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Written by Mat Casner

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Marketing Yourself to Attract Ideal Clients: Part 1

Finding Clients, Graphic Design Business 101, My Skills and Talents | 0 comments

You have the skills. You have the desire. But without clients….well, your business just isn’t a business! Yet attracting clients, especially the right clients, can be a challenge.

This post outlines the first and most important step you need to take in order to attract new clients to your business. Marketing yourself to attract ideal clients starts with identifying what it is you do and what problems you solve. Watch the video below or read on to find out more.

You, the Expert

Attracting the ideal client starts with you. You are the expert people should look to in order to solve their problems, so it is imperative that you have a crystal clear understanding of what exactly you want to do and who you want to help.

For example, when I was getting started as a full-time freelance designer, I had just come from a corporate IT job in a small community. I had fixed computers, set up networks, and did computer troubleshooting. To my community, I was the “IT expert”. That’s how people perceived and knew me. 

But I left that job to strike out on my own as a designer, marketer and web developer. Sure, those things are in the computer-related space, but it’s not IT. So here I was, waiting for people to hire me to design for them, but I was still getting calls for IT help. Argh.

My point here is that you may WANT to serve a specific client, but if the world knows you by something else…you’ve got a problem. 

To solve my issue, I had to redefine who I was as an expert. Design was something I was already very educated and experienced in, but I hadn’t spent much time making myself known inside my local community as a designer. So it took some work to change my image to fit what I wanted to do.

1. Define Who You Are 

Understand what skills, talents, experience, and passions you have that define who you are (or rather, who you want to be) as a freelancer. This skill set will guide you as you narrow down what you want to be known for. Then be sure you are showing up in ways that highlight your special sauce of skills, talents, experience, and passions.

Action Step:

Take a pen and paper, and write down all your skills, talents, experience and passions as they relate to the expert you want to be.

Going from “Mat, the IT guy”, to “Mat, the Design guy” meant I had to take a look at how I was marketing myself as a freelancer how I was presenting my services to the world.

In other words, you need to understand who you are before you can present yourself in the proper light.

2. Define the Specific Problems You Solve

Identify the specific problems you’re able to solve for your customers by using your skills, talents, experience and passions that you identified in the last exercise.

I am a graphic designer, yes, but I frame my identity to be a creative problem solver, or a visual problem solver. I go into situations with clients who have a real business need. Most oftentimes they’re trying to find more clients. They’re trying to establish a brand so that they can promote themselves and their business.

For example, a problem I solve for businesses is creating an identity for them and making sure they are putting their best foot forward. I do this using my design skills and talents to create a brand for my clients.

Be sure you focus only on problems you can solve the ones related to your skills. So even though I CAN do IT tasks, I don’t WANT to do those things, so I won’t mention them. 

3. How Will You Make Your Mark?

To fully realize your purpose and bring fulfillment to your work, keep your values in mind. What do you want to be known for? What is important to you in your life and how can you serve those interests while serving customers? 

If you are crystal clear on who you are, what you do, and what you want to be known for, you can begin marketing yourself to attract ideal clients. In subsequent posts, I’ll be talking more about attracting clients who will pay you well and ones with whom you will thoroughly enjoy working.

Stay tuned!

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