Do you get better clients over time?
No. I remember I was doing a spot of sub-contract work for a marketing company with a lot more experience than me and they were talking about some trouble they had been having with their clients and I realised that this is a universal trend across all industries. You will always have bad clients. What does improve is your ability to scope out what might be a bad job or bad client and how to handle them. Normally the reason people take on small jobs or petty clients is they need the money and over time you should gain in confidence and be able to live without them.
I’m trying to attract bigger, better clients but struggling?
Bigger clients come with time and usually want to see a bit of history behind a company before it’s worth them taking a risk. Bigger clients usually take a lot more prospecting and time than smaller ones and don’t forget this is work you aren’t being paid for. Try and find out who works with them at the moment and evaluate their marketing. What are they doing to attract customers that you aren’t? What language are they using? Often a bigger company will be tied up into a contract with their provider, try find out when its up for renewal.
I have a really good client but they are almost always late paying
I would recommend first and foremost you try and mix up the companies you are working with. Bigger clients and bigger projects usually mean longer time between payment. This is where having a few small, quick jobs could benefit you. Don’t forget that cash flow is the number one killer of most businesses.
As for your late paying client, if you trust them to pay you then late is better than never, but of course chasing up payment is an unnecessary stress. Ensure that you have shorter payment terms as it’s easy to forget to pay someone if you have a month to do so. Send them friendly reminders when there payment is due and try and politely remind them of their bad habit. Try and reward them for early payment rather than punish them for late.
I did a great job with a client but they just disappeared?
This quite possibly will have nothing to do with you so don’t worry. You can do everything right for a client and them still go quiet. It’s possible that they just don’t need you for now or perhaps whatever they hired you for is no longer going ahead. Try adding them to your social media connections and emails and hopefully they will come back, but often working for yourself is a thankless task.
A lot of your tips seem quite simple, it can’t be that easy?
You’d be surprised at the importance of doing the simple things right. So many companies don’t! If you can think about your clients, understand their needs and communicate frequently you’ll get where you want to go.