Yesterday I had a conversation with one of our clients who asked: “how can I get better clients?” He believed the problem he had was a marketing challenge.
My response was brief. First, have a clear understanding of what you actually mean by “better” i.e. clarify your client selection criteria, then get rid of the clients you currently have who don’t meet those criteria. Then determine the processes you’ll need to put in place to create, deliver, and capture value for (and from) the clients who meet your selection criteria, and then and only then, develop a marketing plan to win more of them.
Here’s my definition of a good client “someone in respect of whom I can create value, a person who acknowledges my contribution to that process, and someone who is willing to share a fair proportion of that value increment with me.” The key then is to determine what personal characteristics and situational circumstances would enable you to identify such people which in turn will form the foundation of your client value proposition and related marketing message.
The most important ingredients to your success are having a clear picture in your mind of what you want your practice model to look like and then the patience and perseverance to put the pieces in place to create it.
In business and in life good strategy is always reflected by what you choose NOT to do including, most importantly, the customers you choose not to serve. This necessarily means giving something up to get something better.