Ep. 53: The Secret to Finding The Right Clients – How to Find the Right Clients

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I stumbled upon how to find the right clients quite by accident.

I was so frustrated and burnt out by working with the wrong clients that I stopped altogether and created the 5 Day Website Challenge, a free video tutorial series that teaches female business owners how to build the kind of website that helps them grow their email lists so that they can use email marketing and automation to sell their products and services.

And I was totally caught off guard when people who had signed up for my free training started asking me to build websites for them.

Why? I’d think. I’m showing you exactly how to do it yourself – for free?!?!

That’s when I figured out that I was positioning myself as someone who can give people specific results rather than a commodity. When people were willing to pay me thousands to get the exact same thing they could get for free, that’s when I knew I was on to something.

In order to shift from selling web design to selling the results that clients can get from web design, you must stop focusing on yourself and how valuable your coding/design skills are and how much time it takes you to build a website.

It’s not about you. It’s about your clients.

What problem is your client struggling with that a website can solve for them?

And if you’re willing to do the work to get really, really specific about these problems and solutions, then you’re going to start attracting the right kinds of clients.

First, figure out who your ideal client is.

Your ideal client is not just “anyone that needs a website”. That’s what keeps you stuck as a commodity to be had for the lowest price.

If you’ve had clients in the past, who was your absolute dreamiest client? You loved everything about working with them, and if you had ten more of them life would be golden?

Ask yourself – what was it that you loved about working with them? Was it the project itself that was dreamy and fun, or was it the person? Did they put their all into the work you did together? Did they keep deadlines? Were they respectful, gracious? Did they pay on time?

Then get even more specific. If it’s a person, how old are they? Income? Name? Gender? Location? If it’s a company, what industry? Annual revenue? Number of employees? Location? Make a list of all of these qualities.

Then go into research mode. Go find those people online and talk to them. Ask them what their biggest struggle is with their website. Ask them what they love about it. Ask them what they loved about working with their last web designer, and what they didn’t love so much. If they could change one thing about their last web design experience, what would that be? Ask them what their business goals are.

If you are willing to zero in on the exact type of client you want to work and become an expert in getting results for that specific industry and type of client, then you’re on your way to being able to charge $5000 for a “website”.

And I put that in quotes because you now know that you’re selling much, much more than a website.

Then, figure out what results you are selling.

How do you know what results you are selling? By asking your ideal client what their business goals are and what their biggest struggles with their website are, and then finding the intersection between the two.

Then, anticipating that they don’t know what they don’t know, create content to educate them about how website built in a certain way with features related to their industry can help them get results. Whether it’s blog posts, videos, podcasts or whatever – this is how you market yourself and set yourself apart from all the other web designers out there and go from a commodity to be had at the lowest possible price to a valued and trusted advisor who produces results.

Here’s the truth: Most people won’t do this.

They’re too afraid to focus on one industry and one type of client because they think they won’t get enough clients. They won’t talk to people who are like their ideal clients because those people already have websites and don’t need their services. They’ll continue to showcase all the gorgeous sites they’ve built and struggle to understand why no one values the skill and effort it took to build it.

Think about this: 500 web designers took my survey. And they are probably all really talented and awesome at what they do.

That’s your competition. They all have a portfolio. They are all selling web design.

A portfolio helps your clients understand what their website could look like or what features it might have, but it does not help your potential client really understand the results they can get from working with you. Especially if the sites in your portfolio are for businesses outside of their niche.

If you want to land the right kind of clients, the kind that want to pay you what you’re worth, you have to shift your thinking from showcasing websites to giving them results.

And because most people won’t do it, the opportunity is ripe for you to be one of the ones that do.


Today’s pep talk is brought to you by Bluehost. Go to www.shannonmattern.com/bluehost and get 36 months of web hosting for just $2.95 a month. That’s less than one trip to Starbucks a month – and if you’re anything like me, you’re at Starbucks more than that!

Then you can sign up for my Free 5 Day Website Challenge at www.shannonmattern.com/5day and I’ll show you step by step how to get started building your new website for your side hustle.