CategoryGetting Leads

2 Key Hurdles to Qualify Freelance Leads

As a freelancer, your time is in short supply. There isn’t much that is more aggravating than wasting hours talking to someone about their project, scoping it, and writing a proposal only to get pushback on the price or have the lead disappear.

Sometimes, you discover too late that the lead doesn’t have a realistic budget for what they need done. Other times, the entire exercise seems like a free planning session where they basically get expert advice at no charge.

It wouldn’t be so annoying if there wasn’t a cost to talk to these people. Even if you have an excellent system for responding to inquiries for work you can still easily throw away a half a day you could’ve spent doing something useful.

Ugh! Tire kickers.

Is this just the cost of doing business? Knowing that you’re going to have to put out lots of proposals and talk with lots of people that aren’t qualified to work with you? Continue reading

Is Any Work Better than None?

Like many freelancers, when I first started out, I would work with anyone who would hire me. After a few years, I developed enough of a client roster that I wasn’t continuously struggling to find new projects. However, even with a roster of clients, you still have peaks and valleys. When things were good, it was very easy to turn away work, but when things slowed down prospects that I would normally turn away began to magically look more attractive. I took on a few clients that I never should have worked with and regretted it on every occasion. It’s easy to think that any work is better than none. After all, it doesn’t matter if your rate is $400 an hour if you have 0 billable hours a month. However, the truth is that it’s better to be broke then to take on bad clients or projects.

Bad clients are cancerous to your business. They will drain your time, energy, and mental well-being. They will need to be managed while you work with them and eventually fired once you’re through your dry spell. This is an enormous cost on top of the discount rates they will seek. When you work with a bad client, it’s like taking a loan out against your future self. Yes, you will likely get paid now, but the interest on it is costly and it could be a burden you carry around for years. Continue reading

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