You’ve always known that the 9 to 5 wasn’t going to be your way. You’ve always wanted something more. Something that allows you to carve out a niche for yourself in the business world on your own terms. Even from a young age you’ve had the spirit of an entrepreneur. You’ve always loved using your imagination, creativity and people skills to make money. And as an adult, you know that the digital realm is full of opportunities for enterprising individuals who are ready to take their products or their skills directly to the consumer.
But if you want to create a business of your own without incurring huge overhead costs, the life of a freelancer will undoubtedly appeal to you. It affords you a great combination of freedom and autonomy. It allows you to plan your work around what matters most in your life. But, if you’re not careful, it can also see you working long hours for low pay, trying to cater to clients who will never pay you what you’re worth. To succeed as a freelancer, you need to make yourself look as appealing as possible to the kinds of high-paying clients who will take your career to the next level.
Here’s how you do it…
Invest in your image
First of all, if you have your sights set on the big fish, you need to have some attractive bait on your hook. That means investing in your online image. High paying clients will likely have bigger budgets and more resources than your lower-paying clients, but this also means that they probably have less free time to investigate prospective freelancers.
As such, you need to ensure that you come across in all the right ways online. Here are some tips to help there;
- Create a professional looking website (or at least a LinkedIn profile) with samples of your work.
- Invest in virtual assistant services that give your operation a sense of scope.
- Incentivise previous clients to leave referrals. Social proof matters!
- Whether you make a living as a writer or not, a blog can be a great way for clients to start building a relationship with you and get to know your skills.
Get to know their problems
You’re probably not going to engage high-paying clients by convincing them how amazing you are. Or, at least, not solely by convincing them how amazing you are. You’ll need to show that you understand and can respond to the problems, frustrations and pain points they face. Your blog is a great way to demonstrate your understanding of this. One of the reasons why many freelancers fail to engage the big clients is because they’re writing for the wrong audience.
Take the time to do your research, analyse their corporate structure, and try to pre-empt their problems.
Prepare samples of work from similar clients
You don’t need to have worked for a client that has the same size and scope as the big fish you’re trying to land. But if they operate in the same space and have similar needs (as far as your craft is concerned) that’s a great starting point.
Go into your pitch talking about them and their needs rather than yourself and you’ll fare well.
And finally… Be persistent
Clients are busy. They forget to call back. And that’s okay. You need to master the fine art of being persistent and making sure that you follow up on your contact with them without becoming a nuisance. A little tenacity simply shows that you care.