How much time do you spend each day on work that you really don’t want to be doing?
Do you have clients who, if you had a choice, you’d rather not be working with?
When you launched your company, is this the kind of business you envisioned for yourself?
This is a common conundrum for small business owners. You started the business with a specific vision of what success looks like. You started the business with a specific purpose in mind. You started the business with an ideal client in mind.
But things don’t go according to plan.
Sure, you’re paying the bills. You might even be making decent money. But you’re not happy.
Work is getting done. You’d rather spend your day doing other things, but it beats not having enough work to keep the lights on.
You have clients. They may not be your ideal clients, but it’s not like they’re bad people.
After a while, you lose sight of why you started your business in the first place. You settle for what you have instead of building the business you want.
If this scenario sounds painfully personal, you have two choices.
You can accept what your business has evolved into and continue down the road you’re on. Or you can identify and address the disconnect that’s preventing you from realizing the vision you originally had for your business.
There could be a lot of reasons, both internal and external, why your business hasn’t lived up to expectations. Part of the problem could be that your marketing content isn’t speaking to your ideal client. But that doesn’t mean a quick rewrite will solve the problem. You need to take a step back.
Why did you start your business in the first place? If the work you’re doing now isn’t satisfying or rewarding, what exactly would you like to be doing instead?
Then you can start to differentiate between your current clients and the ideal client who matches up with your “why.” The client who will bring you the kind of work you always thought you would be doing.
What’s wrong with the clients you’ve been dealing with? Are your current clients too budget-sensitive? Too high-maintenance? Are they just coming to you for work that you don’t want to do? If so, why?
None of these things are your client’s fault, by the way. It’s probably your marketing’s fault. Because you are what your marketing says you are. And you attract the kind of clients your marketing speaks to.
It could very well be that your marketing content isn’t delivering the message you want to deliver in terms of information, tone and voice. The perceptions and expectations you’ve created aren’t what you intended to create.
The message could be off-target, or it could be too generic. Either way, you have to identify the problem before you can fix it.
Of course, the content solution should be based on the wants and needs of your ideal client.
What does your ideal client value the most? What makes them happy? What information influences their purchase decisions?
What frustrates or stresses out your ideal client? What specific problem or need does your ideal client have that your company can solve or fill? How do they want you to solve it?
Are you sure your ideal client’s wants and needs are in line with your brand and the work you want to be doing?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to develop a marketing message that speaks to your ideal client, using an authentic, consistent voice that resonates with them.
Remember, you’re not Walmart or Amazon. You can’t be everything to everybody, so lose the generic, watered-down language.
Be specific. Be direct. Be relatable. Be conscious of tone. All while maintaining a laser focus on the wants and needs of your ideal client. That’s how you attract the right clients and weed out some of the wrong ones.
Ultimately, running the kind of business you’ve always wanted to run is a choice, not a predetermined fate.
If you want to close the gap between the work you’re doing now and the work you want to be doing, you need to attract the right clients. Just make sure your marketing content is speaking to them.
I’m a copywriter, marketing consultant, lifelong New Jersey resident, husband to a beautiful wife and father to two beautiful girls. I love playing with my daughters, a day at the boardwalk, sarcasm, craft beer and grilling. I despise beating around the bush, synchronized swimming, Toddlers & Tiaras and onions. Most people don’t know I used to be a radio DJ and once wrote, produced and voiced a commercial for the TV show 24. Two places I want to visit before I die are Ireland and Norway, the homes of my ancestors. One place I never want to revisit is my first apartment because my creepy landlord, Monty, freaked me out. That just about covers it.