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What Exactly is a High Value Client?

High Value Clients value your skills.

That’s it. These are clients that can see that the work you do will have a specific benefit for their business. They also understand that price is based on the quality of work that you do, not what the rest of the market is charging.

As freelancers, it is one of our biggest challenges to find these types of clients. Yet, we tend to approach it by either casting our net wide and hoping to catch a few, or sitting back and waiting for them to find us. Neither approach is going to give us great results.

Not getting paid what you're worth for your freelance services? Here's how you can get high-paid work from high-value clients.

You have to put effort into valuing clients too.

I have a partnership with a great graphic designer, we work in 2 different areas of the country, both are small town and rural. My designer would bring me a project about once a month saying that they were small, didn’t have much money, this was a rural area, etc, etc. I took that for the truth, built the website, and walked away believing that $500 maybe $1000 was all I was ever going to make.

Then I started reading, learning, and changing my mindset. I started placing value on what I was capable of doing. I started equating the work I did for other businesses as producing value for them too. I doubled what I charged, then doubled it again, and businesses are still saying yes.

I didn’t just double my rates though, I approached every potential project a little bit differently. I started to value my clients. I had to change my beliefs about them too. I had to get rid of my assumptions that because they were expecting a $1000 website that they didn’t understand the value that my partner and I could bring. I had to stop assuming that because they wanted to pay $1000 it didn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t pay $15,000.

If you don’t tell people about your value how will they ever know?

How do you do this? How do you show your customers what you can do is worth that much more investment?

Ask Questions

Don’t ask them what their budget is or what colors they like (not yet anyway). You need to find out about them and their business.

“Why have they chosen to change things now?”

“What problem are they trying to solve?”

Don’t stop if they give you short answers like, ‘it’s old and needs updating’. Dig some more. The best question to follow up with is why? Or even, what does that mean to you?

Dig deep to find out their why

Keep asking questions until you can uncover the why….

“What are they hoping to get as a Return On Investment for this?”

    1. Do they want to gain customers? If so, how, what is it worth to them?
    2. Saving time: who and what is the value placed on it

When you start understanding the client’s business and how they can make and save money, you have a completely different approach to promoting your skills. You will have the ability to turn what you do into a business investment not an expense.

Create a solution specifically for them

When you are armed with the above information creating solutions for your client become almost obvious. This is the point where you start showing your potential customer the value that you bring.

You should have enough information at this point to say that you can either save them time or bring in more leads/customers to their business, or both. This information can then be used to estimate the money saved or revenue created by implementing your ideas.

  1. Give a rough estimate of the time saved in a year, equating to a value (days times hours times hourly value of the guy doing the work). It could be $3k it could be $15K.. What is their time worth?
  2. If their new website/copywriting/etc drives 20 new leads per month and 1 turns into a new customer at a value of $1K? Then you are bringing in $12K of new revenue per year.

This is how you charge upward of $15,000 for your services.

Hiring you makes them more money. You become an investment not an expense.

Did you notice what happened here? In the end finding your ideal customer isn’t about defining who they are, it’s defining how you can help.

Show your potential clients the value that you bring to the partnership and if they understand, they automatically become high value.

Providing value to your clients turns them into High Value Clients.

It would be great to hear how you provide value at the beginning of your client relationship. Please leave a comment below.

Beth Perrou I’m the author of the 5 minute Guide to Finding High Value Clients. I help freelancers and Wordpress developers earn what they are worth. Turning $500 leads into $10K clients. Freelance to Freedom was one of my first safe havens to explore working for myself. Without taking that leap I couldn’t spend so much time snowboarding/climbing/travelling (or with my 6 year old!).

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Interesting, I don’t I’ve even done a projection of what revamping someone’s branding & website could save them moving forward (or how much new revenue it can create). Will definitely look into incorporating this somehow.

  • I love this Beth! It’s so true. I know when people think of products/courses they tend to fall into this mindset a lot easier than when it comes to pricing out our actual services. The word investment is key – we are making a difference in their businesses (and lives)! Thanks for the great, inspirational, post.
    Kaitlyn |

    • Thanks Kaitlyn. It’s nice to have your backup.

      I agree, investment is key. That one word has a lot of power to change mindsets.

      But we also have to believe it for ourselves. Sometimes that is what needs to change, our ability to see our own value! If we don’t think we add value neither will our clients.

  • That’s great Yari. We all create value with what we do, we know it and assume that our clients do too. But most don’t. A simple x + y = z is always helpful. I get lots of responses along the lines of ‘I never thought of it that way’. Good luck!

  • This part of the reason I don’t post rates on my website. I have learned that different customers can place a wide range of values on a blog post of 500 words (or whatever content piece). It could be anywhere from $5 to $500, depending on who the client is. The specs may be very similar at first glance, but a larger corporation will place a higher value per word than a small business, because they know it is going to deliver a higher return for them.

    • That’s a good point Kathy. I did that for the longest time too, but recently I found that people need a ballpark figure. I’m trying a ‘rough guideline’ pricing now and see how it affects the number of leads I get.

      Do you have a preferred client? I think that’s when general pricing can help. If you know who you are going to serve 90% of the time, it helps in creating trust.

      Thanks for your comments!

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