So, you’ve got a new client who has been enquiring about your services. The first reaction is obviously: “YAY!”. We should be jumping for joy at every new opportunity that comes through the door and it’s only natural that you try to land every single one of these opportunities offered.
But before you jump on board and get all excited about the new client we have to land, it may be good for you to ask yourself: “Is this client right for me?” Let’s look at 4 questions you can ask yourself before taking on that next client:
1. Do I have the capacity to take on another client?
Yes, it is okay not to take on a client because you don’t have the capacity to do so. In the long run, it is better for business and ourselves if we don’t. Capacity can mean a lot of things too: it is not just time and workload. Capacity includes mental space, health, family, and happiness, as well as work and cash flow.
So when looking at the capacity to take on a new client as yourself:
Will this job make me happy?
Do I have the time to take it on?
Am I able to do the job to my best ability?
2. Do I have the passion and vision that the client has for the product?
It is hard to work with clients we are not passionate about. As freelancers, one of the reasons to choose jobs is because we wanted to work on the projects we wanted to.
So when looking at a new client or project, ask yourself: “Am I excited about this?”
If the answer is “No” then the next question is “Can I be?”
It’s also worth weighing up the effort required to get across a client’s niche. For example, if your client is in the IT or law fields, will it be too much out of your comfort zone? This is because getting up to speed on their industry can cost you valuable time and ultimately money.
If it is a job that you are going to struggle with, keep the opportunity open for something that will excite you. It is out there, we might just have to look a little harder for it.
3. Does the client have the budget to afford you?
To be frankly honest, there is no point working on an amazing campaign or project without having the budget to run it.
On that note, don’t devalue your contribution. Real expertise costs real money. When you’re building up your initial client list it’s OK to provide cheap rates to get some runs and references on the board. But this is a short-term strategy.
Once you’ve proven your worth, good clients will appreciate that your experience and skills command realistic rates. If you are consistently working for a pittance it only builds up resentment and results in a sub-standard job.
All freelancers are not created equal, so establish your area of expertise and have a long-term goal to charge new clients accordingly.
4. What has the client done in the past?
It is important that we take the time to ask the client and do some research on what the client has already done in the area.
We want to see what has worked, what maybe could have been done a little differently, and what is new that we can bring to the table. Ask your client – they won’t mind, and it will mean you are in an informed position to take them on.
So there you have it. These are the 4 questions to ask when looking at taking on a new client that should hopefully help you make stronger and healthier relationships. If you feel overcommitted, spread thin, or burned out, maybe you’ve taken on too many “shoulds.” “I should take that job.”, “I should take on that new client”. Shedding your “shoulds” is what frees you up to do the things that really energize you.
If you’re still not sure where to start your freelancing journey, why not check out Rtist? We have one of the biggest creative talent communities in Malaysia that matches you with your clients.