45 minutes | Oct 22nd 2020

Everything Gets Easier When You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is with Agency Operator and Podcaster Jason Resnick

Learn how everything gets easier when you know who your ideal client is with agency operator and podcaster Jason Resnick in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.

Jason runs a podcast called Live In The Feast where he discusses various aspects of building a business and best practices with industry experts in all areas of the online business ecosystem. You can find his podcast over at Rezzz.com if you’re interested in checking that out. In this LMScast, he talks through with Chris what he has learned about what it takes to find perfect fit clients to work with in your freelance or agency practice, and the power behind using a podcast to build up your network and content funnel.

Finding the ideal customer really comes down to understanding the difference between an ideal client versus an ideal niche. Many freelancers and agencies look for ideal clients based on the niche they’re in, rather than character traits. Often times when niching down, freelancers will decide they’re a perfect fit for working with fitness coaches based on one experience. But then they may have a bad experience with another client in the same niche and wonder if the fitness niche isn’t the best for them, when the better approach is to look at character traits of clients you can work well with.

When identifying what traits you like best in clients, you might want to look at whether you gravitate toward guys or girls, or if you gravitate toward a certain age range or level of experience. Some agencies prefer to work directly with a decision maker in a company, where others may prefer to work with someone who has assistants to aid in speeding up the back-and-forth process.

Jason prefers to work over email rather than scheduling many calls, so part of his qualifying process for clients is for them to fill out a form about what they’re looking for from his service offering. This allows him to look at how well they communicate in that format, and it allows him to gauge whether working together would be a good fit or not.

At Rezzz.com you can check out the Live In The Feast podcast and all the content Jason has over there on finding perfect-fit customers.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:

You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Jason Resnick. He’s a fellow podcaster. His podcast is Live In The Feast. He’s over at rezzz.com. That’s R-E-Z-Z-Z.com. We’re going to be having a conversation today around the ideal client. It seems obvious. We may think we know how to develop this ideal client or this customer avatar, this perfect customer, and what it’s all about, but there’s a lot going on there. If you get it wrong, if you mess it up, or you just ignore it, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. But first, Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here. It’s finally great to have a chat with you face-to-face and not through 140 or 250 characters.

Chris Badgett:

This is the power of modern social media marketing. I feel like it took me maybe five years to figure out what Twitter… what it was and how it works, and I’ve seen you on there as a fellow podcaster. You have a lot of great content, and you’re also engaged in the online community, which is important, especially in WordPress, and web design, and marketing, and all this stuff, so it’s… But then, there is the actual meeting, and then maybe one day, I’ll see you at a conference, and we’ll meet in person.

Jason Resnick:

Exactly.

Chris Badgett:

So let’s start with how do you define the ideal customer? Why is this so important? But more importantly, what is it? Is it your best customer? Is it somebody you make up based on patterns you see? What is it?

Jason Resnick:

Well, that’s a big question, but I think it’s really… One, I like to differentiate between an ideal client and a niche or specialty, right, because I think a lot of people confuse the two or blur the two rather, right? So when I talk about ideal client, I’m actually talking about the person or the people that I’m working with or engaging with on the project because it can be very different. I can be specializing in nonprofits that are… Like they run events, and races, and things of that nature. The people that are running it could be babyboomers, right, or something like that. Maybe I just don’t jell with that type of person, so they won’t be my ideal client, but my niche could be nonprofits. Right?

Jason Resnick:

So that’s where I like to start is just to identify what we’re talking about here as far as the ideal client goes and not necessarily your specialty or your niche. But the ideal client in a way is… and you said it perfectly. It’s not somebody that you make up, but it’s somebody that you have seen patterns with. Right? So you could gravitate towards guys or girls, or you could gravitate towards a certain age or something of that nature. But more importantly, I think it’s more on the personality side of things, right?

Jason Resnick:

It took a long time for me to figure out who my ideal client was. I’m opinionated. I have no problems telling people what’s on my mind. I go into client engagements saying, “Hey, look. I’m going to come to the table with my experience. I’m going to come to the table with some assumptions of what I understand about your business, and I’m going to challenge you. I want you to do the same for me.” Sometimes people aren’t receptive to that. They’re like, “Whoa, like slow down a little bit.” Right? I’ve had that, and other people, that’s welcomed. So you really have to… For me and how I figured out my ideal client was, one, I was very much a generalist way before I even started in a WordPress space and just iterating through client projects, and people, and different industries, and things of that nature.

Jason Resnick:

But then, once I’ve realized what I wanted to do for my clients and who I wanted to work with, then that’s when I started paying attention to the little things, just the rapport that I have with somebody. Are they okay with the fact that I’m a solo-owned and operated business? I work from home. Right? So I got my kids’ toys in the background. Right? So that’s where some people are okay with and some people aren’t. So those are the sort of things that I start to put in front of when I just like filter people, and I try to throw it out there because I can’t change who I am. So I try to start to figure out those characteristics of that ideal client, if you will.

Chris Badgett:

So there’s a bunch of honesty there and just self-reflection. I mean, I’m hearing a lot of psychographics, like they have to be coachable. Not only do they have to be coachable, they have to be open to having… work with a professional who’s going to be providing feedback and maybe taking some stance on an opinion. You need people that are trusting and not… It’s like this adversarial and “you just tell me what to do” relationship. This is really cool. I mean, tell us more about your who. What other characteristics did you find?

Jason Resnick:

Yeah, so I still… I mean, I’ve been in business now for almost 10 years. Right? Just running my own business. Still to this day, I’m still refining it.

Chris Badgett:

It’s never done. it’s a work in progress forever.

Jason Resnick:

Right.

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Jason Resnick:

Right, and so when I really started to hone in on this, this sort of exercise, if you will, like you said, all of a sudden, I have these three clients are awesome to work with and I enjoy it, like I get up in the morning, and I know that I’m going to be working on these projects, and it excites me. Then, well, these other three, yeah, the project is cool, but I don’t really want to talk with these people, and so on and so forth. Right? So you start getting that. So then, what I found was, and I’ve built out a sort of framework for myself. I’ve put my coaching clients through it and things like that, but it’s a framework where you’re actually reflecting on the projects and the people that you like to work with.

Jason Resnick:

Really, what it is, is asking questions of the person and/or the project to really start getting the characteristics out of it like, “What do you like about it? What gets you amped up about it? What don’t you like? What gets you bummed about even getting out of bed to work on this thing or work with this person?” You just make a list of what this is, and I call it the client quad because there’s a process around it. But really, what happens is, is that you have just a bullet list of characteristics of what you like and what you don’t like.

Jason Resnick:

Once you have those lists of characteristics, then you start to say, “Hey.” You start to look for those good qualities, and you start to actually say, “Hey, look. These are red flags over here.” If somebody hits these sorts of things, like micromanagement or like you said, they’re not open to feedback, they’re looking for just a pair of hands on the keyboard rather than somebody that’s like a partner, and really wants to have good success with this, and we’re working together for the same goal. These are some of my red flags. Right? So I always say to people like, “Just because it’s a red flag to me, it doesn’t mean it’s a red flag for somebody else.”

Jason Resnick:

But the things that I look for are, one, like I said before, they have to realize that I’m just me. I don’t have a team behind me, so we’re going to prioritize the tasks and work. If things shuffle, well, deadlines get shuffled, right, because I can only do so much. Right? So they have to be accepting with that. Sure. I’ve had people come through. They wanted to give me money and they were like, “You shirky. You have nobody else to do work for you?” “No, it’s just me.” People say like, “We much rather have an agency. We would’ve loved to hire you, but we would have much rather have an agency.” That’s fine. There’s nothing I can do about that.

Jason Resnick:

Some of the other characteristics that I look for, I actually now put on my project brief, which is an application that happens before I even get on a sales call. What I do for my clients essentially is to help them with their email marketing, help them create more customers, create repeat customers, build them automation that ties into their website and their email platform, specifically ConvertKit. What I do helps those that already have a list that are engaging with their list, and so on, and so forth. So one of the questions I ask is, “How big is your list?” One of the questions I ask is, “Are you on ConvertKit?” If you answered no, “Are you looking to transfer to ConvertKit?” If you say no, then okay. Well, we’re not going to be a good fit, right? I just had to say no.

Jason Resnick:

So I put these things on the project brief because that helps me filter through and not waste time, and I don’t want to waste my time. I don’t want to waste their time. So coming up with whatever my ideal client is allows me to do that. I have specific questions on there that I’m actually looking to see the personality of the person that’s filling this out as well. Meaning, have they thought about it, the project meaning? Are they just cutting and pasting what they filled into somebody else’s form?

Jason Resnick:

I can tell these things when I get these form submissions. For me, that’s like, “Okay.” Then, they’re just looking for pair of hands. They just want somebody to write lines of code, or write an email, or build them an automation, and that’s not me. There are more cost-effective options than me in that well. I try to figure out what that list of characteristics are that I actually really enjoy, but I also… It’s important to know the list of characteristics that you don’t want too and be able to try to use those to that as you start to build your sales process with them.

Chris Badgett:

I love that stuff about what you don’t want. I mean, I built an agency up to 17 people, and some of the things I would look out for that I don’t want is I need a client that’s going to be capable of giving me the content. I didn’t really have a good filter for that in the front end, but I love your idea of having your form just… It’s not just about, “What’s your budget?” I mean, that’s the beginner move like, “Do you have budget so that we don’t waste each other’s time or whatever?” But there are so many things you can drill into, and even just knowing that you’re a ConvertKit specialist, immediately, I started thinking about people I know who use ConvertKit like it’s a filtering mechanism.

Chris Badgett:

Another one is that I need a client that can communicate effectively. Though sometimes, people… like your client. There are a lot of horror stories where like freelancers disappear, but it also happens the other way where the client disappears and you can’t get a hold of them. You need some stuff to make the project successful, so I look for clear communication, and I just also look for somebody having an assistant because they are… I know that there’s a lot going on. There’s always more to a website project, and then on the surface, and they need… If they have more help around them, it’s more likely to get them quicker I guess is what I’m saying because they already have a busy life, but…

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, to your point about the clear communication, that’s why I have my form.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

Because if they don’t even fill in the form or they fill it in with just cutting and pasting off of whatever other forms they filled out online, I know that.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

For me, I don’t want to pick up a phone.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

That’s not my form of communication. I communicate via email primarily, Slack on occasion for some clients. But then, the call is a quick-hit call. I don’t want to have these epic, long, two-and-a-half-hour phone sessions.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

That just destroys an entire day. So if you can’t fill out the form in the way that I asked on specific… I tell them things like… I ask them for five goals, right, and I want smart goals. Meaning, what success look like for this project, right? So if they say, “We just need more traffic,” or, “We need more email subscribers,” or, “We need this, that, and the other,” I’m like, “Okay. Well, that’s… You’re in ballpark, I guess, but like what specific? Like 20%, 50%? Are we doubling your email list?” What is specific about the goal, right?

Jason Resnick:

But if they’re just increase, increase, or whatever, for me, I’m like, “Okay. They didn’t really think about it.” So if I ask them a question while we’re engaged, and then it’s a logic question, just in case, if I have to send something over to your sales team because they filled something out on the website or they clicked a certain link on an email, and there’s an automation that triggers off to that, it has to be super specific so that the experience is right from both your team as well as your potential customers.

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Jason Resnick:

So that. I look for that level of detail there to know if they can communicate via email through a form essentially. Right? So I’m with you on that, the clear communication. I didn’t even think about the assistant thing, but for me, I’m like I just want to… I almost don’t want anybody in between, right? I’d much rather just…

Chris Badgett:

You need a decision maker.

Jason Resnick:

Right. Exactly.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, yeah. There’s benefits to that too. We’re going to come back to focusing on building sites for clients, but I just want to do a quick fun exercise with you. You and I are both podcasters, right? What do you know about me as a guy who spends a lot of time thinking about defining your perfect client and stuff like that? What do you know about me simply by the fact that I’m similar to you in some ways related to podcasting? What’s some customer avatar or just avatar stuff you know about me because of what we do? Podcaster is the industry, right?

Jason Resnick:

Right.

Chris Badgett:

But what am I as an avatar if you had to guess? Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. You’re putting me on the spot here. But I mean, as far as from a podcasting perspective, I mean, obviously, when we started working on coordinating this date, from my end, it was quick. It was like, “Hey, this is… Is it good? Is this…” and we did it over Twitter, right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

It was like there wasn’t really a formal thing to it, right? It was like, “Hey, look. Look. We’re going to talk about this. We’re going to meet at this time. Great. Awesome. Oh, let’s do it.” Right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

That’s cool. That’s in part how I do it. I do it via email. I take it off of Twitter and just basically say, “Hey, I’m going to send you an email with a link in it, and so on, and so forth,” just so that in my own ecosystem, I track it. Right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

I just make sure everything is good to go, but I’ve had guests in my podcast before where it’s super formal.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

I even had one where we did a phone screen first, and I was like, “A phone screen? All right. That’s new.” Right? I mean, to each his own, but for me, I like the casual like, “All right. Let’s just do it.” Podcasting, for me, I’ve been doing it for so long. It’s like…

Chris Badgett:

How long?

Jason Resnick:

I’ve been doing it since 2014.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. I think that’s when I started mine. So part of the reason why I don’t need to have a phone call and I don’t do screen calls or anything, but normally, there’s more process. But I have known about you for years. I’ve listened to a several of your shows. I know what’s inside the box, so you’re already qualified. It’s really just a formality.

Jason Resnick:

Right. Yeah.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

To your point, if there’s another podcast host, then I’d just go listen to the show, and I’m like, “All right. We’re good.” But if there’s not and I can’t even find a podcast that they’ve been on before, then I’m like, “Let’s just have like a 15-minute conversation first.”

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

As a podcaster, it’s going to be a person… You can’t just be knowledgeable, but they have to also… There’s going to be some story there to it, right? There has to be some entertainment value there too. So for me, it’s like podcast to podcast hosts, that’s easy. It’s quick win. Other people might have to go down the road a little bit. But for me, like I said, my first podcast was WP Dev Table, and I did it with Bronson Quick and later on, Tom Harrigan. It was so informal. We were basically pulling up Google Hangouts, pushing “Go Live,” and then talking into just even our headsets from our phones, right, and live.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

It was maybe once a month. It was so irregular. It was ridiculous, but that for me is what podcasting is. So when I run into other folks that are a little bit more casual, it’s a refreshing sort of thing.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. That’s awesome. I appreciate you saying that. Since we’re on the topic of podcasting, what impact has it had on you as a service provider?

Jason Resnick:

It built my business. It’s funny that you mentioned that. This week, in fact, well, at the time of this recording, two days ago, I came out with an episode for season seven. Season seven of the podcast is actually about the ideal client, but I talk about… because it started out with an email that I sent out to my list of why I started podcasting in the first place. I got such a great response in that. I was like, “I should just make a podcast about this,” and be pretty meta about it, but the thing was podcasting allowed me to also help shape who I serve. Right? My ideal client as well. The podcast that I referenced was… It was a loose… We called it irregular… How did I say it? A loose, irregular podcast of geeks sitting around a table talking. Right?

Jason Resnick:

So we would have a green room beforehand and after, and it was all WordPress folks, and just hearing and engaging in the conversation afterwards because there will be three or four of us on the call hearing their stories of client interactions and things like that. I’m like, “Oh, I don’t want that. I got to keep an eye out for that one.” Right? Or like, “Hey, how do I get a client like that? Where did you find that client?” That sort of thing. So that helped me in the early stages really start to figure out who I serve well, but also, to hear who I can talk to more. Right? That network of guests that we had on the show, had it not been for the podcast, I would’ve never met them or maybe chance encounter at a WordCamp or something like that.

Jason Resnick:

I got work from them, and I referred work to them. So it helped our businesses in a way grow our networks. Had I not done that podcast, just the Google Hangout randomly every month, I don’t know that we’d be talking. Right? So I know how podcasting has impacted my business, and that’s why I much rather do a podcast than write a blog post. I know that podcast in and of itself had 19 episodes. I know 19 tweets, I know 19 Facebook shares, I know 19 Instagram stories, I know 19 anything in this day and age would have never done anything that 19 episodes did to me.

Jason Resnick:

So for me, I’m all about podcasting and how it’s been able to build my business, but also, shape who I serve and become a go-to person. I became the WooCommerce guy for a while. People were just like, “Oh, you’re the WooCommerce guy. I have a podcast. Can you help me out?” So like I said before, it’s more referable. You start to hear because that’s what I talk about all the time on show is WooCommerce. So for me, podcast is it, so I got this big microphone here, and clients are always like, “Hey, what’s that all about, radio guy?”

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

I’m just like, “Oh, yeah. I do podcasting, so.”

Chris Badgett:

That’s really cool. I mean, we both started our podcasts in 2014. But if you’re still thinking on the fence about starting a podcast to help grow your business, it’s still early days in my opinion. I mean, yeah, we’re tech people. We’re online people. We’re early adopters, but there’s just so much. I mean, podcasts are going to get even easier to get access to in cars and things like that. They’re going places.

Jason Resnick:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Badgett:

It’s like what YouTube did to TV. It’s like that for radio. It’s pretty amazing.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. I think even just as a little side thing there is if you’re starting up a business, bring your customers on to your podcast. If you’re serving people and you’re helping people, you could widen your network in that way. You could bring on colleagues. You could bring on potential customers, highlight existing customers, and things like that with your shows, essentially your marketing, and it’s super easy like I said. I mean, they’ve got apps on the phone now where you just press “Record,” and boom, the phone conversation records that way. It’s so easy nowadays that now it’s just a matter of uploading it to a website, and there you go. You don’t need like [Joe Wowin 00:23:58] numbers. Right?

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Jason Resnick:

Everybody is like, “Uh, podcast is so hard.” I mean, there’s a lot of work to marketing it and getting folks on the show. But look, if it’s focused in on your business, then do whatever it is for your business. Don’t worry about those big numbers because you just need whatever you need and do your business.

Chris Badgett:

Well, if you know your ideal client well… I have videos, like YouTube videos with extremely low view counts, but the people that actually care about what I’m talking about there are a perfect fit client. Who cares if it’s 100 views or whatever and not 100,000? I’m talking to someone very specific. That’s just the way it works. Speaking of bringing your ideal client on to the podcast, I think that’s a brilliant move because there’s this concept called resonance, right? Like you and I, you mentioned it where you’re resonating with like, “Oh, Chris is not super formal of a podcast, like it’s going to be laid-back. It’s going to be two people sitting on a porch talking, and the world gets to listen in,” which is how… That’s my hack.

Chris Badgett:

As a learner, I do 5K every morning every day. Sometimes it’s walking. Sometimes it’s running. But I’m always listening to podcasts. So for 10 years, I’ve been learning, listening to other people’s conversations who talk about things that are important to me. It’s like a total hack, but you start resonating with people that you attract certain people and you repel certain people. So like for you, somebody doesn’t… If they are just looking at, “Oh, I’m just going to outsource that. I’m just going to throw something over the wall and just get off my plate,” that’s not your best client because you’re a technology partner, a strategy partner. It’s a partnership.

Chris Badgett:

I can get that, and when people… Some people want that. Some people have the other mindset. So that resonance is cool, and the thing about bringing your customers on is like you resonate as a leader in your business, but a client is going to… It’s different. They have a different avatar than you, the business owner or whatever. So by bringing that ideal client on the stage, it allows other people to have that subconscious resonance of like, “Oh, yeah. I’m already moving, somewhat successful business person. I need to really level up on my marketing.” Then, there’s like somebody talking on your show who’s just like them. It’s super powerful.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. I mean, it goes back to that whole social proof aspect. It’s like on sales pages. People are like, “I want to put my testimonials there. I want to put the Facebook raps. I want to put the tweets on there that are talking about my business.” This is like that on steroids, right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

You can talk for half an hour, an hour with your customer, and you want to attract more of those same customers. There’s no better way than to have somebody sitting there, talking to you, engaging with you, and learning a little bit more like a fly on the wall like you. Same thing. I try to do that in my show. It was like I could ask all the time from guests. They’re like, “Do you have questions to ask me?” “No, we’re just going to have a conversation about this, and we’re going to go…”

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

It’s going to be back and forth in this conversation where if you feel comfortable enough, ask me questions. Right? As the host, I want to answer questions too. So from that perspective, it’s just like they’d walk into the room, and now they’re in a “meeting” between me and another customer. So it’s super powerful in way where… Just put little clips of audio things on your site. I haven’t yet done this, and I say yet because something is in the works. But I haven’t yet done this because it hasn’t happened. My podcast isn’t who I, for my services, isn’t who I serve, right? It’s funny how you can leverage the power of podcasting in a way that people don’t ever think about.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

They’re just like, “All right. You just churn these things out every single week.” That’s not always the case. You can be super specific with it. There are small podcasts that are just local podcasts. I saw a sticker the other day at the pizza place by me, and it was a podcast for Oceanside, New York. I was like, “That’s awesome.” Right? Like, “That small town? Oh, great,” and I dread to listen just to see who it was. It wasn’t superly overproduced or anything like that, but it was pretty cool. It was like in or around the town, and they talked about current events and things that were going on in the town and stuff, so I went, “Oh, pretty cool.” But if that person, that host had any ambition of working with local businesses, just bring them on to the show. You gave them a 30-minute or a 45-minute commercial, right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

Boom, that’s easy.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, that’s super awesome. I’m going to say a lot of pro tips since we’re wrapping on that. One of the things is it’s relatively easy to get testimonials. A lot of people are scared to ask for it though, but what’s much harder to do are case studies. So one of my hacks is I will record a podcast with a customer, and then I have somebody else who helps write up a case study out of it with their permission. So it’s the idea of doing a big detail… Like Jeff and I, our call is no big deal. But the idea of like, “All right. I need to do an interview,” and I tried it. I tried putting a form on my site that I could ask the questions that I thought I needed answers to to build a great case study, and people didn’t do the work. There’s too much friction there. But when they come on the show, it’s different. It’s easier for them. It’s easier for you, and then you can do it. that’s my pro tip out there.

Chris Badgett:

What advice do you have for… Let’s say somebody is building learning management system websites for clients or membership sites, online courses, whatever they want to call them, and they’re a little bit newer to the game, and they want to do this work, but there’s this tension between when I’m early… I’ll take any work that I can get. I just got to get paid. That’s exactly what I did. It took me a while to specialize and get clear on all this stuff. But if we could go back and talk to an earlier version of ourselves, what’s version one of like, “All right. I’m opening up shop to build these types of sites for clients?” What can I do to help filter and attract the right people?

Jason Resnick:

Well, the early version of myself… Now, I don’t do this, but back then, I used to build out e-commerce sites. Very similar. It’s just a type of site. Right? So if you’re trying to build LMS, or membership sites, or whatever, what I did was I said, “Oh, let me build them from the ground up because there’s plenty of people that have this idea that they want to put out there, and I can do that, so let me do that.” Well, what happens is, is that this isn’t just a brochure site. Right? There’s a lot of things. Once it’s launched, the business has to understand how to manage it. Right?

Jason Resnick:

So what I found out was a lot of these e-commerce sites that I would build a year or two later was no longer in existence. Right? What does that look like for me, and my portfolio, or my case study, or so on and so forth when somebody clicks the link and it doesn’t go anywhere? 404 page, right? So what I did was, “Okay. I’m done doing build from the ground up. I want to build on top of existing.” So if you know that… and the thing was I filling a gap because basically, people would launch these websites, get it out there, get some traction, and then they wanted to put the final 20% of their business into the website. They basically just did it out of the box.

Jason Resnick:

So watching the same way like I built LMS before, and so they don’t know all of like, “Hey, what does the students really want, and members, what are they using?” They tried to put all these bells and whistles in there. Well, go in whatever you’re good at and start to try to identify maybe just out-of-the-box installs of, let’s say, LifterLMS, right, that had no customization to it. Right? But yet, there, you’ve got students. They’ve got members in there, and so maybe there’s something there where the business now has a need to add new features. Maybe a social element. Maybe a gaming element. Maybe something else to it that the students want.

Jason Resnick:

So now, you can go into a conversation and say, “Hey, look. I’ve been doing this for a little bit, and I know sites like yourself. Sometimes you have these ideas for gamification or a social board element, social profile element. Maybe you’re trying to install a forum into it. Things of that nature. Is any of those things popped up in your membership area or your business before?” Then, they may say no. That’s fine. But if they say yes, now you know that they have a specific need that you could help fulfill, and that is going to stick around, right, because they’ve already got the traction inside of their own business. They’re just trying to enhance it and catered to their own “customers.”

Jason Resnick:

So that would be my suggestion moving forward is you want to find a client that’s going to be around. You don’t want somebody that just has an idea off the back of a barbecue that they had over the weekend and say, “Hey, yeah. That sounds awesome. I mean, Facebook did it, right? So I can do it.” It just doesn’t happen that way. So I would look for ways in which you can find a client that understands a little bit about the business, and that’s only through being established in some way already, and then identifying potential needs of that business that you can help fulfill.

Chris Badgett:

That was amazing. I learned a lot right there listening to you, and I think that idea… Well, one way I hear it said is it’s a lot harder to build an online business to go from zero to 100,000 or whatever. But to go from 100,000 to a million, if you use that like a filter, which feels scary, especially if you’re newer, but this… I’m in an established business center that’s already making money with their expertise. Let’s say at least $100K. Maybe they’re an author, speaker, coach, whatever. They’re trying to stop living on hotel rooms and on planes, and being away from their family, and they’re looking to productize their workshops or their public speaking, or build a higher fidelity version of a book, now we got something.

Chris Badgett:

I’m not saying the beginners don’t deserve to be helped or served, but it can be a hard, more challenging client because yeah, you might make good money. I mean, there’s people who have an idea who have plenty of financial resources, but you might get paid, and that’s fine. But like you said, there’s nothing… When you were telling your story, I could feel it in my heart where I’ve seen sites I struggle to build and move mountains that just not there anymore, and I’m like… That’s sad. I’ve never really thought about that, but I had experienced it before.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. I mean, I can remember a couple of sites where in one case was a hair salon. Right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

They basically wanted to put up an online course to help stylists. This was real early on my career. It was like pulling teeth to get anything from them, and then it got down to the point where I was just like… They were like, “Oh, we need this to move a little bit,” like the button to move a little bit. It just became very micromanaged. It got to a point where I was like, “All right. I don’t want to deal with this anymore,” because they had never… Like I said, “Do you have a client list, a student list that you’re going to launch this to?” “No, no. We’re going to build it and they’re going to come.” Right? Okay. Well, I’ve heard that before, but the thing is it’s like you don’t know that this happen.

Jason Resnick:

Well, once our relationship ended, it was literally eight months later, I went back to the site. Their whole salon wasn’t even there anymore like, “Where did this go?” So I googled it, and it was gone. I don’t know if they had their business. I don’t know if this was the last hurrah to try to save the business or something. I mean, for me, it was like if they don’t understand exactly where they could be in their business, then for me, that was a tough pill to swallow on my end because they were looking for me to give them the world for the cheapest price, and they wanted it done in a way that they thought it was, so like, “You just want to write the lines of code yourself? That’s what you’re telling me to do.”

Chris Badgett:

Right. Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

That’s why I started looking for more established businesses to… Like you said, if it’s an online coach or if it’s a live coach rather trying to look for an online version of what they already do. So they have money coming in. Maybe it’s a way like they do want to save some time and that… To be honest with you, you’re not building them the website. Right? What you’re building them is to save time. The solution is to save time. They don’t want to travel anymore, this, that, and the other thing.

Jason Resnick:

That’s the other side of the coin that you get better at is that when you’re crafting your ideal client, what’s their actual motivation? Right? For a lot of my clients is the same motivation that I have. It’s to be able to actually get away from the screen and live their life. Right? Whether that’s spending time with their family, whether that’s to travel. Whatever, right? What I do for my clients is automation. They want to stop the hours, ana hours, and hours of manual cut-and-pasting and trying to figure out how to launch things, but they also want to capitalize on your investments too in a way that dropping people into an email sequence that everybody goes through is not effective use of their ad money. Right?

Jason Resnick:

So what I found is, “Okay. Let me see who’s selling things online. Who’s a coach? Who’s running a course membership?” Things like that. Well, they might be primed for wanting to step away from their selling. Right? They don’t want to do the quarterly launches anymore because it burns them out or they want to change from that open/closed cart process into a more of an evergreen sales pitch. So I’m saving them time. I’m not building them their ConvertKit account. Although that’s the actual technical things that I do, but what the result is, is that now they have time back in their day to do whatever they want to do. That’s why they started their business in the first place. Once you hit on that, that’s actually what will drive more people to you because they just refer their friends to you, and so on, and so forth. You’ll just knock down that first domino.

Chris Badgett:

That is so well said. The world has changed. Companies used to put the product at the center of the universe. The companies that win now put their customer at the center of the universe and surround them with support, and they focus on their goals, buying back time, financial freedom. Whatever. There’s all this stuff that they want. Your product is important. They’re part of the journey, but the product is a means to an end.

Jason Resnick:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Badgett:

Rezzz is at rezzz.com, R-E-Z-Z-Z.com. You also have an email course on your website. Can you tell us how to get it and what we can get out of it?

Jason Resnick:

Sure. You can go to rezzz.com. It’s right there front and center. You can’t miss it. It’s a sequence of five emails, and it helps you get clients. Underlying thing is also your ideal client. It helps you craft that. It’s a set of videos and exercises that, one, you’re going to learn how to look at Twitter in a way that maybe you haven’t looked at it before to get clients. That’s one way. How to use Craigslist. People look down on Craigslist, but I got PGA, Gander Mountain, and Sony all through Craigslist using these sorts of methods. So it’s just a matter of being able to implement certain things, being diligent about your time, and being really specific on who you’re looking for. This is essentially your runway in order to do that.

Chris Badgett:

That’s amazing, and one more quick question before we go. I think it’s awesome to have those self-wisdom and knowledge to know what you like and know what you don’t like. What do you like about being solo operator because I see… In the course creation space, I see both avatars. I see people who… They’re like, “I don’t want a team. I’m just going to do my thing. I’m going to scale it and do it, work within my constraint.” There’s other people who are like, “I need a giant team behind me.” How’s that work for you? What is it that…

Jason Resnick:

Yeah, for me… Look. I work for Fortune 100 companies and small boutique design firms as well. I’ve managed teams before upwards of 30 somewhat people, and managing developers is a unique position to be in where there’s a lot of people skills that you have to have.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

I’m not saying that any other managers ain’t different, but it’s just, for me, as a developer, I’m a creator. I like to be able to engage at a level with the clients that managing a team may not give me. But also, to be able to just move interests or just be able to shift my day because my son is having a bad one. Right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Jason Resnick:

So I could go outside and play with him versus, “Oh, I have to stay here and manage a team,” or there’s a client meeting, or so on and so forth. It just allows me that freedom and flexibility to run the business the way that I want to. It’s not for everyone. It’s just for me.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Jason Resnick. Rezzz.com. Go check out his email course. So the thing is the cool thing about podcasts, why I love them is… and what I try to do is I try to take somebody like Jason’s decades of experience and condense it down into days or ideally, 45-ish minutes. So I know that you’ve taken all your experience. How can I add incredible value for somebody who’s trying to get more clients and condense that down to five emails? I know it’s rock solid. Go check it out at rezzz.com. Thank you so much, Jason, for coming on the show and sharing your journey with us.

Jason Resnick:

Yeah. Thanks for having me, Chris. I appreciate it.

Chris Badgett:

That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results-getting courses on the internet.

The post Everything Gets Easier When You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is with Agency Operator and Podcaster Jason Resnick appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.