Whenever you provide a general service, you will end up working with a wide range of clients. During this process, you’ll naturally discover that some are better than others to work with. This will usually fall in line with the Pareto Principle.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of your input will result in 80% of your output. In the context of business, this means that 20% of your clients will likely generate 80% of your revenue.
In the context of “ideal clients,” you likely find that 20% of your clients are closer to your ideal clients; the ones you really are eager to work with. Maybe they are easier to work with, maybe they pay more money and complain less, and perhaps they have a higher degree of success.
The opportunity here is to deeply understand this 20% and then adjust your message and marketing to attract more of these ideal clients. Naturally, the fear here is the assumption that you’ll be missing out on opportunities to serve and make more money if you start excluding the 80% you could be working with. Actually, though, the opposite happens if you do it right.
Narrowing your focus makes your messaging more powerful. The message your ideal client receives is that your service is specifically designed for them and not everyone else. This does two things. First, it connects you more deeply with potential customers, which makes for an easier sales process. Secondly, it raises the perceived value of what you offer, as what you offer is highly specialized.
For example, look at these two statements and decide which one sounds more valuable.
- I support people in their business journey
- I support struggling heart-based solopreneurs to gain clarity, get focused, and become profitable.
The first statement communicates what I do in a broad sense. The second statement communicates who I’m specifically looking to support and the problem I’m solving for them. Furthermore, it communicates that I’m highly specialized in helping a certain type of person and also clarifies the audience I don’t work with Now, look at what happens here psychologically, if you’re a struggling heart-based solopreneur who feels like they lack clarity, can’t focus, and really want to be profitable, then my messaging excites something in you.
The inspiration for this Sunday Letter comes from a conversation I had yesterday with someone who offers a service in the food detox space, along with offering a bit of support on navigating challenges around food.
She offers a customized 7-Day Detox Plan that helps her clients de-stress and feel rejuvenated and sells the package for around €350. After the purchase, she does an exploration call with them to discover what would work best for their unique humanness, and then quickly develops a food plan. Her goal is to sell three of these packages per week, for €4,200 per month.
In our conversation, she started to tell me about a recent client she had, which was an outstanding experience. This client was a focused business professional, a man, who felt like he was ‘losing touch with his health.’ He needed a ‘no nonsense’ reboot. His attitude was, “Please just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.” He did exactly what she said, and he felt amazing with the added benefit of losing weight. He was deeply grateful.
What did she love about this experience? Well, he was easy to work with. He didn’t complain about the price, he knew it was important, he knew he required help, and he knew it was time. Granted, through the sales process, she helped him realize the importance of it.
This ‘type’ of person, a busy business professional who lost touch with their health, was an infinitely better client experience than most others.
The obvious question was… “How do I get more clients like that?” Easy. You change your messaging to speak directly to that type of person, and your marketing energy and resources are geared toward reaching that type of person while excluding everyone else.
Furthermore, what we realized was another huge opportunity. The 7-Day Detox was only an entry-level service that must lead toward a bigger and much more profitable service. The €350 offering is really a doorway to finding ideal clients you can support for 3 to 6 months at a time. This is where the monthly income can go from €4,000 per month to €10,000 to €15,000 per month.
If done correctly, here’s what that might look like…
3 Detox Packages per week, is 12 clients per month. Of those 12 clients, we want to find 4 who would be a perfect fit for long-term support. The natural follow-up question would be, what would the cost need to be to add €11,000 of monthly income?
The answer is €2,750.
With the right sales training, marketing strategy, and focus, this is actually straightforward to accomplish. Worse case, instead of 4 big package clients per month, we find 2 which adds an extra €5,500 per month, bringing the total close to €10,000 per month.
What I like most about this approach is how it helps you narrow your focus to an ideal client. By repeatedly helping the same type of person, it becomes infinitely easier to assist all of them. If you’re helping many types of people, you’ll have to offer many types of support, which can become exhausting.
In my exploration with her, as we became more and more clear about this ideal client, we started to understand this ideal client more. What’s their pain, what’s their struggle, why is this important to them, why it’s urgent, what are their excuses, etc. And… what is the language we can use to help them understand WHY she is the perfect person to help them on this journey. Gosh, I love this stuff. This is the real sales process, to understand your ideal client better than they understand themselves. If you can communicate this effectively, then getting them to buy is extraordinarily easy, especially when she has 12 qualified potential clients per month who have already experienced success with her.
And that’s a wrap for the Sunday Letter to Solopreneurs! Did you find it helpful? If so, share it with your fellow solopreneurs who are ready to level up and get excited about their opportunity to add value to the world AND… get paid well for doing it. Let’s make this journey fun and playful!