We all have that dream client in mind. You’ve been working hard at running your freelance business, taking on as many jobs as you possibly can to build your portfolio.
But now you’re at the point where you can choose to either burn out, or start saying no. And that’s a good thing! Once you can become more selective with who you work with, you can start refining your client and land those projects you could only dream about years ago.
But how do you get started with finding those dream clients? With a little proper planning and a solid marketing strategy set in place, reaching those dream clients won’t be as difficult as you may think.
Read on to learn how to define your marketing strategy and capture those dream clients.
1. Define your client and make sure your website reflects them
If your dream client is in the health food industry, what are some qualities about their brand that reflect them? Think about the colors they use and the emotions they evoke. Most health food brands I see focus on bright, fresh colors with a positive tone to their brand’s voice.
Your brand should also reflect these qualities. If your portfolio is full of dark, moody images, then that brand probably won’t see you as a great fit. Everything from the colors down to the tone of your brand (is it formal, casual, a lil’ spunky?) should match that of your dream client.
Of course, none of this is possible without knowing who your ideal client is. Take the time to create a list of your dream clients, observe their image style, color schemes, brand tone, and position your work to provide for those qualities.
2. Price accordingly
If you want those high-paying clients, then pricing yourself low isn’t going to get you there. There’s a few reasons for this:
- High paying clients expect a premium price. If your rates are low, then the “too good to be true” idiom kicks in and they may not take you seriously.
- Your prices mirror your confidence. If you have great work and super low rates, what does that say about your confidence level to a potential client?
- Adjusting your prices for high paying clients weeds out those less dreamy clients.
- Changing your rates over time is essential to the growth of your business.
Your prices should reflect the size and quality of the brand you’re looking to attract as well. If your work is very specialized and niche, then position your prices to reflect that. Not sure how to go about raising rates with current clients? Check out this post!
3. Create the work you want to attract
Guess what? Your portfolio doesn’t have to be the paid work that you’ve created for clients.
In fact, you could even make up projects. If you want fun, lively brands but your portfolio is mainly comprised of corporate clientele, then it’s likely you won’t land those fun, lively brands you’re hoping for.
Go back to that list of clients you’ve made and produce the work you’d like to attract. If you’re an illustrator looking to create illustrations for children’s books, then create and mockup a book yourself to show off your skills!
People want to see what you’re capable of, and your portfolio is that precious first impression. It’s more important to show what you can do, rather than previous work that isn’t exciting to you.
4. Interact with those brands
Ah, the power of social media. Seek out those brands that you’d like to work with and engage with them on social media. Follow them, like their photos, and even comment or mention them in your posts. This puts you on the radar of that brand and the brands they associate with.
In the beginning of my freelance photography, I would find cute products at Target, style them, and then post it to my Instagram. I tagged both Target and the brand of whatever product I was styling. What was truly exciting was Target reposting my images! In fact, a couple even made it to their website product page, linking it back to my original Instagram post.
After all of that, I had brands reaching out to me to partner with them for social media imagery. This was a fantastic way of getting my name out there and landing my first dream clients.
Now, your approach may be different depending on what field you’re in—but think of ways you can show off your skills and grab the attention of brands. If you’re a designer, there’s always lots of fun hashtag prompts you can participate in and possibly get your work featured.
Leverage the power of social media and a lil’ proactivity!
5. Promote away!
Now that you have a solid plan of who you want to work with and the brand to reflect it, spread the word! You don’t have to run ads in order to get your name in front of your ideal clients. There’s plenty of free, organic options for doing that.
Pinterest is a great way of getting fresh eyes on your content. And, with so many people on Pinterest, it’s extremely likely that your dream clients are hanging out there, too!
I could go on for hours on why I love Pinterest and all kinds of tips and tricks. But essentially, take all that work (that fun stuff that’ll get those dream clients of course) and start pinning away, adding strong keywords that your clients may be searching for.
Keep in mind that Pinterest is more of a long-term approach. Everything on Instagram has such a short shelf life; images live on Pinterest indefinitely.
Potential clients looking for a specific style (ehem, YOURS!) can find your work, click on your link, and will be pretty compelled to message you. Why? Because they were actively looking for work like yours—AKA, highly engaged.
There’s ways to optimize your pins to ensure they’re getting a great reach. If you’d like to delve in more, check out this post!
Attracting your dream client isn’t a difficult task. With just a few tweaks here and there in defining your marketing strategy, you’re already lining yourself up for success. Engage with those brands that you’d like to work with. Really study your dream clients and make sure that your prices and portfolio align with their aesthetic and tone. Getting those dream clients is not an overnight achievement, but there’s no better time to start than now!
Do you struggle in finding your dream clients? I’d love to answer any questions in the comments below!