Who is Your Ideal Client?

Pam Foster here. I’m delighted to be spending this week with you as the guest editor of The Writer’s Life. And I can’t wait to tell you how I achieved the writer’s life and pass on the tricks I learned along the way!

Get ready to have some fun because over the next week I’ll be providing answers to the five biggest game-changing questions most writers have about running a successful freelance business.

The answers are useful for any type of writing specialty such as web copywriting, resume writing, ghost writing for books, press release writing, white papers, case studies, emails, or anything else you can think of.

These are the crucial questions that can help you determine the direction, income potential, and ultimate success of your chosen path as a professional writer.

Some of the answers may surprise you, and some may reinforce what you’re already thinking or exploring.

And maybe these five questions and answers will help you finally turn “wishing for the writer’s life” into “living the writer’s life.” That’s my hope for you.

Ready to dig deep this week and challenge yourself? Here goes with the first question.

Question #1: Who’s Your Ideal Client?

As a writing professional, you’re looking to attract paying clients. And ideally, these clients will understand your unique and powerful value. They’ll see you as the best option for their needs. They’ll be fun to work with. They’ll pay you for your value. They shouldn’t see you as just a commodity they can find just anywhere.

The tricky part is finding these ideal clients.

Let me rephrase that. The tricky part is attracting these ideal clients to you.

Why is it so tricky? Here’s a quick story that explains.

When I first started out as a freelance web copywriter in 2006, I felt I’d be more successful if I left myself open to working with any type of business marketer as long as they were online. Any industry. Business-to-business. Business-to-consumer. Any business was fair game.

The big problem was, that’s an enormous scope. Even though I specialized in web copywriting, “any type of business with a website” wasn’t specific enough. There were millions and millions of potential clients.

If I planned to send out a letter introducing my web copywriting services, which of the millions would I send it to?

What if I looked at just businesses with 100+ employees? Nah, still too wide. How about businesses just in New England (I used to live in Maine)? Still too vague.

I was stumped as to who my ideal client really was.

As a result, I was constantly chasing after random projects with mixed results. I was competing with the thousands of other web copywriters who had a strong head start.

The bottom line was, I wasn’t being found by clients, so I spent a lot of time chasing them. Not fun.

The turning point was last spring 2010, when I realized that I really wanted to work with businesses in the pet industry. I love pets, I have a background working for pet companies, and I know the pet industry inside and out. So duh! Why not focus on the pet industry – a specific niche market?

That’s it! Focus. Clarity. A commitment as to which clients I was trying to attract.

This changed everything.

Suddenly, I could create a mailing list of marketers in the pet industry to which I could pitch my services. I could join a pet marketing association. Go to pet trade shows. Make my website all about helping pet businesses achieve website success through my copywriting services. Get found in Google when someone typed in “pet copywriter.”

Yippee! No more chasing. Once I focused on a niche market, I started attracting my ideal clients to me. Pet business marketers ready to pay me well for my knowledge of their industry.

Wouldn’t you love a steady stream of clients in an industry you enjoy? To me, that’s what living the writer’s life is all about.

So who are you trying to attract? Who are you marketing your writing services to?

The answer may be as simple as choosing a thriving industry that you love or have an interest or experience in … and owning it as a writing specialist.

You’ll know exactly who you’re trying to attract, what their biggest concerns are, and how you can offer valuable services as someone who understands their world.

You can create marketing materials that demonstrate your unique position and instantly make potential clients feel, “Wow. Here’s someone who gets my market and can truly help me.”

Cool, huh?

For more reasons why choosing a niche market is a smart strategy, check out the article I wrote: 3 Big Bodacious Business Benefits of Niche Marketing Your Writing Business.

This single marketing decision could bring you closer to living the writer’s life in no time!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: August 1, 2011

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