Welcome to Freelance Friday! Each Friday, I’ll share something Freelance-y that I learned during the week that will help other freelancers or entertain cubicle-queens. Thanks for reading!
Much like the first few days of high school, the first few months of freelancing might make you feel a little lonely.
Don’t let that feeling run you into the arms of a less-than-equal freelancing relationship with your clients. That is, don’t get hung up on any one client in particular.
Much like a super-cute-but-lame high school boyfriend, any given client might be awesome and you might spend the rest of your life with them.
But there can be no point at which you say “I will stay with this person no matter what they do to me, and I will build my life (and income stream) around them and their decisions.”
Boyfriends go to college. Businesses move on to different business models. You have little or nothing to do with it.
What you’re looking for is an environment in which you both flourish and you both respect each other’s business plan. If you can help each other get there and stay together — all the better. If not, don’t put yourself in a position in which you’ll go down with their ship.
Here’s how to make sure you don’t get too hung up on any one client:
- Once per quarter, do the math and make sure the work is worth your time. Compare your highest paying client with your lowest. See if you can spread the risk and drop the lowest client.
- Consider the other fish in the sea. Pitch all the time, even when you’re not looking for work. Aim for once a week to keep fresh inquiries coming in the door.
- Get real feedback. Don’t let yourself become emotionally invested in the seductive teenage “What does he think of me?” drama. This is real life and you need real answers to stay in business. Ask for informal testimonials and honest feedback, and do so formally once or twice per year. (LOVE the new Freshbooks feature that let’s you request testimonials, by the way!).