That’s a great question for a lot of business professionals out there that I think is really worth discussing (especially with where things are at in the world today – at least in the US). As I can only speak for myself, I’d like to thank Robert for posing the original question to me.
More specifically, he asked;
“Where do you find quality clients, connect with them, and be paid decently for your work?”
Since I have a ton to say about something like this, I’m going to try and answer as best as I can (in as few words as I can). Ok?
1 – I think the first thing that comes up for me (in terms of being paid “decently”) is a matter of self worth.
Someone once told me, “Your rate is your announcement to the world of what you’re worth.” So what do you feel you’re worth? Really.
Once you know what you’re worth it can’t stop there, though. You then have to be comfortable in saying it to people.
And at least for me, it really takes a bit of time to get used to. Even in person, I used to cringe a bit when I said my rate. However, I think your number should make you a bit uncomfortable at first.
Doing this, I was able to raise my copywriting rates to more than double what I charged last year.
So trust me. It works. But you also have to feel you’re worth it – providing much more value (than what you actually charge). Otherwise, it’s just a number you’re pulling out of your butt.
2 – Once you get comfortable with your rates. Start to increase them in small increments each time you book clients at your current rate.
It’s easier to adjust your rate, and mentally step into smaller increments than just doubling it (unless you’ve GROSSLY undervalued yourself to begin with).
And… I know. I know. What happens if some people can’t afford you? Just remember, that some people will not hire you for there service because your rates are too low. As far as other people who feel uncomfortable doing this, you may want to see where you adopted certain belief systems around money.
All I can say on this, is that “Belief System” really does stand for B.S.. 🙂
3 – Now once you figure out a rate that works best for you, you’ll have to find out where the people are that can afford you (and your service). But you also can’t do that until you…
“Dress like where you want to be. Not where you currently are.”
Now the trick here, though, is to make it in alignment with WHO you are. For me, I can’t stand khaki’s and a polo shirt (or being told how to dress or what to wear). It makes me really uncomfortable – and I can’t be myself in it or do great work looking like I’m not.
So dress like where you want to be. Not on where you currently are.
4 – Listen to your current clients, and do the research in why they chose you. Not only that, you have to find out who exactly who loves you and your brand and why they choose you over everyone else.
Once you find this out, you’ll know who to market to (before you think you know your market) because…
And that starts with analyzing everything about the people that do like you (versus those that don’t).
So I guess that’s about it. Did I miss anything? Yes I never spoke about sales. Well maybe next time 🙂
QUESTION: Do you love your business, but know you shouldn’t be the one writing for it? Or perhaps you may even feel you could ruin the reputation you’ve spent so long in building? Heck… maybe it just takes you way too long to get the necessary thoughts out. And once you do, it doesn’t do much to increase your sales.