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If you are an online business, you know that it’s absolutely essential to learn how to get visible, and not just visible, but visible in the right places, and the blessing/curse of online business is that you can not show up online and you can work from home and you can be invisible, BUT you risk being completely invisible.
That means if you’re not being seen, then people don’t know that they can work with you or know about who you are and what you can do for them, and that’s the challenge.
A lot of my fellow introverts and I kind of struggle with this idea of visibility and what that really looks like. Not that introverts aren’t willing to get visible, but for some of us, we really like to pull away and disengage and get restored more so than our fellow brethren extroverts. Right?
This is a challenge particularly for us introverts, and that doesn’t mean that we can’t be confident and that we can’t be trained extroverts. That’s kind of what I referred to myself as when I was in college, I had a lot of high visibility jobs when I was on campus, and I was a trained extrovert. I knew how to show up, I knew how to be confident, I knew how to speak, but when I was done, I was done. I would retreat back into my little hermit crab shell, and go recover with a book.
This is something that contributes a lot to feast and famine cycles in the online space that women share with me that they struggle with. I have struggled with this too, so I really want to talk about how do I get visible, how do I get in front of the right people, especially the ones that I really want to work with. Okay?
The answer to this question is broken into two parts, and we’re going to talk about both.
Part one is that you have to get really clear on who your ideal client is.
What that means is you know who they are, you know where they hang out, and you know the way that they consume content.
Part two is you have to really take that step of putting yourself out there and being seen, warts and all, being totally visible.
Nailing down your ideal clients.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and download that workbook.
It’s totally free.
It’s just a workbook with prompts to help you think about your business, because not all businesses are cookie-cutter. Even if you’re an online business, even if you’re a coach, even if you’re a designer or freelancer, everything’s going to change depending on you and your strengths and your ideal client, where they hang out, and the particular problem that you’re wanting to solve for them.
This idea of getting clear on your ideal client, is not just something that you’re going to do one time, so don’t feel all this pressure to get it right the first time.
I say it all the time. I’m going to say it again. You’re probably going to get super tired of me saying it, but you cannot turn a parked car. You have to get moving. You have to just start taking action.
A lot of us, especially for us women, we kind of get to follow our intuition. This feeling of, “I think it might be over here.” We could be wrong, totally wrong, but you know, sometimes it’s a matter of just following your gut, but it doesn’t have to be so woo-woo out there. There are specific things that we can talk about and look at strategically and intentionally that will save us a lot of time and heartache of, “Oh, I tried this and it didn’t work.”
Your ideal client will evolve as your business does.
It’s part of the process of entrepreneurship.
You can figure out, “Oh, I really don’t love this aspect of the work that I’m doing with my clients right now, I’d love to shift and just focus more on this piece”, or, “This is ineffective, and I really don’t feel like I’m serving my clients while doing this, so I’m going to shift and pivot and talk about this with my ideal clients.”
Whether you’ve been in business for 10 minutes because you just decided, “I’m going to go into business for myself,” or you’ve been in business for 10 years, this is an exercise that you should be doing consistently. Not every month, but every once in a while to kind of make sure, “Am I still on track? Is this a good fit?”
Let’s review a couple of steps (I go way more in-depth in the workbook). You need to first know, again, the who.
Who, as in the common characteristics that your ideal clients have. I even like to go a step further and think of her as one person, because my ideal client is a gal. You need to take into consideration some demographic information, such as maybe they’re moms. Mompreneurs. Maybe they’re millennials, maybe they are young professionals trying to grow their careers, maybe they’re retirees and looking to get a second wind, right? Maybe they are first time house buyers.
You get the idea, right?
Now you want to be really clear on that who, and you want to write that down.
Write a statement about who they are, and you can do it now or you can do it when you download the workbook and go through the prompts there.
Secondly, you want to be super duper clear on how you can actually help them.
What is it that they’re struggling with the most? What is the micro problem? Ilike to make this digestible. What is something that you can help them with immediately? Then what’s something that you can help them with that might take a little bit longer? What is causing them struggles in their day-to-day life? What is causing maybe even pain in their day-to-day life?
When I’m talking about this, again, there’s loads of different kinds of pain. It could be emotional pain. It could be spiritual pain. It could be relational pains. There’s a lot of different things going on. It could be imbalances in their health, things that you can support them around. It could even be financial stressors that are causing them pain.
The trick is to get very clear on what their key pain point is, and the way that you do that is to slow down and go through a lot of the workbooks and the prompts in the workbook, and basically dial it into a micro problem.
Even though they might have 10 other related and attached problems to this problem, start with one small micro problem.
When you get clear on that, and you get clear about how you’re going to solve that pain point for them, the information that starts to come through in your messaging to that ideal client is going to immediately make them perk up and say, “I think this person might be able to help me.” People don’t like to be in pain, right?
People don’t like to struggle. They want out of that.
They want relief from whatever obstacle is in front of them. When you get really clear about the issue and the solution and how you can help them do that, that’s powerful stuff.
Third, find out the results your audience would love to experience.
This is counter to the pain point, but the result itself can vary, and here’s a great example of how.
My husband’s a finance coach, and he might have two different types of clients. One, might be a client that might want to get out of debt. That might be a first step solution and result for them, but maybe another client wants to break an earnings plateau. Maybe she feels as if she’s hit a ceiling in her workplace, or maybe a ceiling in her business, and the solution for her financial stress is breaking through that and getting solutions for that.
Think about it, both are financial pain points, right? They need more money so that they can get a goal, but what is that end goal? What is the result that they’re really going after?
Different solutions are needed.
I want you to think about what they want. One tip is that a great way to get insights about what your clients want is to just ask them.
I feel as if a lot of people think, “You can’t just ask somebody what they want and then try to sell it to them.” But really, that’s what I’m telling you to do, and there are three specific places that I like to do market research on my own audience, meaning people who’ve already said, “Yes, I’m interested in hearing what Brittney has to say about X, Y, and Z.” I’m going to ask them again, “Hey, what do you think about this? Or what do you think about that?”
Fourth, I want you to brainstorm what their interests are.
Where are they hanging out?
What are they doing there?
This can be both online and offline communities. I tend to focus on the online space, since that’s where a lot of my clients want to be, but this could even be offline spaces. This could be a networking event or a conference. A lot of people will say, “I just don’t know.” and again, this is where it’s okay for you to use your gut, for you to use your intuition and make your best guess, but it doesn’t have to be a guess. You can check on Facebook, you can check on Instagram, you can check on YouTube.
A lot of this is really about asking, how do they like to consume media?
Moms who are on the run might be able to listen to something while they’re doing dishes with their headphones in while baby is napping, right? Therefore, a podcast feels a lot better to them.
Others might like to consume long-form blog posts. I’m a big reader, and it’s also a quiet way to consume information, so that would also maybe be a good option for moms.
Although, maybe it’s a busy mom, and so maybe they just need to really quickly see how something is done, click this, click this, click this, and maybe they consume video tutorials and that works best for them. That’s what they’re going to eat up.
Think about how they like to consume. Are they magazine readers? Are they tweet readers? Are they on Twitter? Maybe they’re more visual, maybe they’re on Instagram or Snapchat or someplace such as that.
Think about where your people are at, and go find them.
Go get in front of them and connect.
Getting truly visible in front of your dream clients.
We just got clear on who they are, where they hang out, and the problems we’re solving for them, but part two is kind of twofold.
The first part is confidence.
Confidence is really what is going to make or break your visibility.
If you get on there and you’re kind of mousey and you’re talking softly and saying, “Okay, hey, guys. What’s going on?” And there’s a lot of this preamble that’s fluff, they’re going to disappear very quickly.
Being confident about who you are and why you’re there and what problems you can solve for your people is going to either open doors for you or close the doors.
When you get confident, you can go and connect.
Connecting with confidence ultimately looks like pitching a lot of times. This word for the longest time has not settled well with me, because it is just like, oh, let me pitch this idea, let me pitch this sale, and that has always been like, ooh, ick, ugh. I don’t like it, but if you are crystal clear on who your ideal client is, there’s a bunch of different ways to put yourself out there that isn’t icky, and I like to think of it as connecting with a solution rather than pitching, because that feels more genuine to who I am. It feels more helpful, and it doesn’t feel as icky.
Confidently connecting, or if you want to just call it what it is, pitching, you can do that. Pitching is really about reaching out to an influencer or a platform or publication where your audience is hanging out and reading and consuming information already. How exactly you are featured will depend on the platform, and you might offer something such as writing a guest post, being a guest podcaster, or providing an expert quote to something to provide more authority and expertise to what they’re trying to do.
There are all kinds of ways to connect, show your value, and get visible in front of your ideal clients.
Gosh, I know it takes a ton of guts to get out there and connect and pitch, and that’s why confidence is the first step. It’s a twofold part for visibility. First is confidence, then the connection, and when you have both, visibility is so much easier.
There’s a huge misconception out there, which I see a lot of in the wedding photography industry, that people who are at the top of their game, that they’re not pitching, they’re not connecting, they’re not doing this joint venture process in their business, and that is absolutely not true.
People don’t just flock to them willy nilly.
They have done the work of being relational and connecting in their industry and getting in front of their people in shared platforms. Okay?
I don’t want you to feel like, “Hey, I would love to reach out,” and, “Hey, I would love to be featured on your podcast. I think I have something really important that your audience would really benefit from, and I really like how you carry yourself in the podcast. I find it super helpful, and I would love to be a part of that. Do you have any opportunities where I can apply to be a part of your podcast?” Or maybe you’re a writer, and you’re more of a guest poster, and you say, “Hey, I’ve got this really cool idea. Can I guest post it for you?”
Maybe someone is having an event. Maybe it’s a women’s event or a conference or something, and you say, “Hey, I went to this event last year, and I would love to be a part of this. Is there any way that I can contribute, or how would I go about being a speaker at one of these things? I really want to pour into women in this way.”
When you come at it from a very relational perspective, there’s absolutely no reason why this should be intimidating.
The worst thing that people can say is, “No.”
I know that this can be really overwhelming, and the worst that someone can say is no, but honestly, I feel as if you have to get out there and start hearing people say no in order to figure out how to get them to say yes. Right?
It may not come out perfectly the first time, and you might be shaking.
I know for me, there have been times where I’ve been sweating profusely, and it’s super embarrassing, and I’m like, “Check this bad larry out.” I’m raising my arm and pointing to my pit stains because like I’m freaking out on the inside, and yet I know that when I go and I do it, man, I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud. I’m like, “Man. I pushed past my comfort zone. I extended that boundary, and now I have this new opportunity, or maybe I’ve connected with somebody else as a result of that, or they saw me or overheard me.”
You just have no idea what doors could open to you.
Know that this is fear inducing, not just in yourself, but even in women who are at the top of their industry, and this is part of the process.
If you want those dream clients, you’ve got to go out and do some things that are uncomfortable too.
I hope that this helps you. I hope hearing that I feel this way too helps you bravely step out to do something uncomfortable that could completely revolutionize your business.
If you’re not clear on your ideal client, go ahead and download that workbook. Let me know your thoughts and comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading!