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How to Attract Kindred Clients

What if you looked at your spouse across the kitchen table every morning and thought, “He’s not my soulmate but he’s steady and he pays the bills so he’ll do.”

I’m guessing that wouldn’t happen because you wouldn’t settle for a spouse who doesn’t fire you up.

So why do you look across your desk at clients who don’t excite and challenge you and think, “They’ll do. The work is steady and the pay is decent. I don’t have to love working with them.”

If you count the hours, you may find that you spend as much time with clients as you do your spouse. Shouldn’t you enjoy your time with them? How much better would your work be if you partnered only with kindred clients? By kindred clients, I mean people who appreciate what you have to offer (and are willing to pay what you’re worth) and whose mission inspires you to do your best work. People who make you feel happy, fulfilled, and valued. People you have fun with in the process of doing important work. People whose successes feel like your successes, too.

“People who feel empowered by your presence become kindred spirits.” ~ Wayne Dyer

(Quick caveat: If you’re just starting out, you may need to take whatever clients and work you can get, provided it’s not demeaning and doesn’t undercut the going rates for your industry. It’s called paying dues. Once you’re established and know your target audience, you can afford to be picky; in fact, you can’t afford not to.)

Your kindred clients are a subset of your target audience. They see in you a kindred spirit and thus are less likely to micromanage your work, second guess your decisions, or quibble about rates because they respect and trust you. They appreciate your talent and experience, and believe you have what it takes to make their dream come true.

To attract your kindred client, you need to have a clear picture of who she is.

To attract kindred clients, you must first define them. This can be scary because it shrinks your target audience. It can also be unsettling because, in clarifying which qualities you value most in clients, you may uncover qualities of your own that shift the focus of your business (and perhaps even alter your life’s purpose). That’s what happened to me.

The process starts by looking at your target audience. As I proclaim on my website, my prospects and clients are “in the business of helping people live healthier, wealthier, happier lives.” I distilled that down by probing the true meaning of health, wealth, and happiness. I wrote down that I want to attract clients who don’t think it’s a virtue to constantly work. Clients who love their work but have other passions.

Then, I probed deeper using an exercise that helps me get at the heart of my motives and desires. I write down what I want, or think I want, and ask “why” repeatedly until I’m staring at the undeniable truth.

Here’s how it played out.

I want to attract clients who live full time, and don’t live to work.

Why? 

Because that is the life I yearn to live.

Why?

Because I don’t want to work around the clock anymore, or be on call 24-7.

Why?

Because there are other things I want to do.

Why?

Because I want to write more than ephemera. I want to leave a legacy.

On the face of it, the statement isn’t revelatory; I’ve wanted to write something enduring for a long time. What this exercise taught me is that I want to work with people like me who also want to leave a legacy.

I want to help them create that legacy.

Boom! Truth bomb.

As it happens, I was already headed in that direction. My client Kevin Weinstein, for example, is a commercial photographer who wants to be remembered for his street photography. The copy I wrote for his website marries his need to build clientele and his yen to build a body of work that rises to the level of art.

Another client of mine, interior designer Lorrie Browne, described her kindred client in minute detail when she hired me to write her website copy. At this stage of her career, Lorrie caters to clients with second homes on the beach, often working with them remotely. It’s lucrative work, and since clients usually lack the time and inclination to weigh in on every single decision from paint to drawer pulls, projects take less time. That enables Lorrie to devote countless rewarding hours to animal rescue and advocacy, her life’s passion.

I interview clients and give them homework if necessary to identify their kindred clients, but I love it when they come to me with a clear picture in their mind already. That way, I can get to work right away composing pitch perfect copy for that particular client.

Ready for copy to woo kindred clients? I can provide it. Need a session with me to figure out which clients are your ideal match? Fill out the form to get on my schedule.

 

Frog for breakfast? No thanks, I’ll pass.

As a syndicated reporter on the careers beat (among others), I write often about prioritizing work tasks and increasing productivity. Several experts I interviewed offered the same advice: “Eat the frog first.”

If you want to get ahead in life, you’re supposed to eat the frog, not kiss it.
If you want to get ahead in life, you’re supposed to eat the frog, not kiss it.

The “frog” is your biggest, most important task of the day. The one you dread and might otherwise put off. If you complete this task first thing in the morning, the experts say, you’ll have a sense of achievement and the satisfaction of knowing the worst is behind you. A frog in the belly is motivating.

However, if you put off your froggy feast to do smaller, less important things, the frog will sit and stare at you with its rheumy, remonstrative eyes. You’ll feel uneasy and lack the time and energy later in the day to swallow him whole. That means a missed deadline and an all the more daunting to-do list the next day. The frog’s not getting any smaller, after all. Or tastier for that matter.

The frog theory of productivity is explained in full in Brian Tracy’s bestseller “Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,” or you can watch a 90-second video about it.

As for me, I can’t always stomach frog for breakfast. I find it’s sometimes necessary to warm up to tackling the day’s most critical task. It’s best on those days to finish a couple of easy things first, which gives me the immense satisfaction of checking one or two items off my to-do list while still on my first cup of coffee. Should you choose to try my tadpole-for-breakfast approach to productivity, the key to success is starting off with must-do tasks you can complete without much effort. It’s not the time for busy work like purging your email inbox. That’s the sort of task that sucks up a lot of time and inevitably leads to diversions like online shopping and cat video marathons. Rather, it’s the ideal time to deal with that one important email you’ve not yet replied to. Getting some pesky little tasks out the way builds some momentum and gives your coffee time to kick in. It makes the frog look a little more palatable.

Whether you reach for a tadpole or frog, the key to beating procrastination is to take that first bite, according to CareerCast publisher Tony Lee, whom I quote in my article on the three deadly P’s (people-pleasing, perfectionism, and procrastination).

“Just do something. Make an opening move of any kind,” Lee urges.

If dairy sounds yummier for breakfast than amphibians, you’re in luck. Lee shares his “Swiss cheese method” to sustain momentum by achieving a series of small successes: “You don’t need to commit a big block of time all at once. Think of several easy tasks that can be done in 10 minutes or less.”

Success begets success, he adds, and emboldens you to move on to bigger things. Like your frog. It’s not going anywhere. Trust me.