So, you plan to work from home, or you are already doing so, and you want to attract Clients…
Especially, your ideal ones. What do I mean by that?
You know, your ideal clients are the ones who love what you do, and they like you personally. You fit with each other, you understand their concerns and needs before they are even addressed, and they are expressing their satisfaction openly, not only to you, but to their friends as well, and they bring you more clients of their kind.
On the other hand, if you try to work with clients who are not your ideal ones, you will suffer a lot, both sentimentally and economically. These people are the ones who are never satisfied with what you have to offer, they change their mind “like a girl changes clothes”, they are influenced by random, ignorant relatives or friends, they cost you a lot more time than what they pay for, and sometimes, they allege a crazy dissatisfaction so that they pull through from giving the money they owe you… and if you dare to dissent them, they bully you in such a way that you come to wish you never had a business of your own.
I have been working for more than nine years as a freelancer from home, and I have collected both types of clients many times. In the beginning, I thought that something wrong was with me, and I let clients treat me so disrespectfully. Other times, I thought I probably needed to be more educated in my field to gain respect. Then, I also thought I should try harder to give even better quality service so that they would be pleased… well, nothing worked. And still, now and then I would meet the other type of clients, my Ideal clients, and we would fit together so well, we would work in cooperation properly, they would respect my time and expertise, they would pay all the money upfront and they would introduce me to their friends for more business to come…
So, finally, I “received the enlightenment” that there was nothing wrong with ME. The problem was with the bad clients. They were just bad. Period. In that case, what should I do to attract more of the good quality clients and reject the bad ones before we even started a business together? Here is what I figured out and did, so that my lifestyle, my income, and my reputation increased 1000%! Read my advice and learn it by heart. In addition to this, implement it NOW as it can guarantee the well-being of your business… for now and the years to come.
Sit down and write your “Cooperation contract.”
Write down all the things that you want to have in place before you start working with a new client. I would recommend being totally strict with the following things:
- Between which hours you are available during the day, and for how long each time: Do you want your clients calling you in the mornings, in the evenings and during the night? Do you want them to feel free to trouble you on your vacations, on holidays, on your weekends with your family or whenever you try to put your children to sleep? Of course not. Give them an “Only for Business” phone number and make clear when you are truly available.
- Concerning money, how much your service costs (always give the same price to every prospect client) and also demand a hearty deposit before any deal is done. Do not ever dare to work without getting a deposit. This will determine whether your client is reliable to full pay you or not. Don’t be confused by rumors that say “this is how the market works,” “we live in difficult times,” “other professionals don’t get deposit” and things like that. Let the freebie seekers trouble “the other professionals,” not you.
- Explain that if they don’t pay you all the agreed amount of money after a deadline, you will not deliver the final product or service and you will not give back their deposit. Make this clear with big letters. You don’t want to call your client, again and again, asking for money, and feeling like a beggar. If you let this happen, you won’t have the strength to keep on working for more than three clients of this kind. You will quit your business and your ambitions… ingloriously.
- Last but not least, let them know you are an expert in your field, not their mother in law or their cousin. They should never ask advice from random people who are not familiar with what you are doing. Make clear that in case they change their mind with their requests – after you have spent time working on them – there will be a penalty of raising the price for about 20%. And this should be a deal for each time they ask you to change things they have previously approved.
Understand that you don’t need clients. They need you.
You do your job in the best possible way, and that’s it. So when a client comes, he needs what you offer. Don’t see him as your only source of income and prosperity. You may have more clients in the future, and if this client is not an ideal one, he will drain your time and energy, and you won’t be able to bring more income before you recover working with him. So, don’t show needy. If a client does not approve your rules, let him go and trouble someone else. On the other hand, if they see you are not needy and they are good quality clients, they will respect you more for that, and they will feel safe that you do your job as efficiently as they want and expect. You want clients who Trust and respect you, not clients who do business with you because they know they can take advantage of your insecurity and manipulate you. Never accept bullies for clients. Ever.
Be positive, avoid talking too much but listen a lot, let your client express what he/she wants and figure out together if you are a good fit.
In this way, you will know exactly what your client wants and needs and you will be clear on how much you should charge him or her, and how much time you will need to deliver your service. When you are clear on those two things, your clients are calm, they feel safe, and they cooperate well with you, without being manipulative, difficult or suspicious.
All these ideas are essential to distinguish with whom you are working and with whom you are not. But there is one more thing, the most essential that will help your ideal client to separate you from the crowd and choose you, and only you to work with. This is:
Be Authentic, Embrace who you are, BE YOURSELF!
As I mentioned before, you can’t please everyone. And you can’t work with everybody. Your knowledge, no matter how great it is, it still comes limited. And your time and energy, unfortunately, is not enough either… even if you try to work long hours during the day, during the weekends and on holidays. So, don’t try to please everyone. This is the most terrible mistake freelancers, and Home Based Entrepreneurs do: They believe in scarcity, and they think they will have to put up with any client that comes through their way. They say easily “yes.” They change their style, their attitude and they even make discounts on their values so that they please their clients. And what do they get? Limited income, dissatisfied clients, low energy and a very disappointed family. So, Be yourself, be authentic, and your ideal clients will adore you for what you truly are and for what you really can provide them with. Trust your guts. You are already perfect. Not for everybody, but you are perfect for your perfect clients; the only ones whom you want to attract and work with.