Are you ready to uplevel your client base? If you’re not working with the people you want to work with, if you keep running into the “I can’t afford to hire you” objection, or if you are having trouble collecting your fees, then yes, it’s time to uplevel your client base.
A book is an effective means to attract and establish yourself with a new target demographic. As you move through your career, you can become more selective about who you work with, whether it is type, quantity (for example, number of people in an audience), income level (only six figure income earners), or experience level. Some people prefer to work with newbies, others hate the handholding. Some people prefer speaking to small groups rather than addressing an audience of hundreds. It’s a matter of preference. Your book can help you find your people. But you need to be very clear on who your target audience is.
Make a Conscious Choice to Uplevel Your Client Base
I’m working with a coaching client on a book aimed at a specific target market, the ideal client that she wants to work with. We’ve discussed her current client base and why she wants to step up and away from them. (Nothing personal, she just doesn’t want to hold newbies’ hands.) We’ve also created her ideal client avatar, down to income level, number of children, education level, etc. But, when I reviewed the first draft of her book, there were entire sections aimed specifically at her old client base.
While she wants to shift to a more experienced buyer with a higher income level, it is out of her comfort zone. (All growth is out of your comfort zone, by the way, otherwise there would be no growth.) Her first draft reflects this. She needs to make a conscious mindset shift to move up.
Push Through to the Next Level
Some people move into their preferred target market through a linear progression—they get better at and more focused on what they do and they naturally shift into that client base. On the flip side, most of us don’t make that shift naturally and we need to choose to make changes. It’s more strategic than organic and it takes planning and discomfort. For some, the discomfort is a stopping point. They start to break out, get scared, and move back into their comfort zone. And some of us push through.
Writing a book is one way to push through to the next level. It can be a discomfort zone in itself—after all, it’s a pretty big undertaking. But it’s also a project that can be broken down into manageable steps.
A book serves multiple purposes. First, it establishes you as an authority in your field. Expertise is a valued commodity. Second, it allows you to get in front of your (new) target audience as an authority. You’re not just someone off the street who doesn’t belong, trying to sell yourself. You actually walk in at a higher level than your target market. Third and maybe most important, it’s a confidence builder for you. Writing a book is a true accomplishment and something to be justifiably proud of.
Then Leverage Your Book
Once written, you need to leverage that book to get in front of your new target market. That means you need to do some market research to learn how you can reach those people, whether it is contacting meeting and event planners, sending your book to CEOs or sales managers, or getting it into the hands of influencers who can refer business to you.
But first you have to write a quality book. By quality I mean one that does more than curate information that is readily available on the internet and commonly known. The book needs to be well-organized, logical in structure. It should give the reader a taste of your personality as well as your expertise. It should also be well-written, edited and proofed. Print on demand publishers have made it easy and inexpensive to have a professional-looking book. Take some of those savings and invest in good cover art and a professional interior layout.
It seems like many people have a book just to have a book. Granted, books have many uses from a marketing standpoint. A workbook that helps your clients is one level of book. A lead generation or business card book is another.
But when you want to uplevel your client base, you need to go to greater lengths to ensure that your book will attract the level of clients that you want to work with.
Writing a book takes organization and follow-through. Nine out of ten people who start to write a book don’t finish. Finishing your book is proof that you are ready to step up to the next level and that you belong there. At least until you catch yourself itching to get to the next level above that. That’s your second book.
Nice article Barbara. As a cover/interior layout designer, I’m thrilled to see you suggest “investing” in good cover art and a professional interior layout. It is paramount that a book of this nature be professional in appearance. Otherwise, all your words are for naught.
Absolutely. We ALL judge books by their covers. That’s why we pick them up to look at them. And people don’t know how important interior layout is. I just got a book where the font is so big/dark/OFFENSIVE that I can’t read it. It literally hurts my eyes.