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6 priceless strategies that can help you work with ideal clients

6 priceless strategies that can help you work with ideal clients

work with ideal clients

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When it comes to finding work as a designer, there is nothing more important than finding clients with whom you get along well. Not only will this make the work more enjoyable, but it will also increase your chances of success. How do you find and work with ideal clients? Keep reading this article to find out!

We know that working with the wrong client is difficult because you are faced with certain problems that, if not identified early on, at the first red flags, you are likely to carry them for the duration of your collaboration with that client.

This can lead to misunderstandings, and frustration, and worsen our mental health while working when we should be loving what we do, every day of our lives!

This can happen for a variety of reasons and with a multitude of different types of clients: from the client who wants to lower the price, to the one who disappears, to the one who wants a thousand changes, or wants everything right away.

Does this sound familiar? Here, know that you are not the only one, and in this article, we present 6 priceless strategies that can help you work with ideal clients in line with your personality and needs.

If you are interested in the world of freelancing and targeting new customer acquisition, also read these articles on our blog:

Work with ideal clients
Work with ideal clients. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Define what your ideal client looks like

Before you start looking for work with ideal clients, you need to know what they look like. What industry do they work in? What company do they work for? What is their budget? What is their design style? Once you have a good understanding of the type of client you are looking for, you can begin to target your search.

These are all key elements for getting off on the right foot and not running into projects with clients who will make your life difficult.

Instead of agreeing to everything, of always saying yes, start by writing down, in black and white, what your ideal client would be, because then you can figure out whether that particular client who contacted you by email, might be right for you or not.

Define the key aspects for which you are willing to accept newly commissioned assignments and work with ideal clients, and what, on the other hand, are the red flags for which you will not compromise, precisely:

  • In what industry does the client or company work;
  • In which company the customer works (in case he/she is not a business owner);
  • What is the budget they have allocated for the entire project;
  • What style of design do they want to achieve?

These points are very substantial because you may face different issues in the future, for example:

  • The industry in which the company or professional works is not of interest to you
  • The budget is low or not in line with what you require
  • The design requested is not in line with your style

Budget setting
Budget setting. Image created with Canva, try it for free.

Set a budget below which you will not accept work

It sounds trivial, but in order to work with ideal clients, it is always best to take the reins of the negotiation into your own hands, setting some clear parameters, including the budget.

Don’t accept work that goes below the entry level of the budget you set for accepting a new commission. This is so you don’t run into future problems where the client has agreed with you for a lower price than you usually charge.

For example, if you usually ask for $5000 for a branding identity, which contains the creation of a logo design, brand guidelines, and some stationery (the price quoted here is only indicative; you choose your own), don’t compromise. If you set that price for your services, you need to keep it that way.

Remember: it is always better to say NO than to always say yes. If you can apply a discount on a service, consider it yourself, perhaps agreeing to apply 10% OFF, but don’t cut your prices just to accept new work.

Timeline estimation
Timeline estimation. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Estimate your timelines

When dealing with new clients, don’t forget the timelines you are willing to work for, because you may be faced, at times, with clients who are always urgent, who press you, and who want everything right away.

Does this resonate with you? Many times there are companies that press to receive your work very quickly, but what can this modus operandi entail?

Surely, you will have to work with less relaxation, and so you will find yourself placing more importance on deadlines rather than on the quality of your work, and that’s a problem! Don’t you find it?

Always better, then, to ask the client about the timeline for the commissioned project, and assess whether it conforms to what you have in mind as a timeline, evaluating against these parameters:

  • How close is the deadline?
  • How much time do I need to accomplish this type of project?
  • Is the allocated budget worth accelerating my workflow?
  • How much other work do I have under my belt at the moment?

Write down a client's proposal
Write down a client’s proposal. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Send your proposals

Once you have identified some potential clients you would like to work with, it is time to start contacting and sending proposals. Be sure to tailor each proposal specifically to the client’s needs, so they can see how you would be able to help them achieve their goals. If all goes well, you will hopefully be able to win some new clients that you are excited to work with.

I say you send the proposals because that way you will be the one contacting potential clients, rather than attracting anything and everything into your network.

Whereas, as seen before, with the potential clients who contact you, you can make an initial skim based on budget, timeline, and type of project to be done, with the clients you contact in the first place, you can make a careful selection.

Based on your ideal client, then, you can create tailor-made proposals, such as choosing the type of industry you are interested in, companies that potentially have a good budget to invest in, etc.

Below, I leave you with some hints on how you can go about contacting companies directly, so that you can choose for yourself whether they are right for you, through two main channels: social media and your community (which can also be your family, your friends, your connections in town).

Social media for lead generation
Social media for lead generation. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Use social media to your advantage

Social media is a great way to connect with potential clients from around the world. LinkedIn is particularly useful for the purpose of the work with ideal clients, as it allows you to search for companies that match your criteria and contact them directly. Twitter and Instagram can also be useful tools for finding potential clients and promoting your work to a wider audience.

Although Instagram, nowadays, is one of the most visual platforms, which can help a lot to create an online audience that follows our work and backstage as professionals, I believe that the best platform to create work connections is LinkedIn.

Having a LinkedIn profile is a bit like having a vast local network, from which you can draw, select the best companies, study in detail whether that company meets the parameters listed above, find the right person from that company to contact, and send your first proposal – all these steps will let you work with ideal clients soon.

So, it’s fine to make your own Instagram profile or TikTok, with a view to portfolio presentation and maybe some videos where you show your interests, your work routine, etc.

But, if you really want to get in touch and synergy with potential clients, in my opinion, LinkedIn is the place to be and it’s worth having a nice, well-maintained, and up-to-date profile.

Local community
Local community. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Engage in your local and international community

In addition to online research, don’t forget to look for clients in your own backyard. Attend local networking events, meetups, and conferences related to your industry. You never know who you may meet or what opportunities to work with ideal clients may present themselves simply by engaging in your local community.

To top it off, of course, you won’t just have an online presence, but we know that many customers can come from the offline world as well.

Participating in meetups in your area, or going to some events can get you connected with more people – you can bring along a business card and introduce yourself, even if it’s just to chat about what you do on a business level.

You’ll see that talking to people always creates great synergies, and even if you go home without any new clients from a particular event, you can be sure you’ve spread your personal brand (maybe that person you talked to will soon introduce you to a friend of his who needs your services).

Defining what your ideal client looks like
Defining what your ideal client looks like. Image credits: Canva, try it for free.

Work with ideal clients: conclusion

In order to work with ideal clients, you don’t have to interpret this as a pipe dream: if you know where to look and what steps to take, you can make it happen. Start by defining what your ideal client looks like and then use social media and your local community as resources to find them.

Finally, don’t forget to put your best foot forward by sending customized proposals that showcase your expertise and highlight the specific benefits of working with you. With these tips in mind, now you have a clear idea of how to work with ideal clients!

If you want to expand your knowledge about the world of freelancing, how to attract new target clients, and how to improve your skills, feel free to read the other articles in our blog! In addition, I recommend you visit our tools archive, where we provide, every day, so many free resources!

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