Have you ever started a promising relationship with a new client only to discover they're actually a total pain?
Are tired of working on projects that leave you feeling boxed in and bored instead of inspired and valued? Do you wonder if there are great clients out there who would value your work and gladly pay what your services are worth?
You might have Crappy Client Syndrome.
Here's the reality: as a freelance professional service provider you've worked too hard and risked too much to work with clients you don't love...or who don't love you back.
You left behind the daily security (and stagnation) of full-time employment. You mastered business development, sales, project management, and bookkeeping on top of honing your craft. You wrangled office space (even if it's a corner in your kitchen). You bought your own health insurance. You built your own website. You networked your butt off. You laid awake at night wondering if this was freedom or foolishness. You stepped up and answered your calling to be an entrepreneur.
Frankly, with everything that's at stake--your business, your family, your income, your security--you don't have time for clients that suck.
And without making an important change to your business, you'll continue to work with less-than-desirable clients who see you as an order-taker...and pay you accordingly.
Worse, without this change, you'll keep attracting the same type of clients for an endless stream of ho-hum projects with price tags that make you wonder if freelancing was a fool's errand.
(Here's a secret: Entrepreneurship is always worth it if you're willing to work at it.)
So, what needs to happen for you to get paid what you're worth? Work with clients you love? On projects you can knock out of the ballpark?
A lot of freelancers believe getting more (and better) clients is about working with higher profile companies, beefing up their portfolios, sharpening their skill sets, and coming up with some amazing competitive advantage over their competition.
But it doesn't have to be that complicated.
One thing will start you on the path to getting better clients and more work:
You have to get completely clear on the clients you want to serve...and those you don't.
So, today--right now--take 10 minutes to brainstorm the qualities of the clients you want to work for and those you don't. Make a list, keep it on your desk, and read it every day.
This is a powerful way to get clear on who you want to serve and where you're taking your business. That way when opportunities present themselves, you'll know exactly what a great client looks like.
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