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Dealing with Clients

What Is Your Ideal Client Profile?

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When you’re a traditional freelancer, you’re always constrained by your individual capacity to produce work.

In fact, after talent, knowledge and experience, time is your most important resource. And since there are only so many hours in a week, you need to treat that time with great care. That includes qualifying every potential opportunity to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

So how do you make decisions about which clients and projects to pursue and which ones to turn down? It all starts with what I call ideal client profiles.

The ideal client profile is simply a very clear description of the type of client you would love to have more of. It may be an exact replica of a client you’re working with today. Or it could be a combination of qualities you’ve seen in past and current clients.

Whatever that profile is for you, the important thing is that you have a very clear image of that individual. Doing so enables you to make decisions that will improve your income and your level of happiness at work.

How Do You Create Your Ideal Client Profile?

Imagine you own a big, state-of-the-art RV (recreational vehicle). You’re planning a road trip from New York to San Francisco, and you have room for up to six friends. Wouldn’t you limit your invitations to people whose company you truly enjoy?

Of course you would.

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Burning Freelance Bridges: Watch Your Social Media Venting

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Yesterday, I got very upset at a client. The reason isn’t relevant, but I spent part of the afternoon opening and closing the sites I use to communicate — my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on — thinking about saying something about how upset I was, warning other freelancers off of this particular client and generally venting. In the end, I didn’t post anything, because I knew I’d burn plenty of bridges with just one unfortunate comment.

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Client Research: How Do You Do Your Homework?

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When making contact with a client, do you know what they do? What they represent? Who they want to reach? In short, do you know who they are and what they do? Reading about the company or client you do work for is important, this way you get a head start when it comes to contact and to understand their needs.

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