Brilliant insight from guest blogger – Marley Majcher
We love clients, don’t we? We adore them. When we’re building our business, getting our name out there, promoting what we do, selling ourselves to everyone, and then a client walks up, we want to hug them. Or least give them a hearty handshake.
They are the reason we get up before dawn and work after sunset. We want to hook them, reel them in, and have them stuffed and mounted on our wall.
Look at what I caught! Isn’t it beautiful?
That, of course, is the honeymoon phase. It lasts about as long as that initial handshake. Then the real work happens and reality sets in. That once stunning marlin turns out to be nothing but a cod.
It’s difficult to accept that not all clients are good clients. Some will have you sailing. Some will drag you under. If you are going to succeed, not just survive, you have to let some of those fish go.
Here’s how. Review all your past clients over the last year. Then ask yourself these questions:
Which clients did I love working with the most?
That’s a great indicator of whose personality fits yours, as well as who recognizes the valuable service you provide and will pay willingly for it.
Which ones did I learn from the most?
Great clients are the ones who grow with you. Or help you grow to meet them.
Which projects or clients was I most passionate about?
If you love what you do, you’ll thrive at doing it. That makes for a less stressful, more successful working relationship.
Where did the love/earn/passion intersect?
That’s the clincher. This is where you determine your target market, aka your most profitable clients. This is where you aim for the future.
If I went back to the beginning of my business, there are several things I would have changed. One of the major differences would have been how I viewed the people and clients intersecting with my business. This is key. I would have paid more attention to the people I gave my time to and the activities I did.
And this is the question I would have asked myself: What did I get out of that time or relationship that made it worth the investment?
If a client is simply dangling on your line because you want the check, eventually you’ll run out of lines, out of time, and your business will run out of money.
You need clients that move you toward your goals, pay you what you are worth, and make your life easier.
That’s the great catch.