You’ve been in the freelance game for a while now, maybe a decade or longer. While you have the process of pitching for jobs, looking for freelance jobs online, and taking care of the logistics, such as whether a client should pay up front or not, down pat, you still find yourself wanting a bit more from your career. If you are looking for ways to increase your income or to feel more fulfilled from your work, it might be worth looking past yourself to your clients. There comes a point in many people’s careers when they realize it’s time to start focusing on a better level of client. Writing’s been your life and career for years; it’s time to start attracting clients who can pay the rates you’re worth and give you projects that match your skills.
Know What You Want in a Client
Before you can start attracting better clients, you need to have a good idea of what a better client is. Look at who you’re currently working with. What do the clients that you love working with do that make you happy? What do the clients who make you want to tear out your hair do? For example, you might have a client who’s constantly fixated on price or on “how much you are costing” him or her. While you want to make your clients happy, having someone who continually tries to get a lower rate or who constantly questions your value can start making you feel as though you are worth less as a writer and that’s no good. Make a list of the things you want in your ideal client — someone who’s looking for quality and value, but doesn’t mind paying for it, someone who will communicate with you, and someone who is generally reasonable are all good things to look for.
Change Where You Hunt for Work
Some places are magnets for less-than-ideal clients. If you’re looking at an online job board and all you see are clients who want to pay $5 for 1,000 word blog posts, and they expect you to find an image and post the content, too, it’s time to ditch those job boards. Save for once in a blue moon, you won’t find a client on them who’s going to offer a rate you can work with or a client who understands that you have plenty of experience and know what you’re doing.
Know Your Worth
You’ve been freelancing for (fill in the blank) years. You’re amazingly talented, you know how to meet a deadline, and you’ll get the work to the client without much stress on their part. That’s all worth a lot, and whatever you use to pitch or reach out to a client should reflect it. Take a look at the language you use in pitches or other communications with your clients. Do you sound sure of yourself or do you sound hesitant? While a not-so-great client will take the insecure writer, a great client is looking for someone who knows what he or she is worth and who will provide great value to his or her company.
Finding new, better clients can be tough, but it’s a part of the freelance life. When you’re confident that you have what it takes to write for the top-quality companies and clients out there, you’ll find that they start coming to you.
Writer Bio: Amy F is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.