Choosing the Clients You Want to Work With

Freelancing isn’t all about beach days and lunch dates with friends. In fact, most of the freedom comes from being able to choose the clients you work with. Before you can choose the clients you want to work with, you have to make sure your work is up to snuff.

Create a Process

Before you hop on your first call, before you speak with your first client, get to know their needs.

1. Use typeform to send out questions, fill out a questionnaire, or create some email questions to make everything easy. This will help you vet clients before you hop on a call with them. You can explore budget, constraints, timelines, and goals.

2. Use Dubsado to send and sign agreements.

3. Use Teachable to provide free training to share valuable information, narrow down the action takers, and give your readers valuable information that they couldn’t get elsewhere.

Build Up Your Portfolio

To get the clients you want, you need to have a portfolio that the clients you want want. That’s a lot of wants, but this is a “need” sort of thing. If you have a lackluster portfolio, why would anyone want to work with you? And more important, why would your ideal clients choose you?

  • If you’re just starting out, connect with people who might want free help. Whatever your field, work with clients in exchange for reviews and portfolio cred. The more you do, the better you’ll get. The better you’ll get, the better clients you’ll have.

Connect with a Community

The best way to reach the clients you want is to connect with a community. If you’re selling home furnishings, join a design forum, sign up to contribute to a Facebook group, or start a design chat of your own.

Look for Trigger Words

Create a list of words that you do not want to hear your clients say. Scan your emails for them. If you notice that a potential client is using these words, it might be time to look elsewhere for clients. Your list might look something like this:

  • low cost
  • free
  • expediant
  • difficult

Now create a list of positive trigger words that you do want your clients to say. Some positive trigger words are like this:

  • Personal goal
  • No budget
  • Ready to get started

Write Down Your Goals

A goal list isn’t going to make you a million dollars. It’s not going to change the way people think about you. It’s not going to help you win the NBA finals. We get it. It’s not a magic pill. But thanks to a little thing called science, we know that the act of writing your goals is really important.

  •  Create “SMART Goals” according to business.gov.au. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
  • Create specific goals that will help you attract new clients
  • Develop measurable goals that you can track with systems like Google Analytics or Moz.
  • Create actionable goals based on numbers
    – instead of saying, “I want to get new clients,” say, “I want to make $10,000 next month.”
  • Develop relevant goals that will position you in front of your ideal clients
  • Create timely goals that are targeted at exactly the right times

Market to Your Ideal Audience

Once you have your goals and systems in place, you can stop working forever. Just kidding, but you can start marketing to that ideal audience. Combine your goal list with your positive trigger words and your community marketing efforts and start conversations with your audience.