I remember the earliest days of starting my business, some of the best advice I received was to coach everybody! The same can be said for you wherever you are at in your passion work journey. Take on those clients you are unsure of. Get a feel for who you like working with, and who you do not. This is vital information for you moving forward in your business, so don't be afraid!
It has officially been 4 years into my full-time journey as a coach and today I am looking back on what I have learned since that time. While I know today who I absolutely gravitate towards coaching, I have also learned a lot from working with clients who are not my right-people. (Curious to get the inside scoop? Listen to First + Foremost episode 38 now!).
Today I want to share what YOU can learn from working with your own NOT-RIGHT people and how it can help you grow your business moving forward.
Here ARE 3 things you can learn from working with your NOT-RIGHT people:
1. Who you absolutely LOVE to work with.
A lot of people I work with who are starting out in their businesses will tell me that they have no idea who their ideal client is. Well, my friend, look to who you HAVE worked with for insights here. What about your previous clients/customers did you NOT like or enjoy? What character traits did they possess? What bugged you about the experience? Do not be afraid to dig into your answers to these questions. They have MAJOR information for you in growing your business. If you did not love that your previous clients wanted digital photos, then that is information about what YOU want in your next client: a client who values print photos.
Here’s how to do it: Make a lady date with yourself once per month in your business to reflect on the past month and make a list of what you are loving and not loving about your current clients. Save this information and add to it as you go along your business journey.
2. Who it is time to start saying “no” to.
This is a big one. Starting out in your business, it is hard, hard, hard (I know it!) to say no to a potential client. In fact, as mentioned above, I recommend saying yes to a whole heap of clients that may come your way early on, since afterall, we are trying to collect information about who we want to work with moving forward. However, after you start collecting said "information," it is time to do something about it. The next time a potential client comes your way and you get that feeling that maybe you might not be the very best fit for each other, listen to it!
One of the greatest values I try to align myself within my coaching practice is integrity. If a client comes my way, and I get a feeling that we are not the best fit for each other, it is my utmost priority to be transparent about that, AND match that client to the very best coach for him or her. So, while I absolutely want to feel energized by who I am working with, it is equally important, if not more important to me in my business, to make sure that my potential client feels that very same energy. When we hold this as our truth, saying no to our client becomes easy, because it is no longer about us. It is about them. And it is NOT about losing a potential client, but rather helping a potential client on his/her journey.
Here’s how to do it: Say no when you get that vibe that tells you it is not a right fit and refer your potential client/customer to someone who can be of tremendous service to them. The beauty here in referrals is that others in your industry remember when you do something like this, and I guarantee they will be on the lookout to pay the act forward to you in some way down the road if and when they can.
3. How to start talking to your ideal client.
Quite possibly the best piece of information we can get from working with our NOT-RIGHT people is how to start talking to the people we really and truly DO want to attract.
Here's how to do it: As you are collecting information about what you do not love about working with some of your clients (remember, this is totally okay, and a major component of being a savvy business owner), be sure to start also reflecting on what you are learning about each person. When it comes to your NOT-RIGHT people, what all do you know about him/her that is NOT vibing with you- and really let all the details shine through here! Maybe your client hates dance and you love it! Maybe your client is a bit pessimistic and you would love your clients to be more cheerful and positive. Or maybe your client constantly wants help with writing copy, but you really want to help with creating content.
This is all information, my friend.
You may not be working with your ideal client right now, but the people you are working with in this moment hold extremely valuable feedback for you. Now that you are in reflective mode, you can start making sure you speak more to who you think you'd like to work with (even if you haven't worked with him/her yet.) In your content (ie. blogs, newsletters, social media posts, etc.) you can start really tailoring your message to who you want to attract. Start sharing behind the scenes posts of your dance class if you'd like to attract a client who is into that! Start talking about how you can help people with creating content if that's what you want your jam to be! The idea is to show up for your ideal client and give them a snapshot of how the two of you can align and work together. Give them what they need based on what you know in this moment. And then repeat monthly as you reflect and learn more. This is how your ideal client will start to come.
And before we wrap this chat up, one final thing to really think about:
It takes time to gain your ideal client's trust.
Do not expect overnight growth. Overnight engagement. Overnight followers.
You have to put in the work to build the relationship. The same way you meet an amazing human out in real life, it is unlikely that the two of you will be BFF after that first encounter. It takes time to grow any friendship or relationship.
So, remember to take your time, and trust the process. I promise after a while, your ideal clients will come.