I'm very passionate about the content in this post as it's something I talk about often in real life, not only in terms of my own business but also when helping coach creative entrepreneurs.
The questions "How can I get xxx to work with me" or "I've seen this business that I'd love to work with but don't know how to get them to work with me" comes up quite often when coaching people on their creative businesses.
In my opinion there are a few key things you can do that'll help you get closer to working with your dream clients.
Connections, Connections, Connections
I talked about this in my previous blog post but I cannot recommend more the importance of making connections with people and telling them what you do. Write down the top 5 people you'd like to work with and then find out where they mingle (in real life and / or online). For me a lot of creative entrepreneurs can be found via Instagram so that's where I enjoy hanging out. Not only that, I've also found some amazing connections by taking online courses which have great Facebook support groups. Maybe your dream clients can be found at a local small business event, at a wedding fayre or even at a craft show. Think about how you can get yourself in front of these people to allow you to make a connection with them.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't recommend you should go in for the hard sell straight away but by simply introducing yourself and what you do will allow you to sit in their mind. For example on Instagram, by commenting and supporting the work of a potential customer this will allow you be noticed which can then lead onto this person taking a look at your content. As always I only encourage real connections, people need to know that you really want to connect with them and that you're not just doing it to get their business.
Show Me The Content
You've now made your connections or you're currently getting yourself noticed as often as you can (without seeming too stalkerish) you need to make sure your content is tip top. You may talk the talk but do you walk the walk. Do you have somewhere where you can show off what you do that will sell yourself without you having to do anything extra? This may be having a newsletter, Instagram page, Blog, Podcast, etc. By having this content ready for any potential customer, it's going to make life easier when it comes to selling your service or product.
I know I hark on about this a lot but your brand story really does help people to understand who you are as a brand and as a person. Providing them with this information in your bio, on your about page or in the intro to your podcast, potential customers are going to have a better idea of if they want to work with you or not. We don't just want anyone work with us, we want the RIGHT people to work with us.
What Problem Can you Solve For Them?
You don't always have to wait for people to come to you after you've made a connection with them, you could actually pitch to work with them yourself. Seeing as you've worked on making this connection they will be more than likely to listen to your pitch. One thing you want to keep in mind is what problem can you solve for them, it might be a problem they didn't even realise they had. I talk about this more is a previous blog post, by having this "problem solve" idea in your mind it will make life easier when it comes to pitching yourself to work with someone.
An Example - The Florist
You're a local florist and want to work with a local estate agents that sits within a beautiful building. They have ornate windows and you feel that having your flowers in their windows will help bring more attention to their store front as well as being the perfect location to advertise your business.
Connections - You want to work out how to make connections with this business. First you could see if they have any social media channels that you can start commenting on, although you need to be wary that they may have an external company running this for them. You could find out if any of the estate agents attend local council meetings or other local business events in which you could just introduce yourself to them. You could also walk in one day and ask to speak to the office manager and offer them some flowers for free and let them know a bit more about you, make sure the flowers have a business card in or contact details on it should they want to get in contact. Lastly, ask everyone you know if they know of someone who works there which would allow you a trustworthy connection when it comes to pitching.
Content - If you know you really want to work with the estate agents you could start creating content that will not only inspire new customers but also inspire the agents to work with you. On your website you could create some useful blog posts such as "Using flowers to sell your home", "An easy floral table decoration for dinner parties" or "English flowers you can easily grow at home". This content is not only useful for your potential customers but it could also be useful for the estate agent's potential customers. Bringing value to people is what gets you noticed and if you can bring value to the estate agent as well as their customers you're winning all round. Maybe you've started up a podcast interviewing local businesses about using flowers. When you go to pitch to the estate agents you could pitch for them to come onto your podcast (you'd have a few episodes up that they could listen to) and not only would this get you connected with them, it would give them free advertisement. Lastly you could have a "business" section on your website where you have done window displays for other local business and you could include some reviews such as "I was initially hesitant about spending money on having a floral window display but the amount of people that have come into the store because they saw them has been worth it"
Your Story - You want to make sure on your website and your social profiles you talk about your brand story. This might be something along the lines of "born and bread in Somerset with a true passion to provide local grown flowers to the local community". This shows that you're a local person with true care to the community. You can talk about other local business you've worked with along with any donations you might have made to local charities with your flowers.
Problem Solving - One problem that the estate agent might have is that they have a lot of people looking at the houses in their office windows but they have limited footfall into their office. You could suggest helping them with this by providing a flower display in the window which advertises a competition to win 3 x free bouquets. To enter people must go into the estate agents and provide their email address which in turn gets them into their office. Another thing might be that the estate agents are looking to have something completely unique in their window to help them stand out against the other local estate agents; maybe once a quarter you could create a beautiful floral display for them which would be based around the new season.