Nine times out of ten, when someone hears that I’m a freelancer who works out of my own house each day, he or she will immediately comment about how nice it must be to be able to work in my pajamas all day.
True, sometimes I do stay in my pj’s much longer than I’d like to admit. But, honestly, it’s not a regular thing. These people fail to understand just how many meetings (or video calls!) I need to attend on a weekly basis. When you’re a freelancer, you essentially feel like you’re applying to keep your own job each and every week. This means you’re involved in a lot of meetings—or, as I prefer to think of them, job interviews.
That’s right, I look at each meeting with a potential client as an interview. It’s my chance to prove my worth and land a new gig. So, needless to say, I take each appointment pretty seriously.
I don’t just wing it. In fact, quite a bit of preparation goes into each meeting I stroll into. Today, I’m sharing a few of the things I do in order to get myself geared up for a sit down with a potential new client. I hope it helps you approach your client meetings with a new attitude and approach!
You know how people always repeat that age-old, “You need to research the company!” advice when they find out you’ve got a job interview lined up? Well, as annoying as that unwarranted guidance might be, it actually holds some water.
Before shaking hands with a potential new client, I make sure to take the time to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of their business or publication. After all, it’s hard to prove your worth or demonstrate your interest in the company if you have no idea what exactly they do.
You can know the company’s mission statement or the date the business was founded, but reciting that information is only going to get you so far. The piece that the potential client truly cares about is how you will add value to their business. What can you do to help push them towards their objectives?
Knowing what they do is one thing. But, you need to have a solid handle on how you can help them do it even faster or better.
Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I stared blankly at someone who inquired about my rates in a meeting. You’d think that’s information I’d have ready to go at a moment’s notice. But, since I still consider myself relatively new to freelancing, it’s something I still hesitate to shout out on command.
So, before your meeting, sit down and lay out a realistic rate structure you can propose to the client when asked. You’ll not only seem prepared and polished, but it’ll also save you from that wide-eyed moment of panic.
Those are just a few quick tips I have to help you get set and ready for a meeting with a potential client.
What do you do in order to prepare? Let me know your insider secrets!
Until next time!