As an entrepreneur, I have always felt there is a disconnect between growing your business for profit and growing your reach. What do I mean by this? Most resources will tell you in order to increase sales, you need to find more clients—also known as increasing your reach. But it’s my firm belief that primarily focusing on getting new clients leads to burnout (and fast), not a better business.
This methodology is unfortunately centered around you spending time, energy, resources, and even money finding new clients. And even though it’s a common business practice, spending so much effort finding new clients all the time is actually not all that strategic. Or smart.
What happens when you can’t procure enough new clients? You keep on hustling to find more, and more, and more, leaving you unhappy and exhausted when you’re trying to pursue freedom and fulfillment.
It’s a constant cycle of: work hard to find new clients → work hard to serve new clients → end partnership with clients who no longer need your product/service → work hard to find new clients. Repeat again and again, until burnout, overwhelm, and feeling stuck start to creep in. (Or avalanche in. Whatever.)
You’re putting in all of this effort to gain new clients, which will result in even more of your time and energy once they become clients and you have to serve that many more people in order to make more money.
The World Health Organization describes burnout like this (bolding is mine):
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get into entrepreneurship to experience energy depletion, negativity toward my work, or a lack of efficacy. Actually, it was those characteristics that led me to quitting my corporate job and starting my own business.
Yet, if you constantly feel behind or like you need to come up with all kinds of creative (errr, or desperate) ways to find new clients, you’ll likely end up in this same spot: Burnt out. Frustrated. And really just tired.
Maybe you’re already there.
Plus, if you spend the majority of your time (or even 20% or more of your time) finding new clients:
1. You may be neglecting your existing clients.
2. You may be wasting your time and energy on a “cold audience” that likely isn’t interested.
Psssst, that time and energy could be much better spent focusing on ways to further support your EXISTING clients. The clients who already know you and trust your work. This is where we can begin to see an increase in profitability.
There are many ways we can expand how we work and what we offer to our existing clients. First, ask yourself this:
How many different ways can she buy from you?
When you’re loyal to a brand, retailer, or entrepreneur, you tend to buy from them on a repeated basis. As long as that brand sells multiple items or continues coming out with new offers valuable to you, you likely purchase from them frequently.
For example, let’s say you have a coaching business and you offer group programs or masterminds. As your business grows, you COULD spend time finding new clients to join your masterminds. Or, you could focus on providing extra value to the clients you’ve already served, those who trust your expertise already and will be way more willing to buy from you again.
You’ll want additional ways to serve these clients, and so you could expand into:
The idea is that you have multiple ways for your current (and past) clients to continue working with you. What happens all too often is you have one fantastic signature program or service, the customer has a great experience, and then the contract ends and she’s out the door.
Start getting curious about what else she needs from you. How else can you serve her? What will help her progress to the next level or support her journey?
Creating these sorts of opportunities will always be more efficient, time effective, and budget friendly than running out and trying to recruit a cold audience. You have people you’re already serving. Now, the fun part is just coming up with ways to continue serving them as long as you possibly can. Goodbye burnout, hello impact… and profits.
Curious on how else you can serve your existing clients?
Check out my exclusive training with four different strategies and implementation plans for you to avoid searching for new clients all the time and instead increase profits and impact with the ones you have.
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