We’ve all been there. Someone books a discovery call with you and based on the questionnaire, they check all the right boxes. You get super excited because you just know you’re about to land your next client. You hop on the call and the conversation is going great, until you get to the part where you talk about your offer and how much it costs. Suddenly, your once excited prospect starts to backpedal. Then she says the dreaded four words: “I can’t afford it.”
No matter how she couches it, those words sting. I don’t care if the prospect tells you that they love what you’re about and wish they could work with you…it’s still devastating to hear they can’t afford you. You begin to question your entire business – your ideal client, your offer, your messaging, everything. You contemplate lighting your entire business on fire.
Put those matches down, my friend. In this blog post, I’m talking about how to attract clients who can actually afford you. Yes, it’s possible and yes, it’s completely within your control. I’m breaking down the simple yet effective shifts you can make in your marketing to start attracting people who can actually afford you right now.
First, I want you to know something important. It’s never about the money. When people say they can’t afford something, what they really mean is they don’t see the value and it is not something they want to spend money on. They say they can’t afford it because it feels better than saying you’re not a good fit for them. They don’t want to hurt your feelings and so they make it about them.
Here are some very specific things you can do in your marketing to begin attracting a higher caliber of client:
Target the right people with the greatest need
The first step is to go back and look at who you are targeting. Yes, you need to target the right people, but you also need to target the people with the greatest need for what you have to offer. People invest in things they see value in. Plain and simple. While everyone in your audience could benefit from working with you, there is a certain subgroup of people who will benefit the MOST from working with you. Those are the people who will see the value and they’re going to want to pay for it.
Consider the following:
- Stage of business your dream client is in
- How long they’ve suffered with their problem (should be long enough that they’ve tried everything and are ready for a solution)
- What they’ve already done to grow their business – including what info they’ve already consumed. For example, if you’re a FB ads strategist you’re not going to target people who have a crappy offer they’ve never validated. Ads won’t work unless the offer is good and people want to buy it. So targeting someone who’s brand-new in business won’t be a good fit.
“We invest in things that we see value in.” – Michelle Vroom
Make sure you have the right messaging
Are you talking about your target audience’s challenges, their goals and what they want most? If you’re only speaking to the challenges your audience faces, then you’re going to attract people who want a quick solution to fix a short-term problem (e.g. I need more clients to make next month’s rent). Whereas if you speak to the challenge AND the goal, you’ll attract people who are in it for the long haul and believe success is inevitable. These are the people who see value in investing money over time to solve their problem and who won’t quit when the going gets tough. These people make the best clients.
Pay attention to the words your audience uses. Make sure your messages are actually speaking your audience’s language. Remember that you can’t serve everyone, so be specific as you address current challenges. Show them how to get from where they are (Point A) to where they want to be (Point B). Be clear on who you serve and who will get the best results with you…even if it means turning others away.
Get your mind right
If you’re not 100% convinced of the value you offer, then others won’t be either.
Ask yourself, what part of you believes you couldn’t afford your services either? Would you actually invest in your services? If you wouldn’t, how can you expect others to? If you can own your value with confidence then the right people with the greatest need will hand over their credit cards with ease because they’re confident in YOU.
Start by making a list of all the reasons why someone would be lucky to work with you. Remind yourself of the accomplishments you’ve had in your career. Look back on the results you’ve helped your clients achieve. Why would anyone NOT want to pay you?
The bottom line
It’s easy to feel like everything you do is wrong because people keep telling you they can’t afford you. Remember that you’ll never be enough for the wrong people – but you’ll ALWAYS be enough for the right people. Marketing is putting yourself out there, taking action, having conversations, and learning from the feedback that you hear. Every time you fine-tune your messaging and your approach, you get closer to finding your ideal client and attracting them to your business.
I challenge you to keep going because your dream clients are out there. You’re not for everyone – and that’s a GOOD thing. Focus on speaking directly to the people you are a good fit for and watch as the clients roll in.