It’s not about how many clients you have, it’s the quality of the client. You want to attract clients who have bigger budgets so that you can raise your rates and get out from that hamster wheel.
Where is the money
First is to know where the money is coming from.
I love music, I love listening, playing and exploring new bands.
I also like the design, the aesthetic of metal and hard rock music.
Though new bands often don’t have the budget to spend on their marketing or website development.
That’s often left for beer.
So I wouldn’t want to go after them as an ideal client.
However since I enjoy the creative arts, folks who sell services, sell products (both digitally and physical), makers of all shapes and sizes who already build their businesses online.
Well those are folks could be potential clients.
Go get them
Once you’ve established where the money is, it’s time to go out and get the work.
They won’t automatically find you and come knocking on the door. You will need to prospect.
This means having finding people to have conversations with, sending emails to, and have Skype calls with.
Once you’ve established yourself with some sort of track record, which I talk about in episode 140 – How can I start freelancing as a web developer?, the prospecting becomes easier to do.
You’ll start to see that more clients come to you. But that does take time and that’s why prospecting is so important.
Put up the velvet rope
Sure clients with bigger budgets want their solution delivered to them with great success, but they also want to feel like they are spending wisely.
This means, putting up a velvet rope, or as I call it a Project Brief.
Even if you initiated the conversation, have them fill out an application. This velvet rope not only shows that you have been down the road before, but it also gives the perception that you don’t just let anyone be a client of yours.
There is a bit of psychology here where if there’s a gated community, us humans want to be in it.
Then as that client progresses through working with you, delight them in unexpected ways.
Send a welcome packet. Send them personalized notes and cards. Send them unexpected gifts that relate to their business.
These tiny gestures go a long way in the good feeling of spending a lot of money.
Walk the walk
The final tip here is a bonus one, but it’s important.
You want to walk the walk. Meaning, have your energy and your language reflect that of what’s attractive to those higher budget clients.
For example: if you are going after large corporate brands in the finance industry, you best dust of that suit and tie and not show up for a face to face meeting, or even a video call in a t-shirt.
Here are some further resources that you'll want to check out that directly relate to the show.
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