The most successful creative entrepreneurs deliberately alienate those customers who don’t matter in order to more strongly embrace those who really do matter.
Not all customers are good customers and marketing is about choosing the right customers; it’s not about trying to please everyone. Of course this means you have to choose which customers not to deal with. It’s scary to deliberately turn your back on potential customers – but not if you end up facing the right ones and then have the time, energy and resources to serve them wholeheartedly.
Alienating bad customers isn’t a matter of being rude or unprofessional. Increase your prices and unprofitable customers will walk away; ask for a percentage of the fee upfront and the non-payers won’t sign the contract.
Shout loudly about your values and the people who don’t share them won’t knock on your door (but those who do, will ). Tell people about your personality (and your team’s) to deter people who aren’t going to like you and at the same time attract customers who will love you.
Your marketing strategy involves deciding which types of customers to alienate so you can really embrace the right ones. Strategy involves saying no.
In this way you can both alienate and embrace customers, by deterring bad customers and attracting the good ones.
There is more information about profitable marketing strategies, choosing the right customers and increasing prices in my book ‘Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success. 63 Tips, Techniques and Tales for Creative Entrepreneurs’.
And you can read more about marketing in the free eBook version of ‘T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity’.