Women, Spirit & Money: Forget Half-Baked Business
By Sherri L. McLendon
Get Cooking with a White Elephant, Your Ideal Clients, and the Gingerbread Man
Right to begin with, I’m going to take on the white elephant in the Women, Spirit and Money world. That’s the idea that we can just put our intention or our work “out there, and see what happens.” Well, what happens is that it mostly just sits, and I don’t mean zazen. I mean it’s just sort of there, like a loaf of yeasted bread that refuses to rise. So it follows that one of the first questions many entrepreneurs ask me is “How do I figure out what my clients want and need enough to pay for?”
Uh huh. I feel the nodding, it’s almost involuntary right? We’ve all been there. But if you can’t answer that question, then your business model is only half baked. Here are four ways to get cooking and attract your ideal clients.
1. Add a dash of motivation. Motivating the members of our community of support to take action is pivotal to a marketing strategy that works for one’s business. You cannot just put it “out there” and expect manna to rain down from heaven. When it comes to figuring out what clients want and need, I take a direct approach, and I really recommend you do the same. So here’s the secret.
2. Measure. Revolutionary, right? The way to figure out what your new, ideal clients want and need is to ask your current clients. Here are three ways to clue in, as easy as A-B-C:
A. Offer a free consultation. Offering a free consultation to clients allows dialogue to take place. The key is to spend more time listening than talking. By the end of the conversation, two things have happened. First, there’s been a valuable exchange of information. Second, having taken measure of the situation, the entrepreneur knows whether or not the relationship is mutually a good fit. Because these individuals are already present in the community of support for the practitioner, there’s a really good chance that feeling heard will only increase loyalty – and sales – as you make lasting connections.
B. Email your clients. Email constitutes a primary means to communicate with clients regarding the fruits of your labor. Devoted entrepreneurs know leveraging the email list is at the heart of growing one’s business. Using that list to gather customer satisfaction information helps a female entrepreneur step into her power fearlessly. It’s better than using bread crumbs.
C. Conduct a survey. A recommended free survey program for the purpose of measuring irreplaceable data is www.surveymonkey.org. Use these steps to make certain it garners the attention it deserves.
•Make a list of “need to know” questions.
•Consider the best way to ask the question to get the answers needed.
•Narrow the list to ten.
•Create the survey.
•Promote the survey for a limited time.
•Review the results.
3. Get clear on the ingredients. Getting to know the ideal client for one’s practice sometimes feels a little bit like trying to catch the Gingerbread Man. We run and run as fast as we can, and we can’t quite keep up. And this is the second part of the “putting it out there and see what happens” myth. If you don’t know how to make a compelling offer in a way that matters to your ideal client, you’re not really showing up in your business.
But I totally get that creating a character profile describing the individuals with whom we want to work can be difficult when we’re narrowing our niche. But if we’re baking a business for the long term, we need to make certain we have the right ingredients. As women, we want to help everyone, and taking the step to qualify clients based on particular criteria can be scary – even though we know attracting the right clients can make all the difference in our ability to grow our business. So the “Gingerbread Man” method should help things pan out. With his help, you can create the profile you need so you can speak directly to your ideal client and attract her into your world.
4. Sit down for afternoon tea. Once you’ve worked out the details, you’ve gotten to know your ideal clients on multiple levels. To engage these perfect clients, your next step is to open a dialogue with them, discover their problems and the solutions they seek. How do you do that? Take tea. Simply go where they are hanging out, either in the real or virtual world, and initiate real conversations which invite them into your world based on your shared values.
Have a sweet time with your new clients. Enjoy.
Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., owns and operates Professional Moneta International, specializing in mindfulness approaches to marketing public relations and feminine leadership. As a coach and consultant, she helps exceptional individuals with a higher calling accelerate their money-making communication strategies and deepen their business practices so they can help more people, grow personally and professionally, and improve their sense of value and worth.