We’ve all done the exercise. It’s the first thing you’re taught when you first start your business: Create an ideal client avatar.
This vision of your ideal client guides everything you do, including pricing (you can’t charge that single mom as much as you can the CEO of a Fortune 500 company), pain points (mom probably isn’t worried about shareholders), and even the color of your logo.
So you spend a few hours considering things such as:
- Age group
- Family status
- Lifestyle goals
Maybe you even write up a nice little story about your ideal client. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her, you think.
But you would be wrong, and if you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best clients because of it.
Here’s something that’s rarely considered in the “ideal client” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: personality.
If you’re snarky, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for you. Sure, she might need your help, and she might love your products, but for one-on-one coaching, this match-up is a disaster. Either she will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance.
Better to pass mom on to a coach who is a better fit for her personality wise.
Drive Determines Success
This one can be difficult to calculate from the start, but once you recognize it (or the lack thereof) it’s worth paying attention to. The client without the drive to succeed will—more often than not—only end up frustrating you both.
Better to end your relationship as soon as you see the signs of this than to waste your time going over the same material and exercises again and again with someone who simply won’t do the work.
If you look at your current and past coaching clients, you’ll begin to see patterns. You can easily look back and see what made some clients a joy to work with, while others were a struggle. Think about what those differences are, and add them to your ideal client profile. Then compare any new potential clients to this ideal profile, and you’ll never again sign on with a less-than-perfect client.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Book a free 30-minute consult with me and see how a VA can help!
The easiest way to make your business more profitable is to track what’s working. What parts of your business, what projects and what products are making you money? Which ones don’t? What type of customer is most profitable for you? Where is your most profitable traffic coming from?
Taking time to dig into your stats and calculating ROI (Return on Investment) is one of the best things you can do for your bottom line.
1. Your Products
Start by looking at your products. This could be info products, physical products, any coaching you do, anything you resell or even
advertising you sell on your site. List it all out.
Next to each item on your list, note down how much money each product has brought in. You can break it down by month, or look at long term figures like year-to-date profits or revenue generated over the past 12 months. Use whatever number seems most helpful.
Next, think about how much work each of these products or profit streams take. Selling advertising space on your site or a simple little kindle book may not make as much money per month as that big info product you created or the one-on-one coaching you offer, but they also don’t take hardly any time to create and maintain. Assign a value to each item on your list.
Once you have all your data, it’s just a matter of creating more products of the type that’s most profitable for the time you invest in them.
2. Your Customers and Prospects
Taking a look at your customers and prospects is also a good idea. Where did they come from? Who is your core customer base? These are the people that buy everything you put out and are signing your praises to their circle of influence. They may also be repeat customers that come back to you over and over again.
What prospects are most likely to turn into paying customers? Are they people that were attracted by the freebie you offer to get them on your list or are they people that found you via the great blog posts you write?
You can find a lot of this information by looking at your customer database and by comparing subscriber lists to customer lists. You can also learn a lot by talking to your customers and subscribers. Start a conversation via email, on your site or in a Facebook group.
Your end goal is to pinpoint who your most profitable demographic is and then figure out how to put yourself in front of more of those people. Which brings us to our last point…
3. Your Traffic
It’s time to dig into those website stats. Where is your most profitable traffic coming from? How do they find your site, what do they look at once they get there and what funnel do they go through until they become part of your most profitable customer group?
Tools like Google Analytics are your best friend here. Spend a weekend learning more about the different reporting you can set up, what you can track and how to read the numbers.
Once you know where your most profitable traffic is coming from – be it Search Results, Pinterest, your Affiliates or Facebook Ads – put on your thinking cap and figure out how you can tap into more of that traffic or something similar.
Keep tracking, tweaking and improving your bottom line. Make it a goal to get more profitable this month than you were last month and you’ll see your business and bank account grow in no time.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The key to running a successful online business without running yourself ragged is to have systems in place for everything. You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll save each week and how much more productive you’ll be once they are in place. Let’s take a look at a couple of different types of systems you may want to implement.
Document your systems and create checklists for them as you start to create them. They will come in handy over the coming months and years.
1. Product Creation
Your systems for product creating will depend on what your products are and how you will deliver them, but some of the things you may want to document in the form of a check list are:
• Topic Research
• Creating An Outline
• Writing or Recording the Info Product
• Editing and Formatting
• Uploading It To Your Site
• Creating Sales and Download Pages
• Creating Marketing Materials
In addition, it’s a good idea to create a template you can use for all your short reports and ebooks to make sure they look consistent across the board. This will also make your job a lot easier when it comes time to format your product.
2. Content Creation
Templates and calendars will make your life so much easier when it comes to content creation. Spend a little time each month creating an editorial calendar for your blog. Figure out how often you want to blog and what topics you want to cover. With that in place you’ll never sit down at your desk with no idea what to write about.
Having templates in place is also helpful. Look at what content you create on a regular basis. Is it a newsletter, short reports and eBooks? Make templates for them. Most of your formatting will be taken care of and you don’t have to start with a blank page.
3. Social Media
Make your social media interactions faster with a system in place. Figure out how often you want to post and during what times. When will you post your own content, when will you ask a question or make an observation and when will you share other people’s posts? Having a schedule in place allows you to work ahead when you need to and just like the blog schedule it helps you get things done faster if you know what you’re writing or sharing ahead of time.
4. Website Maintenance And Security
Here’s a biggy. How are you keeping your site safe and secure? If you’re using a CMS like WordPress to run your site, you want to make sure it’s updated regularly. Backups are also a must. Schedule both those on a monthly basis and review your sites regularly to make sure everything is safe and secure. Set an alert on your phone or add the task to your calendar each month.
5. Customer Service
Do you have systems in place for handling customer service requests? Having a page with Frequently Asked Questions (and your responses of course) is always helpful. You can point customers to the page and be done. A list of “canned “responses to common questions will also save you a lot of time. Personalize them as needed, but have the bulk of it ready to copy and paste. Having these systems in place also makes it much easier to outsource customer service down the road.
Having these systems in place helps you run your online business more productively, but there’s an added bonus to getting them in place. Once you have a system set up, it makes it easy to outsource that portion of your business to a Virtual Assistant. As you grow and there’s more work to be done than hours in your day, you’ll appreciate being one step close to outsourcing.