5 Simple Steps to Getting Better Clients

Better clients make for better business. But exactly how do you find and attract better clients in today’s economy?

Working with better clients has distinct business advantages. Think prompt payment and improved cash flow, which is key in today’s uncertain economy.

For many business owners, however, bad clients are all too common. These are the types of clients you have to constantly chase for payment, which is already tough during normal times but even worse when times are tough.

Plus, bad clients are difficult to work with, always requesting changes and expecting you to go the extra mile without paying you a penny.

I found myself working with a lousy client early in my writing career. Not only were they always running on tight deadlines, but getting paid by them was a nightmare. Nevertheless, I continued writing for them because I naively thought things would change.

And when things didn’t change (surprise, surprise), I eventually got fed up and sent them an email politely telling them that I wasn’t going to write for them until all outstanding payments were made. I waited more than a month for my money. Needless to say, I no longer write for that client.

Instead, I now focus on finding better clients: Those who pay me well and on time, give me a constant stream of work, are a pleasure to work with and give me the opportunity to grow by allowing me to develop and hone new skills.

By working with these clients you don’t experience cash flow issues due to late payments. This means you can cover your day-to-day costs without having to worry about how you’re going to get the cash. Not to mention the benefits of less stress and anxiety because you’re not worrying about money.

But how exactly do you find and attract these clients? Let’s have a look.

Step 1: Define Your Ideal Client

If you currently have one client who you consider to be better than others, use them as a template to help you find others like them.

But make sure you know what makes them a perfect client. Is it because they’re easy to work with and pay you on time? Perhaps they give you referrals and a constant stream of work you enjoy doing?

Enjoying what you do is just as important as getting paid and helps you find clients like them. For example, if you enjoy developing websites for small retailers and craftspeople and find that to be a rewarding market to serve, you’ll know, for instance, that you hate working for large retail chains.

If you don’t have clients you can use as a template, don’t worry. You can still define your ideal client by looking at what you don’t like about your existing clients. For instance, if you have a client who you always have to convince about the value of your services, and who haggles you on price, your dream client would be the opposite.

Defining your dream client from the start will give you criteria that you can use to assess all future clients. And, it’s essential that you assess clients based on those criteria. Often freelancers are so keen to land the work, that they don’t notice red flags in the onboarding process.

Red flags may include

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