This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I'll receive a commission. Disclosure Policy.
It gets so old. One day we’re flying on top of the world: booked up with clients, rolling in the dough, and expecting it to only grow and grow and grooooow! … and the next day we wake up to the sound of crickets chirping.
It’s called feast-or-famine mode, and every service-based entrepreneur I know has experienced it.
It happens when we don’t have a system to get visible with potential clients and consistently generate leads, when we’re just winging it in our marketing efforts, or worse: just waiting for clients to magically fall out of the sky.
But “getting a system” is easier said than done. The reason why so many business owners don’t have one is that it takes a lot of effort to get things set up before you can start using it.
100 CLIENT ATTRACTION ACTIONs
Sign up for client attraction tips including instant access to my checklist with
100 ideas for things you can do to attract clients you love!
And it takes a lot of time, consistency, and patience before “using it” turns into actual results. Most people give up before it has a chance to work.
As a brilliant marketing friend once told me, “Everything is a long game.” So let’s not waste any more time and get started!
Why you need a marketing SYSTEM to attract clients online
- A website doesn’t work on its own.
- Social media doesn’t work on its own.
- A beautifully branded identity system doesn’t work on its own.
- SEO doesn’t work on its own.
- Advertising… you get my point.
All of these things can set you up for getting consistent, high-quality clients banging on your door to work with you, but no single one of them is going to be a magic bullet.
For example. A lot of business owners THINK they need SEO, but search traffic landing on a website that doesn’t convert ain’t gonna do a damn thing.
Here’s another common one. A lot of entrepreneurs come to me for a website design… but a website without a strategy or a plan to drive targetted traffic after it launches is just going to sit there looking pretty on the internet doing absolutely, positively nothing.
The 5 must-have components of your client-attraction system
#1: A Brand Strategy
Very few business owners can really articulate why they’re different from their competitors or the reasons why someone should choose them. And therein lies your opportunity to stand out and get noticed!
So the first step is to get clear about how you’re going to differentiate your brand.
- What is the one thing you want to become known for?
- Do you have a specialized service or process?
- Do you serve a niche market whose problems you understand better than anyone else?
- Is there something unique about your personal story that your clients can relate to?
- What strengths or qualities do your clients (or colleagues/friends if you don’t have clients yet) say they appreciate most about you?
The key is to focus on how you solve your ideal client’s biggest problems differently than your competition.
Once you’ve figured out what makes you unique, everything from that point forward becomes about intentionally building your brand (through your marketing efforts) so people understand the reasons why they should choose you instead of your competition.
Communicate your unique brand quality in your copy, in your visuals, and really, in everything you do that’s visible to your dream customers.
To drive the point home:
It’s your brand that attracts clients to you and creates good feelings that lead to sales.
#2: A Website Designed To Convert
Your website establishes credibility–or blows it–within seconds, so it needs to make a great first impression. This is largely dependent on the visual design and the very first snippets of copy your visitors will read, so make sure it’s clear what they can expect if they read on and what’s in it for them. Answer your users’ questions immediately:
Is this for me?
Is this going to be useful? (Is it relevant?)
A website that turns site visitors into customers has one primary objective: to remove uncertainty.
As your site visitors learn about you and your offerings, imagine they’re trying to talk themselves out of hiring you (because they are). They want to be sure about some things:
Are you going to do a great job?
Are you going to be too expensive?
How does this compare with other offers I’ve looked at?
The job of your website copy is to convince your visitors that you’re the one who is uniquely qualified to solve their problems, so make sure you’re empathizing with their problems and communicating those points of difference that show how you’re gonna solve them.
Inspire trust by including a professional photo of you, testimonials, certifications, awards, logos of high profile clients you’ve worked with or publications you’ve been featured in.
Finally, it needs to “close the sale,” so make sure on each of your web pages there’s a clear call to action that’s unmissable.
#3: High-Quality Content
If you want to get visible with people online, you need content. There’s no way around it guys, and I know it’s a lot of work to create the kind of content that gets people’s attention these days, but it’s content that replaces traditional networking, introduces you to internet strangers, and builds credibility, authority, and trust.
Now, content can mean many different things. It doesn’t always have to mean you start a company blog; but, a blog (in my opinion) is the best place to start. It helps you get discovered in search, gives you something to share on social media so you have a way to build authority, and can be even used to help you run retargeting campaigns.
If you’re not able to blog for whatever reason, think about creating audio or video content. Or social media posts with compelling graphics. Something. Pick something to that will allow you to communicate the value you offer and do it with relentless consistency.
Great content will get discovered, and that doesn’t mean you need to be the best writer in the world. It means you create content people actually already want, need, and are already looking for.
The smartest approach to getting your content discovered by your target audience and in search is to do keyword research (use KWFinder) and social research (use BuzzSumo) to see what people are actively searching for and sharing.
Then, create content that’s better than what everyone else has created on the subject. This may take you quite a lot of time, but that’s okay — it’s a long game. Think of each piece of content as a long-term investment, and over time you’ll build up a library of content assets that will convert site visitors into clients.
Remember that it’s QUALITY and CONSISTENCY that matters on the web today.
Quality is what people are sifting through all the noise to find.
#4: An Audience
You’ll want to share your content on social media, but you need a social media following if you want anyone to actually see it organically.
Pick one or two platforms where your audience is likely to be to start and really dig in and build your visibility on those platforms by being helpful and providing value. Once you’re in a good groove with whatever you’re doing–whether Instagram, Facebook Group, Twitter, YouTube or a podcast–then you can move on to building visibility on another platform.
Again, it’s all about quality and consistency.
#5: A Traffic & Lead Generation Strategy
Once you have a strategy for your brand, a website designed to convert, quality content to share, and a following on social media… you’re well on your way!
And by the way, this isn’t something you throw together on a weekend. Give yourself the gift of time, I’m talking a few months minimum, to get yourself a foundation with steps #1-4.
Now it’s time to really ramp things up and get serious about driving traffic to your website for the purpose of generating leads. For most small businesses, the most effective way to generate and nurture leads is still e-mail marketing. So your focus will be to drive as much targeted traffic to a free offer that incentivizes people to get on your list.
Traffic happens in three main ways:
- By getting in front of other people’s audiences (e.g. being a podcast guest, guest blogging, or submitting your content to directories in your niche)
- By getting discovered in search: and I don’t just mean Google. Depending on your audience, you want to be “discoverable” on the search engines where they’re looking for answers to their problems. That might be YouTube, Pinterest, Travelocity, Amazon, Goodreads.com… even on social media platforms
- By sharing your content to your audience on social media with relentless consistency
Generating leads requires that you create something of value to your audience–something that solves a problem and gives them a quick win–and it should relate to your service offerings. The idea is, if your free offer isn’t enough to solve that problem, they can get more help by purchasing your premium service. It could take the form of a free course, an eBook, or even content upgrades for your blog posts (complementary cheat sheets, checklists, swipe files, templates, etc.).
Once people have raised their hands and agreed to get on your mailing list, they’re one step closer to knowing, liking, and trusting you. So keep providing value with emails that nurture that relationship.
Your brand, website, content, audience and traffic/lead generation strategy work together as a system to attract clients. If you’re not attracting enough clients or the wrong clients, take a look at these five areas to see which one can be improved.
Let me know if you have questions in the comment section!
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.