5 Reasons You’re Struggling with Few Clients and Little Income Right Now

Many of us are struggling to keep our little businesses alive, especially over the summer months. In most cases, we’re neglecting to take care of just a few simple things that can turn things around quickly.

By drawing our attention to them, we can inject life into our business, and generate sustenance for ourselves in return.

Here are five reasons you aren’t bringing in the clients and income you want right now:

1. Your potential market is too damn big

Make things easier and more focused for everyone by targeting your service to a smaller, more defined group of distinct people. Quit trying to please a wider range of people.

Concentrate on landing one single client for now. Then gradually build to three, then five, then fifteen if your business needs it. For the most part, if you have a service, you only need between five and fifteen regular and loyal clients.

It’s much easier to deliver a truly awesome service to a few people. It’s easier to put in the research and action to find these people, and it’s easier to stay truly relevant to their deepest needs in this way.

Go back to the clients you have had in the past. Talk to them, and over-deliver.

Create a business with one – just one – ideal client in mind. The others will follow. You must prioritise this today if you lack clients.

2. You don’t talk to enough people

You might have a distinct target market, but if you don’t take regular action in connecting with the people within that group of prospects, old clients, connectors and leads, you are mistaken if you expect to land new jobs.

In my course, I advise you to keep a visible record or list of prospects that you review each week. For those people within that list that are due contacting, you must do so, to keep work and money coming in.

If you aren’t regularly pinging and connecting with people, old and new, via offline networking, emailing, social media, and calling, you are missing the point.

3. You don’t have a clear idea of what is going on

If you want to get from point A to point B (on a journey you have never taken before, i.e. your career) and you do not have a map in your hands, you will likely get lost.

In the same way, you need a plan for your business, and you need to know where you are going and where you actually want to go. This stems also from knowing what is possible.

Read up on what other role models have been able to do. Work out what is possible for you and have a real think about what you really want and what you want your life to look like in a few years.

Sit down and plan how you will do this and how your business will help you do so.

Create your own map.

Image source: Stocksy
Image source: Stocksy

4. You are stealing from yourself

Many of us steal every day.

We steal from ourselves most commonly, in the form of draining ourselves of energy. Drinking, negative thinking, smoking, eating too many simple carbs and sugars, and lacking exercise are all get-quick sources of energy drain.

Do less of these and more of the things that build energy like sleeping better, working out, lifting weights, and eating good stuff.

It is so simple, but so bloody hard. But it gets easier when you push passed the tough stuff at the start.

With more energy, you will be gob-smacked at how you begin to kick rump at stuff once more.

5. You still don’t have a clear, obvious product

A lot of us make things too complicated when it comes to deciding what to focus on. In the case of our businesses, I still see so many of us trying to do too much.

Too many different products and services and options for clients and customers. Stop making it hard for clients to decide on choosing you.

Make it obvious with a useful, simple solution to a real need people are having and are willing to pay for.

Add further features and benefits later, after clients have worked with you on the simple option.

Put effort into how you present your work to the world. Understand that good, simple design is extremely important. Invest in this as you invest time into your skills.

Be ruthless with how you protect the clarity and completion of anything you produce. Be a beast with avoiding distractions and turn them off as you craft something of beauty.

Create a magnificent product for a select few people and the rewards will be huge*.

*Click here to tweet and share

Overall, realise that we all share these problems in varying degrees, at one point of time or another. Focus on one point, one step at a time. You will get to a stage where things begin working for you, so do not stop!

My course on getting illustration clients is here. It will help any creative freelancer.


  1. “You are stealing from yourself” is such a good advice to always keep in mind. Thanks for that and for the excellent other tips. You have a small typo in the first heading “You’re potential market” should be “Your”. Thanks again. Cheers.

  2. Inspiring! I’m an illustrator and I do realize that usually I’m the one that is standing between myself and success… especially when it comes to feel like my work is good enough to contact people about it. I will definitely write a list of people, agents and creative directors, to start contacting them little by little… so thank you for the push!

  3. I really enjoy reading your posts Alex. They are light, too the point but very helpful. It’s easy to share them with friends because they are non offensive and honest insight. Thank you very much for your professional posts. I’m in the process of a start up right now and the information available is very watery and generic.

  4. HI Alex, I can resonate with ALL of the 5 comments above.. . anything I try.. gets a knockback,… As a healer, I am .. struggling to heal myself at present…Thank you.. for slapping me in the face with this blog.

  5. All these points are dead on and I can definitely attest to #4. It’s amazing how a healthy diet and regular exercise impacts your thinking. Nothing like having a clear and fresh mind to come up with great, new ideas!

  6. Rereading this post, I wonder if point #3 may have been written for people who already understand what this ‘road map’ is…I’ve read posts about setting one’s goal and the journey towards it, so I get what you’re saying– but is this point actually helpful for a person with zero knowledge who ended up here through a Google search? Won’t they feel even more left in the dark? They may think “So I need a plan…what’s a plan?!”

    How about linking to one of your other articles with a practical example, like the ‘How to Predict What You Will Earn from Your Creative Business Each Month’ one? (Not the most related example, but the infographic gives the reader a place to start.)

    Love the stuff you do, btw. Red Lemon Club is one of the few websites where studying and self-development becomes fun. 🙂

  7. Bangin’ article but you know sometimes people are just as happy at a buffet as they are in a sushi bar. Much love.

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