideal clients where they’re at and help them gain an easy win that preps them to reach out to you so they can take things even further. You catch their attention, demonstrate that you can actually help them, and let them know what step to take next.

Make sure the title of your lead magnet and its content actually fits your ideal client. To attract clients who are just starting out with whatever it is you offer as a service, use language that is basic and easily accessible. On the other hand, if you want clients who are at more advanced stages in their journey, use appropriately advanced language, to weed out the people who haven’t reached the stage you need them at.

If you’re a copywriter who wants to help business owners get even higher conversions on existing sales pages, don’t use a lead magnet called, “How to create your first sales page”. Although it may seem relevant, that lead magnet is unlikely to attract prospects who have existing sales pages, is it?

Check your lead magnets and ask yourself what kind of people will actually be downloading them. Make sure they’re a match for your ideal client.

Related post: How to generate quality leads to your service-based business

5. You don’t actually have an ideal client in mind

The point of branding your business is to help you build a relationship with your audience. So, naturally, it helps to know exactly who you’re trying to build that relationship with. If you’re able to clearly picture this person in your mind, the easier it is to write copy, create images and promote your business in a way that will resonate with them.

If you’re having trouble with this, it can help to start with those non-ideal clients who aren’t right for your services and identify what makes them a poor fit. “This person isn’t right because they’re X. I want to work with people who Y.”

For example, “This person isn’t right because they’re just starting out. I want to work with people who are already established.”

By doing this, you’ll be able to create a list of criteria your clients will ideally match. The next step is, of course, to make sure you’re communicating those criteria to your audience. Let them self-qualify and check to see if your services are going to be a good fit for them. It’ll save you a lot of time!

To stop attracting non-ideal clients who just aren't a good fit for your services, here are the things you can improve in your branding.Last thoughts

One of the best things about generating leads online is that you’re able to reach so many people with digital marketing. But when you do so, make sure you’re sending a very specific message aimed at very specific types of potential clients. By being strategic with your message and visuals, you can avoid attracting any more non-ideal clients to your business.

If you want to improve your branding, or you’re just getting started, check out my Core Brand Pillars Workbook. It’ll give you a step-by-step guide to each important component of your brand’s foundation, including your brand’s purpose and core values. Get it for free here.

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