This 1 Tactic for Getting Freelance Clients Is Worth $10,000s
2 min. read
July 7, 2023
My friend named Joe was convinced a girl was “the one.” I’d never met her, but maybe he was right. Maybe they would be great together.
As I listened to Joe wax poetic about Ms. Right’s many virtues, I waited for an opening and posed what I thought would be a stupid question: “Have you asked her out on a date?”
Joe blinked at me and said no. But he had a plan.
He’d written her a letter. He’d hiked up to Chimney Tops and hidden it. And he was going to give her instructions for finding it.
“Let me get this straight,” I said. “You’ve planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for this young woman, one that will consume four or five hours of her time, but you haven’t come right out and told her how you feel.”
“No,” Joe said. “I haven’t come right out and told her how I feel.”
I stared at Joe. He stared at me.
He was probably thinking I was a cranky old man who doesn’t understand how romance works these days. And I was definitely thinking that if I were the young woman, I might appreciate a man who'd pick up his late-model iPhone and call me and invite me to spend one on one time with him, on purpose, as a date, and let me say yes or no?
I mean, call me crazy and old fashioned, but maybe that would be preferable to a sweaty hike to a peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
Freelancers often act like Joe and take a creative but—ahem—indirect approaching to new client relationships.
We do have another option—the direct approach.
Don’t be cute or coy. Certainly don’t make it hard to decipher your intentions.
Several years ago, I bought Zig Ziglar’s class audio course, “Secrets of Closing the Sale,” and he pointed out what should be obvious to all of us:
You’ll get more sales if you ask for them.
When was the last time you took the direct approach, make an offer, and asked people to respond?
You’ll get more clients if you ask for the sale.
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About the Author, Austin L. Church
Austin L. Church is a writer, brand consultant, and freelance coach. He started freelancing in 2009 after finishing his M.A. in Literature and getting laid off from a marketing agency. Freelancing led to mobile apps (Bright Newt), a tech startup (Closeup.fm), a children's book (Grabbling), and a branding studio (Balernum). Austin loves teaching freelancers and consultants how to stack up specific advantages for more income, free time, and fun. He and his wife live with their three children in Knoxville, Tennessee.