When you’re a freelancer, it’s tempting to say yes to any opportunity that comes your way. However, it’s OK to be choosy and pick the clients you want to work with based on how much they can offer in the future.
Photo by University of Michigan
The art of picking the right clients is a hard one, particularly when it’s assumed you won’t say no. However, choosing the wrong clients can mean the difference between a profitable future and wasting your time for months (or years) on work that won’t go anywhere or help you in the long run. As business blog Entrepreneur explains:
Remember dating in high school? You know that guy or girl who you liked but were pretty sure didn’t feel the same way back? It is likely that you spent countless hours trying to wow him or her, but to no avail. In the end, although you were unlikely to admit it, you knew he or she didn’t like you back. Despite all your charisma, your efforts were simply wasted on the wrong person.
…[M]any CPAs, just like those in the high school dating scene, spend most of their time trying to “wow” the wrong guy or girl. Therefore it’s key that you identify clients who will be as enamoured with your services as you’d like them to be.
While the original post discusses this dynamic in terms of bigger businesses offering advisory services to clients, it applies in most cases where you deal with clients. Some will only be able to offer a one-time gig, some will offer a more lasting partnership, and some clients aren’t worth your time.