You don't need 100,000 followers on Instagram to be successful. You don't need to have everyone in the country know your name, to be fully booked out. Your email subscriber list doesn't have to have 20,000 names on it. Really.
What you do need is 100 (or so) crazy fans that love you, buy from your repeatedly, and share you to everyone.
100 crazies is better than 100,000 acquaintances.
Now this is a rough concept, and not an EXACT number. Honestly, if I tried to serve 100 people a year with full branding photoshoots, I would be so over booked, no one would get my best work, and soon I'd have zero crazy loyal fans. If you're a business coach, maybe you only need 50 loyal crazies. If you sell the best white v neck shirt ever, A) hit me up, and B) you probably need more like 1000 crazy fans to hit your sales goals. But again, you don't need 100k.
The point is this: if you are putting out your best work, and connecting with your ideal, dream customers, you'll create people that will buy not just once, but over and over. Your 100 crazy loyals will buy anything you put out, and you'll enjoy working with them. They will then refer their friends and colleagues (who will likely also be dream clients, because birds of a feather flock together!) and you will be the happiest business owner on the block.
So how do you create this tribe of 100 crazy fans?
- Be you. Don't try to be someone else. Yes, a polished and thoughtful version of yourself, but YOURSELF. It helps if you're also letting your fans get to know the person behind the business. Love iced coffee more than most? Are you a mom working whenever her kids are sleeping? Working remotely while you travel the world? Give your customers something they can relate to and like about you, beyond the awesome work you do.
- Know who you're trying to serve. "There's riches in the niches" is one of my favorite phrases, and not just because it's cheesy. It's true, Serve one group REALLY well and they will love you for it.
- Treat your existing clients like GOLD. Under promise and over deliver. Take care of them and anticipate their needs. Ask for their feedback. WANT TO SERVE THEM. (If you have an awesome referral process, I'd love to hear it, putting together a future blog post for this! --> email me here!)
- Put yourself out there. Ok, so assume you have an amazing product or service that your target client loves, you're treating your existing clients like gold, and you are still looking for more of these crazy loyal fans. You need to let your perfect clients know you exist. This might mean submitting guest posts to blogs your client reads, or guest speaking on a podcast they listen to, or even offering a workshop at your local Chamber of Commerce. The ideas are endless.
Not sure what exactly would make sense for you to grow your client base? I'd love to chat! I've been helping my clients not only create gorgeous photos, but then strategically use those photos to gain exposure, (and thus clients!) for their business. Email me and let me know if you need help in this area!
Because they can't hire you if they don't know you exist!