I recently read an extremely insightful blog entry from the uber smart Seth Godin. The post was about how as business owners we need to be more choosey about who we work with. We need to decide what kind of clients we want and to seek them. If we settle for whomever contacts us our business will lack focus and direction. Some of you are probably thinking- well if I raise my rates to brides and someone can afford what I want to be paid-they are my type of client. Really? What if their style will only keep you in a certain league of creditability and respect regarding your video, photo, planning, stationery business? The kind of clients you are pursuing and taking on will directly effect the climate of your company. Seth said, “Sell to angry cheapskates and your business will reflect that. On the other hand, when you find great customers, they will eagerly co-create with you. They will engage and invent and spread the word.” There is nothing more rewarding than when I know I chose the right person to work with. They are kind, grateful, pass my name on to others, and appreciate all my team’s efforts. Then there are those that no matter what you do- big or small, they will never be happy. Do you know who I’m talking about? Yeah- I bet you do! I think we can all say which of those we would prefer to work with, so why are we still letting the occasional undesirable slip by?
I think we get trapped, especially in this economy, in wanting to be busy. If there is business we feel foolish turning it down. This is not necessarily the best thing for us in the short term- because its our bottom line at stake, however business wise it is the smartest thing we can do.
You have to be intentional about who you work with- its part of your long term story- your message- and your point of difference. Not everyone that comes to us for PR, branding or our coaching services are a fit for us. I notice that a large portion of them come to me and then within 24 hours have already announced or tweeted they found someone else. I’m happy they landed what was best for them. Its such a good reminder for me that I was right! That my instinct was dead on and that they were not the client for Be Inspired PR.
I spoke to a coaching client of mine yesterday (a team of two) who have very little experience as wedding planners and we discussed the importance about being intentional with whom they work with from the beginning. How they are perceived is crucial, especially as the new kids on the block. It got me to thinking if many of you out there had to start all over again: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? Who would you market it to and how you would you attract them? Make the shift NOW to start booking the kind of client you have always wanted and say no to the client that no longer is in your best interest to work with. That wedding is probably a lot more work than you are willing to put into it for the price they want to pay anyways.
It may be easier to take what comes to you but in the long run working a little harder for the type of client you really want to work for will pay off. Seth put it perfectly when he said, “It takes vision and guts to turn someone down and focus on a different segment, on people who might be more difficult to sell at first, but will lead you where you want to go over time.” I am sure that this idea is controversial, that some of you are fighting tooth and nail just to stay afloat in your event based business but in any small way you can, seek the clients you are dying to work for, push yourself. You and your business are worth it and your hard work will be reflected in the direction your business travels in- for your PR efforts and how you are perceived, this means everything!
Photo By Elizabeth Messina
*This post was originally published November 09*