The thrills and spills of finding your ideal client…
We all want that, don’t we? Someone who values you, wants you around and wants you to be ‘happy*’? Of course we do, and I’m not talking life partner stuff but the ideal client/freelancer relationship. People buy people after all.
Many freelance industries are crowded markets with a massive disparity of charging models. In Social Media, my speciality, services you can buy range from packages of 2 tweets a month for £5 to full service agency models charging thousands. The trick is knowing who ‘your people’ are and what they need at the point in time on their own business journey.
Key to this is knowing who you are, your values and what you bring to the table which differentiates you. Would you want to be working for a rock band if your passion was classical music? I have 20 years corporate experience in B2B sales environments so have a distinct skill set which adds most value to certain types of businesses. I’ve learned this myself by working for others outside of this and the truth is that while I was ok at it, others would be so much better. In her book, Personal Branding for Brits, Jennifer Holloway describes getting customer feedback about her own performance that ‘you have a strong style, like double espresso, but sometimes I wanted tea’. She describes how she recognised that she has only ever been double espresso and works on promoting that as part of her brand.
If you are your authentic self, a potential client ‘gets’ you and you can add value to their business, freelancing can be a wonderful thing where everybody ‘wins’ and makes money. Knock backs in the early stages of freelancing can be hard to take and very easy to take personally, but ask yourself- are they really your people (or if you think they are, is the timing right)? If not, it’s likely that you’ve given yourself a bit of breathing space to find someone who is a better fit.
And if you’re interested, I’m an espresso martini!
*I.e. content in work and earning money- there are a few differences between this and personal life!