Most creative entrepreneurs would love to work with dream clients and the reality of being able to do so is achievable for any serious entrepreneur.
I mentioned the word serious, because many people are interested in achieving things, but not necessarily committed to achieving those things. It certainly is true that we will only get out of life what we put in, and an entrepreneur must be prepared to work hard, and dream clients will rarely (if ever) just fall into your lap and offer you large sums of money to work with them.
Who are your dream clients?
The notion of a dream client is completely subjective. For some, to work with Disney would be a dream, and for others a complete nightmare. The same could be said of brands such as: Gucci, Starbucks, Playboy, Louis Vuitton, Aston Martin, Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Rolex, MTV, Sony, Jack Daniels and the like.
The decision of what a dream client is must be yours. However there is a consensus in the media space that some companies are ‘cooler’ or ‘sexier’ or ‘more fun’ or ‘more creative’ than other companies.
There are two initial questions to ask at the early stage, and they would be:
1) What clients are my dream clients that I would love to work with?
2) How can I provide value to them that they will appreciate?
Once you have decided on your ideal client, then it is a matter of finding the right approach. There is no single way to work with clients, however you must be clear on your intentions. It would help to have a single focus rather than to have your focus dissipated by chasing various targets at once.
The second question needs to be addressed honestly. If you are not good enough to impress the client then you must be honest about it so that you can change your approaches.
To paraphrase Albert Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results to happen. Therefore if one particular method did not work, then doing that same thing repeatedly probably will not work either.
You must get to know people that work within the prospective company, and ideally the people that are important decision makers within the company.
You must be up-to-date with what your prospective client wants to achieve. You must also be able to honestly assess if your work is good enough for them. The good news for some is that dream companies will often work with creative entrepreneurs who may be less talented but are determined enough to get in the door, as opposed to aloof geniuses that remain in their bedroom or studios and wait for things to happen.
Process of trust
To work with a dream client is effectively the same as working with any other client, and the process that a client would go through to be able to trust you can go through a number of stages, and this would range from the point where they do not know you and do not trust you to the point where they are eager and willing to work with you. I’ll list the stages that a prospective dream client would go through in order to work with you.
The stages are:
• Repeat purchases
Each of these stages has a specific marketing process, and it would depend on your products and prospective clients to fully understand which methods would be appropriate to use at each stage, and yet just to be able to understand this process means that you will be far ahead of many others who send random emails, messages, calls, propositions and solicitations without any preparation or forethought about what their prospective client is interested in.
It is also important to know that the same method may not work for every client, and it is vital that you understand the distinctive purpose and values of the company that you intend to work with. You must be able to offer them something that is related to their goals and also something that they currently cannot do themselves.
To put it simply, if you cannot offer your dream client something that they need, want, can use or are willing to pay for, then why would they deal with you?
You must be able to provide value for them and once you can do this then your chances will increase dramatically, and it is also imperative to understand that there may be hundreds or even thousands of others that are competing for the same opportunity, so you must differentiate yourself from them even though you may not know who or what they are offering.
I’ll leave some tips at the end to put into action, and while it is important to develop a plan on how you will succeed, some of the dream clients that I have worked with have been as a result of being ready to seize opportunity when it arrives. I heard a quote attributed to the boxer Mike Tyson who said, ‘everyone has a game plan until you get punched in the face.’ Therefore it will be how you deal with the challenges that will determine how well you will succeed and not the idealistic dream of being able to smash it out of the park on your first swing.
Action points to implement
• Know exactly who you want to work with and understand their purpose and values
• Decide how you will create value for them
• Honestly assess your skills and whether you are good enough right now
• If you are honestly not good enough by yourself then team up with others who can provide complimentary skills to increase your chances
• Pay commissions to others who can get access to your dream clients
• Research your target companies, follow them on social media, sign up for their newsletters, go to their events, use their products, and really get to understand the company and what they would want
• Work on small projects to start with and build trust
• Use successful projects for other clients to build your reputation
• Never lose belief in yourself even if you believe that your competitors are more talented people than you
• Winners never quit, keep going
• Keep your eyes on the goal, and keep changing your approach until you succeed
• Get to know people inside the organization that make key decisions
• Overcome their ignorance, skepticism, doubt and fears
• Speak to and listen to successful people that have achieved what you want in your area
• Speak to and listen to successful people that have achieved what you want in other areas
• Constantly increase your knowledge base and skillset to become more valuable
Those are some valuable tips to be able to work with the clients of your dreams, however knowledge is only part of the equation you must take significant action every day in order to develop the skills that will give you what you want.
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