First of all, it’s rarely quick or easy.
You’ll need a game plan, some mad skills, and some nerve. (Nobody ever talks about that last one.)
10 ideas for you to snag a good client:
No one says you have to go in a gradual upward movement.
If you’ve been doing $100 projects, don’t go after $300 projects, go after $1,000 projects. If you’ve been doing $500-1,000 projects like I was my first year, no reason you can’t start getting $5,000-10,000 ones.
The methods below will help you do that, but I put this one first because getting bigger and better clients starts with the right mindset.
Those clients are out there, and if your skills make you qualified to work with them, a lot of the challenge is in your own head. You have to feel like you deserve these type of clients.
Get yo’self a Rolls Royce!
No, I don’t mean the car, although that would probably help. (Some day I’m going to have a Phantom and I’ll take you for a ride.)
I mean offer a “Rolls Royce” service, a high-end, expensive service. How are you going to get a $10,000 project if you don’t offer one?
(By the way, a high fee is only one of the five criteria for a “good” client. That alone doesn’t constitute a good client, and you can have a good client that maybe only pays you $500 a month. This is just one of ten ideas.)
I’ve been teaching this the past two years at my workshops and in my coaching.
Make it easy for people to buy from you. One way to do that is by offering three service packages, with prices, on your website. A low, medium, and high.
People gravitate toward the middle option, but once in a while someone wants more of what you have to offer. Putting a Rolls Royce service on your website does three things for you. It:
Makes you look like a player. People will take you seriously when you offer a high-priced service.
Gives you confidence, which will show when you’re talking to prospects.
Makes your other services look ridiculously inexpensive. If you offer a $247 entry-level service, and $797 core service, and a $10,000 Rolls Royce service, guess what? That $797 service looks very reasonable.
Give it a try. Come up with a service that would command a high price tag and deliver way more.
Look for common ground.
Everyone wants to know what you’ll do for them, of course. But I can think of three clients I’ve had who turned out to be “good” clients who started because I established some common ground first.
Before talking about me or my services, I talked politics with Mark Everett Johnson, I talked about my very first direct sales job with Dan Kennedy, and I talked about my passion for fitness with Matt Hedman, President of The Perfect Workout.
Let them get to know you, then show them what you can do for them and how you can make their lives easier.
Connect in non-traditional ways.
One of my good clients came as a result of sending a hand-written personal note to her after attending a large event. I doubt if she got very many follow-ups like that, and I also made it clear how I could make her life easier.
I sent Dan Kennedy a FedEx, his normal modus operandi, and kept it very brief. One page in a $15 FedEx envelope.
As I mentioned, I talked politics with Mark Everett Johnson, at an event where everyone else was handing out business cards and portfolio samples. At the end of the conversation we had barely talked business at all, but he said, “Email me when you get home. We’ve got something for you.” (A nice project.)
Say “yes” to opportunities.
This is actually Chapter 13 in my upcoming book, The Freelancer Manifesto.
When someone asked me to be the guest speaker at a Social Media Breakfast in Madison, I said “yes.” Gave me a chance to get in front of 60 local business owners. They took notes on everything I said, and I later connected with some of them and got some business out of it.
When I was asked to be on a panel of speakers in front of 350 of my peers, I said “yes.” When I was asked to be interviewed on a radio station, I said, “yes.” When Ed Gandia asked me to be a guest on his podcast, it took my half a second to say, “yes!”
My point is, put yourself out there and opportunities will present themselves. Hide behind your keyboard and try to do everything online, and it’s probably not going to happen.
Speak, teach, write a book, do interviews, help people who need help!
I know this one isn’t specific with the “how.” It’s more of a mindset thing, like #1.
Ask for introductions.
Want to break into higher social and business circles? You may have to get introduced by someone who’s already there.
Look for opportunities. If someone you know is on a higher plane, in a different circle, ask.
Instead of envying their world the way most people do, get curious. Ask about it, find out more about it, and see if there might be an opening for you to get introduced to someone else in that group.
This is very much a mindset thing, too, but it’s also a get-out-of-your-comfort zone and take action concept, too.
Join paid groups to get access to people you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
I know someone who gained access to Perry Marshall years ago by buying their way into his very high-priced, small group coaching. Same thing with people like Clayton Makepeace, Dan Kennedy, and others.
If you have the money, joining an elite-level mastermind or coaching group can get you instant access to someone who could accelerate your career in a big way.
Don’t go it alone.
Many copywriters hold back. Not because they couldn’t do the marketing and networking to get a good client. But because they’re worried that if they do land one, they’re going to be in over their heads with coming through and delivering.
It’s one of the reasons I offer a Stretch Project service. If you get a project where you need someone to guide you, give you marketing strategy ideas, and act as a copy chief, I can help.
Last year I worked on quite a few of these Stretch Projects, including a couple over $10,000 where the copywriter hadn’t worked on something at that level before.
Working together, they were able to deliver great copy and ideas to their clients, who never knew there was a “secret weapon” behind the scenes.
Whether it’s me or anyone else, get help when you need it. (My fee, by the way, is 20% of the project fee.)
Do these things consistently.
Again, this is a mindset and operational shift idea. You simply have to get comfortable working on a higher plane.
Learn how to sell.
All the mindset shifting, networking, and marketing won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t know how to sell.
Good clients don’t come through your funnel without ever talking to you. Good clients happen because you’re good at selling one-on-one, on the phone and in person.
Start with Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Get Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling and The Sales Bible.
Advance to Oren Klaff’s Pitch Anything if you want to get serious about selling and landing big clients.
And of course, if you haven’t read it yet, get The Freelancer Manifesto: 11 Big Ideas to stand out and thrive in the New Economy. It’ll pay for itself a thousand times over if you apply it.
How have you landed a good client? I’m looking for some good stories. Let me know.