This post is also a podcast episode!
After more than 5 years as a full-time self-employed service-based entrepreneur, I have had my fair share of awesome and not-so-awesome clients & projects. Everything is a learning experience, right? Here are some valuable take-aways that I’ve learned from “nightmare” client situations. . . I find that the more I implement these things before the project starts, the smoother it goes and the more “dream” clients I attract (or create!).
1. Get clear on who your “ideal audience” is (aka your niche) and always speak to that person in your marketing. In my soon-to-be-released “Holistic Business Plan” course there is a section dedicated to working this out (sign up for my newsletter to be informed when it’s open!)
2. Create a list of questions to ask yourself AND the client when considering taking on a new client or project. Here are some of my questions:
For me: Do I have time in my schedule for this project? Am I taking on this project or client just to please someone else? Do I feel excited about this project? Does the client fit my “ideal client” avatar?
For the client: What limitations/considerations do you have that we should discuss up front (ex: time, budget, etc.)? What is your expected outcome from this project? Why do you want to work with me?
3. Create clear boundaries and communicate them to your client. I definitely recommend getting a contract EVERY TIME. This is not only good for legal purposes, but it is a chance to spell out all of your boundaries, the payment schedule and work schedule, etc. I also have a “new client onboarding” page that I send people once we decide to work together. It includes my communication style, work hours, copyright info and more. You can view it here.
4. Charge more! The client will be more committed and communicative, and the perceived value will be higher. In fact, you might be doing yourself AND your client a disservice by undercharging, because it seems less valuable and “important” so the process and the outcom will suffer. If you’re struggling with pricing, check out my FREE audio training on how to price your services!
5. Listen to your gut and stick to those boundaries you set!! If you feel like something is “off” in the initial consultation, really think about whether or not you should take on this client. You can say No!
6. If you still need help. . . hire a business coach! It is invaluable to have someone with more experience guide you and help you with accountability.
As always, if you’re struggling with this or anything else in your online business, contact me for a Free 15-minute consultation or an in-depth Holistic Business Consultation!