Are you stuck working on the same projects for the same money and can’t figure out how to level up and get bigger paying jobs? Or are you so busy saying yes to everything that comes your way yet somehow still stuck in a rut and can’t dig yourself out? Well stick around because I’m going to talk about the magic word I learned that continues to grow my business every year. Coming up.
Welcome back everyone thanks for being here this is the poorly named Adam Clairmont show. I am your host, Adam Clairmont.
Here we Learn to start and grow a career in audio production. With actionable tips based on personal experience from me and others.
And speaking of growing your business, I put together a free guide for you that outlines steps that you can implement today that will help grow your client list and your revenue. Now I suggest spending a minimum of 10 min a day focused solely on developing your business, but if you aren’t sure of how to spend that time or what to focus on, well then this guide it’s exactly what you need right now. And It’s totally free, I’d love for you to have it, and all you need to do is head over to AdamClairmont.com/clientlist and you can have it sent directly to you inbox!
Now let’s get to the topic for this video.
Today I’d like to talk to you about how the find the best clients for your business, and how to avoid the ones who will waste your time.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not here to bash any clients and I don’t suggest you do that either. It’s really not a good look.
But just because someone is willing to give you money, doesn’t mean you need to take it. Now I know this might sound crazy at first but I want to talk about how you can start to earn more money for your time and attract clients who bring you a higher quality of project. The type of project you are dying to work on and will be dying to share with everyone you know after you crush it because you know everyone who hears it will want to work with you next.
Now I know that everyone watching this video or listening to this podcast is in a different place in your career but that’s okay, because by the end of this, you all will have a clear guide to follow to grow your business and get the right kind… the valuable kind… of clients.
So, for starters what qualifies as a valuable client.
- Someone who values your work as evidenced by their willingness to pay you a fair rate
- Someone who has a high quality project that you will be proud of and will represent your ability in a positive and beneficial way
- Someone who is willing to work as much as needed to improve the project as much as they can
So that’s what a valuable client looks like and that’s your target.
But who qualifies as an dead end client?
- Someone who is always asking you for a discount or to do extra work for no pay
- Someone who’s project would not help you get more clients because it’s just not that good. You won’t want to showcase this work once it’s complete. Maybe you don’t even want your name on it.
- Someone who is only going to do the bare minimum and is constantly cutting corners to get the project done as fast as possible instead of done as good as possible
I’m sure you all know exactly who I’m talking about because We all have been in this position.
Okay so I understand that if you are just starting out, everyone tells you to say yes to everything and get as much experience as possible and that is true I agree with that one hundred percent. But the problem I see and that I went through myself awhile ago is that many people stay in that spot for way too long. So make sure to watch till the end of this video so you can use the three steps to begin working out of that place.
So here we go. Three steps to qualify valuable clients.
If someone is not willing to pay you a deposit tell that person no. That is not a client who is serious about working with you. If that person honestly plans to work with you at the scheduled time or on the agreed upon project, than a deposit should be a non issue. It’s only an issue with someone who isn’t serious, or doesn’t have enough to pay you. So requiring a deposit helps you to qualify a valuable client and removes those who want to waste your time. It also makes you appear like you have your business together. Now how much should the deposit be? Well it depends. For me, I use a few different rates depending on the project. For real small projects, even $100 bucks does the trick. Some larger hourly paying jobs that are shorter I may require payment in full before I begin. And for long term projects I may ask for 25 percent up front, another 25 percent at the halfway mark and then the balance would be due at the end. You need to feel it out. Also, for the really long projects that last several months, you can’t work that long without getting any payment! You need something before the end of the project, so those are good ones to schedule regular payments made as you go. Also, there are some clients I have who I work with regularly and as long as they pay their bills on time, I don’t worry about deposits for them. But that’s after we establish that relationship and trust.
Another way to qualify a potential client is to use minimums. Meaning that client must book a minimum of x hours. Or pay you for a minimum amount of time or money. This has two valuable outcomes.
- Scheduling is very difficult when all you have are these super short sessions and jobs. Not to mention in order to make a decent income you need way more clients if they only want to book you for an hour or two at a time. But it’s also difficult to accommodate many clients when your calendar has these short sessions in the middle of your day. So now when someone needs you for a longer amount of time you need to find a full day without these puny sessions gumming up the works. Another way to look at it is like this. If someone is not willing to put in the time to do good work tell them no. Just because they are willing to pay you a little money that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to bring down the quality of your work by not putting in the time needed to create something quality. Your work is your reputation and your business card and you should defend that all the time. If you allow all of your work to be shortchanged how are you supposed to use your work to get you better clients? Just kindly tell those people that for you to offer the best value to all of your clients that you require an x minimum because in your experience the job they are describing takes at least that amount of time to create a product that you are known for and that your clients expect. Anything under that is a compromise and that’s not fair to your clients. If that person doesn’t bite then kindly respond that maybe this isn’t the right fit this time but hopefully something comes up in the future that makes more sense for both of you and you can work together then.
You don’t need to mean about it or make anyone feel inferior or feel like they aren’t good enough to be your client. You just want to explain how this is how you maintain exceptional service and quality for all your clients and you hope they will be one soon!
So as an example, the way I do this is I have a 5 hr minimum for anyone bringing me music projects or need to book the studio for music. For commercial clients or film/tv clients that need things like VO or ADR, those are billed at amuch higher rate and start with a 2 hr minimum. Those two hours are also paid up front in full as the deposit. And anything beyond those services tend to be projects that take a long time so the minimum doesn’t really apply there. It’s just for these shorter jobs that I find it helpful.
You never want to be viewed as the cheapest. Cheap is perceived as amateur. You want to be near or at the top of your markets price. Expensive is perceived as valuable and the best
Do you want a client who thinks you are cheap and an amateur or one who thinks you are expensive and is happy to pay for the best?
This is consumer psychology. And it’s a great way to attract better clients.
Insert study or anecdote.
If you are brand new, you won’t start here but once you begin, don’t wait long to raise your rates and work up to being expensive. Like I said I see people stay in this spot too long. And if you don’t have the confidence to start raising rates then check out this video right here and hopefully that can motivate you a little!
I like to research my market every couple years and re-evaluate my rates. If it makes sense to increase anything I will do that but I will grandfather in my current clients. I don’t need to disrupt any current relationships with changing price arrangements but I will begin quoting all new inquiriea with the raised rate.
This freaks people out, but I can tell you from experience. Your Client will never give you a raise. So if you want to earn what you are worth then you need to make the change and believe this too. People will pay you. You know what you are doing. You can deliver a valuable product and if you watched my video here about building your client list then you also know how to treat your clients like gold and show them an experience that they cannot receive from anyone else. People will pay your rate. The higher it is the more coveted you are perceived to be. If you don’t value your self high, no one else will. And here is another myth that I will just that goes along these lines. there is a myth that if you continue to work for nothing for certain people when they don’t have a budget, when they do get a budget and I ready to grow their own career the myth is they will take you along for the ride and pay you more.
When in fact they aren’t looking at you like that. They’re looking at you as the cheap option and they look at others who they need to pay a lot of money as the real deal and experts and those are the people that will help them level up not you.
Don’t let that mess hold you back any longer and start charging what you are worth and stick to it.
That’s it for this episode. If you liked what you heard and you learned something, then please share the video and tag me so your network can benefit too!
Lastly, don’t forget your free gift! Please go to http://www.AdamClairmont.com/workflow and pick up the free pdf guide with easy steps on how to work faster and earn more in less time.
Thanks for watching. See you next time.