Famous in your field tip: avoid these 3 mistakes to get more clients

Famous in Your Field tip: avoid these 3 mistakes to get more clients

Need more clients? Here’s a hot tip: stop shopping in your own backyard.

A big mistake that many self-employed professionals make is that they spend most or all of their networking time with their colleagues and peers.

Coaches sit on the boards of coaching organizations, consultants attend conferences and give presentations to their fellow consultants. Lawyers talk to lawyers…you get it.

Now, don’t get me wrong – networking and honing your skills by learning best practices in your industry is valuable to you professionally. But, if you don’t have enough clients and you’d like to boost your revenue you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and into your client’s home territory.

Being industry-incestuous not only hampers your ability to find and woo new clients, it can atrophy your marketing and business development efforts.

When you spend too much time immersed in industry-focused groups, you become programmed to think about your peers, not your clients.

Your marketing efforts are attempts to impress your colleagues, not speak to your prospects.

You use your group’s professional jargon, instead of the plain language of people seeking solutions to their problems.

You lose touch with your ideal client’s wants, needs and aspirations. And that’s the kiss of death.

So how do you avoid industry incestuousness, and continue to learn, grow and improve your professional skills? Three tips:

1. Split your networking/development time.

Spend 50% of your allocated networking time with prospects and the other 50% with industry colleagues and professional associations. (And if you really need to boost the number of clients you work with, consider putting all the industry and community involvement on pause for a period of say, six months.)

2. Change where you focus your attention.

If you’re a marketing consultant, do you spend hours each week keeping up with all the marketing newsletters, blogs and websites published? Follow marketing gurus on Twitter and Facebook? Again, hit the pause button for a few months.

Subscribe to newsfeeds, read blogs and visit websites of people and businesses that match your ideal client profile. Knowing the latest change to Google’s page ranking algorithm won’t be as compelling to a prospect as letting him or her understand that you understand their needs and circumstances.

3. Talk to your prospects and clients.

Every day. Make a point to have a conversation with a prospect or client. (And no, a conversation about the project you’re working on does not count!) Ask them about their biggest business or personal challenges around your area of expertise. And listen. Really listen. Note the words they use; those are your marketing gold.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Rationing your networking time, changing your focus and having one conversation each day…easy, right? Yep. Now do it and revel in the rewards!


  1. Kelly on February 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Ouch! That was a smack down reminder! Lol. It’s do true though… After a while you’re networking gets stale unless you mix it up a bit! Go out on a limb, talk to someone or don’t know …because you never know who there brother or sister is and that very well may be your ideal client!

  2. Katie Mazzocco on February 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Wow! Thank you for sharing, Lori! These are great ideas for mixing things up and really getting to know ideal clients. I wish that someone has told me this 3 years ago because I learned some of these things the hard way early on. 🙂

  3. Dorothy Pang, The Natural Fertility Expert on February 27, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Lori, Thank you for this!!! Sometimes I feel a little guilty about not networking with a lot of other acupuncturists, but really, I feel like, what’s the point? I have a few colleagues that I know and trust, and that’s enough for me. One thing I really COULD do is get into the world of those that work with infertility a little more. Thank you for inspiring me!

  4. Cindy on February 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Spot on reminder for all – thanks! Like I say to those looking for work go out and talk to people who are working not just those you know who are also looking for your next promotion.

  5. Kelley on March 3, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Thank you Lori! I appreciate the encouragement to listen to potential clients about their biggest challenges and really listen – connecting authentically feels really good and helps to continue to understand what your ideal client needs and how you can truly help.

  6. Tricia on March 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Great suggestions! Thank you! Talking to a client or prospective client every day to see what their needs are is a perfect idea for me. Thank you so much!

  7. Lilia Lee on March 8, 2014 at 9:51 am

    You are so right, Lori. I echo Dorothy’s comment: what’s the point? I do need to make time for having connecting time on an ongoing basis.
    Thanks for all your great posts and tips.

  8. BizSugar.com on June 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    3 tips to get more clients without working more

    Need more clients? Here’s a hot tip: stop shopping in your own backyard. Here’s how you can avoid industry incestuousness, and continue to learn, grow and improve your professional skills.

  9. Deborah Campbell on March 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Every time I read one of your articles I find myself shaking my head in the affirmative. You always share some gold nuggets, thank you!

    • Lori on March 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks for spreading your sunshine, Deborah! I appreciate you.

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