May 18 / Matt Saunders

Flip the Power Dynamic

The mindset shift needed to transform your client relationships and earn more money as a freelancer.
Freelancing can be tough if you feel like you're always in the interview chair, one wrong answer away from being fired.

But a lot changed for me when I decided to flip this around and start interviewing my clients.

When a new web design prospect came to me, there was a time when I would allow them to totally dictate the conversation. Notepad and pen in hand, I would furiously scribble down everything they said.

"yep. okay. u-hm. got it"

I would then go away like the dutiful little freelancer and painstakingly prepare a quote that... you guessed it, would likely go ignored.

But here's the thing to know: clients are not looking for a people-pleaser.
Sure, they wanna be pleased, but the best way to go about that is to engage and challenge their requests.

"Cool, you want a new website but tell me, what impact is this going to have on your business?"

Have them spell out in detail their vision for this, because they might be starting a vanity project and trust me, that would be a disaster. Getting swept up in some entrepreneurs daydream is a shortcut to burnout.

Make them work for it

Man on laptop screen
You can apply this same approach to any freelance business.

At its core, it is about denying them access to your service until they have proved worthy of it.

Let me say that again: prevent a client from buying from you until they have proven themselves to you.

This is how you flip the power dynamic, do better work and make more money. (Incidentally, this is how you prevent ghosting too).

Now I'm not saying you should be difficult or let the power go to your head. This is about getting on their level, seeing their business through their eyes and asking honestly "how can I best help here?"

Because most the time, clients don't know what or why they want something. They've been hit with the same marketing train as everyone else. They're following the same trends as everyone else, desperately trying to build security for the future. Their perceived solutions might not be the right ones. So challenge them!

And to successfully challenge - to do impactful work - you've gotta get in the interview seat yourself sometimes.
[Watch] being 100% willing to walk away from an opportunity will lead you to your most confident and empowered self.
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