Probably the hardest part of a freelancer’s work is getting work. I mean, if you like what you do (design or code) you’ll probably prefer doing iteration for the millionth time then cold calling clients or elevator pitching to some stranger. Most of freelancer’s are not natural sales people and that’s completely understandable, you don’t need to use any salesman text book bullshit, you just have to know how to present your work in the best way possible. Here are a couple of tips on how to do it right:
First of all understand that you don’t have to take any client that comes your way
I know you need the work, but trust me on this, no client is much better then a bad client.
When I say bad client i don’t mean his a bad person but a one that you get the wrong vibes in when you meet. Clients that try in every way to get you to lower your rates, that seem to not respect you as a professional but treats you as if you owe him something. Bad client will suck your energy, cost you money and will cause real damage to your business, so don’t be afraid to use your judgment and reject certain clients.
Forget your sales pitch at home.
If your passionate about what you do it will show. when meeting a potential client be a make sure to listen to what he has to say and offer real solutions to his problem, It’s all about making the client feel that he has someone he can trust as oppose to someone who only see’s him as a dollar bill.
It’s important to make sure that you and your potential client are on the same page. Not only about the result but also about the process , the clearer you get about the way you do your job and what the client is to receive at the end of the process the better. Don’t try to paint a pretty picture that you can not live up to, be professional and honest.
Let Your experience shine
A great way to make a potential client feel that he is in the right hands is to demonstrate how you solved similar problems to his for other clients. If you already have a proven track record make sure your client know about it. Don’t be shy about mentioning past projects and how you solved problems for past clients, this is the only part where I feel it’s good to be a bit old school salesman and boast about your achievements.
The Illusion of Size
Some clients feel more comfortable to work with an agency while some prefer to work with a single freelancer. As a rule of thumb, bigger companies will prefer working with agencies while small companies prefer working with freelancer (thinking it will be cheaper and more personal). When you meet a potential client try and sniff out which one is standing in front of you adjust your story accordingly. If you work alone you can say that you have a team of freelancer that you work with when you need to and that it’s a more dynamic way of working.
After a while you will defiantly craft your own moves and find what works for you and what doesn’t. What ever it is you do, remember to be honest and professional, that way you can’t go wrong.
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