This article exposes a dangerous, trust-killing trap that countless freelancers fall into…which robs them of the ability to charge higher rates, generate repeat business, collect referrals, and so much more.
Yet on the surface, this trap seems harmless.
Which means even experienced freelancers can fall into it…
Including me — and I almost did last week…
Because last week, I landed a BIG new project. At $15,000, it matches the most I’ve ever charged for a single assignment.
It took me a lot of work to get the job, though.
And you’ll find out why that almost led me into the trust-killing trap in a moment…
But first, you need to understand why I almost didn’t get the job…
You see, I knew I was competing for the project with some big-name copywriters. So I worked extra hard to prove that I was the best fit.
And at the beginning, I was optimistic about my chances. Because the potential client asked me back for a second call. And I knew that meant I was on the short-list to get the project.
But after that, I didn’t hear from the potential client again. So I figured they went with someone else.
Then one afternoon, I was going through my voicemails to delete the spam messages I got that day…
But I stopped when I heard that one of the voices wasn’t a robot.
It was the client — telling me I got the job!
At first, I almost couldn’t believe it.
I actually started jumping up and down. I was that excited.
Now once the client said they wanted to hire me, I thought it would be smooth sailing…
But instead, my position only got more stressful…
…and it almost made me fall into the trust-killing trap I’m about to share with you.
Because now I had a client ready and willing to pay me $15,000…
Yet their contract had a few terms that I couldn’t accept.
So we started negotiating. And luckily, we were able to resolve most of my concerns right away…
But there was one clause that was still a problem.
And it didn’t seem like we were going to find a solution.
So at that point, I started asking myself in disbelief…
“Am I really going to walk away from 15 grand — all over one little sentence? That’s like eight months of rent!”
I actually almost caved in and just said “okay” at one point.
But luckily I didn’t. And at the last minute, we were able to find another compromise that worked for everyone.
So we signed the contract, and I officially got the job!
AND HERE IS WHERE FREELANCERS GET CAUGHT IN THE TRUST-KILLING TRAP.
Because after all the work and stress it took just to get the job…
It’s SO easy to feel like you’ve earned the ability to relax. And to celebrate as if you’ve reached a big milestone…
But in reality, you’re just getting started. Because now you actually have to DELIVER the work!
Which means you need to increase your dedication and commitment to your client. Not take your foot off the gas.
Yet I see too many freelancers who do exactly that…
As soon as they land a project, they start to relax and pay less attention to the client they just signed. And they start looking for yet another client instead.
Now on one hand, that does make some sense. Because your business depends on bringing in new clients…
But if you do that at the expense of your existing clients, it can destroy your reputation. Because you won’t give your clients the attention needed to deliver outstanding results.
And having a bad reputation is like strapping the anchor from a giant battleship around your neck.
It drags you down and makes it MUCH harder for you to have success as a freelancer.
Because without a good reputation, it’s harder to raise your rates and land top-tier clients.
Which means you’ll get paid less money to work with more difficult clients. (Not exactly the recipe for enjoying your workday…). Since no A-List company wants to work with an unreliable freelancer.
And without a good reputation, you also won’t get referrals.
Since no one is going to recommend a freelancer who provides a subpar experience. Which is a BIG loss…
Because referrals are the easiest way to generate new business for almost no effort. Plus referral clients tend to pay you better rates, negotiate less, hire you more often, and even send you more referrals of their own.
(And if you want to see how I get two referrals from every single one of my clients — using a simple, 30-second conversation — grab a free copy of my 30-Second Referrals method now.)
Last, not having a good reputation kills your ability to land repeat work and retainers.
Because if you only deliver lukewarm service to your clients, they won’t be excited to hire you back. And they definitely won’t want to pay you every month on retainer.
Instead, you’ll be stuck on a hamster wheel, always having to chase down new clients to keep your business going.
So to recap: without a good reputation…
- You’ll struggle just to land average clients.
- You won’t make as much for your efforts.
- And you’ll face constant pressure to find new business — since you won’t be able to get retainers, referrals, or repeat work.
Which is why it’s critical that you stay on high alert for this trust-killing trap…
And that you begin to take on the Pro-Lancer’s mindset. Where after you sign a client, you remember:
Your work has just begun.
And now it’s time to INCREASE your efforts and deliver great work. Not time to take your foot off the gas.
Because when you adopt this mindset, it opens the door for you to charge higher rates, generate repeat business, collect more referrals, and so much more.
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