If you ever feel like you are attracting the wrong clients or customers to your creative business or not attracting your dream clients, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to never score the clients or customers you really want.
Over time our businesses evolve, our skills improve and we get clearer on the jobs we enjoy most and the people we most love working with or for. But this can mean we can get stuck in a rut serving the same kind of people we did when we first started if we don’t take the time to look at where we are, what we want and who we want to be attracting and how best to draw them in.
When I first started freelancing, I shared some of my college projects and a lot of my own personal projects. I felt this gave a good all-round portrayal of my abilities and skill. And it attracted a mix of client, from those I loved working with and where my ideal, as well as subcontracted work from other studios or events companies and some other odd jobs. As my portfolio and experience grew, I soon realised that the work you put out there is the work you get.
Occasionally I got someone who needed a designer and saw my skill and hired me for a design job a little different to what I had done before (I get the occasional ‘I know this is a bit different to what you usually do but…’ email), but the majority of my work came from people seeing things I had done that they really liked and resonated with them, and they wanted something similar, of that style or feel.
My constant experiments with my own branding, promotion, blogging, design work, product creation, illustration, photography and other random projects has helped me pick up a few tricks and thoughts on attracting your ideal customers. I hope these can help you too. Whatever field of work you are in, you can apply these concepts to better attract the people you want.
You Attract the Work You Do.
You get the work you do. This means, whatever style, type of work and niche you currently create and put out there for people to see, is the kind of work you will continue to attract. You can mention in your services that you do other kinds of work, but people tend to be more visually, especially when hiring someone creative, and are more likely to hire you based on the work they see.
They also are more likely to have stumbled across your work and thought ‘Oh thats just the kind of style I am looking for’ and that is why they have contacted you. So how can use this knowledge to attract the clients or customers you want? Create the kind of work you want to do more of, and showcase the kind of work you want. Be selective about what work you show, rather than showing everything you ever do, and if you are not getting any paid work that fits the style you want to be doing more of, then work on some personal projects.
As you style evolves, improves and you better define your niche, continue to work on personal projects to showcase this. You can still make money out of these projects by selling products, templates or using the work for your own branding or blog. But be sure to produce and showcase the kind of work you want to do more of, to show your ideal market that you can do it.
Visually Position your Brand
Position your personal visual brand identity, according to your ideal client. Take time to get to know what your ideal client likes. What are their tastes, aspirations, status and the experience they want. How can you visually show that your brand can offer this to them.
Communicate their desires visually and present your brand as the solution to what they want. A good way to think about this, is to think of a magazine that encapsulates everything about your ideal client. Their are magazines in nearly every niche, so this is easy to do. What is that magazines visually language, how does it visually attract thoses types of readers, and how can you create something similar in your brand. Consider typography, colour, tones, photos and illustrations, the use of space and balance (is it spacious and calm or busy and bold).
Communicate their desires visually and present your brand as the solution to what they want.
Look for collaborative work with other creatives wanting to get their work out there to a similar audience. For example, if you are a photographer, working on a collaborative shoot with a florist, fashion designer, hair stylist, makeup artists and a baker. And create something beautiful together where you all share your skills on a project, that you can then all use in your portfolios and also share with bigger blogs to get your work seen. This widens your reach and also gives you a chance to work on an ideal project, without client constraints.
Exchange with Influencers
Work with or for influencers with the same target audience. Find people who have a large audience of your target clients (but not someone who offers the same services as you), that you can eithier do some free work for in exchange for them sharing it with their audience. Be sure to make it clear what the exchange will be, what you will offer them and what you require from them in exchange.
Curate Your Ideal Clients Dream
Stalk your ideal clients and customers, to see what they are visually attracted to already, and the consider how you can use that knowledge to attract them to you. The two main visual platforms to check out are instagram and pinterest. See what your dream clients are liking, pinning, commenting on, sharing and engaging with. Think how you can share similar styles and types of images on instagram (and the hashtags they love) and pin the kind of pins they love on pinterest. With pinterest you don’t even have to be sharing your own images, just start pinning the styles that appeal to your audience.
For example if you want to work with food bloggers, start a board on food styling and pin the kind of posts that they would love. Be the curator of your ideal clients dreams, and collect imagery that appeals to who they are and what they desire and creates that feel for your brand.
Stalk your ideal clients and customers, to see what they are visually attracted to already, and the consider how you can use that knowledge to attract them to you.
Use Color Physcology
Use colours and images associated with their industries and personas. Do you want to work with foodies? Use images of beautifully styled food and rich colours. Want to work with female entrepreneurs? Use feminine colours and bright beautiful photos of stationary and office spaces. Want to work with brides, use soft feminine tones and romantic images. Go deeper too, beyond just the industry but the sub niches within that group, who are they and what do they do and what do they desire. Create imagery that portrays their ideals, what they aim for their world to look like.
Research colour by industry and by emotion, so the colours you use will strike a chord with your dream audience. Colour is powerful and using the wrong colours can turn people away, and the right colour attract. It all deepends who you want to attract and who you don’t want to attract.
Colour is powerful and using the wrong colours can turn people away, and the right colour attract.
Remember this is always an ongoing process. As your business grows and changes, your skills and audience may also change, and you need to keep updatng what you put out visually to attract the people you want to work with.