It should go without saying, but not every client is the same. But often, we hope every client will react in exactly the same way to our pitches: With resounding YES!
In reality, clients tend to fall into three groups—and if we approach these clients in the right way according to their groups, we’re much more likely to get that “yes.”
The Three Types of Clients
Clients fall into three groups: DIY, DFM-Budget, and DFM-Investor.
DIY clients are the clients who are bootstrapping their business. They’re working hard to build it and they don’t want to pay for anything they don’t absolutely have to. They know they need good copy, but they don’t want to invest in good copy.
A quick note: It sounds like this group isn’t a client group at all, doesn’t it? But bear with me, because there are services you can sell to this group.
DFM (Done For Me)-Budget clients understand that they can’t write copy themselves and that they need to hire someone, but they want that person to come as inexpensively and easily as possible. These are the people who are trying to find a copywriter by posting jobs on Upwork (aka, looking for mediocre copy at cheap prices) or trying to get a Virtual Assistant who will also write their copy (aka, willing to hire someone who isn’t a pro).
See the quick note above. 🙂
DFM-Investor clients fully understand the importance of copy to their business and are willing to pay a professional to do it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every client in this group is willing to pay top dollar, but they’re willing to pay a pro-level rate.
Before we get into how to identify these groups, what you can do for them, and what you should watch out for, there are two things that can bring all of these groups together:
1) None of them necessarily know what’s best for them
2) None of them necessarily know how to work with a copywriter
Yes, you are pitching these clients and trying to win their business, but you should never forget that you likely have to educate and guide them, too. If you are their advocate and help them understand what the best solution for them is, you’ll win their trust—and, very likely their business.
You will have to gently teach them about why copywriting is so important (which should be a natural element in your pitch and your conversations anyway, right?) and you will have to gently teach them how to work with you and how the process goes.
Okay, let’s move on!
How to Identify Each Type of Client
For each type of client, you’ll use two tools to identify them. First, you can ask them questions. This is probably the easiest way to get a feel for where they are. But if you haven’t yet interacted with them and they’re in a Facebook group that you’re in, keep an eye out for what they post and what questions they ask.
DIY: On Facebook, this is the client who is sharing her sales page (or another project), talking about how hard it was to write, and asking for feedback. Why? Because she wrote it herself!
DFM-Budget: On Facebook, this is the client who’s talking about hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to do everything—including writing copy. This is also the client who’s looking for recommendations for everything. (But the key differentiator is that they’re looking for recommendations from their Facebook group who, while nice people, are virtual strangers.)
DFM-Investor: This client group is going to be a little trickier to identify on Facebook, mostly because they’re the ones who aren’t regularly posting looking for advice or recommendations. On the contrary, when other people look for advice or recommendations, they’re more likely to be offering advice or giving recommendations.
The questions that will help you identify these clients are:
1. What have you invested in for your business so far?
- DIYs will respond with something along the lines of “not much”
- DFM-Bs will talk about a little bit of software
- DFM-Is will refer to both software and, likely, service providers like developers and coaches, as well as trainings
2. What are your plans for making sure you’ve got effective copy and messaging?
- DIYs will say something about doing it themselves and hiring a copywriter…someday
- DFM-Bs will talk about hiring a VA or other type of assistant to do their copy for them. They’re not hiring specialists at this point.
- DFM-Is will talk about hiring copywriters and talking to trusted resources to get referrals.
The Copywriting Services You Can Offer Each Type of Client
At first blush, it might seem that the only client group you can really provide copy for is the DFM-I group, but that’s not quite true. Also, it’s important to note that clients aren’t going to stay in those groups forever. The clients that stick with their businesses and grow them will ascend levels.
So, with that in mind, here’s how you can start out helping each group:
DIY: You’re fighting an uphill battle to get these people to hire you to write copy. They’re just not ready to invest in you yet and they just don’t understand the full value. Some you might be able to educate, but most are just not in the right mindset to invest. (These people are usually pretty early in building their business and are especially afraid to spend money.)
But just because you can’t get them to hire you to write their copy, doesn’t mean you can’t get them to hire you at all. You can offer to give them feedback on their copy and suggestions for a smaller fee. The benefit to you? You build a relationship with them and, when they’re ready to hire a copywriter, who will they think of? You!
DFM-B: The key to this group is that they’re not completely averse to hiring a copywriter, they just think that the outcome doesn’t justify the expense. For this group, it’s going to be easiest to sell them on projects that directly lead to income, like sales pages and sales funnels. Eventually, once they’re more comfortable working with you (and making the money you helped them earn!) they’ll hire you for other projects.
DFM-I: This is the easiest group for you to sell on copywriting work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy. With this group, demonstrating your expertise and the benefits of working with you (including your USP) is going to be crucial. This is also the group that’s most likely to reach out to you when you’re posting in Facebook groups, so don’t hesitate to make this part of your plan!
Okay, that’s your overview of the three types of clients! Now, it’s your turn: What questions do you have about working with these clients? Let me know in the comments below…
Last Updated on December 18, 2022
These are great insights! It’s helpful information not just for what services you will offer and to whom, but also sheds some light on how your marketing messaging should be different for each group. Thanks, Nicki!
Nicki Krawczyk says
Yes, exactly – tailoring your message to each one will make *such* a huge difference. And better tailoring = more “yeses”! 🙂
Thanks for commenting!