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There’s no such thing as the ideal client: So stop looking for them

In our romantic relationships, we all soon learn that the knight in shining armour we envisaged aged 15 simply does not exist. No matter how good looking, ambitious and sweet natured somebody is, they’re still human and are bound to have a couple flaws that annoy the crap out of you. The same goes for clients.

In the same way that non-freelance workers dream of the dream job where the pay, the boss, the commute and the colleagues are all ideal but comes to find that all of the boxes will never be ticked, you could work for the client of your dreams and yet there will always, naturally, be something wrong. Sorry to be a pessimist but it’s the reality!

Now, we aren’t all bad news. Just because the ‘ideal’ client doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that there are no good clients – of course there are. No matter how perfectly we present ourselves to small independent businesses or larger corporate businesses alike, we will often feel that the extra effort wasted on some of them while others genuinely appreciate the freelancer taking the work seriously.

However, and again the same goes for romantic relationships, the tonic to making the most out of a client experience is, you guessed it; communication. ​​Communication becomes really important in how you handle new clients. It can be difficult at first to try to show them that you live and breathe your creative work. As creative freelancers, our personal life influences our work life and vice versa and this can be hard at first for a client to understand without communication. If you want this to come across naturally, the best thing to do is to start talking to the client as you would to a friend, in order to build a rapport with the client making it easier for us both to be ourselves when discussing the project.

It’s as simple as being interested in what they did over the weekend, whether or not they like coffee or what their guilty pleasure TV show is. This breaks down walls and opens up doors to new ways of building a relationship with the client.

The next part of the communication journey is getting across how you actually developed a process of working which gets the best out of me and ultimately would benefit them and their new project. By this time, we have learnt many lessons and made the necessary mistakes so communication is genuine and they can feel how passionate you are about working with them.

Transparency makes it easy to stay consistent with that because the process is a tailored and developed process by you and thus will benefit both you and the client. This allows time to enjoy every project and serve the client to the best of your ability.

Here’s our top tools to help you find good clients:

  • Wishu – marketplace to post your portfolio and advertiser your services to creative businesses. 
  • Cushion – Designed to give freelancers a clearer view of their workload and availability, Cushion improves cash flow while offering strong invoicing and time tracking features.
  • Streak – Streak was built for Gmail providing a seamless experience between your CRM and your inbox.
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