The art of patience: A freelancer's guide to attracting exceptional clients

Sales strategy
30 January 2024


Are you tired of non-paying clients? Too Impatient? Too Unavailable? Too demanding? You want a client who is just like you!

How to find exceptional clients? Take the time to review your prospecting system a bit. Make a list of what you no longer want.

❌I no longer want a client who speaks to me poorly.

❌I no longer want clients who do not pay on time.

❌I no longer want my client to talk to me all day long.

Then, make a list of what you do want. Who is your ideal client?

✅My ideal client respects me.

✅My ideal challenges me.

✅My ideal client helps me grow in all the ways.

Because that's what it's about: you grow with them. As an entrepreneur, don't waste time with clients who drain your energy.

🕰️ If you don't slow down and make room to upgrade your clients, you might find yourself stuck working with old clients who won't even acknowledge the true value of your time in the long run!

In this article, we explore in detail how patience and personalization can help you attract clients who truly match your criteria and positively contribute to the growth of your business. Take the necessary time because it is often by investing this time upfront that you will save time in the long run while establishing quality client relationships.

And when you have an excellent client, you can keep them for years…🤝🤩

5 steps to Acquire Your Ideal Clients

Step 1 > Reevaluate your criteria 🔙

Start by reviewing your prospecting process. Establish a clear list of what you no longer want in your client's relationship.

Here is a LONG list of red flags🚩 you can use when you want to re-evaluate your prospective criteria:

🚫 Disrespectful communication: you don't want clients who communicate disrespectfully or rudely.

🚫 Late payment habits: you want to avoid clients who consistently fail to pay on time.  (Chasing twice for a payment is unacceptable!)

🚫 Scope creep: you don't want clients who constantly expand the project scope without adjusting the compensation.

🚫 Micromanagement: you want to steer clear of clients who excessively micromanage every aspect of the project.

🚫 Unrealistic expectations: you want to avoid clients who have unrealistic expectations or demands.

🚫 Lack of clarity in briefs: you don't want clients who provide vague or unclear project briefs.

🚫 Constant scope changes: you want to avoid clients who frequently change the project's direction. (OMG this is so annoying!🤣)

🚫 Ignoring boundaries: you don't want clients who disregard agreed-upon working hours or personal boundaries.

🚫 Lack of professionalism: you want to steer clear of clients who lack professionalism in their interactions. (I am not your buddy OK?)

🚫 Unclear payment terms: you don't want clients with ambiguous or unclear payment terms.

🚫 Scope inflation without adjusted timelines: you want to avoid clients who increase project scope without extending deadlines.

🚫 Unresponsiveness: you want to avoid clients who are consistently unresponsive or slow to provide feedback.

🚫 Non-payment for additional work: you don't want clients who refuse to pay for additional work beyond the initial agreement. (A tricky situation, right?)

🚫 Failure to provide clear project goals: you want to avoid clients who do not have well-defined project goals.

🚫 Lack of transparency: You don't want clients who are not transparent about project details or changes.

Step 2 > The Great Client Detox 🚿

From everything you have listed, do some soul-searching into your current clients.

Bid farewell to clients who treat you like a stress ball or play hide-and-seek with payments. We're decluttering your client list to make room for those who understand the beauty of punctuality and mutual respect.

Take action: let them go!

Step 3 > Crafting the Ideal Client Persona 🎨

Dream big! Your ideal client is not just a transaction; it's a growth catalyst. Picture a client who uplifts you, challenges you, and doesn't turn your inbox into a 24/7 chatroom.

❗Spoiler alert: it involves more than just swiping right.🤣

This is the same process as above: make a list of your ideal clients.

Here is a SHORT list (because now you grasp the concept :)):

Trust and Autonomy: Freelancers value clients who trust their expertise and allow them the autonomy to execute their creative vision.

Realistic Expectations: Freelancers appreciate clients with realistic expectations, setting the foundation for a successful collaboration.

Collaborative Spirit: Freelancers value clients who actively engage in collaboration, contributing to a creative and productive environment.

Prompt Feedback: Freelancers seek clients who provide timely feedback, facilitating a smoother workflow.

Acknowledgment of Expertise: Freelancers appreciate clients who acknowledge and respect their professional expertise.

Open and Honest Communication: Freelancers value clients who maintain open and honest communication throughout the project.

Step 4 > Identify your 10 Future Excellent Clients!

🚀 Armed with this list of pros and cons and after thoroughly scanning your client roster, you're ready to welcome some fresh faces.

Because, let's be real, you need space not only in your schedule but also in your head to make room for new clients.

🤔 Start listing the lucky 10 clients who could match the upgraded version of you! Take the time to dig into each client—understand their goals, where they stand in the market, and what magic you could sprinkle on their endeavors...

💡 Tips: Hunt down the right email addresses for the right position person in those 10 companies. You can use MailFinder to search email addresses through your Gmail account.

This phase is usually forgotten when you're caught up in the daily grind of freelancing, working every hour of the week, where each hour is both precious and paid. But it is precious if you want to get your new excellent client.

Step 5 > Time to action! 🖊️

⏳ Take the time and courage to craft a personalized email for each company you reach out to. This phase is crucial in the process. Don't underestimate the power of writing, details, a sprinkle of humor, storytelling, the shared connection history, or the perfect word that resonates with the client's challenges.

📧 All details on crafting a personalized email as a freelancer on our article here.

Understand the Role of Patience

Building Quality Relationships

Patience allows freelancers to invest time in cultivating meaningful and long-lasting relationships with clients, fostering trust and loyalty.

🌐 Cultivating a Positive Reputation

Patience in client selection and collaboration helps freelancers maintain a positive professional reputation, attracting more clients through word of mouth and referrals.

💡 Tips: Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth! It can generate 40% of your best clients.

🤝 Establishing Trust

Building trust with clients takes time, and patience is key to establishing a strong foundation for transparent and trusting relationships. Trust is the core value in business; if you have the trust of your clients, it acts as a virtuous circle. Trust begets trust and provides a solid foundation for your business.

🚀 Long-Term Business Growth

If you constantly have new clients and collaborators, it's challenging to start everything from scratch continually. If your clients consistently leave after one service, either they are not satisfied, or you are not the right fit for them.

Patience in client acquisition pays off in the long run, as it contributes to sustainable business growth and a steady stream of high-quality projects.

💰 Maximizing Value

Patience allows freelancers to identify clients willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for their services, maximizing the value of each project.

In summary, the benefits of patience in the freelancer's journey of finding new clients extend beyond immediate gains, contributing to a sustainable and fulfilling career.

😘As in a romantic relationship, everything is a matter of a good fit/right match.

And if you're looking to find that exceptional client, there's no need to swipe all of Tinder; you'll just burn out.

➡️Follow our step-by-step guide, and we wish you good luck on your client quest!

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