7 Reasons Why You’re Not Attracting Your Ideal Clients
This could be one of my favorite topics of all time when it comes to brand strategy and recently I received a DM from a follower asking “my social media numbers are dropping a lot, and I feel our brand doesn’t translate well from our website to social media, I feel like something is missing but I can’t quite put my finger on it.”
Let me know if this sounds familiar to you?
Along the years that I’ve worked 1:1 with my private clients and this is something a lot of them are struggling with; attracting their ideal clients.
To be honest, I used to struggle with the same thing too.
In the summer of 2018, I realized there was one simple trick that could literally help me attract my ideal client.
I know if you are an online service based business, you don’t want to work with any kind of client, you want to work with your ideal clients. You know, the one that you’re so passionate about, the one that ignites this amazing energy inside of you, where you wake up in the morning so pumped to do all these amazing projects for.
In today’s post, I want to shed some light and pull out the main 7 reasons why you’re not attracting your ideal clients.
Maybe there is one or two, or maybe even all, that you know you are doing within your business and that could be the reason why you’re simply not attracting them.
Reason 1 | You Don’t Really Know Why & What You do
You might think I’m crazy and say things like “Sera, but this is about my ideal clients, why are you even talking about me?” Now here’s the thing, before you can even start to identify who are the clients, and how to attract them, is to go back to reviewing you.
You are the ambassador of your brand, and if you don’t know who you are, why you do what you do, and especially what you do – how is your audience supposed to know?
The first step is to really check in with yourself, out of anything you could have done, why have you chose your specific business? What made you take this big risk and start your own business? What is your story?
If you’re new around here, I’m going to share this quick story of myself, and why I started Sera Lo Design.
It was back in early 2017, I was working in a small-medium company as a marketing executive and I really enjoyed what I did. But, no matter how many successful campaigns I helped this company launch, I still wasn’t getting this full sense of genuine fulfilment. I know that this is one of the main reasons why people decide to pursue their own business and their own dreams.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I handed in my resignation letter and flew to Cambodia for a 1 week volunteering trip, with no expectations. And one afternoon I was painting a roof (which was super scary as I’m afraid of heights) but I did it anyway and I’m so glad I did! As this was the day that I knew how I wanted to help people and make a positive impact in their life. I came back to Singapore and I started Sera Lo Design, filled with passion.
So this is my unique story, what is yours?
If you haven’t yet thought about why you started your business, re-check in with yourself. Once you’ve done this, you can then look at your vision and mission statement. I know this might sound really boring, but trust me, once you get this, it is game changing.
So what’s the difference between a mission and vision statement?
A mission is something that you’re doing right now in your business.
A vision is where you want to go.
Once you have your vision sorted, you look at your current stage and see what you can do that will make your vision a reality.
The key to creating a good statement is using a simple language, something that is 1 sentence long and can be easily understood by a 10 year old.
The last part is your core values, and this one is huge. When you think of core values, I don’t just mean Googling core values and choosing the most popular ones; authentic, honest, humanized.
You shouldn’t be looking at what other people’s core values are, as they are not you.
You need to check in and review what your core values are, and understanding what it really means. It is how you’re going to behave throughout your entire experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re speaking to your customers, team members or collaborators, if you are going to say being authentic is one of your core values, think about how you make other people view your brand as authentic. But don’t over complicate it.
An example is that imagine you just met someone new, and this person comes up to you with a friendly introduction and says “Hey, my name is Sera and I’m really trustworthy, honest and passionate about what I do.” If this is going to be the first meeting, you won’t fully believe what they’re saying about themselves until you feel it via a specific situation or over time.
Why? Because trust is earned.
If you’re going to say you’re honest, how are you going to reflect this when you run your business and speak to people. Is it that you are going to be really transparent in terms of going on social media and sharing how you’re feeling.
When you decide on your core values, you need to make sure people can feel whether you are what you say or not.
Another thing is that branding isn’t just about what you say, it’s about how other people perceive you.
Reason 2 | You’re Not Being Specific (Enough) In What You Do
Some of my private clients are too scared to narrow down their niche and nail down their ideal clients because they are afraid of losing out on all these amazing opportunities which are the opposite of what will happen.
A lot of the time when you ask people what you do, they usually just give you a broad title: “life coach”, “digital marketing strategist”. These are so broad that people don’t understand, and lose interest.
But, how can you be more specific?
This goes back to your mission statement. My mission statement is that I help online service based female entrepreneurs to attract their ideal clients, break through their first 5 figure income and continue to grow their business. I don’t talk about my how to, I go straight to the point and be specific.
For example, if you are a web designer and you really don’t know if you’ll be working on projects in a specific industry or with specific clients, it is ok if you don’t have a perfect mission statement immediately. And when you look left and right and you see people being specific, you don’t have to put the pressure on, but you do need to start somewhere.
Clarity comes from actions. You can start working with clients in multiple industries and different kind of projects to help you figure out what you enjoy doing, what you’re passionate about and what doesn’t excite you. You can then review who you enjoy working with, what projects you enjoy and then refine it further. You then should repeat this whole process until you find your sweet spot.
Reason 3 | You Skipped The Research & Validation Process
I cannot say how much I value research and validating whatever I’m doing in my business, for example launching a course, which is what I’m doing at the end of the month.
The number one rule in running any kind of business is to never assume what your audience thinks. When you assume, you have a chance of being faced with crickets when you launch a new course or program, it doesn’t meet your expectations and hardly anyone is signing up.
And the reason you are experiencing this is because you have skipped this valuable process. But, it’s never too late to start researching and validating your ideas and people.
In January this year, I knew I wanted to start an online course around developing a brand strategy. I then took the time and invited my ideal clients to share their perspective and experience to understand what they are struggling with in their online business with a focus on a specific topic, and in my case, it was brand strategy.
You could also ask your audience simply by running a poll on your Instagram stories or in Facebook Groups filled with your ideal clients. You don’t always need to sit down and spend 30 minutes with them, you can find other ways to gather research.
This whole research process has so many different benefits:
- If I never had approached Lily, my content manager, she wouldn’t be helping me create and schedule my content.
- I wouldn’t properly know what my ideal clients struggle with
- You get to listen to what language and specific words your ideal clients use. This helps you create sales copy, captions, blogs, emails – you know what language to use to engage with them on their level and help them resonate with the message.
Reason 4 | You Are Using Technical Words That Your Ideal Clients Don’t Understand
This is something that I learned the hard way.
To share with you, there’s a key difference between my partner and me.
My partner has been in the sales industry for 12+ years and he is really charismatic and understands customer psychology, but he isn’t that tech-savvy, he has no idea with branding.
A few years back when I was focused on branding and design work, I shared what happened in the meetings with my prospecting clients with my partner. I told him how they went and what we discussed, explaining how I could help my prospects with refining their logo design, typography, using a lot of technical words. But I didn’t realize at the time that these words were alien to my prospecting clients, they couldn’t understand how I could help them.
My partner told me he didn’t even understand what I was talking about, he lost interest right from the get-go. And this would be the same with your prospects.
What are your prospects really struggling with? Think about the problems they have and the words they know and use.
They don’t care about refining their color palette, typography or visuals – they really don’t care. They just need someone to help them grow their income and attract more customers.
Reason 5 | You’re Inconsistent
This is across your words, your actions and your visuals.
These are the 3 main things that people are typically inconsistent with.
Say you want to attract creative people to work with you, but you realize you are only attracting people from the corporate industry. Is it because your website is not visually aligned to creative people or is it because you’re showcasing too much of corporate work? Or perhaps it’s the language that you’re using that doesn’t seem to attract creatives.
Do a little audit to be conscious of everything to see if you have inconsistencies. If your intuition is telling you that something isn’t right with your words, actions and visuals, that probably means you should look into it to see what the core problem is.
Reason 6 | You’re Not Showing Up (Enough) In The Right Places
Granted Instagram is one of the popular social platforms to show up but if your ideal client is not tech-savvy or using social media then you’re just wasting your precious time on your social media marketing efforts
Just because Instagram is popular, it doesn’t mean you should be spending your time over there. If your ideal clients are spending time on Twitter then why don’t you just show up on Twitter?
Think about where your ideal clients hang out and hang out there too.
Reason 7 | You’re Simply Just Not Letting Go
This last reason isn’t strategy focused, it’s about you and your limiting beliefs and simply not letting go. This is one of the things you know best that is stopping you and you need to be really honest if you’re ready to start attracting your ideal clients.
One of the struggles that I used to have is that I said yes to some clients who are not my ideal clients. But because I said yes, it cost me my time, my inner unhappiness. I was so frustrated every day waking up without a happy mind and I didn’t feel myself.
Please don’t think that this is something to do with your clients, it’s actually got to do with you. Only you can change this and you have the option to say “no” and let go.
If you know these aren’t the people you don’t enjoy working with, then let someone else serve them who is more aligned. I understand you have bills to pay and other liabilities to take care of but this is what it will cost you, spending hours frustrated that you can’t complete the project, or unhappy that you started a business you’re so passionate about to work with people who don’t bring you joy.
Hopefully, one, two or maybe all of these reasons have helped you discover reasons why you’re not attracting your ideal clients, from being not specific enough with your business or not showing up enough.
I’m curious, which reason resonated with you the most? Leave them in the comments below!
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