By Ike Okosa
One thing many prospective freelancers fail to do when starting out is researching to know their target market. This can create many setbacks when building a client base, and can cause some freelancers to get frustrated with their work.
Here, we’re going to share with you practical tips for finding out whom you should be working for, and how to gain the best kind of clients for your expertise.. Key tips for attracting your ideal client
The Four “What’s”
Pinpointing your ideal client involves asking yourself 4 simple questions, and then doing the research to gain the right answers.
What do my clients need?
If you’re a graphic designer, then you’re most likely going to find yourself having a preference for one type of work. Whether you prefer stationery design, or prefer to work on artwork for magazines, you can use this to pinpoint your specific clients’ needs and then you can start to build the picture of your ideal client.
What industry are my clients working in?
There may not be one particular answer here. If you prefer taking on a diverse range of work, you may consider your perfect client to be in many different industries, but they will likely all be around the same size and have similar goals. If however, you’re a copywriter with much experience the fashion industry, you can narrow it down.
What are they like to deal with?
The best client, for many freelancers, is one who provides a good brief, enough information to help you fulfil the brief, and pays on time. If you have clients that don’t meet these standards, or are looking for new clients, then it is necessary you give them some prepping on what you expect. Sometimes even the most “difficult” of clients can become an ideal buyer if you let them know what you expect. Communication is of utmost importance here.
What do they pay?
Once you have a clearer picture of your client, carry out some research to find out what they usually pay for similar services. If you have a preference for smaller jobs that take less time to do, then your prices will be lower, but the amount of work you’re likely to attract will be larger. If you feel your services are specific to a certain niche, or take longer periods of time to do, then you’ll be able to charge higher. You do not want to under charge or over charge, so always keep an eye on the competition when you’re structuring your prices, and leave some flexibility for negotiation as well.
How do I find them?
Once you’ve built up a clear picture of your client, it’s time to go out and get them! If you own a personal website, make sure it provides answers to all the questions your ideal client would ask, and also ensure it appeals to their needs. If you’re advertising your expertise on eWorker, then try tailoring your Quickies to better meet the needs of your ideal clients. Don’t forget to give them the information they need to be great to deal with in your requirements section, and you could find that the vast majority of your future clients are ideal to work with!
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