This is something that I’m sure you’ve asked before, right?
I’m going to share with you 4 strategies and biggest tip on this but I want to ask you to be open to hearing me out for the next few minutes here
It all starts with your mindset. The reason you ask this is because you are stuck in hamster wheel that is the feast or famine cycle.
Clients are the blood of your business, yes, but you are the brain of the business and need to control it so that the success of it is driven by the actions you do.
You may be working on projects that are one-off and not recurring based and that’s ok. But often times when you ask this, you haven’t put in the effort, the time to properly set yourself up for consistent work.
Prioritize the money
This includes dedicated sales and marketing time on your calendar every single week. When I first start, I blocked out time every single Tuesday between 7 PM and 8 PM to do lead generation. Now I dedicate mornings to sales activities. Things like writing emails, performing outreach, and even having sales calls.
The consistent work you do for sales means that you will always have a pipeline of leads and clients coming into your business.
Guard your time
Another reason you ask this is that you aren’t protecting yourself and your business. Chances are good that are reacting to your clients instead of making your time a priority. What I mean by this are things like:
- You answer your client emails off-hours or as soon as they come in.
- You allow your clients to text you or call you anytime instead of scheduling a call.
- You stop everything you are doing to address your client requests most of the time.
I get that you have a client services business, and these things happen from time to time, but they can’t be the norm.
A client thinks about their business and you should think about yours. You hopefully have multiple clients and you have your own business to run as well.
If you react, rather than plan ahead for client requests, you’ll be continually chasing down requests. Dedicate a day of the week or multiple days if needed, where your focus is on a specific client. Share that with them if you have to.
You’ll be surprised how receptive they will be when you tell them that you’ll look at this on Wednesday when you are working on their project.
Talking with your clients increases your value
This leads me to the next thought and that it create boundaries and expectations. This may surprise you, but clients often will see the communication as a value. Simply by sharing with them your plan for the week when it comes to their work or sharing with them an inside look at the very beginning of working together how it will be goes a long way in creating a sense of a higher value for your services.
It shows a level of professionalism that they don’t get from someone else. Communication is what business owners want more than anything else. If you have clients asking you a status on something, then start re-thinking about how you are communicating with them.
Raise your rates
And finally my biggest tip when it comes to this that you are more likely undercharging what your worth.
If you land a project and halfway through that project you are already looking to get that next sale because you need the money, then something is wrong somewhere.
Either your expenses are too high, or that you aren’t charging enough for the time and experience you are putting into the project.
If you are asking for 50% up front and then find yourself eating ramen three-quarters of the way through the project, then you haven’t charged enough. That 50% should last you through the entirety of the project, so that the final payment is profit in your business.
Building profit in your business is a must. That profit should be re-invested in your business as a tool for growth and opportunity. Having a buffer, or profits, in your business allows you breathing room so there isn’t a need to constant need to always get that next project.
If you have a pipeline of leads in your business, the profits will allow you to make sure that you are only taking on clients that are right for you and the business. You don’t want to see red flags and still take on those projects anyway.
That’s the surefire way to get stuck in the feast or famine cycle, I promise you.
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach