Have you ever heard the term wantrapreneur? It’s not just somebody aspiring to start a new business, it’s someone who has actually started a new business but still isn’t making sales. You might have your website all set up and you may have defined some of your goals, but you haven’t booked many clients yet or sold much of anything.
Sound familiar? Don’t fret. We all start out as wantrapreneurs. When you think about it, it’s really just the first step in becoming an entrepreneur. To make substantive strides towards entrepreneurship you must shift your mindset from the inside of your business (administrative tasks, website, etc.) to the outside of your business (clients and sales). You can have a gorgeous logo and a solid business plan, but if you don’t have sales, you really don’t have a business yet.
Want to start thinking more like an entrepreneur? Here are 5 moves you can make right now to get the clients and sales you need to go from wantrapreneur to booked solid:
It’s ok to say no to people who aren’t a great fit—and that can be industry-wise, personality-wise, or whatever! (You’re the boss now, remember?)
You may think that the bigger your target audience the more clients you will book, but if they aren’t the right clients, it’s not a good move for your business.
Know who your target audience is and cater to them. If you start trying to appeal to absolutely everyone, you’re watering down what makes you unique.
Not only does it make it harder for your tribe to find you, it also leaves you susceptible to burnout. Of course you have to do EVERYTHING when everyone is your audience!
Pro Tip: Declare your unique market position and own it—create an ‘us vs. them’ mentality to grow faster and engage higher quality sales.
In other words, when people want to work with you ‘soooo badly!’ but can’t afford it, politely tell them that maybe they aren’t ready to invest in the service you provide. Don’t try to mold yourself for their needs.
It’ll likely lead to hard feelings and even resentment. It’s also unfair to your other clients who are paying full price for the same service. If you’re getting a lot of requests for the services you’re offering for less, instead of lowering your price, you can always consider creating a basic package option at a lower price.
Pro Tip: Most of the time, the people who want discounts from me are influencers and “big shots”. Don’t fall prey to trading your time for “exposure” unless it’s really, really worth it.
Make sure you have a clear description of what you are offering or selling on your website. Bulleted lists are ideal to keep it simple and succinct.
If you’re having trouble writing a description of your product or service, odds are you’re not so clear on what your product or service entails either, so this is a great exercise! You also don’t want your service or product to be so complex that people are constantly asking you to customize it for their needs.
If it feels like you’re getting a lot of requests to customize a service, you might want to consider creating different packages to give your clients options without having to customize.
Pro Tip: Create an FAQ for your most popular offerings. It makes you look more credible, reduces the number of emails that land in your inbox and helps your potential clients/customers learn whether they’re a good fit for the purchase.
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. What do they care about? Probably not you and your experience, unless it’s something that they can either relate to, or a result they desire to see in their own business.
What are some of the challenges your clients are facing, and how can you help them? Be able to walk through their concerns with a list of how your product or services will solve their problems. Paint the picture of what their life or business will look like after working together.
Pro tip: Be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “you will have so much more time to do the things you love!” say, “on average, my clients enjoy an extra five hours of free time per week within the first month of working together.”
It’s easy to see how choosing your clients is like dating. After all, there’s an extreme amount of trust involved in either situation. You’re both basically starting from scratch and hopeful, but not sure where things will lead, and in both situations you have an idea of where you’d like to end up. It’s also easy to screw things up in either situation, but the good news is it’s even easier to create the experience of your dreams when dating or working with clients. Well, maybe it’s harder with dating… I’ll stick to sales consulting instead of relationship advice! Here’s an example of this in action:
Worst date ever: You both swiped right (or if you’re a ‘90s gal, maybe your Tamagotchis mated) and you find yourself in some crusty old pizza parlor with bad lighting and worse music. Gross.
Best date ever: …TBD by your dreamy client…er, date!
Make your client feel special and cared for. Whoa there, okay, no touching—you get what I mean though.
Show your clients you value their choice of working with you. Be responsive, and check in periodically asking for feedback. Try to exceed their expectations when you can. The stronger your relationship with your client and the more they trust you, the more likely they are to come back to you with repeat business and refer you to other potential clients.
Pro Tip: Sending a welcome gift over and over again is sweet but can get expensive. What if you were able to contribute to their business in a more meaningful way, like by donating to a great cause you know your dream clients will appreciate? That way, you help your clients, help others in need, and spend less on client gifts. $500 to a charity is a lot, but $50 spent on 10 client gifts doesn’t get you very far!