attracting the right audience with content marketing

Business by design: Attracting the RIGHT customers

leonie waldron
Leonie Waldron
Head Strategist
marketing espresso podcast with leonie waldron

I spoke to Bec Chappell on the Marketing Espresso podcast about how you can use your website copy to attract the right people – and deter those that aren’t a good fit. 

Listen to this episode to find out: 

  • Why it’s a good idea to limit who you’re attracting to your business
  • How to grade your current clients to get a better understanding of who is a good fit and why
  • How to use confident copywriting to actively discourage the people you don’t want to work with and attract those you do.

How to attract the right clients to your business

“Don’t be afraid to be confident about who you want to work with. By actively attracting the kind of work that you want to do and the kind of clients that you want to work with, you can run your business by design rather than by default.”

Do you find yourself regularly fielding calls from people that aren’t a good fit for your business?

Bec Chappell invited me on the Marketing Espresso podcast to talk about how to attract your ideal clients through your copy – and equally, deter those that aren’t a good match.

So how do you actually go about doing this? 

If you’ve listened to the podcast you might be thinking ‘ok… so how do I actually do this?’

In this article, I’ve gone into much more detail about how to attract the right clients to your business, using our own website as an example.  

The process looks a little like this: 

  • Review current clients that are a good fit and dig into why you enjoy working with them. On the flip side, think about clients you have that are a pain in the butt: what makes them difficult to deal with? 
  •  Score or rank your clients based on these factors (scroll down to see how I do this)
  • Look at those ranking factors in more detail and think about how you would explain a ‘good fit’ client in conversation. Note down any descriptive words that come up so you can use these in your website copy.
  • Put this into action by dedicating a section on your About page to illustrate the kind of ‘good fit’ clients you work with.
  • If you want to make the self-selection process even easier for potential clients, include a few points that describe ‘not a good fit’ – this allows readers to position themselves somewhere on the scale.

By saying confidently ‘this is who we are and who we work with’ people that are a good fit will feel more aligned with your business. Conversely, if the reader is shaking their head and realising they are not a good match for what you offer, they can move on without wasting their time or yours. 

Let’s look at each of these points in further detail. 

Review your current clients

client ranking

There are many ways to approach this, but a simple average score out of 10 on a spreadsheet is an excellent way to start if you haven’t done an exercise like this before. 

Because we have a smaller client base, I’ve been able to list out all our clients individually, however if you have hundreds of accounts, you might like to take a sample cross-section of different-sized clients. 

Your scoring factors might be different, but I’ve gone with 6 factors that are strong positive indicators for my business: 

Pricing Score

This indicates how appropriately the job, project or retainer is priced. Is there an adequate amount of margin here? In some instances, the work may be priced more cheaply than you’d like, but if the client is low-stress and easy to deal with, or the work does not have a high cognitive load, this can make up for a  bit of a shortfall in margin. In other cases, you might have gone in low or done a deal that you later regret, underpricing the job for the work involved. Make a mental note and use this as a learning experience for next time! 

Prompt Payment Score

Does the client pay their invoices on time? Again, if they are a little slow to pay but score highly elsewhere, this may be a net win. However, if they don’t measure up in other areas AND their invoices are constantly overdue, they’re automatically a bad fit. 

Ease Score

How easy is it to deliver the work? Is there a ton of changes, many levels of approvals, or are you constantly chasing people for sign-off? In my line of work, edits are part of life, just as occasional reworks to a product, or late additions to a building project may be part of your regular course of business. For all of us however, there’s definitely a point of diminishing returns where it becomes excessively time-consuming and complex to manage the account. 

Business Alignment Score

For my business, this factor relates to where the client sits in relation to future goals for the business. Chameleon Marketing Collective is focused on helping small to medium businesses in sectors like manufacturing, industrial, construction, HVAC and safety. If we engaged in content marketing work with a florist, they would not have a good business alignment score, even though content marketing is something we specialise in. Having said that, if they’re paying us the big bucks and are super easy to work with, then we may well take that work on!

Personal Alignment Score

For larger businesses, this ties in closely with your company values. For small businesses like ours, we can rely on personal values and gut feel, and select our clients accordingly. For example, if you were a staunch environmentalist you may not want to engage with a mining company, or if you had strong humanitarian ethics you might want to suss out a business’s supply chain for any indications of modern slavery before you decide to work with them. Refer to your company values, or if you don’t have any documented, imagine your business as a person and see if its values align with those of your clients. 

Future Security Score

It’s much easier to retain an existing client rather than have to chase new business all the time. If your business model is conducive to repeat business it’s a good idea to prioritise clients who have shown an interest in longer-term, ongoing relationships. There’s nothing wrong with clients that have a few suppliers in the wings, but if they are constantly flipping between you and your competitors with zero loyalty, purely buying on price, or pitting you against others to compete for work, they may not be a good fit. 

Turn this exercise into bullet points

Continuing with the above example, we can see that the clients in green have a good spread of positive scores across most factors. If one factor is particularly low, they can make up for it in other areas, but if all factors are low, their scores fall into the orange or red zone. 

Translating this data into bullet points will help you profile your ideal client.

For us, this looks like: 

  • We like clients that have the budget to pay for quality work and don’t squeeze us on price
  • We like clients that pay on time so that we can maintain a healthy cash flow
  • We LOVE it when the relationship is easy and we can get into a good working rhythm without a fiddly drawn-out planning / editing / approval process
  • We work best when we stay in our lane and serve clients in our niche
  • We prefer clients that fit with our personal ethics and work style, ie: they are respectful, organised and calm
  • Our business model is geared towards long-term ongoing relationships, so that’s what we seek out

You can see how the raw data from our spreadsheet can be transformed into a set of guide rails for selecting who we work with.  

Next: build this into your copy


You can see on our About page how we’ve openly laid out the characteristics of a good fit, along with our red flags that indicate a client probably isn’t a good fit. (Here’s another example from one of our clients: Working With Steelcorp: Are We a Good Fit?)

As I mentioned at the top of this article, if your reader is enthusiastically nodding along and self-selecting as a good fit for your business, you’re off to a great start. 

They’ll come to you with a little bit of insight into how you like to work, and won’t be put off if you explicitly mention your preferences during the onboarding process. 

And of course, if your reader is sitting back with their arms crossed saying ‘nup, this doesn’t sound like it’s going to work’, they will go elsewhere: and that’s a win for you.


  • You’re not diluting your sales or ops team’s efforts by asking them to manage an account that doesn’t align with how you manage all your other clients
  • If you’ve positioned yourself at the mid-priced or more expensive end of the spectrum, you’re not wasting time nurturing a lead that doesn’t have the budget for your product or services
  • You’re projecting a confident and open brand personality and setting the tone for the relationship. People buy from people that they know, like and trust, so go ahead and build that trust by being honest about who you want to do business with.

Once you’re comfortable with taking this stance in your website copy, you can start to bring this into different areas of your marketing too. 

Wait – what do we do about low-scoring clients? 

You might be thinking ‘OK, I’ve ranked my clients and realised I have a whole bunch that aren’t a good fit.’

Understand that you don’t have to do anything with these ‘red’ clients right now. You don’t have to break off the relationship or always try and maintain 100% green clients – it’s not achievable, and automatically rejecting clients that aren’t perfect is probably not a commercially sound thing to do.

Instead, aim to do this exercise once a quarter or every 6 months and see if your mix of clients changes over time as you bring more awareness to actively attracting your ideal clients. 

My advice is to take a gradual approach to ‘landscaping’ your client mix so that you can bring more good-fit clients into your business in a sustainable way. 

Remember, ‘when you speak to everyone, you speak to no one’. Don’t be afraid to confidently speak to the kind of ideal customers you want to attract. 

When you’re open about who you want to work with and who you don’t, you can start building a business by design rather than just operating your business by default.

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