How to avoid repelling high-paying clients

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Last weekend my beautiful niece who just graduated from film school came up from New York to help me shoot video for a project I am creating. We had so much fun running around Boston shooting in different locations.

I had been looking forward to doing this for weeks, but in the time leading up to the shoot I had gotten very busy. I knew I needed to do a lot of prep so I wouldn’t waste time once we started, but I had just been so slammed that some things had fallen through the cracks. I found myself scrambling the night before to write the script.

Funny enough, I thought I really nailed it. Hey, maybe pressure is really the best editor! Well, not quite…

Just to be sure it was a wonderful as I imagined, I read my masterpiece to my husband for some feedback. I know, I know, asking a spouse for constructive criticism is not always the best idea, but Mr. P is usually pretty good about it. And I know he wants me to succeed, so I was anxious to hear his thoughts.

Of course, I thought he might tweak a word here or there, but otherwise say, “Wow, Honey, you knocked it out of the park!” Not so much.

What he said instead really surprised me.

It wasn’t criticism about my writing. What he said was, “This is great, but it sounds like you are talking to a target audience you might have had 5 years ago. It doesn’t really reflect where you are now or the impact you can have on people who are much further along.”

Zoinks! Blink, blink…(Insert MAJOR light bulb moment here.)

Wow, Mr. P truly is a genius. What I had inadvertently done was show my insecurity on the page. I was a little nervous about doing the video, not about being in front of the camera, that’s my sweet spot, but because I was trying something new. My plan was to create a more elevated message and presentation than I had before to inspire my audience to reach for bigger, better possibilities.

I hadn’t realized how my old voices of “Who does she think she is?” were popping up. The video was supposed to be a reflection of how the level of value I can provide for my clients has increased which is absolutely true. However, someone forgot to tell my subconscious that I’m not a phony.  

I had to crank out my script quickly so it was really just free-flowing. I wasn’t editing. It was coming right from my brain to my fingertips which is kind of scary, but I’m so glad it happened that way. Thanks to my husband, I got to see how my underlying thoughts were still steering the ship. 

Instead of writing from a place of power, I had written from a small, protective voice. “Thank you subconscious for trying to keep me safe, but we’re moving forward.”

I went back and rewrote the script and as I did, I got butterflies in my stomach. But during the day as I said those words over and over again, I felt more and more excited. Yes, I can serve at this level. Yes, this is the impact I can make. If I don’t share my message, there are entrepreneurs who will miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in their businesses.

The same is true for you. If you do not speak the language of high value, you will repel high paying clients and continue to attract clients who resist paying you what you are worth.

Here’s an exercise for you. Go back and re-read your copy. Look at your videos. And listen, really listen to whom you are talking. Are you addressing the biggest, most aspirational version of your ideal clients? Or are you projecting your own insecurities?

When we play to the small edges of the curve, we do not serve any of our clients as well as we could. Your audience wants to be inspired. They want to know what’s possible for them and that you can take them there.

So ask yourself, is this message designed to keep me safe, or to lead high-paying clients to my door?

Your feedback is music to my ears!

Did you do it? Did you re-read your copy? What did you notice? I’d love to hear.

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

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Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.