“Where can I find more clients?” is one of the most common questions I hear from other freelancers. It’s an almost impossible question to answer.
I find that a good response to this question, is another question: “Who is your ideal client?”.
Defining an ideal client profile is helpful because it means you are thinking about real people rather than some nebulous concept of “a client”.
Considering your ideal client can be quite simple. Ask yourself questions like:
- “Do they live in a particular location?”
- “What kind of business are they involved in?”
- “How old are they?”
- “What interests do they have?”
- “What characteristics do they have?”
As you start to answer these questions, try to visualize the person too.
As you do this, you’ll find yourself building different types of clients that you prefer to work with.
As an example, here are some mine:
- Directors of digital agencies based in major cities
- Small business owners that have been established for at least 3 years
- Entrepreneurs launching SaaS products.
- People that have an interest in music or sports
By being more specific about your clients, “Where can I find more clients” has now become “Where do I find this person?” which is a much easier question to answer.
For example, let’s say you have an interest in sports. You would like your client to have some kind of investment in this area, as you would rather be working on something you have a passion for. So where might you find clients that are involved with sport? Now it becomes a lot easier. You may think about reaching out to:
- Gyms or fitness centres
- Professional sports clubs
- Sports equipment retailers
Once you have your ideal client profile defined, it’s important to say “no” to clients that don’t fit your profile. It’s difficult to say no, and turn down work, but ultimately worthwhile. Clients that don’t meet your ideal profile are going to be difficult to work with.
My own types of ideal clients have helped me decide which projects to take on in the past.
Do you have an ideal client or need help defining one? Let me know in the comments section below!
photo credit: Odd one out by Kevin Pack on flickr