Where did all the good clients go?

This year has been all about synchronicity for me. It is absolutely amazing how good things – and the right things – come your way when you put your intentions out there.

While I’ve been busy building my new blog and connecting with people beyond web design, I’ve been amazed at the unintended results my new energy has had on my web design business as well.

Suddenly, thanks to changes I’ve been making in how I do business, I’ve been attracting all the right types of web design clients too. And there’s nothing that fuels my happiness in freelancing more than working with people I enjoy. In fact, it makes all the difference.

Connecting with the people who get you

I’ve known for quite some time that I am happiest in my freelancing when I’m working with clients I enjoy. And unhappiest when I didn’t enjoy the clients I was working with.

Unappreciative clients are exhausting. When I’m working with people who are impatient, demanding, or otherwise disrespectful, it drains my energy.  I leave the day worn out and depleted.

That’s no way to fuel your soul and certainly not a way to get excited about building your business.

Make way for The Law of Attraction

This year, I changed my approach altogether about business. I listened to many successful entrepreneurs doing work they loved who advised that I didn’t do work that I didn’t want to anymore.

It sounded crazy and quite a leap of faith, but I decided I’d try it out, because I was tired of working on projects I didn’t enjoy.

In March, I said no for the first time to a big project, because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy working with the client or on the project. It was over $10,000 in revenue. It was a client project literally being handed to me, in the bag, and I’d never turned down that kind of money before. But I did it! And it felt liberating!

But I didn’t know that I had paved the way for much more…

Just a few weeks later, the perfect client project fell into my lap. An even bigger project, in an ideal industry, and for a client who was also a mom, who understood me and who respected my expertise. I wouldn’t have even noticed the opportunity had I taken on that other project. I would have been much too busy and overwhelmed keeping up with all I’d committed to.

Then, In getting ready to attend a conference in the spring, I redesigned my freelancing website to better reflect my values. Weeks later, for the first time ever I landed a new job from someone who found me from a Google search. Again, it was someone who really aligned with my values and what I was putting out there.

Recently I landed a third and fourth client in exactly the space I was most personally interested in – wellness and craft-making. I haven’t built a lot of websites in this space, but I was finally increasing my reach to people who were more like me after years primarily working for large corporations and in tech – areas that I understood but wasn’t as passionate about.

 

Being intentional and Authentic: the key to working with people who “get” you

Here’s the thing. There are people all over who get you and who want to be part of your world.

But until you’re willing to connect on a more personal level, you won’t be standing out to them.

Ways to connect on a deeper level with those you want to work with:

Share what you are excited about

Let your friends, clients & family know about what you are really passionate about. Both in terms of your interests and in terms of your expertise.

Be helpful

Recognize and respond to what your clients or friends who ask you about your work need, not what they say they want. It’s good advice. And prospects need to know they can trust you to be their advisor and look out for their best interests.

Be upfront about what you are really good at, and what you aren’t

Don’t pretend to be good at everything related to your line of work. What is it you are really really good at? What aren’t you as good at?
When you are truly authentic about what you can do best, you instill trust and a deeper connection with people you talk to.

Put your personality in your branding

Make sure that you put some of yourself in your business too, to attract people who appreciate similar things as well as your style. They aren’t just silly musings to be entertaining. They create connection.

Take pride in your small business status

When we start out in business, we make a grand effort to look “big,” to look “professional,” and to look “experienced.” But it’s ok to let people know if you are a solopreneur. Many businesses prefer to work with a single person.

Why clients that get you will fuel your soul and business

By and far, the clients who “get me” are more likely to:

  • Be flexible
  • Be respectful
  • Relate on a personal level – share what they are doing with their families or on the weekends, etc.
  • Pay my rate without question
  • Share and refer me to their friends and family
  • Become friends and lifelong fans
  • Be a pleasure to work with
  • Inspire me to do grow, be creative and do my best work

So next time you feel someone or something isn’t right for your business, know that the things you say no to make room for the truly right things for growing you and your business.

[Tweet “You have to say no to the clients that aren’t right for you to make room for clients you’ll love.”]

Share your authentic self, embody your enthusiasm, and look for ways to be helpful, and you’ll find a whole new level of work opportunities awaits you.

In the comments, I’d love to hear about a project you said no to, need to say no to, or what kind of clients you really want to work with. Put your intentions out there and let the law of attraction begin working for you!

Photo credit Allyson Wiley. Picture taken of me (left), Pat Cassata (a lovely web design client), and Loie Maxell (whom I collaborated with on the project) taken at Cassata Sonoma Vineyard & Winery during a recent project photo shoot.