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9 Traits You Need to Attract High-Paying Freelance Clients

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One of the most common questions I get from freelancers is “how do I get high paying clients?”.  A freelancer recently told me, “You know what, I’m doing great, but I want to work for projects that pay thousands and not just a few hundred bucks.” 

If this sounds just like you, keep reading, because we will cover nine traits that you need to attract high-paying clients.

1. Be Attentive and Responsive 

This might seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a multi-thousand-dollar project that I’m hiring for, and I’ll go two or three days without a response from the freelancer. I start to wonder how much they want this job. I recently had a freelancer who yawned at me and didn’t show any interest in what I was saying. That freelancer gave me an awful impression.  

When you apply for a job, make sure that you respond to your prospect’s messages within 24 hours. During the interview, show the client how much you like learning about the project. If you need to take a coffee to perk you up before the meeting, by all means, do it. Show your client that you are interested in taking the job. Reply to their messages quickly and pay attention to what they are saying.  

2. Great Reviews 

If you have positive reviews from your past clients, it will really improve your game. What people say about you can influence a prospect’s decision whether to hire you or not. A single bad review might be enough to turn-off a high paying client. To get positive feedback, do your very best in every project, no matter how big or small the payment is. 

3. Excellent Reputation 

Building an excellent reputation is very important if you want to score bigger projects. Many clients do background checks. If they Google your name and all they see are pictures of you smoking pot, that can create a bad image of you. I mention that because I recently Googled a freelancer I was about to hire and found something similar.  If you want to make your money freelancing, you have to keep a professional reputation online. 

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

4. Social Media Posts 

Be careful with what you post on your social media accounts. Remember that if you have a public account on social media, everyone can see all your posts. Your social media pages can help you “brand” your expertise. 

If you post irrelevant items, it will not give clients an idea of what you can bring to the table. Make sure that you use social media pages to your advantage by showing to your prospects your expertise, portfolio, and reviews of your past projects. Create a different account for your professional profile, and keep all your post related to your work. 

5. Respect Your Rate 

No matter how badly you need a job, don’t sound desperate. If you charge $200 an hour and a high paying client comes to you and says, “Will you work for $50 an hour?” Some freelancers would say, “Yes, sir. I just want a job sir. Please give it to me sir.” Stop! Don’t beg for it. 

If you respect your rate, people around you are going to respect you too. Learn how to negotiate your price, or even better show your value so you don’t have to negotiate. If somebody’s asking you to lower your rate to make room for their budget, there are ways to negotiate around that. 

6. Stop Selling Yourself 

During an interview, many freelancers get on the phone and start talking about themselves and how great they are. It’s a natural instinct to sell yourself right away. But what you really need to do is to listen to your prospects, let them say things that they need you to know. 

Process the information your prospect gave you and give them ideas on how your expertise can solve their problems. A phone call is not a billboard for you, even though they’re going to ask you questions, and it’s okay to answer them and show your expertise. It’s the best time for you to understand what the project entails. It’s not just about them qualifying you, but you should be qualifying them as well. 

7. Know the Scope of Work 

Understand what the work entails. This way, you will know precisely how to execute the job, what your timetable is, what information you need, and how many revisions it takes. 

Write down the job description, not just on the phone, but before the actual work begins. Doing that will help you attract high-paying clients. New clients who are inexperienced in hiring freelancers don’t generally have a clear scope of work or don’t communicate it. Those that understand what it takes to hire somebody, whether freelance or on salary, will clearly communicate the scope of work. 

8. Be Confident 

Be confident not only in yourself but knowing that you can complete the task. Confidence is probably the number one factor that can help you get great work. It’s not everything you say or know, but nonverbal communication also shows if you’re confident or not. Many body actions such as shoulders up, back straight, and chin up, tell others that you are a confident person. 

Many politicians have mastered the art of confident speaking. When they say something, even if they don’t know what they are saying, people still believe them. You don’t have to be a politician; you just need to believe more in yourself and learn the right gestures. 

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.” – Venus Williams

9. Show that You Can Manage Up 

Managing up means that you have the right skill set to make your boss’ job easier. If you can show that you don’t need additional communication to do the job right the first time, it means that you’re managing up. 

For instance, if your prospect asks you to send him your portfolio, send relevant collections only, and don’t ask what type of portfolio he is looking for. Anticipate what they are asking for. If he asks you what time is right for you to meet online, answer him with something like, “I am mostly online between 8:00 to 5:00, CST, Mondays-Friday. If you’re available tomorrow, that’s great. Let me know what time.” Getting your message across without the need to go back and forth makes communication more efficient. It also tells your client that you are managing up well and gives him a good impression of how you work. 

It’s not easy to get a high-paying client. Don’t expect that you can get one on your first year in freelancing, but I have seen it happen before. Remember that you need to build a good reputation first before you can catch a big fish. But if you will follow the tips above, you may be able to climb the ladder faster than the rest.  

Are you a freelancer? Which one of the above traits resonates most with you? Share your thoughts below!

Mike Volkin is a serial entrepreneur, U.S. Army veteran, public speaker, certified neuro marketer, and author of 5 books -one bestseller. He has built and sold 4 of his own companies and worked with over 400 companies as a fractional SMO and entrepreneur coach. Currently, Mike is the lead instructor of Freelancer Masterclass, which is a 9-step online course designed to help freelancers grow their business and increase their time off.

Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Success Advice

Prepare Yourself for Prosperity With These 6 Success Habits

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Overcome the Emotional Rollercoaster of Success

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If you’re reading this, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re a human being. You have feelings, emotions, beliefs, complexity, and a mind that’s always racing. Your feelings at any given moment in your life have the power to affect what you do and how consistently you do it. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Important Choices that Make Life Worth Living and Success Taste Sweeter

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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