Are you tired of attracting the same type of clients with no real change in your business? It’s time to level up and start attracting better, higher-paying clients! Many people don’t realize that they need to drastically change their approach in order to see different results. Martin Huntbach and Lyndsay Cambridge, from Jammy Digital, are here to stop us from attracting just any client, and get us on our way to attracting the right clients for our business.
Rich: My guests today – yes, I said “guests” in the plural – run Jammy Digital, an award-winning SEO and content marketing agency for businesses that aren’t afraid to stand out. They do their best work with personal brands, helping them find and retain better, higher paying clients who don’t gobble up their time like Pac-Man.
They’ve also published a bestselling book, Content Fortress, that protects business owners from unnecessary stress by helping them attract their dream clients. Today we’re going to be talking about how you can attract better, higher paying clients through content, with Martin Huntbatch and Lyndsay Cambridge. Martin and Lyndsay, welcome to the podcast.
Lyndsay: Thank you for having us.
Martin: Yeah, we’re excited.
Rich: I’m excited, too. I’m apologizing to my transcriptionist already. You’ll just have to do twice as much work to make sure you get all the names right. At least your voices are very different, so it should be easy to pick them out.
So I love this idea of attracting better, higher paying clients. I think most businesses are looking to move upmarket at some point. So how do we get started?
Martin: Yeah, I think a lot of people understand that the value of putting content out in the world online is extremely beneficial for getting eyeballs and getting just more people to be aware of who you are. But we went through this ourselves and we understand that getting traffic and leads and inquiries is only part of the problem. Actually, dealing with those clients and attracting the right kind of clients is not easy.
So it takes a different kind of content, a different kind of mentality, for you to be able to produce content that does that. But I think if you can get it nailed, then you can also attract your dream clients at the same time. It’s just increasing your awareness in general.
Lyndsay: Yeah, it’s interesting actually, because I think people go through different stages of their business. And at the beginning certainly it’s just, “I need to attract clients, any clients”. And you’re trying to get more and more of those in, and the more you make more sales and then slowly you transition to, “I think I need to attract better clients now.”
But what a lot of people do is they realize that, but they don’t actually change any of their behavior or the way that they market themselves in any way. And they just get on this hamster wheel of attracting the same clients every time and not really understanding how to do it differently. And I think the first step in that is actually just realizing that you do need to do something quite drastically different in order to attract better, higher paying clients.
Rich: Yeah, it’s interesting. I had a conversation with a business owner a few weeks ago. He runs a landscaping company, and he was getting tired of these kind of, I need to fix the client’s sidewalk. He wanted to take over the entire property, waterfront properties, all this sort of stuff. And we had this discussion about what it might take to get those kind of clients. The problem is, he’s so busy with the current clients, he never seems to take the time. Is that something that you run into when you’re working with your clients, that they’re so busy taking care of the not so good clients they can’t actually focus on going after the better clients?
Lyndsay: Yeah, definitely. And usually what happens is it gets to quite a difficult point, where you either have to fire a client because they’re not the right fit and they’re really causing you stress and taking up too much of your time, and then that frees your time.
So you have to get to that point where you have to turn down clients that come to you. And we are in a habit of turning people away, And I don’t say that in an arrogant way. We just turn people away when they’re not the right fit. And that’s something that we do all the time, because then that frees up our time to attract the right fits.
It’s very difficult to do. And it goes against, even now, it goes against everything my brain or my biology or whatever it might be wants to do instinctively. But I know that once I’ve turned down the wrong fit, then I’ve got that time then to attract the right fit.
Rich: I want to talk a little bit about the content that’s going to get us there. But before I do, I want to talk about a couple of mindset things that you’ve kind of touched upon. Because so many of us have started and we are so happy to take on any business because we have bills to pay.
So when you are working with a client and they’re like, “Look, I just can’t afford to turn anybody down, or I can’t imagine firing any of my current clients,” how do you talk to them about making that shift in their mind so they can let go of the low paying, low reward client, and start moving towards that client who’s going to not just pay them more, but also they’re better positioned to help?
Martin: So it really comes from a place of how understanding how you can create a dream experience. Because when you think about that ideal client that you want, you’re sick of doing the sidewalk, you want to do the full property. It comes from how can you deliver better value? And that’s what we look at with our business. That’s what we try to extract from our clients when we produce content for them.
And if you understand that is the dream experience, then you can usually charge a premium. Which means you’re not competing on price. You can usually attract fewer or work with fewer clients and enjoy your free time just as much. You enjoy your work time, and quite often it’s because we’ve not stopped to think about, what is it that we want to achieve and how can we use content or our messaging in order to get there?
There is a very simple process which the entirety of our book is there explaining. But it does come from a mentality thing, which is yes, I’m not just thinking about the money. I’m thinking about where I want to be in 12 months’ time. And luckily, content can help you get there as long as you understand what that dream is. If you just want money now, then we need to shift away from that mindset because it’s going to cause mental health and stress problems later down the line if you’re constantly working for a small reward.
Rich: So let’s assume that we have a company, we’ve been taking on these low margin, penny pension clients for too long, or just whatever the case is, and it’s time to move upstream. How do we know what the language is that we should be using on our website? How do we know the language that we should be using in our email, social, and all those other platforms too?
Martin: So the first thing comes from communicating what it is that you do, in a very simple but structured way. So if you have a methodology that works, if you know that clients buy based on the results that they want, then you have to clearly articulate the process that you use in order to help clients achieve that outcome and put it online.
Let people understand more about your products and services and why you’ve done things a certain way. When you do that, two things happen. You feel more structured, you feel more in control of the process. So when you look at it, if you break down everything that’s involved when you deliver that dream service, you will feel more confident in charging a premium.
Every time we do this with a client, you’ll look at it and you’ll think, wow, I should be charging more. Which is not often what business owners say. They want to stay competitive, but when you actually write everything down like a to-do list, you actually realize the impact that those individual things have when you add them all together. That’s the first thing that it does.
The second thing is, clients are amazed by how transparent you’re being about the process and why we do things. It just means that they’re more aware, which means you have less buyer’s remorse. They’re aware of the next stage and what’s happening, which doesn’t require as much communication. And the biggest benefit that we’ve seen from this, from both in our business and for our clients as well, is that with a certain type of content, you can cut down that initial conversation with clients so much.
As a real-life example, yesterday I’d spoken to someone who we’ve never spoken to before. He was happy to buy and work with us and jump on a retainer, which is an ongoing retainer. And when I spoke to him for 15 minutes and I looked at the clock and it was a 15-minute call of a 30-minute call, and he was happy to leave it there and hire us. And we’d never spoken to this person before. The only way that we did that was by having enough content on our website thinking about the psychological funnel that somebody would go to before booking a call with us, and then produce content to tap all of those mental triggers. It just means it takes less work and less buyer’s remorse on the backend.
Rich: You mentioned that he likely went to your website, spent some time there, got a sense of who you are and the value you could provide. Whenever I’m creating content, I’m always considering the SEO piece of it. Because I’m thinking about discoverability. So how does SEO O fit into creating this higher level of copywriting?
Lyndsay: Yeah, it’s a really interesting one actually, because I think there’s a split definitely between content that is for SEO and the content that we talk about. Which is more about converting people that are actively really interested in your product or service.
It’s not to say that you can’t create content for both. Content things like how much does it cost for a… how many times have we put that into Google loads? And if you answered that question, certainly when we did website design, we answered a lot of those types of questions. How much does it cost for a website? That was something that we knew people Googled a lot, and obviously they’re more primed to buy. So we would answer those kind of questions.
But certainly the kind of content that we talk about is more converting those people when they’re on the fence about buying from you or maybe they’ve been on your email list and things like that. And they’re then ready to say, okay I’ve read more and more of your content, now I’m ready to actually approach you.
So there’s different kinds of content with different kinds of targets and what you want out of it. I think the biggest mistake that people make sometimes is they focus only on SEO content. And we are big fans of SEO content. We write a lot of that content ourselves for our clients and for us because it does get you lots of leads. But you also need to convert those people as well. So it is good to have a mix, really, of content that is there for SEO and content that converts. So we usually create, I don’t know, for every five pieces of content one might be for conversions, four might be for SEO. So just making sure that you have that nice split there.
Rich: If you’re not thinking about SEO for some of your copy, what are you doing to get it in front of your ideal customers?
Martin: So we have this this term, ‘will it stretch?’ And what that means is, when we create a piece of content, providing it’s long enough, providing it’s valuable enough, you will find that you can stretch it across lots of different platforms. You can email your list and get people back to that content. You can take snippets of it and share it as a LinkedIn carousel or an Instagram carousel or a Reel. Having that core content that’s super valuable and super helpful to your ideal customers means that you can probably pull people back to that content.
So we always insist that when we take on a client, they have to verbally at least agree that they’re going to promote this content and draw as much attention to it as possible. Because relying on solely on SEO, and just by publishing a blog on the website and hoping for the best, means that you miss out on so many extra areas. Isn’t that right?
Lyndsay: Yeah. A good example of this was actually we published an article that was why we are raising our prices for our service. And we sent that out to our list. We also created a LinkedIn carousel, and we promoted it over Facebook and Twitter and things like that. That got us three clients, and those people were on our email list.
So they read that content. They’d found us previously from another blog post of having Googled it, and then just become part of our email list for three, six, whatever months it was. But that was the piece of content that got them from finding us and joining our email list, to actually buying from us. So that’s the difference there and how that differs slightly from SEO content.
Rich: Okay. I think we also talked about the idea of a velvet rope when we were chatting last time. And the idea of a velvet rope, in my mind, is you let some people in and you keep some people out. So when you are creating your copy, are you thinking about language that, for lack of a better phrase, might frighten away some of the lower value potential customers? And can you give me some examples of what you might say to identify this as a premium product, premium service premium brand?
Martin: Yeah, so there are a few articles that you can create, very straightforward articles. And if you use video to do this, it’s up to you whatever your preferred content medium of choice is. But one of the best things that you can do right away – anyone who’s listening can create this article, it’s very fun to do – is write down the reasons that you wouldn’t want to work with somebody. What are the main problems that you have had to deal with because of clients in the past?
Rich: That as a vendor, we wouldn’t want to work with a customer who shows these behaviors, or whatever it might be.
Martin: Yeah. So for instance, they want everything done yesterday, might be one. They are not prepared to pay a premium price. Maybe they’re not in the right head space or they’re not at the right time in their business. Maybe they’re really nice people, but they’re just not at the right time. We need to accumulate a list of five to seven, or more if you can, of reasons that somebody might not be in the right position right now to work with you. And that is seven reasons you shouldn’t work with us. And if you use that as your title, then that is an incredibly valuable piece because it’s very click-baity, but it’s actually true. It’s not clickbait if it’s true. You are literally listing the reasons that you will not take somebody’s money, which is very interesting to people that are maybe on the cusp of working with you.
Maybe they’re on your email list. Seeing that as a subject headline, reasons you shouldn’t work with us, is extremely beneficial for you, but also for them as well. It also elevates why you charge what you do. It elevates the fact that it shines a light on the fact that you don’t work with everybody, which is incredibly powerful when it comes to marketing. And throughout the language it’s essentially just a list of things that you do that you really provide value. And everything else is in that list.
Lyndsay: Yeah. And from a copy point of view, if we are thinking about writing this kind of article or doing it on video or podcast or whatever it might be, you could think about the phrases that potentially customers or clients use that you don’t like, that really grate on you. That’s always a good thing to do. So if you’re thinking, I hate it when someone says, “Oh, this’ll just take you five minutes.” Or, “Oh, I would do this myself, but I don’t have time.” “Oh, have you studied for 10 years, or have you got 10 years’ experience?” All those kind of things that really grate on you. Write those phrases down, and basically that can formulate this kind of piece of content.
For example, we say in one of our articles, “If you want a ‘yes man’ or a ‘yes woman’ to just do whatever you want to do and treat you like an employee, then we’re not the right fit for you.” And you can use that. And it’s a very therapeutic thing to do, to be honest. And you can use that to create this kind of content.
Martin: But it just elevates your authority, which is a place that this gardener, this landscaper would want to be. Every business wants to be seen as an authority, because people respect you, they listen to you more, they value your opinion, and you can charge a premium.
Rich: We’ve talked a lot about the copy that we might create on our own website or in other places as will it stretch, but I’m also wondering if you are creating content for a client – you mentioned video, but also photos and testimonials – how might we use tools like that or elements like that to further reinforce the type of clients we best serve?
Martin: I think it’s more about with testimonials in general, I think a really powerful part of testimonials is the sense of, this is what I was before, this is what I thought before, before working with these people this is the mentality that I had. And if people have a similar mentality and then obviously you go on to say, but this is what happened afterwards. I think there’s always a way for you to break… testimonials are great because they allow you to do so many things at the same time, which is the authority.
The problem is that testimonials sometimes can seem manufactured. And we see so many testimonials online as Instagram posts or as LinkedIn posts, and a lot of times it does feel a little bit like you mentally ignore testimonials. I know I do. Especially I see so many SaaS testimonials and you just scroll past.
So testimonials are really important and really powerful, there’s no getting away from that. But I just think they work better if you have, like for instance, I want to work with accountants. That’s my sole purpose is to work with accountants because that’s my dream client for various reasons. So therefore using lots of accountants in there is perfect because you can attract your dream client. And then when you loop that into, “This is what I thought before I worked with Jammy” or whoever, “Here’s where I am afterwards.” It’s easy for people to see.
So yes, they’re helpful. But I think thinking about things from a value perspective is probably far greater of a trigger or as an impact pillar than testimonials in general.
Lyndsay: And things like imagery as well. This is something that we advise to our clients all the time, is that when you are doing photography for your website photography or your social media and things like that, don’t get dressed up. You’re not greeting clients in a suit, then there’s no need to wear a suit for when you’re having your photos done for your website. It’s not something we would do. It’s something that we did a very long time ago when we first started our business when we had our photos done, we got all in suits and things like that. But that’s not how we look day to day, and that’s not how we look when we speak to clients. We’re very casual.
So feature images of yourselves of how you look. And the same with the copy. People tend to go very professional with their website copy, because I think it’s something we’ve learned in school. We have to go very professional and talk in third person and sound a certain way, never start a sentence with “and”, all those kind of rules, when actually that’s generally not how a lot of people talk to their clients. So if you are not talking to your clients in this super professional or corporate manner, then you shouldn’t be doing that on your website. In the same way that your imagery shouldn’t look like that on your website either.
So if you want to attract the kind of clients that you love to work with, think about what kind of conversations you would like to have with clients, what you look like, what you like to look like in front of clients, and those kind of things. And make sure that’s represented in all your imagery and copy as well.
Rich: That makes a lot of sense. Obviously you have a thriving business writing copy for other companies. A lot of people listening are probably like, yeah, I can write my own copy. What is the argument that you would make about, or what are the challenges that a business owner or a director of marketing might have when it comes to creating copy for their own business that’s going to get them this new type of better paying client that you’ve seen out there?
Martin: We’ve done this a lot, so we know what content gets results. And I think the reality is that a lot of people think when they start to go down the rabbit hole in content creation, first of all, can I come up with some ideas? Probably, yes. Can I execute those ideas? Maybe. Maybe a few articles a week, maybe a few articles a month, maybe you can hire internally. And what we found is that there’s two various different people that hire us. Which is people that need the strategy, they need the guidance, they need to know the exact articles months in advance that they need to create in order to get the best results.
And like Lindsay mentioned before, it might be split, it might be 50/50, or what’s your strategy, what’s your goal? I want to get twice as many website visitors to our website. And what’s the other goal? I want to spend 50% of my content on that, and I want to spend 50% on converting people into becoming clients. So there’s a different strategy involved. And nobody really thinks about that, about the different types of content that you need to create to achieve those different goals.
But when we take a client on, we have to know what all those goals are so that we can say okay, here’s the return on this thing that we’ve done for you. Which is great. That makes us sleep at night, which is fantastic. But it also gets you results that if you were to be left to your own devices, you would have to know which pieces, individual pieces of content would get you to the result, and you would have to have the good knowledge of SEO to in order to achieve those things. You’d probably have to have a graphic designer, because we do a lot of graphic design for the content, because design matters hugely. Especially when it comes to making the blog content look good when it comes to creating social media graphics and things like that.
There’s also the element of conversion as well. When you buy products, you need the right nudge in the right direction. So we worked out that for someone to replace what we do, it would probably take three or four full-time members of a team. So the writer, the graphic designer, the SEO professional. And they can do that, by all means. It’s far better for businesses to create their own content because they know the business better than anybody else. It’s just that everybody is busy and nobody’s got time, and they want to make sure that it’s done right.
You could hire a content writer for $200, $300 a pop, and they would send you that blog post every week. And then you have to magic it up into a sale, or twice as many keyword rankings, or five new leads a week, or whatever that would be that has to have that knowledge of how to get from A to B. And knowing all of the pieces of the puzzle is great. This is why we’re so open and honest and transparent.
But we know people do not have the resources to do it themselves, which is why we are not content writers. We run a content agency so that we can manage all aspects and we force people to hit that ‘published’ button because we know how tricky it can be. And we’re like, we’re going to hit that ‘published’ button if you don’t, because we’ve done everything for you, you don’t have to think, we just want to hit that ‘published’ button. And so few times people do. Even when they’ve got a mountain of content on the backend, saved drafts, they still don’t hit it.
Lyndsay: Yeah. And I think we come from a slightly different camp. I think there’s definitely differences with certain copywriters. Some are very worship at the shrine of all words and using them properly and appropriately. And I am not from that camp. I genuinely think that anyone can write good content around their business, especially business owners because they know it inside out. They know their business better than anyone, better than me, better than anyone else. So anyone can create really good content.
It’s just, as Martin said, what you do from there, it’s enhancing it even more. Making sure you understand SEO, graphic design, optimize, all those kind of things. But, I would encourage anyone to start creating content, even if they start doing it themselves. And it starts leading to more leads and sales and then maybe they hire later on when they want to maximize it even more. But, don’t let that put you off.
Rich: Definitely. All right. Awesome. Martin and Lindsay, this has been fantastic. If people want to learn more about you or check out your copy and your agency and your book, where can we send them?
Rich: Excellent. All right. Awesome. Thank you so much for coming by today. Really appreciate your time.
Martin: Thanks so much.
Lyndsay: Thanks for having us. We loved it.
Lyndsay Cambridge and Martin Huntbach specialize in creating content that helps businesses grow and emerge as thought leaders in their industry. Check out their blog for excellent tips and advice. If you’re looking for even more help turning your website into a machine that attracts the right customers and repels the wrong ones, grab a copy of their book today!
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 25+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.