VD & ME: Lessons in client attraction. - Kristen Kalp

VD & ME: Lessons in client attraction.

The faster you, as a business owner, can help clients know exactly who you are, the faster they can fall in love with you.

And man, did I fall hard for Voodoo Doughnuts.

VD lesson #1: Push your own boundaries.

Since Voodoo Doughnuts is shortened to VD by the company, my Mom would read the “I got VD in Portland” bumper sticker one way, and I would read it another way entirely.

Again, my 69-year-old Mom would read “Good things come in pink boxes” as a comment about the doughnuts being served up in pink boxes. And her daughter, who says “That’s what she said” at least three times a day, appreciates the double entendre in that slogan.

If your peeps feel like they’ve found a secret, like they’re in on the joke, or like they freaking LOVE you even though they’ve just met you, you’re well on your way to creating your perfect brand.

Let me be clear, here: your brand doesn’t have to use double entendres to get clients! Having a strong brand is not about pushing inside jokes at your peeps as much as it is about being fully and completely yourself — whatever that means — and then translating those special qualities into your entire brand.

I truly appreciate classy stationery, calligraphic fonts, and crisp grey-on-grey tones, but I love the bold and the whimsical WAY more. This translates into my writing, my branding, and my interaction with clients. If Brand Camp reeked of Lilly Pullitzer tones, sophisticated flair, and classy Hamptons gatherings, how disappointed would you be when I showed up in jeans and a tank top and dropped the F-bomb six times during our first meeting?

Your brand should feel like coming home to the people you’re trying to attract.

I’m not talking logos and patterns, I’m talking blog posts, marketing copy, e-mail answers, phone interactions, product names, and image choices. Ingredients like Captain Crunch and Froot Loops sprinkled on donuts — who does that?  VD, that’s who.  (Also: WHY did I not buy a VD bumper sticker and photograph myself with it? WHY?)

Push your own boundaries for communicating who you are to everyone who happens across your website.

Start with your bio, your sales process, and your manifesto. And remember…

The faster you can help clients know exactly who you are, the faster they can love you.

VD lesson #2: It’s great to get more than one.

When I realized that I wanted to try lots of doughnuts, but could only eat one or two, I asked friends to get in on the action. We bought a dozen doughnuts and devoured…at least a quarter…of ’em. Because we were overwhelmed by delectable choices and afraid to miss the “best” flavor, we got a full dozen.

In business terms, VD didn’t sell us one doughnut per person, they sold four per person. Plus drinks, because who wants to have all that sugar without something to wash it down? Multiply this effect by hundreds of people who come into the store per day, and you’ve got yourself a highly effective business model.

If you’re going to overwhelm your peeps with choices, plan on selling the kitchen sink option — which is like a dozen doughnuts at Voodoo. It includes most everything and is easy to purchase. In photography terms, this is an album or a wall gallery AND your CD AND that other stuff you freaking love to sell that makes your client feel taken care of, like gift prints or accordion albums. It’s your most expensive option, but it’s also your most complete option.

Whether you sell cloth diapers or knitwear or pottery, there’s always a simple way to bundle choices into an option that’s easy to choose.

A starter pack, beginner kit, or complete wardrobe are great places to start providing one-click, totally taken care of options for clients. This turns the overwhelm of “I don’t know what to choose” into a positive: “Here, let me take care of you — just choose this.”  VD has got this one down pat.

P.S.  The hold-yourself-accountable kit is here.