When we talk about Being Your Own Client, the thought seems counterintuitive because when we think of clients, we always think of someone other than ourselves, right?
As a result, most of us have never really entertained the thought of becoming our own clients. More often than not, our main focus is on getting more and more clients to increase our profits that we end up forgetting about creating systems for our own business (Tega loves his systems).
Just like you, I also had the same mindset back then. I too felt stuck.
We all start out as beginners, and being a new freelancer or entrepreneur in the industry is a tough place to start. But this is why I wanted to write this blog post. I want to demonstrate to you that you don’t need to feel stuck. All you need to do is switch your brains and know where to start.
And where is the best place to start? You.
This blog post as a whole is actually more about self-confidence and awareness of where you stand in your business more than anything else. And in relation to this, I can speak from experience that as an introverted entrepreneur, I’m slowly learning about self-confidence myself.
In another blog post on my website, I share about how I overcome introversion when it comes to promoting myself and my business, and I cover a bit more about this experience here.
So how does being your own client relate to becoming a better entrepreneur and individual in general?
Well, because when you value your own business and skills, it shows how confident you are as a person. If you don’t value these, who else will? You need to believe in yourself first if you want your clients to believe in you as well.
When I realised this, I was able to get clients for my Facebook Ads Agency and Podcast Management Agency.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT?
Being your own client means that the things you do for your client — all the systems and processes — should be done for yourself. The drive you have to generate results for your clients should be the same drive you have to generate results for your business.
A few years ago, when I just started out, my main focus was on getting clients to avail of my video editing services. I’ve experienced the frustrations of not being able to convince anyone because I didn’t have a portfolio to show. And because no one wanted to get me, I couldn’t build my portfolio.
It was a vicious cycle and it needed to stop.
Then the idea of being my own client came to me. I thought, “heck, why not make videos for myself first?” And once I started making videos for my own personal projects, I would post these on different groups and people started to notice.
I made people aware that this is what I do. But more importantly, I proved to them that I know how to do it. People started referring me to their friends and I eventually found my first few clients there.
And this all started from making videos for myself and being my own client.
The main point here is that when you do things for yourself, and put in the same effort as if you were an actual client of the business, you generate results. And when you generate results, you have actual proof that you are capable and skilled.
Even the fact that you are generating results for your business is a success in itself already. Your results will attract the right clients to you, when you put in the work.
When you do the work, you let the work become a testimonial of the fact that you can do the job.
Even if you technically don’t have anyone else to impress other than yourself, the long-term benefits are profound. Here are a few other reasons why being your own client should be of utmost priority:
- You can serve your clients better. Treating yourself like a client means you’ll know how your clients think. This means you’ll be able to resonate with them more. Getting into the minds of your clients can make you one step ahead of them.
- You become more organised. When you are able to break down your own deliverables into small steps, it becomes easier for you to come up with systems and processes to make your processes more efficient and organised. You find ways to “serve” your business better through best practices, which will be carried on to when you serve your clients.
- You become more accountable. Because you treat yourself like a client, you have a stronger sense of responsibility to get the job done. This can also mean that you set deadlines for yourself and create a detailed timeline so that you are able to complete your tasks on time.
- You market yourself better. When you start to speak from personal experience after becoming your own client, it becomes easier for you to convince your audience that you are competent in what you do. You are your own testimonial and this allows you to know exactly what to say to your clients if they have any questions or reservations about your product or service.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you should be your own client, let me share how I became my own client and how this has benefited my business.
HOW TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT
From my own experience, when I start planning the tasks for myself and the business, I take note of the same details as if I were asking a client. I ask myself the same questions and structure everything the same way. As a result, I can come up with a detailed task list of everything that has to happen.
For example, when I start planning a new episode for the Intent Podcast, I think about all the elements such as the editing, shownotes, artwork, uploading, and marketing of the podcast. This is the exact same thing I do for my podcast management agency clients as well.
When I get a new client for the agency, I need to know what assets they have first and how I can package my services in a way that is valuable to them.
I also make sure to cover all the itty bitty details like how many episodes they plan to release weekly, if they already have a podcast host, if they need a website, and if they already have marketing assets to begin with.
These questions are all important in making sure we provide invaluable services to our clients.
And because I have my own podcast and know what a typical podcaster needs to make his/her podcast happen, I know exactly what my clients need and I can fill in the blanks in all the right places.
Learning from your own experience means that you know what questions to ask.
One thing that I am slowly working on is setting deadlines for myself. But because I have the right systems and processes in place, once I have the assets I need, my team and I can work immediately without having to worry about any deadlines.
Also, this may sound pretty obvious already, but when you are your own client, really treat yourself like a client. This means that you have to separate yourself emotionally from the thing that you are doing and think more logically.
That way, you have a full grasp of why you are doing the things that you do, and when the time comes that you need to explain all the details to your client, you know what to say.
Becoming your own client also means that you need to know how to package yourself and your services in such a manner that it truly shows that you know what you are doing and that you speak from experience.
Because that’s the entire point of being your own client, right?
HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY
If you’re like me and don’t like talking about yourself, what I do is I talk about what I DO instead.
I speak about personal experiences from my own businesses (aka “experiments”) and I share how I was able to help my clients with the services I provide. Speaking from experience is one of the best ways to demonstrate competency and credibility without actually talking about myself per se.
It’s really all about telling stories and talking about what you do.
Another thing to remember is that everything is content. That means that everything you do, everything you experiment on, IS content. No matter how much you think your experiences aren’t worth sharing, they are.
Share your mistakes, share your challenges, share all your obstacles. Embrace the suck. The goal is to make sure that people see that you are actually doing something and they know what you do.
Another thing that is big in the industry right now is content repurposing, which allows you to create “micro-content” from your main content and post it on different platforms. And content repurposing will definitely need you to be innovative sometimes.
Entrepreneurs don’t think outside the box. There is no box.
Now that I am slowly getting out of my comfort zone and putting more content out there, it dawned on me that I’m slowly getting better as an introvert and learning how to relay my ideas more clearly.
BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU DO
As you slowly learn to market yourself, you begin to create your own personal brand. And because you speak from actual experience, it speaks about who you are as a professional and how much you value your business.
You need to start treating your business like an actual business owner rather than just someone who is self-employed.
And what is the difference, you may ask?
Well, for the former, you basically still work a job. Working a job means that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Your income is purely active and solely relies on you showing up.
As a business owner, you develop systems that are working whether you’re there or not so that your income is not tied to you alone.
This has greatly helped me during the pandemic because I am able to set myself apart from everyone else because I offer valuable services in a systemised way.
These systems have allowed me to scale my business and hire people from abroad, the Philippines in particular , to help me work on multiple projects and clients at the same time.
In a nutshell, being your own client allows you to market yourself more authentically and shows people what you do. As entrepreneurs, we need to stand up, plant our flag, and say “this is what I do.”