The Four Bucket Approach and Working with Buckets Three and Four

In my last email, we talked about the Four Buckets for Bringing in New Clients, and specifically how to work with Buckets One and Two

The Four Buckets are:

  • Bucket One: Folks you already know who you would love to work with, but you haven’t expressed that to them or made the invitation to them to work with you.
  • Bucket Two: Folks who know you and believe in you who might know people who would be appropriate for you to work with
  • Bucket Three: Folks who know you exist but for whatever reason have not chosen to work with you yet
  • Bucket Four: Folks who don’t yet know you exist or anything about what you do

I wrote here about how and why to reach in to Buckets One and Two: :

I recommend starting with Buckets One and Two because of the strength of the connection. For Buckets Three and Four, the connection grows weaker, and it takes much more effort and presence on your part to have an impact. Reaching into Buckets Three and Four often takes more time and energy to produce results.

And yet, if you truly don’t have many people in the first two Buckets, then you do need to focus your time and energy on building the connections that will support you long-term in finding new clients.

That’s the work of reaching into Buckets Three and Four.

In Bucket Three would be anyone who in already in your circle: they follow you on FB, they are on your email list, they belong to networking groups you are a part of. You have some way of reaching out to these people, whether through personal email, your email list, on social media, by phone, or in person.

The strategy for reaching in to Bucket Three would include BOTH raising your general level of expression in the world (so people are clear what you work on and experience your insights) and making clear, direct offers inviting people in those groups to work with you.

So for Bucket Three – for folks who know you exist but haven’t chosen to work with you – the opportunity is to step into your Potent Expression. To share what you know, what you see, and what you believe regularly, frequently, and whole-heartedly. To bring the table the fullest, clearest, most aligned version of yourself.

You want to establish a somewhat consistent schedule to put who you are, and what you do out in the world. This allows people to decide if they resonate with you, your view, your approach, or whether they don’t.

(And not resonating is GOOD. I celebrate when people unsubscribe from my list, because it means they’ve made an active decision that what I am isn’t right for them, which means they and I can move on to more fruitful connections. The only reason to be sad when someone unsubscribes is if you know in your heart you haven’t been allowing the full force and power of who you are to be seen.)

Every time you share with this level of clarity and potency, the people who know you will either move closer, or further away. And over time, these people who know you, but haven’t chosen to work with you, will understand more and more clearly why they might choose to work with you.

Sharing good content is great. And, as with Buckets One and Two, you also want to make invitations. You want to make clear offers of something people can say yes or no to.

Those offers could be to attend a teleclass or a workshop. They could be offers to have a conversation about working together. They could be offers to a long-term program. It’s an offer to whatever it is that you currently have for sale.

The language of the clear offers would be similar to what I recommended for the referral letter: here’s what I do, here’s who I work with, here’s what happens when we work together. If you offer primarily private work, you might decide that you will email your list three times in the next two months with a direct invitation to have a conversation about working together privately.

When you feel you are regularly taking action to cultivate the interest and attention of those in Bucket Three, you can turn to Bucket Four.

Bucket Four consists of people who don’t know you exist. Strangers.

Cultivating connection and sales with this group requires the most time and energy.

There are two main ways to approach people who don’t know you exist.

One is to get out in the world and go places where you think your Thrilled Beyond Belief Clients might hang out. If you don’t live a life that puts you in contact with those clients, I would begin what may be a long, slow process to figure out where you can cultivate these kinds of connections. To make it a part of the life you move into.

The second way to reach out to people who don’t know you exist is to use traditional online and offline marketing strategies to bring people into your world.

This can include: search engine optimization, Facebook ads, joint ventures, participating on summits. It can include offering something for free (be it a webinar or a free report) to entice people into your world and expose them to you and your thinking (much as we discussed in reaching out to Bucket Three).

Public speaking is another way to get in front of new people. (Or the virtual equivalent – being a guest on a blog or podcast). You can post flyers for events or business cards where your people are likely to see them.

Reaching out to people who don’t know you exist is the probably the most time and energy intensive strategy. If what you offer is straight-forward and easy to understand, it’s easier to make those immediate connections. Which of course is why so many marketing techniques are taught around defining the urgent problem, and offering the known solution!

If what you do is less obvious, or takes more time to understand, you may have to work harder and take more action to persuade these new people, these strangers, to take steps into your world.

Whether it’s online or whether it’s in real life.

You may find the process messy. There may be lots of trial and error. You may not know if something you try will work until you do it.

You can go to meetings, and gatherings, and parties, and conferences and workshops.

You can use LinkedIn to identify key people, and slowly build a connection with them.

You become someone who cultivates connections as a way of life.

Who follows up, and expresses interest, and has conversations and lunch with people, and builds relationship.

You identify key people in your community, centers of influence in your world, and you build connection with them. You figure out who is who, and where you need to be to be part of the conversation.

Not everyone is designed to be a networker. But I am not sure any of us are off the hook for being people who build networks of connection that can support us and the work we do.

If we don’t already have some level of connection and community as a resource,, we need to take on the long-term work of building it.


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