Learning new stuff and making plans is all very well. They are two essential aspects of getting your business where you want it to be, of building a reliable business that brings in consistent income and supports the life you want to lead.
But learning and planning aren’t enough.
You can learn all the new stuff in the world, you can write the perfect plan, but if you actually want to get there, you need to do it.
And, for me, the best way to do it is to have someone holding me accountable.
Knowing that I’ve got to report back to someone else and let them know why I’ve not done what I had promised myself, let them know why I’ve altered the plan again, that keeps me in check.
So I can show you the exact way my programmes work; the questions I ask you, the plans I want you to write. The first one – the Client Attraction Blueprint – is a free download in the comments.
Because that’s not the valuable part.
The valuable part is when you report back to me; every day at first, every week as we progress. You can message me, you can call me, when you need help to stay on track.
The learning and planning are step one. But getting results is what it’s all about.
So many people talk about customer service or their passion – that’s like going to buy a car and the sales sleaze saying “this one comes with tyres!”
Years ago there was a guy who was a Ruby on Rails Core Contributor (basically he was famous in my part of the tech world) and he used to come to our meet-ups.
One month he excitedly announced he was starting a new agency with this guy Zach – called Made in London. Except every time he said it, people replied “what? Like french maid?” He got angrier and angrier as the night went on.
The next morning I set up a site called Maid in London, photoshopped his face onto a saucy maid photo and then linked through to his real site. My friends and I had a laugh about this.
Weeks later Zach (who I didn’t know) asked on Twitter who had built this site – he had seen traffic from it going to the real site. I owned up and he thought it funny.
Months after that, Zach got a request for some work he couldn’t do. He remembered me, got in touch and I got a six month contract out of it.
All because I did some stupid stuff with a hangover to poke fun at someone I knew.
So you don’t have to be bland or corporate or slick to get noticed. Just don’t be an arsehole.
Everyone has a type of client that they work best with. Sometimes we’re afraid to talk to them because we’re worried about scaring other people off.
But the world is a noisy place. To get noticed you need to focus.
If you were in a crowded car park and someone was yelling “hey” you might look round then move on. If they shouted “you in the green jacket” you might pay a bit more attention. But if they shout “Baz!” you’re going to think they’re talking to you (assuming you’re called Baz).
So don’t try to target “small business owners”. The US Small Business Association has companies up to $25m/year. In the U.K. a company with 249 employees is a small business.
That manufacturing firm with a factory and 150 employees is a very different place to the woman who works from her kitchen table who is very different to that family business with 45 subcontractors around the country.
All “small businesses”, very different problems.
If you want your potential clients to notice you, you need to be more specific. Understand who they are and what problem they have. Talk about them and they will feel like you’re yelling their name across that car park.