I’m not looking for clients and I don’t do anything to attract them – nothing on my social, in my emails, on my website etc.
Because I have a clear Vision and mission. I know what my priorities are.
Clarity of Vision gives you the self-discipline to say “no” many times every day.
But people approach me all the same. With all sorts of requests, questions and potential consulting offers, which creates a bit of a friction.
Because I love helping people and businesses grow.
Building people and businesses up has come to define my Being, I do it on reflex even as I interact with people daily, and doing one at a time is never enough.
I’d absolutely love to pick up a serious client or two. Teaming up with high-energy people on a regular basis would only energize me to work on my own mission that much better.
I also happen to love money. Because more money is more freedom.
And making more money is always great in its own right.
Here’s the issue with all that.
I don’t want to deal with flakes and I don’t want to take on clients with losing businesses, even if they pay me upfront.
Why leave money on the table?
Because losing is infectious.
Losers’ disease can easily rub off on your own work.
Doesn’t matter if you’re freelancing for a loser or have an actual stake with someone who’s running a doomed venture. (I strongly recommend the young guns subscribing to my daily email take this as a warning – very seriously – and remember it well.)
So I’ve developed a vicious vetting system to keep myself honest.
If you’ve ever worked as a freelancer or in a sales position, you’d know it usually takes 5-6 interactions to close a client over a decent amount of money.
But I don’t want to waste time selling to flakes.
What do I do then?
If you know anything about sales, especially cold-calling, your pricing is probably the very last thing you want to talk about.
I open with it, unsolicited.
And it’s $275 an hour.
I even say outright that my business services are pricey or expensive – two words you don’t want to use in your sales, unless you’re at genius level.
This first filter – price – immediately deters most time-wasters.
If the prospective client doesn’t flee, we have a quick chat, and if interest is still there, we agree to get in touch later.
Which is the second filter.
I always tell prospects to do something before our call. Usually I request that they email me their top 3 questions, challenges in their business, something like that before we speak.
This is not frivolous – it legitimately makes the talk a lot more effective (it also sells, but that’s not why I ask for it).
I make them commit to doing that within 3-5 days. If they don’t (and usually they don’t), I don’t call them back for at least a week – or several.
That’s the third filter. Will they have maintained interest after being cold-shouldered for a while?
This savage three-step process weeds out almost all the flakes and minimizes time wasted “selling” something I don’t want to sell in the first place to people without commitment.
When you have a Vision of Yourself and a mission to go with that, you must have clear systems and principles to support that and keep your priorities straight.
The unreasonable way I deal with prospective clients imposes that kind of discipline. Few people would ever pass through that sift.
It also does something else, which is even more important to accelerating forward.
My mission is “costing” me because I don’t follow up, I don’t sell, I don’t deal with flakey clients.
Every time I apply my vetting system, I’m implicitly recommitting to what I’ve determined to make my mission and priority. That gives me fuel to quadruple down on my core work and keeps me honest.
It bleeds me.
It’s my blood in the game. Every time it reminds me of my commitment, and keeps my Vision live and energized.
If I start flinching away from dropping clients at $275 an hour, I’d know my priorities are off or my execution isn’t up to snuff.
So far so good. And better.
Because from New Year’s Day I’m raising the hourly rate to $285, just to be on the safe side of getting distracted with flakiness.
That way I can put maximum energy into the daily emails, and the books and programs I’ve been developing last few weeks.
I absolutely do NOT recommend this “sales” approach to anyone who is starting a business or getting busy as a freelancer to learn a craft like design or copywriting.
If you want to be able to be selective with your clients this way, you need to have a massive skill stack and great sales chops to begin with.
That’s what the 22 Time-Tested Techniques That Make GREAT Writing a Consistent Habit are for.
And you can apply most of them to any creative field where you don’t need a team of 20 people to get anything done.
If you want to get serious about your writing, become a supporter on Patreon and apply the principles from the writing workshop, which is an exclusive benefit for patrons.
You can learn more and grab it at this link: https://www.patreon.com/startupdaemon. Just look up the “writing” tag after you make a pledge and get instant access to all the workshop content.
Now go forth and conquer!
PS: If you find value in the daily email, feel free to become a supporter on Pateron at this link: https://www.patreon.com/startupdaemon. And if you enjoy any of the missives, remember that you can recommend or forward it to friends and business partners.