As a journalist, you're skilled in writing to a specialism - a 'beat'. This is an essential, transferable skill for your business. If you're able to identify your ideal client, you're better placed for SEO, to research where your clients are hanging out online, what are their needs, what is their language and who they serve.
A friend and colleague always says, she'd hire a journalist any time, over any other copywriter because they know how to research and how to get to the point.
Here's an easy exercise for imagining your ideal client. Finding this niche is rocket fuel for a business. You'll find efficiencies and opportunities that will streamline your processes, your delivery and boost your profit. this process is really useful for taking a brief from a client as well - you can go through this with your client about what their customers need from them:
- Picture your perfect client
- Identify what they want - what are their aspirations: a thriving business, consistent revenue, time with family, financial certainty
- Combine their business and personal goals to get to what the client really desires : a thriving business so i can spend more time with my family; my website text written so i can solve problems elsewhere...
- If you already have your ideal client on board, have a conversation with them to dig deep about what they truly want - this is useful for conversations with other 'ideals'.
Our wants and needs are universal, but having specifics to pepper a conversation with is very potent: another client thought they needed X, but when we talked about it, they actually needed Y and I delivered it...
- What are their fears?
What will doing nothing about their problem perpetuate: confusion, business failure, embarassment, reduced income, being left behind.
- What are their frustrations - what is their current state?
Not reaching customers? Not being in front of customers at the time a customer needs them? Inconsistent revenue? No business and income certainty? No easy wins? Things take too long?
- What would a win look like for this customer?
Better google ranking. (this is quite tricky btw, 30 60 90 days - the conversation here should be to install google analytics and see how things are changing for the better)
Being understood and listened to (sometimes it's that simple).
Clarity and focus.
A road map.
Double leads, phone calls, revenue.
A consistent marketing engine - a schedule for content emails, social - a plan to execute on and accountability on what is happening
This is ideal customer mapping. When you work through this, or use these points as a question run sheet in a briefing or discovery meeting, you'll understand clients frustrations and fears and can bake in wins. This transforms you from service delivery to consultant.
Know your ideal client and spend time on them - on reaching them, on getting work from them. This sounds simplistic, and it is but it does focus you on the things you want, not the things you don't want.
We do our A+ work with A+ clients. It's productive and efficient to work with clients who are a good fit. It makes better business sense to have fewer clients who are profitable than many who aren't.
Set free the clients that aren’t a good fit - they'll be a great match for someone else!