Clients = chocolates. No, really! Wanna know why? It all has to do with what kind of chocolate we like, and how our tastes evolve.
Think about it for a minute… when we’re kids, we don’t really care what kind of chocolate we get, just as long as we get a sugar addiction fix. Regular chocolate bars, halloween candy, those horrible milk chocolate Easter eggs… it doesn’t matter what lands in our grubby little hands, we’re just happy to get it!
As we get older, our tastes evolve. Maybe we sample Hershey's dark chocolate (*gasp*) in our late teens, or experiment with the slightly pricier Godiva and Lindt offerings. Mmm, now we’re moving up in the world.
Finally, as adults out to impress a potential significant other (or to spoil ourselves), we splurge on the reallyfancy chocolate… small batch artisanal bars or chocolates from a fancy chocolatier. Worth it? Oh my, yes.
The thing is, as a sugar-crazed five-year-old, you wouldn’t have had the experience and palate to appreciate that fancy chocolate!
The chocolate isn’t really the point… swap out chocolate for anything else… wine, cheese, vegetables…
As entrepreneurs, we go through a similar “taste” evolution. We cut our business-teeth on clients who have smaller budgets and simpler tastes, err… needs, and gradually evolve to a place where we’re ready to take on more complex projects, with a budget to match!
Are you ready to transition from grocery store chocolate to the higher-end stuff? Make sure these 5 things are up to snuff so you can fully savor your clients’ complexities.
What’s the single biggest obstacle to taking on bigger clients? It’s mindset, hands down. Most of us never feel “ready,” we always need to learn the new thing, use the new software, get to the next level… if you keep waiting, it’snevergonna happen. Trust me on this.
Don’t continue to put off your business growth with those “I’m just not ready” excuses! Whatever business and whatever stage you’re at, you offer a singular package of passion, experience, and mindset that no one can copy!
Practice positioning yourself as an expert with your smaller clients. (I.e.: learn how to swallow that audible gulp whenever someone asks, “In your expert opinion…” !!! ) Not only will it serve you well when your client decides to ask for their friend’s opinion and decides to disregard your advice or change the entire project, but it will help you own your confidence when you start playing in the big leagues.
Set goals and a timeframe
Hardly anyone reaches their goals without making a plan, breaking down the steps, and sticking to it. Oh sure, you hear of the occasional “big one” landing in someone’s lap, totally out of the blue y, leading to gobs of money and a digital nomad’s career… but in real life that rarely happens.
Break it down… what does success look like for you? What services will you offer? How many clients is ideal? What big goals do you need to reach, and what baby steps can you take to get there?
Solidify your processes, workflows, and softwares
It’s really rare to start your business and immediately land a high-dollar project, no matter what your fellow entrepreneur’s Instas seem to portray. It might seem like a bummer, but it’s really a blessing in disguise… working on all those little projects allows you to set up your systems, tweak them, and have them all ready to go by the time you start looking for bigger fish.
Once you do land a high-dollar client, your business will be running so seamlessly that you’ll awe them with your easy professionalism and slick onboarding.
Project a high-end image
Your current clients may not be high-rollers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t showcase your work like it is! Take a little time to build a professional, well-presented portfolio that shows off your mad skillz, and highlight the unique skills and knowledge that position you to meet your client’s needs.
(You know that whole Law of Attraction thing? Acting like you’re working with high-end clients tends to be a self fulfilling prophecy.)
Use professional contracts and documents
You’ve put yourself out there, done the work, and finally have a potential client. Great, what now?!
Don’t sabotage all your hard work by appearing disorganized and unprofessional right in the critical last moments. At this stage in the game, clear, legally-sound contract templates and agreements will be your business bffs. (Need an easy template? Check out what we’ve got in The Contract Shop.) Make sure these documents explicitly cover the who (clients/you), what (services), when (what’s the timeline?), and how (what processes do you follow, what information do you need before working on their project), as well as your policies for payment, refunds, and project suspension!
Preparation in these five areas are key to scaling your business up — without getting overwhelmed!
Ready to get after it? Check out my “Book your First $3k Client in the next 30 days” workbook to walk you through the process of identifying your mindset blocks, building special offers that speak to your ideal client’s needs, and making your pitch!