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Have you ever thought about how finding clients kind of shares vibes with dating? It’s all about finding someone you see eye to eye with, feel a bit of chemistry with and think “yeah, we’re going to create something remarkable together.”

Not too long ago I was having lunch with a friend, listening to her talk about a recent experience on the dating scene.

One particular date was unfortunately cut short when she discovered a fundamental incompatibility in their belief system that made it clear they had no future together. Want me to drop the euphemisms? OK fine, they didn’t believe in the severity of the pandemic.

Now, I’m not advocating for getting in an echo chamber, but there are just some people you can’t reason with; especially not when lives are at stake.

It occurred to me how easy it would be for me to end up in the same situation, except with a client. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if you could simply include a bunch of values-based questions during the on-boarding process to confirm someone’s vibe?

Now it’s been a while since I’ve had to go on a date but I have spent the last 2.5 years navigating my way around finding clients.

And the similarities are striking.

The awkward small talk, the negotiating of budgets, the logistics of who goes where, who brings what to the table, what makes me a better date than the other thousand brand strategists out there, etc.

I have found myself in contracts with clients with some pretty questionable beliefs, which I, unfortunately, discovered after I was already in too deep.

And gosh I would love to send an ethics survey to leads to ensure it won’t happen again. And again, I’m not trying to get myself deeper into an echo chamber than the one I’m already in.

But it’s part of having an ethical, values-driven business that these types of things have to be thought of. Your reputation depends on it.

Defining your values is the first step, and one most people take when starting a new business.

But taking it a step further is defining, in writing, the type of businesses you will and won’t work with and who you’ll support publicly with your comments and your shares and your podcast features.

You can make this public if you like (I have >), or you can keep it to yourself while weaving those beliefs and values through your content and wider digital presence.

How Finding Clients is like Dating

How do you do that?

  • Share resources from people whose values align with your own, and from diverse bodies and viewpoints
  • Give credit to your teachers and those who came before you, for the ideas and concepts they introduced you to
  • Take responsibility for where you have done something that contradicts your values, and where you have changed your point of view
  • Speak up about the things that matter to you

This is our version of an ethics survey; it’s signalling (if not explicitly telling) prospective clients whether we’ll be right for each other or not.

It’s signalling to your people “you’re safe here”, and “we’re gonna get along great”.

That’s how you lead with your values and build a business that feels good and does good things!

As for avoiding dates with pandemic-denialists? Well, maybe a survey is the answer after all…

Until next time, be kind to yourself and create something remarkable!

Laura x

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