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episode 35

You are NOT Your Ideal Client

Your ideal client does not have the same skills, the same money stories, or the same decision-making process as you, and therefore, has a different perception than you on the value you offer.

We are not in the service of building something for someone who can build it themselves. We are in the business of building websites for people who can’t build it themselves or simply don’t desire to do it themselves.

Today Sam & Karyn discuss when you may be projecting your own perception onto your clients, and how to center the value of your work instead.

Show Notes:

Why we tend to associate ourselves with our ideal client in the first place.
Understanding that something that is simple and easy for us is not simple for our clients so we can stop taking for granted that someone would pay us for something that is “easy.”
Acknowledging your unique skills so that you can express the value of your offering.
Respecting and honoring that your money story is not the same as your clients, and therefore, you may have different perceptions and feelings around your pricing.
How associating ourselves with our ideal client may cause us to make business decisions that stunt our growth to accommodate for something that isn’t being asked of us in the first place.

Episode Transcript:

ideal client, clients, skills, pay, money, centering, decisions, price, website, business, people, feel, thinking, simple, talking, discovery, offer, mindset, capable, conversation
Karyn Paige, Sam Munoz

Sam Munoz 00:00
your ideal client does not have the skills that you do. I would say that’s like number one, right? And we so often take for granted our skills. And we’ll get to that. But like your ideal client doesn’t have the skills that you have. And because they don’t have the skills that you have, they value those things in a totally different way. Also, your ideal client makes businesses decisions differently than you do. And they have their own mindset around money. We don’t even know what that mindset is necessarily, right, we can make assumptions, but we don’t know for sure. And so your ideal client makes business decisions and has their own relationship with money and what they value in terms of an investment than you do. So that’s why you’re not your ideal client. Welcome to Making website magic, where we empower women to step boldly into their web design, businesses follow their intuition and claim the success they’re worthy of. I’m Sam Munoz.

Karyn Paige 00:59
And I’m Karen Page, where the Tech Wizards behind Sam Linnaeus consulting and the making website Magic School of Business. We’re to women here to talk about what it actually takes to run a web design business that’s aligned with your vision.

Sam Munoz 01:11
Spoiler alert, it probably isn’t what you think it is ready to hear about everything from refining your business vision, networking with intention and creating a magical client experience.

Karyn Paige 01:21
Let’s do it.

Sam Munoz 01:27
Why hello there, Karen.

Karyn Paige 01:30
Hey, Sam, how is it going today?

Sam Munoz 01:33
It’s going great. We just did like a pre podcast recording dance party individually. I think that’s always a great way to start episodes.

Karyn Paige 01:41
Agreed. Agreed. You got to like get your whole body involved in the process.

Sam Munoz 01:46
Oh, heck yeah. Yeah. Do that before discovery calls before videos, all sorts of things. You just got to get the mood. The vibe. Right? Right. I love it. Yeah.

Karyn Paige 01:56
Yes, endorphins. But yeah. So now we’re here. We’re ready to talk. And I’m excited, as usual, excited to get into this conversation. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Because that’s how we roll. So

Sam Munoz 02:09
Right. And wouldn’t it be lame to listen to a podcast when the hosts are not excited about the episode. So today’s episode is about how you are not your ideal client. And this is really, really cool right to think about. Because this actually might involve some mindset shifts, if you’ve been thinking to yourself, I’m going to throw this out as an example. Because this is where people kind of tend to go for their ideal client, especially as they’re assessing it out, is they’ll say, I want to work with female service providers. And even that, and you know, you might be you might consider yourself a female woman, man service provider. But that does not mean that you’re your ideal client. So I’m really, really excited to talk about this for anyone who’s listening that has, you know, been thinking about their ideal client trying to figure out who they want to work with, and trying to understand more about how to talk to them on a discovery call all of that. So let’s start with why we’re talking about this.

Karyn Paige 03:05
Okay, so first and foremost, it’s very common to get into a mindset of like, no one is going to pay for what I offer. So like, right out of the gate, we’re talking about this, because there is a component of who we are working with, and maybe what they would consider expensive or something like that. And so sometimes, we are bringing our own perceptions into that.

Sam Munoz 03:34
Yes, I think we’re definitely talking about this concept of you not being your ideal client from two perspectives. The value, the value you bring to a project, and the money the way that you price your work. Because when you think to yourself, I would never pay this much for what I offer. This leads us to do all sorts of crazy things, right, we lower our price point, that’s like, the biggest thing is like, Oh, just take some, I mean, no one’s gonna pay $3,000 for this. So I’m going to make it $2,000. We don’t value the work that we do for our clients, right. So that makes us feel like, everybody knows how to do this, right? And then it doesn’t really allow us to think expansively about what we could offer, because we think to ourselves, everyone knows how to do that. So I don’t need to offer it. So I really feel like it takes us down three paths. We lower our price point. We don’t value our work, or we don’t think expansively about the different things we could offer, which ends up limiting us in our next steps in business.

Karyn Paige 04:34
Yeah, totally. So this episode, I think, ultimately is really a conversation around thinking of things in a different way looking at things in a different way. And if the way you’re looking at it is really like centering yourself and your own perceptions like let’s flip it and see if we can bring up some ideas for you that are a little bit more outside of yourself. Right?

Sam Munoz 05:00
Yeah, and I really would invite you, as you’re listening to this episode, consider where you’re coming from, as you’re listening, am I the type of person that thinks is my ideal client? Am I the type of person that knows I’m not my ideal client. Either way, you will get something from this episode. And we will help to shift the way that you think about ideal clients in general, and money in general, related to your skills. So let’s first talk about why we tend to associate ourselves with our ideal client.

Karyn Paige 05:35
Okay, so for a little bit of context, right, as we’re starting out in our businesses, there is a tendency to focus a lot of attention on your ideal client avatar, who they are, what they like, all of these kinds of things, right? So it’s, it’s very natural for us to gravitate towards someone who’s like us, right? Like you said earlier, Sam, you know, if you’re a woman web designer, it’s not uncommon that you would want to work with women service providers, right? Because essentially, it like attracts like, right? So what can occur because of that is you start projecting yourself on to your ideal client, like the things that you like, the choices that you’d make the decisions you would make. And so I want to make a clear distinction that that’s different from making choices. I want to work with these types of clients who do this type of work that I’m also interested in, right? For example, we always love to use the example of a web designer for coffee shops, like if you’re a web designer, who loves coffee, like you are passionate about it, and you have maybe some previous experience in that industry. And that is what motivated your choice to build websites for coffee shops. That’s a totally separate concepts, then I want to build websites for someone who makes decisions, the way I make decisions, or who is who has the same like, ideas or mindset that I have, right. So let’s get really clear skills. Let’s be real clear. Right? So what could end up happening is, we get so close to this idea that we actually just end up kind of projecting who we are on to the types of clients that we want to work with.

Sam Munoz 07:18
Oh, that’s so such an interesting way to think about it is like the idea that we’re projecting all of these things. And that’s so much of like, the human experience anyway, is projecting onto other people how we’re actually feeling and then misconstruing what is happening in an experience. And so the more we can remind ourselves that we’re actually a distinct, unique human from the person that’s on the other end of the screen that we’re talking to, the better. And I think you said something really important, and I’m going to condense it just a little bit here is you don’t have to be your ideal client to understand them. You can be connected to them in your story, like the example of you know, a web designer who loves coffee wants to make designs for coffee shops, you can be interested in what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be them to understand them, right? You can have empathy without having to actually embody that exact same persona. And so I think that it is common. I mean, I definitely when I started, SMC gravitated towards that female service provider, but what was really key was understanding that the way that those people make buying decisions, the way that they value, my skills is totally different from how I do. And so if it’s okay, I’d like to talk about why you’re not your ideal client. It just like kind of spitball those ideas. Yes, your ideal client does not have the skills that you do, I would say that’s like number one, right? And we so often take for granted our skills, and we’ll get to that, but like your ideal client doesn’t have the skills that you have. And because they don’t have the skills that you have, they value those things in a totally different way. Also, your ideal client makes businesses decisions differently than you do. And they have their own mindset around money. We don’t even know what that mindset is necessarily, right, we can make assumptions, but we don’t know for sure. And so your ideal client makes business decisions and has their own relationship with money and what they value in terms of an investment than you do. So that’s why you’re not your ideal client. And so we shouldn’t act like we are, and we should try our best to not project our feelings about our skills, our feelings about our value our feelings about money on to the person that we’d like to work with.

Karyn Paige 09:29
So let’s bring it back to the skills piece, right, like the value of our skills, which is something we are always encouraging you to think about and really, like, embody, right? And this idea that our clients are not us because they don’t have the skills that we have and that’s okay. So, it’s important for us to not take for granted that someone would pay for something that we think is super easy to do.

Sam Munoz 09:55
Which is like such a beautiful thing that we get to do something that’s easy. For us, and that we enjoy doing, like, I just want to like have a gratitude moment that we get to do that. And that sometimes we like diminish that gratitude by saying nobody wants it, or it’s not good enough or it’s easy for me. But that’s amazing. That’s, it’s something that should be celebrated. Yeah, absolutely.

Karyn Paige 10:15
And first of all, no one says that, it has to be hard and difficult and a struggle by situation to earn money for what you are able to produce, right. So to get really specific, and kind of give an example that we can all probably relate to, we can’t take for granted that we’re capable of doing things like creating hyperlinks, right? Or customizing and styling a hyperlink to be a particular color or to be bolded. Or to be able to help resize anything like that. Like we were like, oh, yeah, I can totally do that. No problem for our clients, something like that is difficult. And they may have zero desire to do it, which is why they are more than willing to pay you to do it. Right. And so I’m thinking of this time when I was on a discovery call with someone, and she was asking for very simple, in my personal opinion, simple edits to her website. And I found myself saying things like, oh, yeah, well, you could do this. And you could do that. And you could, you know, make it look like this. And she literally interrupted me and said, or, I could just pay you to do it. I was like, cringe, yeah. Like fully cringe moment, right? And, like, bless her, because she really did say it from like, the sweetest, you know, tongue in cheek twinkle eye perspective. But I was just like, let me Never forget that. There are people who are just fully not interested in they would way rather just pay someone like me to do it. And that’s okay.

Sam Munoz 12:01
100%. I love that example. And I want to give another one that we’ve experienced at SMC, we have a YouTube channel, we create, like simple tech tutorials and things like that. And I remember when we were brainstorming some ideas, we decided to create one about how to add an external link to your navigation bar with WordPress, for Karen and I, that is, I mean, I wouldn’t even consider that a skill, right? But we put that on YouTube. And that’s one of our most popular videos, because it is a little technique, it’s a skill, it’s a tip, it’s something that someone else didn’t know. And so the more we can remember that what we do is valuable to other people, the better. And I’m even thinking of you know, let’s take this from the flip side, where we’re not the expert, and we hire other people. I don’t know how to bake cakes, like I’m not, you know, I can bake things here and there. I’m not that great at it. But like, I would love to hire someone to bake my daughter’s birthday cake, right. So I go out and I find someone and I pay $100 for a cake. And to that person, they’re probably in their element, right? They’re doing something that they love, this is easy for them. But for me, I highly value the fact that I don’t have to do it. But I know it’s gonna taste good. And see it’s done by someone that is an expert. And that is the same experience our clients are having when they come to us to do the website stuff, even if we think it’s easy. And can we take one moment, just a moment, to tangent in this idea that you said earlier that like, we have this feeling that sometimes things have to be hard, like we know that that comes from like the patriarchy, capitalism, all sorts of things like that. And so what if we just decided, like, actually, it’s okay for it to be easy, and it’s okay for it to be fun. And it doesn’t have to be like hard and painful in order for it to be good work, right?

Karyn Paige 13:49
Yeah, like, yes, yes, yes. 100? Yes, yes. Yes. I live in kind of like going down this tangent sidebar, started changing the language that I use. I’ve been noticing when I use language, like what do you do for work? Or, you know, like, what your job? Certain saying, how do you make a living? Hmm, because I just feel like it’s a little bit different, you know, so I’m just throwing that in there as like an extra like, like layer of of space on top of that.

Sam Munoz 14:17
I love that. I love that.

Karyn Paige 14:19
Yeah. So ultimately, it doesn’t have to be that hard. And it is okay to get paid for things that we think are easy, because other people are like, yes, you just do the thing that I don’t have the skill set and or the desire to take the time to do so in exchange for your energy. Here’s some money, you know.

Sam Munoz 14:38
And that’s why I think when we start to acknowledge our skills and recognize that like what we have is a specialized skill set that’s different from other people that also allows us to think expansively about what we could offer, right? Because we were talking about this in our mentorship recently about how at the beginning of the new year, there’s all sorts of new things that need to be done on a website right, you got to update To copy line, you got to, you know, update privacy policy terms, maybe you go through and update plugins and things like that. And for us, right for us people that do that for a living, we’re just like, oh my gosh, that’s so simple, go into your footer, go into this page, go change that. And for someone else who doesn’t live in that world, who isn’t skilled in that way, who doesn’t feel confident going in and making a change? You know, they’re nervous that they’re going to, quote, unquote, break their site, who hasn’t heard that? That is a valuable mini offer. And we could just be throwing that money away, right? We could just be like, This is how you do it. You can figure it out yourself, you know, I’ll teach you how to do it. Or we could value or skill set and say, Hey, you can pay us to do that. Actually, it’d be $100. Boom,

Karyn Paige 15:41
yes, yes. It’s like, why are we teaching people off of our discovery call calendar? Why are we teaching people off of our booking engine? Right? It’s like, girl, you could do that on a Tuesday, where do I get your get your coffee, boom, invoice, hey, you know what a lead.

Sam Munoz 15:59
And I love that I love I just want to spend a little bit more time here with our skills and not taking them for granted. Because it’s the small things, it’s updating the banners, it’s making buttons from blue to red, like, it’s things like that feels so simple to you. And they maybe are but to your clients, it is so valuable. So in essence, we need to stop centering the way that we feel about our own skills and start centering the way our clients feel about our skills, the way our clients value them, when we’re going into a discovery call when we’re talking about our work, and thinking about it from the client perspective in terms of the value that they get, because I will tell you something, the amount of money that we charge for websites, I would never pay that. Like never. But that’s because we know how to do it ourselves. Do you think a baker is going to go out and pay $1,000? For a cake? She could bake herself? I don’t think so. But I might

Karyn Paige 16:52
know, but like, Okay, I love when you say that, because it’s like, ooh, we couldn’t really unpack that a little bit like, that’s the thing is like we literally as web designers wouldn’t pay four figures to build a website for ourselves, because we can build it for ourselves. Right? But we are not in the service of building something for someone who can build it for themselves. We are in the service and the business of building stuff for people who can’t build it themselves.

Sam Munoz 17:20
And that is why you are not your ideal client. Right there.

Karyn Paige 17:24
Yes. But can I just throw in one little thing, this is how I’m rolling. This is like the place that I’m shifting into personally, I might get to a point where I actually don’t want to build my website anymore. Because I want to have the experience of working with someone who will give me the full beginning to end brand experience. This is how I see you. These are the colors that I want for you Have you thought of these fonts, this is what I can do for you. And I’m like, Yes, go ahead, because I’m actually over here doing some like mentoring right now. So I don’t have time to rebuild my website, you know, like that, let’s leave space for that too.

Sam Munoz 17:58
Well, but also that that is also different than you right? Because that person is going to like someone is coming to you. They already have the web design skills, then what we’re going to be offering them is probably going to be more expensive is going to be a higher level client experience. Right? So there’s you we’re still not your ideal client. Yeah, yeah.

Karyn Paige 18:15
I feel like we’re in the matrix right now.

Yeah. What is what is real? Where’s the plug? Like what I know,

Karyn Paige 18:22
this is very meta, but I’m also like, living for conversations like this. Because ultimately it’s like, expand, like, let’s expand what we see. And let’s really imagine other possibilities, because they are out there.

Sam Munoz 18:37
Exactly. Okay, so we talked about how you might be taking your skills for granted and therefore undervaluing yourself. And that’s what happens when we start to think that we are our ideal client, we do those things. But then there’s also this other level that we’ve been, you know, touching on about the price point, right about how much we actually charge. So there’s the one side that says, nobody really needs what I offer, because it’s too simple. And then there’s the other side that says, I can’t charge that much, quote unquote, that much for this because it is too simple, or because it’s too much money. And I feel like that’s where we should go next in the conversation is like our own money stories, informing and projecting on to someone else and informing how we feel in that dynamic. And when we’re talking about our price point. And that’s a big thing, right? That’s another way that you’re not your ideal client, the money stories, your relationship with money, your childhood, all of those things are not exactly the same as your ideal client. And I think we need to respect and honor that.

Karyn Paige 19:37
100% like this is definitely an invitation to to sit with that idea of what are what are your many stories, Is there anywhere where maybe there’s some healing that can happen around that because talking about money is hard. That might be why pricing your packages feels hard because you’re bringing your entire lived expense. perience into that process. And so, yeah, I just want to put that out there that, you know, and we’ve talked about this before. That’s why we can’t just say things like double your rates. And that’s why we can’t just say things like, Oh, well, you know, five page website should be a minimum of this. Like, that’s not taking the money stories into consideration.

Sam Munoz 20:21
100%, the way each of us sees $100, as an example, is totally different. The way each of us sees investing in things is totally different. And knowing that and understanding that I definitely love that you invited our listeners to sit with those feelings, and maybe seek support in healing their relationship with money. And remembering that by centering our own money relationship, and by centering the way that we feel towards money, or you know, whether we feel great about it, or not great about it, we’re actually disempowering our clients and potential clients from making their own business decisions from choosing for themselves, if this is a good investment or not, right, because if we say, nobody’s ever gonna pay me $3,000 For that, and they’re like, no, no, I will, like, I’m here. I’m ready. We might not even believe that.

Karyn Paige 21:13
Yeah, let’s sit there and unpack that for just a second. When you make a decision to say nobody will pay me, you know, $2,000 for this, or I can say it’s $2,000. In this person’s going to say, No, flip that around for a second. Imagine that you’re your prospective client is sitting on the other side of a discovery call, and you have told them, You can’t afford $2,000. You think $2,000 is too expensive? Excuse me? I’m sorry, did you have a conversation with my bookkeeper? Like, do you know where I’m at? Like, let’s, let’s be real hear, when we make those decisions of what we assume is too expensive, or what we assume somebody won’t pay for? What we’re doing is disempowering them and taking a choice away from them. And can you imagine how that would feel if someone took that choice away from you? Where you’re like, I really want to pay this money for this thing that I really need when somebody looks at you and says, you don’t you can’t afford that, that’s too expensive for you. And you’re like, Excuse me? How dare you make that choice for me. So that is like a next level deep thing to consider. But ultimately, it’s a moment where we have to take ourselves out of the center of that process, and put our clients in the center, and trust that our clients are capable of making a decision on their own finances, and that they’re capable of hearing a price and making a choice, yes or no. And also understanding that the word expensive, is a relative term. Like you said this earlier, like we can each look at $100. And think that that’s a lot of money or not a lot of money. And sometimes it depends on what we’re using that $100 to buy, right. But it’s not up to us to make that decision for our clients and just decide for them. This is too expensive for you, like we are all about, you get to decide in this place. And that rings true for our clients as well. Like they get to decide if they want to pay that what we get to decide is how much we charge for something based on the value of our skills, based on the experience we know that they’re going to get, we can go in confidently and say this is how much it costs. And then it’s up to our clients to say yes or no.

Sam Munoz 23:38
Wow, I think we all need to just sit with everything that you just said. Because that’s huge. The way that you explained that idea of flipping it on its head and how a client would feel if you addressed it in that way, you know, instead, like, you can’t afford this like, oh my god, you just really like I’m sitting here like, Whoa, oh, wow. Thank you so much for the way that you said that that just like shifted my own mindset. And I’m assuming that I’m not the only one listening that feels that way.

Karyn Paige 24:09
Yeah. And it’s just important for us to realize that like who we aren’t where we’re in where we are right now, is not an indication of what we’re capable of. Right? We could literally be like, all my clothes come from Target. Okay, I buy food from the dollar store, right? But I have skills that someone who shops at like Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s and buys all their food from Whole Foods and like drives a Mercedes Benz. They will pay me for that. Right? Like let’s think of it like that. Like, it reminds me of a real estate agent I heard once who was like she felt shame because she didn’t live in a house. She was renting an apartment. And I’m like, that doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of helping somebody buy a million dollar house. Right? So it’s like, let’s fully make that distinction and keep those things separate. And that is the space for the healing. Like, why do you why do you feel that way? That’s where the healing part comes in.

Sam Munoz 25:11
Wow, yeah. And that is like such a good, amazing invitation for reflection. And I really encourage you who are listening, if that conversation that we just had sparked some thoughts in you sit with those, give yourself some space to sit with those thoughts and feelings, and go into your next discovery call keeping those things in mind. And I do also want to give a strategy tactic as well, like from a strategic standpoint, is when we show up to a call, and we don’t fully understand the data behind our price point and the value we bring and how long something takes us and how much we’ve charged other people in the past and all of that information, it’s very hard to stand behind our price point, and then we will move into these spaces of thinking, no one’s gonna pay for that I should lower my price point. And so from a strategy perspective, spend some time thinking about the data and looking at how much you’ve charged people in the past. Can you up that a little bit, right, listen to our episode about how you can’t just double your prices, or maybe that was a magic minutes, like, think about your relationship with money from a mindset and healings perspective. And then also use the data to inform how you price things moving forward, so that you can feel confident and stand firm in the prices that you give to a prospective client.

Karyn Paige 26:29
And then here’s another like strategic piece is very simple, right? So once you go through that process, and you become really clear, based on the data, like what your pricing and your packages are, go ahead and put that on your services page. Like make it abundantly clear, you know, whatever size font you need it to be bold, right above the book, a call button, whatever. So that way, anybody who’s considering working with you gets to make the decision on their own. Whether or not that is an investment they’re willing to make. So that way, you can prevent a lot of awkward conversations on the Discovery call, right of what someone was expecting versus what your prices are, right? So absolutely simple.

Sam Munoz 27:13
And just remembering that you are not your ideal client, just because you wouldn’t pay 5000 or $10,000 for what you’re doing does not mean the person on the other end is not like dang, I’m going to get a lot of value from this

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