You’re 4 Steps Away From Landing Your Dream Client
I’ve spent the past few years building my client roster and working with my dream brands. My secret? Taking 20 seconds of insane courage to pitch my services to my favorite outlets. Of course, repeating a quote from We Bought A Zoo is only the first step. To help, I’m sharing some of my top tips for pitching yourself to a new client. Don’t worry, I know you got this:
Do Your Research
ICYMI, our inboxes are a very sacred place. Nobody wants to receive a note that shows little to no knowledge of you, your business, or your professional needs. (I mean, what self-starter hasn’t received an email address to them and their team? What team!?) So, why would your dream client be any different? Before you even begin drafting an email, make sure you’ve done your research.
Want to work with a new editor? Think about the work their outlet typically covers. Have you mustered up the courage to offer your graphic design services to your favorite brand? Great, but you’ll need to do a deep dive into their logo first. It sounds like a no-brainer, but finding the correct contact and doing your research is half the work — and will make your services seem all the more enticing.
Brag A Little
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Celebrating my wins and tooting my own horn makes me feel a little anxious. However, as Meredith Fineman taught us a few weeks ago, bragging is necessary for pushing our businesses forward.
Whenever you’re pitching your services to a prospective client, imagine there’s at least five other people doing the exact same thing. So, it’s important to think about how to make yourself stand out. Do you have any awards or accolades? Who are your current clients? Do you have a mutual connection who can introduce you — and hopefully sing your praises? I know, bragging can be very uncomfortable; however, you’ve worked hard for your career. What’s not to celebrate?
Create A Two-Way Street
I prefer my professional connections like I do my friendships: Positive, productive, and mutually beneficial. Nothing can thwart a budding relationship like a serious case of the mooches. Not every professional relationship will be 50/50 all the time, but I encourage you to prioritize collaboration. Instead of reaching out to your dream client for the sole purpose of making money or checking something off your bucket list, reframe the conversation to how you can work together to reach a common goal. How can your unique perspective and skillset support the brand or client’s vision? Trust me, it’s a small shift in perspective that can go a long way.
Don’t Take It Personally
Chances are, you put your heart and soul into your business. So, how could you not take every rejection or unanswered email personally? (I’m right there with you.) But, as hard as it might be, take a lackluster response with a grain of salt. Simply put, there’s a lot of reasons you haven’t landed your dream client…yet. Maybe their budget is tight. Perhaps the timing isn’t right. Or, it’s possible you’ll be the perfect fit with more experience. Instead of wasting time mourning what could’ve been, turn that frustration into fuel. Use this time to continue to put yourself out there and build a better version of your business.
Hustler of the Week: Joy Williams
To kick off the conversation, what first attracted you to the design industry?
All the pretty things — quite literally. I also see design as functional, everyday art. I think I was an artist in my past life, so anything that speaks to my artistic senses catches my attention right away.
What’s your favorite thing about being your own boss? Least favorite?
My favorite [thing] is the creative freedom and helping clients realize their home’s potential. Least favorite is administrative tasks, hands down.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned since becoming your own boss?
Don’t skimp on the backend. Because admin work is a bane for me, it would have been easy to do. But, once you set up your business for success in the beginning, the rest is gravy.
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