Turning down a potential client is one of the hardest things to do as a freelancer. Especially when most of us spend years struggling to build a steady book of business. But as you’re about to see, the more successful you are, the more important it is to choose your clients carefully.
I’ve already had two companies reach out to me this week looking to hire me.
But I had to turn them both down.
(Also, before you ask — no, I don’t work with any junior copywriters. I referred the opportunities to colleagues of mine.)
And it made me realize another big takeaway from the roadmap I came up with to double my business next year.
Now before I go further, I need to warn you this is a more advanced topic.
It really only applies to freelancers like me, who are booked for months in advance.
But don’t worry.
If you’re not at that point yet, I’ll also share what I think you should do at the end of this email.
See, the roadmap for doubling my business really hammered home the fact that I can only write around five sales letters per year.
And at the same time, in order for me to continue getting clients and raising my rates…
I Need To Have A Track Record Of Recent Winning Promotions In My Portfolio
Especially if I’m going to make royalties and performance bonuses a bigger part of my income strategy going forward.
So that means I need to have a steady stream of successful sales letters going live each year…
Yet I only have a limited number of opportunities to write those sales letters…
Which Is Why I Need To Start Being Really Careful About Choosing Which Clients I Write For
See, there’s an old equation that says only 20% of a promotion’s success comes from the copy.
The other 80% comes from the product and how well it meets a need in the market (60%) and the ability to present it to the right audience (20%).
That means I could write excellent copy for a client…
But the campaign still bombs.
Since the product wasn’t great. Or the promotion didn’t get in front of the right audience.
And if that happens, it means I “wasted” one of my limited attempts at having a successful promotion for the year.
But That’s Not Even The Worst Possible Outcome…
I’ve also had clients pay me five figures for sales copy…
And then never even finish the design for the page.
Let alone getting it coded and published to their website.
And while I learned my lesson and now I make sure to have a kill fee in place to make up for some of the lost royalties…
I would still lose the chance to add another winning campaign to my track record.
Which is why I need to be careful about the clients I agree to work with.
So just like my clients want me to have a proven track record for writing successful promotions…
I Now Insist That My Clients Also Have A Proven Track Record For Launching Successful Promotions
Because if they don’t, there’s a huge risk that I will wind up “wasting” one of the few chances I have to write a winning sales letter each year.
But that doesn’t mean you should just start turning down clients left and right.
Remember, I said this mindset is for more advanced freelancers, who are generally booked for at least a few months in advance.
So if you’re still looking for your first few clients…
Or if you aren’t booked for months into the future…
I would actually do the opposite — and err on the side of taking all the work you can get.
Yes, that means you may wind up with a nightmare client or two.
But learning how to deal with them is actually a valuable experience on its own.
(Just do your best to protect yourself with a solid contract to the extent you can.)
And obviously don’t take on a client where there are any serious red flags.
But if you aren’t sure about a new prospect — and you also aren’t fully booked with work — I think you’ll wind up better off in the long run saying yes more often than you say no.
Then once you’re booked solid, you can shift your approach and start becoming more selective like I shared with you today.
And if you want to book yourself solid faster than you ever imagined…
Let Me Show You How To Make Freelance Clients Come To You 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 real 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.)
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