In the first episode of a planned miniseries on clients, this episode of Getting Work To Work focuses on finding and choosing clients. Whether they are finding you or you are searching for them, it is imperative that creative professionals build mutually beneficial relationships answering two questions:
- Who do I want to work with?
- Are we right for each other?
Throughout the episode I talk about how I find and choose clients, share six ways you can find clients, and present five signs that a client relationship will be good or bad. It is the quality and caliber of your ability to find and work with the right people that ultimately determines the health and success of your life and business.
Six Ways To Find Clients
- Create with an actual person in mind and then share your work with them. Todd Henry in Louder Than Words calls this person your intended audience. They are real and not a demographic.
- Ask others for connections. I like to ask trusted sources: Who do I need to know right now?
- Share your work in many places. Tell the story behind your work. Lead people to engage and connect with you.
- Define what networking is for you and do it consistently.
- Volunteer in your community. It is a great way to meet new people not in your circle of influence.
- Reach out to past clients. Especially ones you liked working with and would like to again.
Five Signs Your Client Relationship Will Be Good or Bad
- There is established respect for each other. For me, this is found in timeliness and promptness in communication, body language and tone of voice, and a gut instinct.
- Wages are matching the expected results and work. When desperate, it can be easy to say yes to a project that you know is under budgeted, which does no good to anyone.
- This is not your intended audience.
- It’s not a “Hell Yeah!” job. For you or for your client. Passion is a great indictor of a mutually beneficial relationship.
- The client relationship conflicts with your identity, vision, mastery of skills, or values/beliefs.