Mar 30 / Matt Saunders

Amazing Clients, This Way! 👉

To get better freelance clients you must focus on selling the outcome those clients will get from working with you.
I went self-employed in 2009. At first I took on every project that came my way. I built an e-commerce site for somebody who'd designed their own sports product. I created a CRM for someone who put For Sale signs up for estate agencies. I did SEO for a bathroom tiles company.

And whilst these were all valuable experiences from a skillset perspective, the clients themselves? Not so good.

They were disengaged, unclear on their goals and always pushing down on price. They were a bit of a nightmare, if I'm being honest.

This was in stark contrast to what I had seen in agencies. My agency friends were working on £50k+ websites. Their work was creative and their clients were actual partners.

These projects had their challenges, for sure, but they were much better than what I was getting. I had to ask why?..

Like attracts like

The truth is, I saw my work as having little value. I didn't believe I could help these clients upscale their businesses. I got into web development as a hobby, and I carried this mindset into my profession.

When something is fun, you don't necessary understand it has tangible, real-world value too.

And the problem with seeing things in this way is that you attract clients with low self-belief too.

Here's what I've learned: when clients are pushy, constantly changing their minds and trying to cut your fees, it's nearly always because deep down they don't believe what you're doing is going to work.

So if I didn't believe it, and they didn't believe it, you can see why these projects didn't amount to much.

I had to improve my mindset if I were to start attracting those clients with unshakeable belief in their own business.
Above - are you attracting crappy clients?

Help them see 🤩

As creative professionals it is our job to help clients connect what we do to some perceived result that will drive their business forward.

That's it.

The work itself is secondary. This is why so many talented people struggle to "sell"; because they focus on the service and not on the outcome. This is what I was doing when I let my hobbyist mindset run the show.

If I were to go back and tell my 2009-self what to do instead, it would be this: in that first prospect meeting do not talk about your process or your solution. Focus instead on the person's current situation and the aspirations they have for their business. Then, and only if it sounds like a great fit, you can bring your ideas to the table.

Doing it this way around is better because it ensures that the prospect feels heard. It also enables you to assess them properly as a client, without jumping in feet-first when the opportunity comes along.

This is the secret to getting "better" clients, and if you'd like to find some quick win opportunities for you to start landing your dream clients, you can fill out my free scorecard here.
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