Portfolio school: Get better clients
There’s a tragedy unfolding all around us, unevenly distributed. It’s about health and it’s also about the economy. We are called upon to not panic, to try to focus, to figure out how to make it all work. And many of us are overwhelmed. From health care workers who are burning the candle at both ends to parents with too many demands on their time, it’s been crazy.
And if you’re a freelancer, it can be challenging because the steady gigs or the easy gigs might be on hold.
If you’re fortunate enough to have time on your hands, what to do with the downtime?
If you’re looking for a gig or if you’re hoping for a new client…
It’s easy to get stuck waiting. The alternative is not to wait.
More time spent fretting isn’t going to help.
The alternative is to dig in and build your portfolio.
A portfolio that includes three things:
ONE: What are you good at? You can dramatically increase your skillset (including your attitude about the work you do) in just a few days of focused effort.
TWO: What have you done? You can actually do work, real work, volunteer work, spec work, digital work and you can do it right now.
THREE: How have you expressed 1 and 2? When we look at your portfolio, what do we see?
You are not your resume. Your prospects are based on the work you’ve done and the way you do it.
When you do a good job on your skills, your work history and your expression, you’re more likely to get better clients.
Getting better clients is super simple and really difficult. The current environment makes it even harder, which means we need to be prepared for a longer, more difficult process ahead.
The benefit of better clients is pretty clear: They challenge you to do better work, they talk about you and your work, they pay on time, they want you to do work you’re proud of and they’re motivated to do more than most people expect.
The difficult part is becoming the sort of freelancer that better clients seek out.
Because while it’s true that better clients make you a better freelancer, the work is too important to simply wait for them to show up. Particularly during difficult and uncertain times. Maybe this is an opportunity to reset expectations and recommit to the practice.
If you’re seeking better clients, I hope you’ll check out The Freelancer’s Workshop. It launches today. You can save some money by clicking the purple circle, which is at maximum value today.
We considered canceling this scheduled session of our online workshop, but for many, this is a good moment to take a breath, settle in and level up. These are perilous times, and it’s easy to get pessimistic and stuck. Let’s learn together instead.
Here’s to health and peace of mind as we all slog forward together.
[At 11 am ET today, I’ll be taking your questions on working from home, freelancing and resilience. We’ll be on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, tech permitting–LinkedIn gets posted later.]