Turning Potential Clients into Established Clients

One of the biggest challenges when working with a new client is getting them comfortable with you, your capabilities and your prices.

Repeat customers and established clients are wonderful. They know you and know that you are worth the investment. But, we all need new clients as they are consistently critical to long-term success. The more new clients you have the more diversified your client base is. This is important for financial stability, workload fluctuations and creativity.

So, how do you turn a new client into an established client, one that trusts you and your decisions?

Be confident.

Confidence is contagious. Act like a professional and you will be treated like one. From the very first communication, establish yourself as a confident, successful independent creative.

You are the expert.

Prove it. Get testimonials from past clients. Be prepared with case studies that show how you arrived at your creative solutions and why these solutions were the best choice for the client and customers. Keep your portfolio up-to-date and weed out old projects or projects that no longer represent your new skills.

Get pricing out of the way as soon as possible.

Don’t hesitate to discuss your fees. Share with the client recent projects of similar scope and give them an idea for what it will cost. No need to provide an exact amount but let them know your minimum fees and general prices for the types of services they need. Do this before you spend time on an estimate or proposal. Avoid RFPs or RFQs. The retention rate is low, the demands are high and more often than not you’ll be asked to provide spec work. Not a good thing.

Be memorable.

Follow-up your communications or meetings with a hand-written note. Provide them something of value that they will remember you by. Be creative! Make sure you leave a lasting impression, and make sure it’s a good one!

Stay positive.

Positivity leads to success! If the client was meant to be, it will be. Sounds cliche but it’s a fact. Stay true to your values and business goals. Remember what made you successful in the first place and be proud to promote it.

"It is hard to capture everything Eric brings to the table in just three attributes. He is a very creative designer who has learned to balance his creative expertise with a professional and personable business side. He commits to deadlines and budgets, which when he helped us with a project for one of our largest clients, it made a significant impact on the success of the project. I would highly recommend him for any project."
Chris Beauchamp, Director of Client Engagement, The Institute for Generative Leadership

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