Wednesday, September 9, 2009

GUEST POST: 4 Tips for Recognizing Clients That Pay Well

Kimberly Ben blogs at Avid Writer, where she gives tips on the business side of freelancing drawn from her 15 years of experience. I like her even-handed, thoughtful approach to topics such as content mills, freelancing ethics and SEO writing. Her site is definitely one to bookmark.

4 Tips for Recognizing Clients that Pay Well
By Kimberly Ben

One of the biggest problems many freelance writers encounter while establishing their business is how to find clients that pay well. When first starting out, the tendency is to aim your marketing efforts low. Low paying projects lead to burnout and make it difficult to grow your business.

Business start-ups, entrepreneurs and “mom and pop” companies are typically not ideal prospects if you’re looking for high-paying gigs. However, there are small and medium-size businesses out there that know the value of good writing, a consistent marketing campaign and have the budget to hire a qualified freelance writer.

You already know that marketing your business constantly is essential in order to keep business coming in; but if you don’t know how to weed out low-paying prospects, you’ll wind up wasting valuable time.

When you’re searching online for new clients, there are many clues that reveal quality prospects if you know what to look for.

Contact Information

Clicking on the contact tab of a site can tell you a lot. If there is only a phone number and a contact form with no other information, you might want to keep looking. Look for signs of an established business. Is the address a post office box or an actual street address located in a business district? Is a phone and fax number provided? Is the phone number toll-free? The more information, the better.

PR Coverage

Be on the look out for a posted press release, news/magazine feature articles, videos of broadcast news stories and any other media coverage about the company. Make sure the information is up to date (within the past five years).


Explore the website and pay attention to important details like multiple office locations, a board of directors or senior executive bios.

Professional Website

Don’t be intimidated by a well-designed site with impressive headlines and well-written, scannable copy. Is there a newsletter or a maintained blog? These are all signs of a business that cares about its message, image and brand.

These are only a few of the signs to look for when searching for high paying clients. Even if you’ve narrowed your marketing message to a specific target audience, you must to be able to tell the difference between low-paying clients and those willing to pay for your skills and expertise. What are some signs you recognize when searching for well-paying prospects?


Unknown said...

Excellent advice, Kimberly. I've turned down work from people who just don't have enough connection to the planet - no physical address, old websites that don't work, new ones that don't work, no history in the phone book, etc.

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Lori. It took me a while to realize that I had to "qualify" prospects before making contact. A lot fewer headaches for me these days.torgl

internet marketing services said...

thanks for the tip! this is great :)

allena said...

Wow. I LOVE this post. I always tell people to look for companies with physical locales. I avoid working for individuals, new non-profits, and, in editing, I've begun to avoid students, too. I just don't have the time. Give me a company with a payroll department, and I'm good.