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Copywriting That Creates a Fit: 10 Ways to Ward Away Unsuitable Clients and Invite Ideal Customers

by Marcia Yudkin

Are you tired of dealing with clients whom you just can't seem to please? Are you frustrated, unable to complete projects (and bank your final payment) because clients don't get around to tackling the steps that only they can do? Are you often startled that clients have wacky expectations?

If you experience any of these annoyances, chances are you're not focused enough in your marketing copy, so that it wards off clients who represent a lousy match and attracts those who can't help but be thrilled with what you do and how you do it. Use these ten techniques to narrow your appeal so your online or offline marketing acts like a strong, selective magnet, irresistible only to your perfect customers.

Copywriting for Ideal Clients

1. How we work. Create a page that describes the process you use with clients. This is especially important when your major frustrations are procedural - clients who don't fulfill their part of the bargain, who expect a faster, hands-off finish or who want to talk through every step when that's not the way you do things. Spell out the process so that those who love your way of working recognize the match and those who partly fit your ideal profile have appropriate expectations.

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2. Ideal client profile. Here you state explicitly who you prefer to work with. For instance, my consulting page says I work with decision-makers rather than teams or committees. You can use this targeting method in a box or sidebar headed "Is This for You?" and continuing, "Yes, if... No, if..." Word the "no" part of your ideal client profile factually, without any negative connotations. People who you mean to exclude don't deserve criticism. They're simply different from those you most want to work with.

3. What you can expect. This page or section of a page describes both process and results of your work.. It could be worded as a kind of Customer Bill of Rights. In what you emphasize and what you fail to mention, you are sending out clear signals that attract, repel or invite questions. For example, if you typically offer emotional support for nervous or upset clients, mention this. If you avoid emotional issues, emphasize how streamlined and efficient service is, with customer problems solved in record time.

4. About page. Rather than simply stating the facts about your background or the company's history, inject your biographical page with irreverence, friendliness, technical enthusiasms or talk about peace and harmony - whichever fits your personality and the types of clients you prefer to draw.

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5. Video or audio. Those who wonder whether or not they'll be comfortable working with you may get an excellent sense of this from an audio or video in which you speak directly to the customer. It's the next best thing to being face to face, taking your measure during a handshake. I remember once listening to an audio series that interviewed a couple of dozen information marketers. One guy spoke with about ten times as much energy and intensity as the others, and it was easy to imagine this attracting or putting off listeners. 

6. Photo. Rather than a strictly business, passport-style head shot, offer a photo of you or your company that reveals a quirk or two. A potential client seeing you wearing your Carmen Miranda hat, gazing intently at your favorite new gadget or hooked onto a climbing line at last year's team building retreat clearly gets the implications.

7. Testimonials. Although customer blurbs that talk about results achieved by working with your company are always helpful, have your quotes also pay attention to the interpersonal aspects of working with you. Were you fast or patient? Knowledgeable or unintimidating? Receptive or directive? Fun or focused on the task at hand?

8. Specific offer. Select your offers and describe them in a way that will have greatest appeal for those who represent the best attitudinal match for you. For instance, instead of simply a free initial consultation, you could extend the offer of a free Maximum Wealth Creation Assessment, which targets those with high ambition, or promise a donation to the Nature Conservancy for everyone requesting a free Green Marketing Brainstorm Session.

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9. Empathy. This is not necessarily a section of your copy, but rather a quality it might have - connecting with the deepest fears, frustrations, experiences and dreams of a particular segment of the population. It shows up in words, stories, examples, pace and many other aspects of the written presentation. Those who feel you've gotten uncannily inside their heads will respond, and those with different psychological and lifestyle profiles will feel unmoved and take their business elsewhere.

10. Access. How easily people can reach you sends a message that matters a lot in targeting those you prefer to work with. When people have to make a formal, tightly timed appointment to speak with you - or can't do that without setting up a paid meeting - that discourages those who enjoy yakking spontaneously or at great length. At the other extreme, giving out your cell phone number and encouraging potential clients to call you any time encourages friendly, chatty types who need a service provider to be accessible.

The more consciously you craft your marketing along these dimensions, the more satisfaction you'll experience in working with a client base who highly appreciate what you're prepared to deliver.

Copyright 2015 Marcia Yudkin.  All rights reserved.

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