Learning what works for you in winning clients is a good way to make your marketing more efficient and effective. I’ve described my approach on this blog. But two webinars by consultant Mary Cravets of Simply Get Clients inspired me to revisit this topic.
List marketing techniques and top clients
Cravets suggested that participants draw two columns on a piece of paper. In the left-hand column, list all of the marketing techniques that you use consistently or inconsistently, or that you’d like to try. In the right-hand column, list your top five clients.
The next step was for participants to draw a line from each top client to the technique in the left-hand column that brought them that client. In other words, participants identify how they gained their best clients. That’s a great refinement on my original idea of analyzing all of my new clients in a given year. After all, wouldn’t you rather duplicate your best clients rather than your average clients?
For me, the visual impact of seeing the lines on my paper converging in one place was stunning. I tend to think of my newsletter and blog as major contributors to bringing me clients. But this exercise said that it’s really the internet and LinkedIn. Of course, my blog and newsletter are essential to my presence in both of those places.
Act on what you learn
The next step is to focus more on the techniques that bring you your best clients, and then do more of that. You should also deemphasize the less productive techniques, so you can win better clients with less effort.
In my case, the mix of ways I gained my top five clients was similar to how I gained all of my new clients last year. However, that might not be true for you, especially if you’ve tried new marketing techniques over the last year.
Take a closer look at how you gained your top clients so you can spend more time on those techniques. Then, maybe you can cut back on some of your time-consuming marketing that doesn’t get results. And, maybe you can spend less time on marketing, and more on what you enjoy.
Focusing on your best clients, rather than any new clients, can improve your business.
Flip the exercise
You can also learn from doing the reverse of this exercise, suggested Cravets. List your 5 worst clients, and then draw lines to the techniques that brought those clients to you. This may suggest techniques that you should avoid. For example, perhaps those clients came from a lead-generation service rather than from referrals. It may be time to put more energy into cultivating referrals.
NOTE: I expanded and revised this post after seeing a second presentation by Cravets in May 2021.