Headshot Alice Osborn webIn the eight years I’ve edited books for writers and have served as their writing coach, my best clients all have certain traits in common: they are college-educated lifelong learners, eat healthy foods, read, practice yoga and recycle without fail. They also believe they can make a difference in the world. With this knowledge and insight, I spend most of my time networking and facilitating writing workshops with individuals active in the North Carolina Writers’ Network, Toastmasters and women’s’ networking groups, who are seekers yearning to publish their books.

How do I have such a grasp on who is buying my services? A lot of it is trial/error and experience, but I’ve narrowed it down to three tips:

  • Select one person out of all of your clients and make sure your services/programs speak to that one person. For instance, my ideal workshop client is a liberal female baby boomer who has had some family dysfunction (usually mental illness) growing up and now wants to write about it and have her story told when before she was told to “keep it all inside.” This client is educated, has a great sense of humor, may be a therapist in real life, is introverted, and takes care of her heath. So my programs need to have this person in mind in terms of time of day she can attend, her busy schedule and her publishing goals.
  • What does your client want? Does she want to be published or does she want to write for herself? As an editor, I want clients who want their books published and who value editing as a way to make the best impression for a future agent or editor—I don’t want editing clients who want the cheapest editor or who don’t value what an editor can do.
  • Where does my client hang out? My clients like to read, so I meet many of them through my Wonderland Book Club, Toastmasters, the NC Writers’ Network where I serve on the board and through several networking groups around town.

Now I have my ideal client in my head it’s a lot easier to say no to groups or functions where my ideal client wouldn’t hang out—for instance, most of my clients wouldn’t be found at a conservative Rotary club.

How do you find your clients? What has worked for you? Please share with me in the comments.