So how do you add professional, well paying clients that you actually enjoy working with to your roster? Working toward an exceptional client list will take you some time and possibly a monetary investment, so here is the breakdown:
Top 5 ways to garner great clients (just takes a little of your time):
- Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others so you can spot the red flags early. You’ll then make better decisions about who should be on your client roster. It will also be the basis for your own personal “Do not do work for” list. Your list may contain friends or family if any of them were high maintenance or a bad payer in the past.
- Make a list of your dream clients and then search the Web, Google, the Yellow Pages, media outlets (trade magazines, newspapers, etc.) to narrow the best fit for your size and type of business. I landed a high paying job with an ad agency after finding them in the yellow pages of all places.
- Connect through social networks, especially LinkedIn. Ask for referrals and introductions to better clients. It also helps you stay current on what is going on with your dream list of clients, so if a hopeful opportunity opens up, you’ll be one of the first notified.
- Market yourself and ask others to do the same. If you have a stellar client, there’s a good chance they know other perfect clients for you, so ask them to refer you, or to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you, etc. Have a tough time asking? Right after you complete a successful project, ask then. It will be easier.
- Decline all future projects from those deadbeats that have roped you in this long! As Dyana Valentine would say “I give you permission to say No!” If you cringe or get a stomach ache when you work with a certain client, graciously reply to their request for future work with a “so sorry, I cannot fit you into the schedule” or any other appropriate, professional dismissal that works.
Anything to add?
And tune in for Part 2 where I'll outline 5 ways to garner your ideal clients once you've done all this....