I firmly believe we're all of equal value, here, but that we simply are not all compatible. When I say "better clients", I'm therefore referring to clients who aren't trying to change you - personality, pricing or practice - and vice versa. Who values you as you are? As in all things in life, breathe in what resonates with you here, and release what doesn't. 😉
Now that we've cleared that up, what do “better clients” mean to you? Would it be great to work with clients who have a similar schedule. Perhaps you'd just like someone who doesn't yell at you and who treats you as an equal? I've heard a lot of descriptions, and when I really leave space for clients to get really honest, no two (2) descriptions have ever been the same.
What matters is that when you think of these clients, your chest rises, your face smiles and your breath deepens. Who does that for you? It's those clients that you're likely to serve best. Why? They'll get the best of you because you don't have to withhold any part of yourself in serving them. They get all you have to offer and your enthusiasm with it, because you're completely focused on just that. You're not distracted by who you have to be for this person. You're not drained having to psyche yourself for a price or process negotiation at each session, before the session begins.
It is crucial that you not let me, or anyone else, decide for you who you're best able to serve as you are. What I will share, here, is food for thought around some technical aspects of business, when it comes to who you are, intrinsically.
Feasible or Sustainable Schedules
I expand on what this means a bit in “Rethink Project Management. Your Schedule Revisited”, but in essence we have to know what our true rhythms are, in order to develop a schedule that truly works with our energy, one that even energizes us. Night owl, early bird, late morning person or one who moves through all of these on a cycle, you're not alone. Where are you on that, right now, as you are? That's just the tip of the iceberg, or the tip of the tip.
Where are your clients, as they are? If you set a schedule that genuinely honoured your rhythms - taking calls when you'd be energized by them, setting do not disturb hours when you need them, having multiple short sessions instead of a one day workshop - will they respect that? Perhaps you don't know, and you're afraid to hear “Millennials. Urgh”, “People are so undisciplined”, or even “Who can sit for that long?!”
We often treat our rhythms and needs as habits to be broken, because we live in a society that says “you have to be an extroverted, early bird who thrives under pressure, but works in -hour stints”, etcetera. The truth is that we're not all the same. Imagine the power of honouring that! Perhaps honouring your true needs would attract lots of people with similar rhythms and business goals, who've been looking for someone who “gets it”. They're not unicorns. The community we desire rarely is.
Who are your better clients, from the schedule perspective?
How you work. Business process, operations, workflows
Do you offer a service that requires clients be hands-on or hands-off? Do you need clients to implement phases 1 and 2 before you can add real value in phase 3? Is this the most streamlined version of your process, as it relates to exactly who you are now - you current habits, how your brain works, what your schedule allows for - if you're to provide the greatest value for clients?
I won't dive deeper, in an effort to avoid influencing your true process, here. I'm all about planning and efficiency to leave room for uncertainty even as you're clear on the desired end result. Even writing that makes my brain light up, but it puts a lot of people to sleep. My process isn't boring to my ideal clients, because they don't feel my process. They feel whether or not it's seamless for them. I'm writing this just to show that no one is everyone's cup of tea. So what's your process? Who can benefit the most from that?
Who are your better clients, from the perspective of how you work?
In “Pricing. Are You GM, GM's Suppliers or Smarter?“, I delve more into being honest about how much you need to earn in order to live well… very very well, unapologetically… and why you can offer that's worth that much to your ideal clients. Who are the clients who share your lens of value, your values around money and your wealth goals? Who fit there and already know that they need what you're offering to achieve their own goals more quickly, more effectively or with greater peace of mind (priceless, by the way!)
My own strategic approach to pricing eliminates the hourly rate, so you're not exchanging your time for money and ignoring all other aspects of your work’s value. I focus on package rates around potential outcomes and value for clients, if they execute well. Value-based pricing. Again, that's my approach. What honours who you are, and what you need or want, right now, as you are? More food for thought in your worth in “Pricing & Self Worth. A Quick Word to Solo Service Entrepreneurs”.
Who are your better clients, from the pricing perspective?
On Social Media
This is always tricky, but once you're clear on the areas above, intrinsically, it's easier to stand firmly, resiliently and comfortably (yes, I said it, it's great to be comfortable), exactly as you are, online and in public generally, as well. I share on some time savers (and distraction eliminators) in “Why is Social Media Sucking on Your Time?” and some thoughts on being authentic, in “Authenticity. What's it mean, beyond the buzzword?”, without giving too much of yourself away.
What is also key, is to get clear on how and when you'll use social media, or hire someone to so you don't have to touch it much. Let folks know:
How you're using social media to upoort clients e.g. to share information and events, rather than reply asap, or vice versa.
How frequently you'll reply to comments and messages, online, if at all (the gurus won't like that part).
If it's not social media, where and when to best reach you.
Who are your better clients, in terms of social media expectations?
Ideal clients and being human
I'm one of those people who actually believes that if you believe it, it's possible, but I'm still reframing some circumstances to let that belief span certain areas of life and business.
You see, I believe you can actually have clients that are like you in all the areas that matter, even if theyre different in every other way, but only if you can believe it. Or at least only if you're willing to try long enough to test the theory.
For those of us who aren't quite able to believe that 100% yet, what can you live with not having in clients? I've written on the areas I work in, but what other areas affect you? What traits in clients would absolutely improve things 100%, so they get the best version of you? This still asks us to have grace for our clients, as we all evolve over time, but it's nice to know who we can serve best, and how. It's nice to know that they exist.
Thank you for reading!
Need to reframe business to incorporate who you truly are, to provide what you need to serve better clients, better? I'm here. Let's chat!
Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a dedicated mom, keynote speaker and entrepreneurial strategy consultant focused on sustainable business models for established entrepreneurs and professionals transitioning to entrepreneurship. President and founder of Successiory and her signature "Mindful Entrepreneurship. Your E.A.S.Y. Affluence Business Model™ by Successiory", Crystal-Marie works with professionals who want to build sustainable (livable) business models around their lifestyles and create sustainable client community on social media. She also speaks and delivers workshops at business and motivational conferences on authenticity, entrepreneurial strategy for pricing, process, feasible schedules and client social media community. Connect with her and subscribe at www.successiory.ca