Welcome to guest blogger, Pawel Grabowski, from Self Employed Cafe. Pawel is a small business owner and a blogger on a mission to help you build a successful business.
Let’s face it: as a freelancer your first goal is to bring in enough work for yourself to be able to live off what you do. Everything else is a bonus. And, because of that, it’s quite easy to divert from your marketing plan – especially when business is slow and you need work.
The problem starts when you go too far off your marketing plan and find yourself in a place you’d rather not be in. Namely, surrounded by clients who pay you little but expect a lot. Yes, the very same ones who seemed like heaven sent when you didn’t have any work. They were never your ideal clients but they were bringing you projects in. They didn’t pay much for it but, since you really needed the money, it was OK. Now, because of your lack of focus on whom you marketed to, they may be all that you’ve got.
It’s not such uncommon situation to find yourself in. It happened to me more than once over the last few years and, from my experience, there is only one way out:
Start your marketing over again and work your way back to where you originally wanted to be. It will most likely require dropping some of your clients and experiencing a slowdown for a while. But it will all be worth it.
All you need to do is:
1. Rediscover who your ideal client is
Visualize the person you should have been marketing to all this time: your ideal client. Write down a description of him/her. You probably have done this before, so see if you still remember who they are. Try to be extremely specific. And also think of what problems you can solve for him/her. You can use your past projects as a guide here, as long as the clients they were completed for match your description.
2. Start marketing to your ideal client only
Once you know who you should be marketing to, set all your promotional efforts to targeting those prospects only. From networking, to your marketing literature to your sales, do everything you can to get in front of your ideal client and avoid diverting from this path at all cost.
Soon your marketing will be focused again and your business will be growing steadily.
Marketing a business is not an easy task and it’s not that difficult to lose your way – especially during a downturn. Just remember that, if you don’t keep focused on how and to whom you are marketing, in the future you may face a bigger problem than a couple of days with no work: a business that has ground to a halt.
You can find Pawel’s website and blog at: http://www.selfemployedcafe.com