I once got some great advice about dating: “Want to date a ’10’? Then be a ’10’.”

The same is true in business. If you want ’10’ clients — well-known, high-paying, exciting assignments — then you have to be a ’10’ developer/designer.

Sometimes that means reinventing yourself. Fortunately, that’s not terribly hard to do in business. In fact, I’m doing some reinvention of my own right now. I’ve grown a bit weary of certain types of clients that call from time to time (boring, me-too companies), and want to work exclusively with dynamic companies with unique business propositions.

So:

– I’ve gotten testimonials/endorsements from investment bankers and others who work with these sorts of companies.

– I’ve built up referral releationships with the same folks (and continue to do so).

– Coming soon is a new website with a value proposition/marketing message that speaks more powerfully to my target audience.

– I’ve adjusted my solution set to meet the needs of this group.

– I’ll be writing and speaking to this group shortly, in order to get visible.

We create perceptions of ourselves through our language and through our appearance (both in marketing materials and in how we carry ourselves).

In a snap, we can determine to be something different and carry that off — so long as we have the kind of language and appearance that resonates with our intended audience.

Note: If you think this means “fake it til you make it” it doesn’t. It’s more than that. You have to have substance behind you, in the form of experience, a sound understanding of your market’s needs, a marketing message that get their attention, and a network that endorses you. It takes time, but you can do it.

Think a bit about what a ’10’ client is to you, and how you can reinvent yourself to be a ’10’ service provider.

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