So where do your lucrative clients hang out?
And how do you land them once you’ve found them?
Let’s start by finding your ideal clients.
Where are the Lucrative Clients?
If you’ve spent any time in the dung heaps of the client world, like oDesk or Elance, you’re probably already burnt out and pissed at the world for allowing such a mess of low-paying, insignificant job boards to exist.
I won’t disagree with that completely, but keep in mind that this is a great place for new freelancers to start. It’s real experience they can put on their resumes and portfolios. Early on, that experience is worth a lot more than what most people can pay there.
Once you’re past that point though, it’s time to move on.
Here’s some of the best places to find fair and fat-budgeted clients:
The Top 10
The Top 10-20
I know there’s many others; if you know of a better place to find great clients, let us know!
How Do I Convince Them to Hire Me Once I Find Them?
Up to this point, your work has been preparation.
You know what you want from a client.
You know what they want from you.
You know where to find them.
Now it’s time to demonstrate; prove your worth, and land the big ones.
I call it credibility bait.
If you provide a service to your clients, prove to them that you’re the expert in the field. Not an expert — you’re the best, the one and only. You’re the Neo, Mansa Musa and Jesus Christ of your industry, and you have PROOF.
Think about it hard.
What’s the best way to prove your ability?
It starts with your static proof:
It ends with your pitch.
Focus on bringing them value, and leave out your needs. Can you imagine reading a pitch from someone who wants to work for you that starts with:
Dear Hiring Professional,
I only have three rules. First, I don’t do micromanagement. That’s a deal breaker. Second, no contract, no service. Last but not least, I WILL charge for conversations exceeding 30 minutes. My time is precious.
Each of these things is actually very reasonable, but if I can guarantee anything, it’s that this snot-nosed little brat isn’t getting paid by me.
Because even though I need a good hire, I need someone who’s focused on my needs. That’s what I’m paying for right?
That’s the first and biggest “don’t” — don’t focus on you. Focus on showing how your client will benefit from you, over everyone else.
Here’s the rest of them:
Pitching do’s and don’ts:DO: Focus on value first, money later. DON’T: Forget to ask for the sale (call to action). DO: Create your own, personal USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that’ll set you above the competition. DON’T: Use those cheesy freelance pitch templates that everyone and their mother’s freelancing dog is using. DO: Be yourself, but leave the dirty jokes and aspergers at home. DON’T: Brag like an arrogant ass. Exuding confidence is great, and they need to know what you’re capable of — just don’t overdo it. DO: Edit your 9 page proposal into a blistering speck of a 1-page pitch (or less if you can). If you’re Jane Austin’s wordy reincarnation (like myself), do yourself a favor and jump off a cliff. You’ll have better luck if you incarnate back to the 1800’s again. Trust me — it’s either that, or learn to edit. DON’T: Leave out your masterpieces. Even if they don’t ask for them, it never hurts to leave a link or two in the PS section (which usually gets read first believe it or not). DO: Establish an early relationship with your future client before you pitch, whenever possible. You’ll have a massive advantage if you’re the only one who met them face to face and made an impressive first impression.
Here’s my 4-step pitch formula:
Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments!