If you want to find higher-caliber — and higher-paying — freelance clients, there’s no better way than attending live events. (And I’ll show you why in this article.) Plus I’ll also share the simple, four-part process I’ve used time and time again to land high-paying clients at both in-person and virtual live events.
Live events are the best way for freelancers to land bigger, better, and higher-paying clients. Here’s why…
At live events, you can get time face-to-face with the decision-makers from the top companies in your industry — who you otherwise would never have a chance to connect with…
Sorry, but for 99% of freelancers, the decision-makers at top companies are way too busy to care about what you write on your blog, post on social media, or send to your email list.
And chances are these execs don’t have the time to reply to random cold emails or phone calls, either. (If you can even get through the gatekeepers to contact them in the first place.)
Plus top companies are probably not going to be hiring people from a jobs board, either.
No, the only way you’re going to get the attention of the decision-makers from top companies is to connect with them directly.
And that (almost) always means face-to face.
Because Even Though There Are Other Ways To Make Direct Connections With Top Companies, None Of Them Beat Live Events
Let’s talk about referrals first.
Yes, referrals will put you directly in touch with key people at top companies. (And you know that I love referrals. To the point where I built a whole system that uses referrals to put finding clients on autopilot.)
But when it comes specifically to landing higher-quality clients, the problem with referrals is that you don’t really control the referrals you get.
And generally speaking, your current clients will have the most connections to other companies on their same level.
Which means even though referrals are amazing for getting clients to come to you…
They’re less effective for increasing the quality of the clients on your roster.
And strategic partnerships also have some of the same issues.
On the positive side, strategic partnerships do give you a little more control over your ability to target higher-level clients. Since if you follow the right process to find a good strategic partner, you’ll know that they have access to the kinds of top-tier companies you want to reach.
But you still can’t control exactly how or when your strategic partner will put you in touch with a potential client.
Which Is Why Live Events Are The Best Way To Upgrade To Bigger, Better, And Higher-Paying Clients
Since if you pick the right event, you’ll be able to walk right up to the decision-makers at top companies in your space.
And instead of ignoring you — like they would a cold email — they will often welcome you into the conversation. Since they’re also at the event to network and make connections.
In fact, when it comes to live events, the only issue I can think of is if you don’t get enough opportunities to meet your ideal clients.
But it’s pretty easy to avoid that problem if you do a little research before the event. Look at the schedule to see how much time they spend on networking. And also see if you can find out how much interaction happens outside the “official” schedule. Since for many events, the biggest opportunities to connect happen after hours at parties, dinners, and bars.
That way, when the event rolls around, you know you’ll wind up in a room full of your ideal clients.
And it will be up to you to find and close the high-paying companies all around you.
That’s Why I Want To Share The Proven, Four-Part Process I Use To Find Clients At Events Right Now
And you may be surprised to see how much work happens before you even show up to the event.
Step 1. Identify Potential Clients
Before the event, the first thing you need to do is to figure out which potential clients might be attending. (Don’t worry about if they actually are just yet. That comes next.)
Here are some places to look…
- The event website.
- A Facebook group or other forum for the event itself.
- Facebook groups, subreddits, and forums for your industry — where you can post about the event and ask who is going. (Or watch for posts from other people who mention the event.)
- Documents from the event like an attendee or vendor list.
- Emails to your colleagues and friends to ask if they are going. (And if not, ask whether they can introduce you to anyone they know who is.)
But don’t stop there. Get creative!
Because at this point, your goal is to identify as many potential clients as possible.
Then in the next step, you’ll check to see if it’s worth your time to pursue them further.
Step 2. Qualify Potential Clients
Once you’ve got a list of potential clients who might be going to the event, you want to reach out before the event and see if they’re actually going. (And ideally find out if they’re interested in meeting you and possibly even hiring you).
So send an email to all the potential clients you found during your research.
Give them a quick summary explaining why you believe they may be going to the event. (You’ll have this from your initial research).
Then share a short-but-compelling background story about what you do and the results you’ve delivered for clients like them in the past. (Or if you’re a new freelancer, explain the results you believe your work will be able to offer them.)
Close the email by telling them how great it would be to connect. And ask them to let you know whether or not they’re going.
Then keep track of which businesses respond to tell you they will be at the event.
These are now your “qualified” potential clients. Since you now know for sure they’re going to be at the event.
And as you’re about to see, you don’t want to waste time preparing to pitch clients who aren’t even going to be there.
Because you’re going to prepare more than anyone else. And that’s going to help you beat out all the other freelancers who may also be looking to work with the potential clients you meet.
Step 3. Analyze Qualified Clients
Once you’ve qualified a potential client, you want to gather as much information about their business before the event as possible…
- Get on their email list.
- Take a free trial of their software.
- Buy their product.
- Look at the ads they’re running (for example, by using the Facebook Ads Library).
- Follow them on social media.
- Look at the source code of their website to see what software platforms and coding languages they’re using.
- Visit their website and then look for their retargeting ads.
The possibilities are almost endless.
And you want to be taking notes and screenshots the whole time.
Because in the final step, you’re going to use all the information you gather to create an irresistible offer — customized for each potential client.
Step 4. Create Your Irresistible Pitch
By now, you will have a ton of information about what’s going on behind-the-scenes for each of your qualified potential clients. (At least as it relates to the services you offer.)
So using your professional expertise, it’s now your job to figure out how you can help them improve.
Brainstorm ideas for how you could use your skills to help them reach the goals that are important to them. Then pick one or two of your best ideas and write them down somewhere that will be easy to reference at the event.
Once You Do That, You’ll Be Ready To Wow Your Potential Clients At The Event
And all that’s left is for you to find a time to meet with them in person. (If you want, you can even reply to your email exchange with them to schedule a meeting in advance.)
But either way, when you meet your potential clients, you will have a list of hand-picked project ideas that you can offer them on the spot.
And just think about how blown away the CEO from a high-end company will be when you say something like this to them at the event…
“Hey, I saw you were running emails for your exercise program last week. I loved the curiosity angles you had!
But I was wondering, have you ever tried story-based emails? I think they could also do an awesome job selling the program. And if you’re interested, I’d love to talk about the details to help you with that.”
Talk about standing out from the crowd and making it easy to say yes.
You’ve just given this CEO the exact blueprint for how you will help them make more money. All he or she has to do is say “YES!” (And send you the money to get started.)
Also, while this is an example of what I might say as a copywriter, you can easily fill this in with details relevant to the services you provide.
Is This Four-Part Process A Lot Of Work? Absolutely.
But that’s the point.
By having this level of preparation, you will absolutely make it easier for the client to hire you. Plus you also will set yourself apart from other freelancers at the event.
And that can make all the difference between coming home empty handed…
…or coming home booked solid — with a calendar full of exciting projects for your dream clients.
So keep this email handy as events begin to return in your industry — even if they’re still virtual for now.
Because these four steps can easily add tens of thousands of dollars to your income. (They did for me at least.)
Now let me show you how to make freelance clients come to you — like clockwork — using a simple, 30-second conversation…
All the details are inside my free business blueprint 30-Second Referrals.
With this free PDF, you’ll discover how to use a simple, 30-second conversation to get two referrals from every single client you sign. (I’ll even show you exactly what to say during this conversation with my word-for-word script on page 13.)
That way, you can make clients come to you like clockwork. And you can fill your pipeline with more new business than you can handle.
But there is a small catch…
30-Second Referrals is only available to members The Freelance Like A Pro email list.
So enter your best email below to join us and claim your free copy of 30-Second Referrals now. (And you’ll get my members-only emails to help you run a more profitable and stress-free freelance business, too.)
Enter your first name & best real email (no aliases)
Thanks for the freelancing guide and the emails that you've been sending out — the 30-second referral method is so stupidly simple, that it's genius!Connor Inch, Freelance Copywriter