Hi everybody. So today we're going to talk about how you actually get better clients through brand strategy. I know that's a really powerful statement to make. So I want to back it up with an actual situation that I found myself in earlier this year, I had a client who was a fantastic business consultant.

[00:00:17] This is somebody that I really, really admire, and I was so excited to work on the project. However, when we met, I didn't have my brand strategy fully laid out. Some of my brand was in place. But not enough of it. So my brand values weren't clear and I hadn't made it explicitly obvious where my lines in the sand were. So a "line in the sand" is something that you will not cross no matter what the client, no matter how much money you're being paid, there are certain things that your integrity will not allow you to do.

[00:00:57] And that doesn't necessarily mean that certain tasks you're being asked to complete are bad or they're wrong in any way. It just means that it doesn't fit with who you are as a business. And sometimes who you are as a person too. So this particular client had a very different set of values than I do.

[00:01:19] And she's not wrong. There's nothing bad with her values. They just were in direct conflict with some of the things that I feel very strongly about. And it isn't something that either of us knew before we were working together. Because again, my brand values weren't fully clear at that time. And she had hired me to help her with hers.

[00:01:42] What ended up happening was that the project didn't end up being a success. We ended up just going our separate ways on good terms, just recognizing that we weren't the right people to work together. It's an unfortunate situation to be in because both of us had invested a lot of time into a project and we can't get that time back.

[00:02:04] And both of us felt a certain way about it. And I think that both of us would have preferred not to have the experience. So this is the type of story that most coaches and consultants are not going to tell you about. However,  I am a full believer in transparency, so I do think it's important to talk about this.

[00:02:27] So here's what should have happened. My brand strategy should have been completely and totally on point. Once that happens, it becomes very clear through marketing messages what exactly my values are, what I'm willing to do. And in some cases, what I'm not willing to do. Marketing messages are things like your social media posts, emails, even the copy on your website.

[00:02:57] And these are the tools that you use to express who you are as a brand and as a business. So I should have made it extremely clear that my beliefs, values and business is indirect contrast with some of the standard practices in the industry.

[00:03:17] So for example, there are coaches and consultants out there that will tell you that it is so important to make money, even at the expense of taking on a bad client or two. This is a commonly held belief and there's nothing wrong with that.

[00:03:30] Okay. I just fundamentally don't agree with it. It's not something I believe in. I am a firm believer that if you say yes to the wrong client, that takes your time away from finding the right client that you want to say yes to. So I've taken on a lot of wrong clients and, I can't discredit the burnout that comes with that, and I can see how it's very valid business advice.

[00:03:54] And I know it works for some people, but it's not something that I personally will do based on my prior experiences.

[00:04:02] I'm also the type of person that won't put their name on something that they didn't do. And this was another point that was brought up to me recently after a client did a redesign and I didn't feel comfortable with my name on it as the web designer. It had nothing to do with that actual redesign, which I really liked.

[00:04:21]It had everything to do with it not being my work. And I didn't want to take credit for something that I didn't create. No matter how much exposure I was giving up. It just didn't feel right to me.

[00:04:33] So these happen to be those lines in the sand for me, and the better that I can communicate those lines before I start working with someone, the less likely I am to come in direct conflict with the client's wishes.

[00:04:49] At the end of the day, I want my clients to make a choice when they decide to work with me. Right. I want them to understand my values, my beliefs, and how I work. That's not to say they have to agree with me 100%, but they do deserve to make the choice themselves. They can either work with me and not ask me to do certain things, or they can choose to work with somebody else.

[00:05:12] So here's where I really need to clarify. So I don't push people to work with others because I don't feel like dealing with them, or I think there's something wrong with them. The reason I do that is because I truly believe that every person deserves to work with someone who sees and understands them.

[00:05:32] Everyone deserves to love their brand and their website. And if I can't give them that, I want them to work with somebody who can. Having a clear brand strategy means that you understand what those values and hard lines in the sand are. And then you create your marketing plan to communicate those things.

[00:05:55] So ultimately you want to infuse your brand and everything that you do. You want your brand to be very, very clear and all of your marketing messages to follow that. When you do that, you start to attract those clients who are thrilled to work with you and all of your values and all of your lines in the sand.

[00:06:16] And you're going to repel the people that it just doesn't sit right with them. So the clients that you attract though, are the ones that aren't going to ask you to do things that you don't feel comfortable with in the first place. And again, you're pushing away those people that don't fit with you. So they get to go off and find someone who does get them. And that's something I think everyone deserves.

[00:06:42] A solid brand strategy can help you with all of this. So once you start putting out those right marketing messages, you'll find that you start to attract those clients that you desperately want to work with. These are the clients that understand you and they respect you for who you are.

[00:06:59] And these are the clients who are happy to pay your prices and who don't need to be on pushy sales calls, just to sign up with you. These are also the clients who are going to refer you to other businesses when your work is done and they will gladly sing your praises and help you attract even more clients in the future.

[00:07:20] These are like the crème de la crème of clients, and you get them by having a clear and consistent brand strategy that you effectively communicate.  For example, I am working on a project right now that I got, because I worked with one of these clients and she was really happy and she had another project that she was involved in and she brought me on and it's a fantastic cycle when it works out that way.

[00:07:50]If you are someone who is looking to create a solid brand strategy so that you can stop bringing on those wrong type of clients and we can start attracting the right ones, then maybe it's time we had a chat. So you can always sign up for a clarity call and we can see if we're the right fit to work with each other.

[00:08:08] So I can't wait to chat and I'll see you next time.

About the Author

I’m Jennifer Anastasi, an Engineer turned Brand Strategist. I empower other service-based businesses to find that clear brand and online presence using my background in tech mixed with creativity (I'm a lifelong creative after all). Unlike courses or group programs, I focus on each business as a unique entity and break down complex and intimidating concepts into easy-to-understand ideas for custom results.

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