Do you ever poke your head up after working your buns off only to find that you don’t have any clients in your pipeline? It is definitely something that happens to everyone when you work “in” your business and not “on” your business.
Let’s face it, that realization is a bit scary! You have to scramble and find some clients very quickly, which unfortunately can cause you to take on some “wrong” clients.
You’ll never be your best self—for your business or your clients—if you’re forced to take on clients just to make revenue.
Yes, we’ve all be there. BUT, you can avoid it in the future.
So, how do you avoid this situation? If you can answer “yes” to these four questions, you are waaayyyy ahead of the game! If you answer “no” or “sometimes,” now is the time to get some systems in place.
- Are you consciously creating and maintaining meaningful customer contact?
- Do you check in with your clients on a regular basis?
- Have you looked at each customer touchpoint and determined whether it positively impacts your customers and reflects your brand?
- Do you go above and beyond with customer care to ensure customer loyalty?
The best way to get clients is to have a system
The beautiful thing about a system is that you just work it. You don’t need superhuman willpower to make it happen like we sometimes feel we must when we’re trying to achieve a goal. A system is a formula you follow that leads you step-by-step to success.
Maybe your goal is to add three new projects a quarter. Your system would be the steps you take to get there and might include attending a networking event, sending out a weekly email or asking your existing clients for a referral.
While a system works hand in hand with a goal, it’s the system that allows you to achieve the goal through incremental steps.
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A system gives you a starting point
I know how creative you are, but there’s just no reason to reinvent the wheel. A system—even one you customize to your needs—helps you save valuable time because you benefit from the learning experiences of other experts.
By not starting from scratch, you have more time to do the things you love to do!
The foundation of getting clients—promotion, nurturing leads, etc.—is very similar for all businesses. Leverage the business experience and learnings of others by adopting a system that has already been developed so you can focus on design.
A system helps you see red flags so you can adjust your strategy
Another benefit of a system is that you can track and record your actions and then tweak things if necessary when you find something that isn’t working like it should.
For example, maybe you’re getting too many calls from people who want new-build consultations, but your niche is remodeling. When something isn’t working like you want it to, you can assess your system to see what you might adjust to send out the message you want to get the clients you want.
Because you are following a system and not willy-nilly jumping around from promotion to promotion, you can adjust your strategy in a smart and effective way.
A system is repeatable
Right now, you might be the only one in your business. However, if you have any aspirations to add team members to your design business, it’s important that you have tried-and-true systems that they can follow so if you’re not involved every step of the way—or you’re taking that long overdue Caribbean vacation—your trusted team can manage your business in a way that is consistent with your quality and expectations.
Following an established system is one of the best ways to ensure you always have clients in your sales funnel.