Get better freelance work by defining your “dream client”

daydreaming
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Everyone wants to work with their dream clients, myself included. That’s why I recently decided, if I want to work with my dream clients I need to know who they are, or at the very least, define the qualities I would like in them.

That way I can work toward my goal.

My first instinct was to list lots of high profile clients. The ones that would obviously have all of the money and who’s creative work is sure to get a lot of attention. Seems like the obvious choice, but I decided to dig deeper.

Instead of thinking about my dream clients at surface level, I thought about what it was I wanted from my ideal client. That way I could build a profile of the types of people I really want to work with and ensure that my dream clients fit the bill.

I came up with a list of five things that would make a dream client for me. I have to admit my choices surprised me a little. I realized that there are some other things I value as highly as money and exposure.

  • I want to be given creative freedom to explore ideas.
  • I want a client with a realistic budget.
  • While working I would like direct contact with the company’s key decision makers. ( CEO, president, etc.)
  • Mutual respect of opinions.
  • Ideally I would like to work with clients whose goals I feel strongly about as well.

Did honing in on this list of qualities change what I considered my dream client?

Oh yes.

My first instinct was dead wrong. It was based completely on their level of success, not the benefits of working with them.

I realized that the size of company and profile of the client honestly has no effect on how ideal they will be for me to work with. My dream client could just as easily be a fortune 500 or a small start up, as long as they meet the criteria.

With the client criteria defined, it’s easy to look around and start building a cold call list.

Start in your city or town and add any businesses that fit, then move on to the next city, and keep going.

Once you have a substantial list you can set a goal to reach out to one of the prospective clients every day, week or even just one a month.

I know they wont all start working with you.

Heck maybe none will.

But it’s worth the effort.

The worst case scenario?: you learn what types of people you actually want to work with and have a clearly defined goal for yourself. If even just one client from the whole list bites; bam, you just landed your dream client!

Have you thought about what makes a dream client for you? What have you done to start landing dream clients?

Comments here.

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About Ben Brush

Ben Brush is a graphic designer working and living in Nova Scotia. You can view his work on his website. Find more posts by Ben on his graphic design blog Design Puffin or connect with him on twitter.

Comments

  1. Good tips! Honestly, what I’ve done to land dream clients is nothing ‘tangible’ – I just realized what atmosphere I love to work in, and what kind of client can co-create that with me, and had some manifesting type thoughts in my head about it. Then these dream clients just found me. I haven’t put any effort in finding clients in general (except a very basic website, but really, that’s not for getting clients, more for just having a website). In conclusion, I can’t offer any ‘practical’ tips, but find that adjusting my attitude is proving to go a loooong way in attracting clients that are a perfect fit.

  2. Great to read about how you define your ideal client. I’m working on this now and I struggle with how these parameters narrow down the prospect field. Most (like mine) would take real and repeated exchanges with individuals at prospective companies to discover. How do you break it down?

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