The Business of Creativity

Houchin Consulting PLLC

The Foolproof 5

Posted on | April 27, 2010 | 2 Comments

A Foolproof 5-Step System to Attract Perfect Clients

“It’s Foolproof!”

“I think you’re nuts.”

–       Finding Nemo

Are you attracting the type of clients you want?

I’m surprised at how many lawyers and non-lawyers answer “no” because it’s really not that hard to do. It seems that not a week goes by when I’m not asked how I’ve been successful in attracting the clients I love to work with – entrepreneurs.

You can use my system to attract your perfect clients, no matter who they are. You don’t need a massive marketing budget either, because you can do everything on this list without spending a dime.

Here are the steps.

  1. Know the type of problem you will be helping people solve until they put you in a hole.
  2. Create a product or service offering to solve that problem.
  3. Share information of value to people experiencing that problem for free via your blog.
  4. Let people know where they can find what you’ve posted on your blog.
  5. Allow people to hire you to help them solve their problem.

Want to know more?

I thought so.

Here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Know the type of problem you will be helping people solve until they put you in a hole.

That may sound crass, but when you know what you love to do – the thing you can’t NOT do – you’ll have recognized your purpose in life and retirement will be an obsolete concept.  The day you commit yourself to aligning your income streams with that thing you love to do will be the day you “retire” no matter if your 65 or 25. For instance, I’ll be helping people share their creativity with the world through entrepreneurism until the day I die.  I can’t NOT help those people. What will you do until the day you die, happily, and for free?

Step 2: Create a product or service offering to solve that problem.

You have to “package” your passion into something people can repay you for.  Notice I didn’t say “pay you for”, I said “repay” you for.  You MUST provide value first. You have to put it out there.  You put it out there for free initially (see the next step), but don’t expect people to take a risk on you – you must take the risk on them.

If you have a service offering, package it up in some way that doesn’t equal a blank checkbook – in other words, do you absolute best to avoid pricing your service by the hour.  Hourly fees are lose-lose, you only end up trading your life for a few bucks.  Sometimes you’re not worth your hourly rate, sometimes you’re worth a thousand times more. It’s a bad, outdated, shortsighted metric of value. If you can build in some continuity, such as a monthly flat fee for your services that lasts for a year, then do it.  Trade a long-term relationship for a higher project fee every time you can.

If you have a product offering, price it to move, but at a profit.  The key to success is to make a lot of people a little happier, at a profit each time. If you can build in some continuity (and you can), do it.

Step 3: Share information of value to people experiencing that problem for free via your blog.

There is no excuse for not having a blog. None. You can have one set up for free inside of 10 minutes. Just go to and you’re good to go.  If you have 20 minutes, you can get your own domain name and have a wordpress blog set up in your own name or brand, like , or . It doesn’t take a technical genius, it only takes a bit of passion for your message, which shouldn’t be a problem if you took step one seriously.

The thing I hear most often is “but I don’t know what to write…”  Ugh.  Yes, you do know what to write.  At least if you took step one seriously you do, because if you took step one seriously you have something to say.  It’s more likely that you probably have so much to say that you don’t know where to start and are simply overwhelmed.  Or, you’re really just afraid that you can’t write.

So, just have a conversation.

Imagine a perfect client sitting in your plush office.  What question do they ask you?  That’s a blog post.

  • What do they fear?  Each of those fears is a blog post.
  • What gets them jazzed? Each spark of enthusiasm is a blog post.
  • What’s the latest and greatest thing in their life?  That’s a blog post.
  • What just made YOU happy about the progress toward solving the problem from step 1?  Blog post.
  • What just made you angry about a setback? Blog post.

Are you starting to get the picture?

500-1000 words.  Just a few paragraphs.  FYI, we’re at just under 800 words right now.

I work with a lot of lawyers. There is absolutely no excuse for lawyers not to write because the one thing law school did to benefit each of us was to thrash the fear of writing 500 words in 15 minutes out of us. The place lawyers screw up is that they think they have to write like we did in law school or for the court. They think they have to include footnotes and case citations proving up every factual statement.

When lawyers write a blog post, they should write for clients, not other lawyers. No footnotes. No case citations. Minimal statutory citations (only if they’re REALLY helpful.)  You don’t get brownie points for acting smarter than your clients. They expect you to know the source, and they really don’t care where the answer comes from, just that you know how to help them, so don’t slow them down for the sake of your ego. Only your competition cares about the citation. Help them if you want, but I’d rather focus on attracting clients.

If you’re afraid you can’t write, then record yourself and pay someone the $12/hour it takes to have that recording transcribed.  If that’s too technical for you, trade services with a copywriter who can interview you for 15 minutes and type up a blog post for you.  There’s nothing wrong with “ghost bloggers” helping share your message.

If you don’t write or don’t want to work in the written word, record yourself and post audio files, or even better, do video files (known as a “vlog”).  None of these will take much money or any real programming skill.  If you can use a computer, you can accomplish these tasks.  If you’re not willing to do any of this, get used to looking at the world from the inside of a cubical – if you’re lucky.  These activities are becoming more critical to successful businesses of any size every hour.

WordPress blogs also have “Pages” where you actually share how people can REPAY you for the valuable content you’ve shared with them via your blog by hiring you for your services or purchasing your products – maybe even both – but we’ll talk about that in step 5.

Step 4: Let people know where they can find what you’ve posted on your blog.

This is where social media comes in. You know, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and if you’re a video-savvy person, YouTube. These are speed-networking-on-crack and blow the roof off of conventional media outlets.  Sure, you’ll want to submit your great articles to major publications, but get the quick stuff out quickly – via your social media networks. Provide value and share the value.  Your blog is the hub. Media outlets are the spokes.  Almost all of the good ones are free.  Again, no excuses.

You can very quickly and easily set up your system to update your status every time you post a new entry to your blog, and have that update Facebook and then LinkedIn, AUTOMATICALLY sharing your content with the world even EASIER than copy/paste. Again, no excuses.

If you are comfortable speaking in public, start giving talks to groups of people who personify the ideal of your perfect client. When you show up to speak, you’ll walk away with clients.  The key is to create as many avenues for people to engage with the content on your blog as you possibly can.

Integrated Marketing Model for Lawyers

Integrated Marketing Model for Lawyers

Step 5: Allow people to hire you to help them solve their problem.

If you’ve thoughtfully, sincerely, and regularly completed steps 1-4, your perfect clients will find you. They’ll ask for your products and services.  You just have to let them.  Too many people say “I’m just doing this for fun” and fail to create an income stream from their passion or hobby that will allow them to escape the day job and “retire” doing what they love.

If you take just these few steps and practice them regularly, the income streams will appear and you’ll be able to focus as much time on them as you want. You’ll “retire” well before you’re 60s because you won’t think of quitting what you do for a living – what you do FOR a living will be aligned with ACTUALLY LIVING, now. What could be better than that?

This is the only life you have (at least right now), why waste another day of it doing something you don’t love?


2 Responses to “The Foolproof 5”

  1. Tweets that mention The Foolproof 5 : The Business of Creativity --
    April 27th, 2010 @ 6:42 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Houchin. Kevin Houchin said: New blog post: The Foolproof 5 […]

  2. Jamie Bennett Kraft, Attorney
    May 3rd, 2010 @ 6:42 am

    Wow, Kevin. I read just the title of your blog, and I immediately thought, “Frank Herbert says ‘Fear is the mind killer.’ Of course, I’m probably one of the few who still reads ‘Dune” from time to time.”

    Sure enough, there was the reward for me towards the end, but you did a fine job of explaining the concept and applying it to our job.

    Great blog and great advice for us . . . no matter how long we’ve been at this. Keep up the good work, and thanks. Regards, J. B. Kraft

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