One of the greatest parts about owning your own freelance business is that you get to choose who you work with. Yet finding the right clients isn’t always easy. The difference between success and failure is often knowing who your ideal clients are, the ones that fit your interests, expertise and skills, and who are likely to hire a freelance writer. That’s why it’s important to spend time at the outset nailing down exactly who your perfect client is.

Identify your skills
The first step is to figure out exactly where your specialties lie. Be specific. Yes you may be a writer, but what kind of writing do you excel in? Or if you’re a design, what type of design is your forte? Make a list of the skills you have so that you understand what your perfect client would be looking for.

Find your niche
Your skills may not be the only way to define your perfect client. Think about the particular industry or field you have the most experience in servicing. This can help you narrow down the industries you go searching through for clients. Your niche could be anything, including fashion, tech, fitness, current trends, education or finance.

Are your services needed?
With your niche and skillset in mind, take some time to analyse whether or not the new prospects business could benefit from your specific services. Depending on your field it should be relatively easy to gauge whether or not they require your help. If not, then move on. It’s not worth wasting your time trying to pitch on a client who has no need for your skills. Essentially, you’re looking for a gap in their business that only you can fill.

Does the client hire freelancers?

If a business already has internal roles to manage what you’re offering as a freelancer, chances are that they aren’t going to be open to hiring you, no matter how incredible your offering. So before you approach them, be sure to check their business website to see if you can determine their staff and hiring policies. Doing a quick search for specific titles on LinkedIn is also a good way to see if a permanent employee has already taken the position that you want to fill.

Are they going to treat you well?

You know what you’re looking for in a client, so make sure that have a list of questions to ask each prospect to ensure that they are a good fit for your business. This helps to ensure that you understand each other and sets up the appropriate expectations.