Sick and Tired of Bad Clients? Here’s How to Get the Clients You Deserve
Isn’t it wonderful when a client finds you and offers you steady high-paying freelance work? This is the type of client that you deserve.
This happened to me twice recently. Both clients were healthcare marketing agencies who found me on LinkedIn. The first agency asked me to write a monthly e-newsletter for one of their clients, and offered a very good project rate. We started working together right away and this client has become one of my anchor clients.
The second client also offered me interesting and steady freelance work. But when I told the client what I charge, she replied that this was “high” and that she needed to find out “whether I can afford you.” I knew immediately that it was very unlikely she would or could pay me what I’m worth. The client said that she would talk to her client and get back to me if the client agreed to pay it. I didn’t hear back from her.
So I lost this client. And I was glad about it.
My Red Velvet Rope Policy
While it is sometimes tempting to take steady but low-paying freelance work that comes along, it’s not worth it. If I worked with this client, then I’d have less time for high-paying clients and freelance work. And I’d start to resent this client for not paying me what I’m worth.
Instead, I chose the “hard way”: figuring out which clients I really wanted to work with who can pay me what I’m worth. These are the clients I deserve, and the clients every freelancer deserves.
Michael Port calls this the “red velvet rope policy” and says, “Clients who are not a good fit will suck your energy dry.” Port is the author of Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (also available in a fun illustrated version).
The right clients, says Port, will energize and inspire you, and boost your confidence. “Don’t waste your valuable time working with people who aren’t your ideal clients. I promise that this never works out well. Get very clear on who you want to work with and only work with those clients. Your business will thrive when you work with the right people,” he says.
Getting steady, high-paying clients takes a lot more work than simply taking whatever work comes along. But when you put in the work, you’ll be more successful and much happier.
How to Get the Freelance Work and Clients You Deserve
Right now, I’m working on new ideal client prospect lists. Having a money-making specialty with lots of demand for my services (medical writing) makes finding and attracting the right prospects easier. Then I’ll use what Port calls direct outreach to attract some of them. The type of direct outreach I like best is direct email.
When my ideal clients get my direct emails, my client-focused LinkedIn profile and website (currently being re-designed) will help me attract them. And I’ll follow up politely and professionally with prospects who don’t respond to my first direct email. I also have a strong network, which often brings me referrals.
How Freelancers are Finding the Clients They Deserve
These steps are part of the proven process that I’ve been using since 1997 to build a 6-figure freelancing business in 18 months. I’ve been teaching other freelancers how to use this process in Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve, a 7-week online course.
The process is a lot of work. I won’t tell you it’s not. But the freelancers who do the work, see the results.
Just ask Oki Dzivenu, DPhil, ELS, who launched his freelance medical writing business in 2017.
“Unlike other businesses coaches who make outlandish promises to lure unsuspecting students, Lori never shied away from emphasizing that, if you put in the work, you’ll get the results you want and deserve,” he says. “To my utmost surprise, I got my first client even before I completed the course!”
Read Oki’s case study.
Need Help Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve?
Check out my 7-week online course, Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve. The course helps new, aspiring, and experienced freelancers learn the most effective ways to target and reach the right clients.