My top source of high-paying clients and how I make sure I keep on getting those high clients from these sources regularly
A few high-paying clients once in a while will not help build a stable freelancing career. One needs a constant source of clients and, more importantly, high-paying clients. It is not easy, but it’s not rocket science either.
I have a wide variety of clients coming from various sources. I share my top source of high paying clients and how I make sure I keep on getting those high paying clients.
The best source of my high paying clients is from reference. Along with feedback, I ask clients if they can refer me to their friends who are looking for similar services. Just one line
If you know anyone who is looking for any kind of work in xenForo, WordPress of vBulletin do let them know about me.
This simple one line to clients has fetched me so many high-paying clients.
There isn’t any source of clients that can beat the clients I got from reference. It is the best source for the client. Moreover, the referrer has already built your reputation even before you start working. It always helps me demand better rates and become a well-paid freelancer.
Client referral is not all about being paid well, but it also means you are working on very high expectations because the referring client may have told excellent things about you, and you have to make sure you deliver.
2. Niche Technology
Don’t work hard, but work smart.
Working harder means when there are hundreds of developers bidding for the same project, you lower the price to grab a client with an assumption that in the long run, you will be able to get a reasonable price.
Working smarter means finding a niche such that it is big enough niche to have a constant flow of work and small enough niche to lower the competition.
As the competition lowers, you can quickly build your expertise and get paid well.
Refer: How to Find Your Freelance Niche
Example: If you are a PHP developer, a niche can be a CMS like WordPress or Magento. If you work in Magento, you can be a Magento developer or Magento Designer or a shopping cart designer who works in Magento and BigCommerce.
BizTips is one of my top sources for high-paying clients.
Whenever I share code snippets, not everyone likes to implement them. If they can get someone to do those, they will be more than happy to get it done. So I make sure I share my hire me page link.
When clients see an option to hire me, they prefer me to get those implemented, but more importantly, they also want me to be part of their other projects as well. A recent example is the vBulletin code snippet that I shared here has landed me projects worth more than $2000.
On my hire me page, I refer clients to Upwork because it helps build the confidence of clients in more than one way. Of course, my work history in Upwork for sure, but more than that, the escrow service where a client pays only when they are satisfied with my work.
4. Get Rid of Low Paying Clients
Your first client will not pay you top dollars. Slowly but surely build clients who are more than willing to pay you top dollars.
Moreover, when a client is satisfied with you, and if you remain in touch with them with email and social media, you are sure to get hired by them at better rates in the future.
It takes time and effort to build a client base who are willing to pay you your price. Don’t be disheartened when your increase rates that make some clients go. Those aren’t the ones who will pay you top dollars.
Over time, some clients will stick and will be ready to pay you better rates for the quality of services they can get from you.
Saying no to some clients will make sure you can focus on high-paying larger clients.
As a freelancer, one has limited time. So decide which clients to keep and fire the rest.
5. Forums (Reddit / Quora)
I work in xenForo, and the official xenForo forum has been a good source of long-term clients for me. Again, because I work in XenForo, potential clients are looking for customization in the official community.
When I was working in vBulletin, I used to get clients from vBulletin.org as well as other forums like Sitepoint, where people wanted to hire developers. Even as of today, DigitalPoint’s Services forum has hundreds of members looking to hire developers.
Find out where your clients hang out. Be part of the community.
Remember to be helpful in forums (or wherever you have potential clients hanging out). It will always help you find a good source of clients.
It still works for me.
Remember, Rome was never built in a day.
Some people consider marketplace like Upwork as the race to the bottom in terms of price, and to be honest, they are not aware of the true potential of Upwork or don’t know how to make use of Upwork.
If the price is the only factor to get projects on Upwork, I should be starving by now.
Working on freelancing sites like Upwork, your reputation does matter. Deliver good quality within a deadline, and you get positive feedback that can improve your reputation.
Upwork is one of the most stable sources of clients or me, and I recommend it to all my other sources of clients and recommend it to any developer who wishes to be a freelancer.
I love Upwork because it provides an excellent platform to interact and manage all my clients and has everything for smooth client interaction with escrow service. Escrow provides confidence to clients because they know they will pay only when I deliver.
As the client and freelancer relationship exchanges more money, the Upwork’s commission goes down and becomes at par with PayPal.
7. Be a Problem Solver
If you can solve a client’s problem, you are bound to be paid better than anyone else.
There is a reason why Google is so profitable as a business. It identifies and solves problems.
As a service provider, the tougher problems you can solve can means you have high paying clients waiting for you.
As an example, you can design a website.
Anyone can design a website. Understand why clients need a new design. Make sure you identify the problem by asking the right questions. Next, you solve it, and the price becomes secondary.
The real pain is to understand the problem.
As a designer, when you see a request from clients, “I want a new logo”, we assume the client needs new looks.
Did we consider a possibility that the client may not have the PSD file of the existing logo?
Once you can solve the at-hand problem (re-create a PSD file) of the client, the price becomes secondary.
8. Team Up
The best way to have a constant source of high-paying clients is to team up. Look for freelancers who aren’t your direct competitors but can complement what you offer as a service.
As a web developer, one can always team up with a web designer. Or an SEO service provider can team up with content writers.
However, when you team up, make sure you make things clear on each of the scenarios I have discussed here.
9. Networking (Offline)
People often underestimate the power of offline networking for getting higher-paying clients.
I have shared the complete step by step process to find the first clients offline. However, the process can also be applied to grab a few high paying clients.
Using your contacts to connect with some offline clients is a great starting point. Maybe you can find a high-paying client right away. If not, chances are you will connect with someone else who might want to be your long-term high-paying client.