10 qualities of high quality freelance clients and how to attract them

I’ve earned millions of dollars as a freelancer over the last 12 years. How many rich freelancers have you met? Not many. I’m one of the rare few.

That’s because the primary strategy of most freelancers is the same – do more work and get more clients.

There are thousands of articles that focus on this idea. Getting more clients, being more productive and doing more work.

But there’s something even more important that successful freelancers rarely talk about that makes all the difference – something that you don’t hear about too often.

The single biggest determining factor in your success as a freelancer is simple and everything else pales in comparison; seeking high quality clients.

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What I learned from interviewing 1000 job candidates over 12 years – and my tips to getting hired

I hire people or advise clients on hiring people every day. One of my businesses is a recurring and hiring agency where we are contracted to find the best possible candidates for various jobs.

For over 12 years, I’ve interviewed over 1,000 job candidates for startups, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, government departments and non profits.

I’ve learned what types of core attributes employers are constantly looking for – and I’ve learned first hand how you can change these small though processes to nail your next job interview.

In the end, like most things in business, it’s a lot more simple than you would think.

When it comes down to it, employers tend to seek a few core  qualities in any interview – some are so obvious they go unaddressed often. Worse, some articles talk about doing the opposite.

Here’s what I learned during my decade plus of interviewing and recurring job candidates.

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5 ways I doubled my freelancing rates in a year

I’ve freelanced for as long as I can remember. I freelance write, design and run a web design and programming firm with some partners.

Over my 12 years as a freelancer, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to become a successful freelancer – and how to curate a portfolio of clients that will help your business grow. I’ve learned a ton about freelancing – but never more than this last year.

This last year, we decided to try a new approach and consolidate our clients. Instead of working with lots of clients for for low to medium pricing, we decided to work with fewer clients but charge more.

I’ve met hundreds of freelancers, myself included, who don’t know when or how to pull the trigger and start charging clients more for your services. When I decided to take this route, I was worried. Worried I would lose clients. Worried no one would say yes. Worried I would lose out on business.

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Why immigrants will always be more successful than you

People area always complaining how hard it is to get out of poverty if you’re born poor. I get it. I’ve been there. But why is it that the worst offenders are American born, English speaking, able-bodied white people?

Being an immigrant myself, born in the poorest slums of Chicago, I clawed my way out of poverty and by most people’s standards, I’m now a successful entrepreneur living the American dream.

But I never considered being “poor” as a handicap like so many people do.

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7 signs you’re successful and winning in life

When you’ve reached a certain point in your life and career, it’s natural to start getting used to these things. You may be extremely successful and not even know it.

I end up being so busy every day that I often forget that I’m actually successful. Being ambitious naturally leads to being goal oriented so all I see is the next goal rather than reflect on how far I’ve come in my life.

From my experience, I think it’s because in order to succeed in any area of life, you’re naturally ambitious and always looking towards improving or achieving the next milestone. Since you’re always looking forward, you’re successful – and by consequence it’s easy to miss what’s already in front of you.

If you can relate to any of these things below, you’re probably a lot more successful than you realize.

You don’t worry about your bills

The vast majority of people have “too much month left at the end of their money” and are living paycheck to paycheck.

If you happen to be in the small minority of people who don’t need to worry about meeting their bills every month, you’re already successful.

It is a terrible and scary feeling not knowing if you’ll be able to meet your obligations and pay your bills on the first of each month. Most of us have been there – and I lived this way for decades while I built up my career.

If this feeling is something you can’t relate to any more, you’re ahead of the 80% of people in America who have this worry every month – and that puts you in the minority.

You can say “no”

A huge luxury among successful people is the ability to say no. Whether it’s turning down a new project at work, or a new customer. It doesn’t matter if it’s because you’re stretched too thin, you don’t like this new customer or project, or you just choose to use your time differently.

Most people have no option to say “no” and they need to accept everything that comes through their door in order to survive.

If you are among the small few who can decline at your discretion, you’re extremely far ahead of most people – and you have the freedom to say “no” when most people are forced to say “yes.”

You can leave right now

Whether you own your own business or are in a position where you can dictate how your time is spent – if you can get up and take the rest of the day off on a whim, you’re hugely successful.

It means you have the option of freedom ok your terms. It’s something most people don’t have. The ability to simply decide “I don’t feel like working today” – the idea is impossible to comprehend by most people’s standards. Most people are told when to come to work, when to eat lunch, when to leave.

Whether you’re a business owner or just in a position in your career where you can decide to do what you want when you want – you’ve made it.

If you decide that you feel like going out to catch a movie right now just for the hell of it, if no one can ultimately stop you and you’re free to choose how to spend your time today, that’s a luxury most people never know.

If thjs actually is an option for you, be grateful. It means you’ve made it to a level that only successful people get to play on.

You can make more money if you wanted to

For most people, they’re working a dead end job that will always pay them the same amount. They may or may not get a small raise in the future, but for the most part, they can’t earn more money or move up in their careers if they wanted to.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur that can grow your business or an employee who can find creative ways to increase your earnings – you’re free to make more if you want. You have no ceilings and no limits.

Like most signs of success, it revolves around freedom. The freedom to earn more or have the possibility or avenues to do so, is a huge sign that you’re successful.

It may seem like such a small thing – but it’s not. Most people are confined to their paycheck and less some extraordinary circumstance, they don’t have any option to earn more money unless they find a new job or win the lottery. That means they are stuck.

But the truly successful can make their own terms. They can expand their business or achieve bonuses in their work. They can use their creativity to do more.

It means if you really wanted to, you can spread your wings and soar higher than everyone else.

Just the ability to have this option is foreign to most others and having this privelage – regardless of whether you take it or not – is a blessing.

People admire you or want to be like you

Call it jealousy, envy or admiration. The average person is never talked about by others. They’re usually mediocre on every level so naturally, no one notices them or strives to be like them.

Being successful is all about freedom. It means you’re more free than others because you have what others done. It comes with ups and downs but in the end, if other people want what you have – whether it’s things you own or achievements you’ve earned – someone wants to be like you. You’re the person they look up to. You’re their sign of success and you’re living in it.

Honestly, how many people have you met that embody some form of success – enough where other people want to be in your shoes?

Even if you know of just one person who envies you, you’re successful. Success comes with “haters” and it means you’re ahead of the average person. It’s a sure sign that you’re successful.

People seek your advice

Whether you’re successful in business, relationships or anything else in life, a sure sign you’ve made it – or at least that you’re on the right track – is when people seek your counsel.

People don’t seek advice from the average Joe because you don’t need advice to be average. If you’re above average on any level, you’re the one people seek out.

There are lots of people who want to be this way – so they are constantly trying to give advice to others – often unwanted. They desperately want to be heard and want to be important.

The truly successful don’t need to chase down others. They come to you because you’ve achieve what they dream of – so they seek your help and advice.

If you’re at the point in your life where people want to listen and learn from you, you’re doing something right.

Like other successful people, I love helping others and am always grateful to be in a position to answer any questions or give advice to someone who asks. It’s an honor and privelage to be someone that others can look up to.

I have met plenty of losers who want so badly to be heard yet they haven’t accomplished anything worthwhile. So naturally they don’t have any valuables insight and are never asked their opinions on much at all. In turn, these people get louder and more aggressive as they insist on being heard. The truly successful don’t need to insist in antrhjng because others seek them out.

Success in any area of life is earned but it’s also a privelage. Sharing what you know with others is something only the truly successful can offer when asked. And graciously being able to help someone is an amazing feeling.

You don’t care what other people think

When I was struggling when I first started my career, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I was trolling Facebook or comparing what I had accomplished with everyone else because I always felt like I was behind.

I eventually learned that successful people don’t waste their time comparing their lives to others. They’re too busy to dream because they’re making their dreams their reality.

They desperately want to “make it” so they never stop competing and comparing.

After I “made it” I noticed this feeling naturally faded away. It seemed like a by-product of success was that I had grown into a person that didn’t care what others were doing. I was able to pursue my own dreams and life without wondering what Joe Blow was doing and where I was in contrast.

I learned that when you have enough on your plate and enough success in your life, you’re too busy to concern yourself with antrhjng that doesn’t make you feel good. When your dreams are unfolding in front of you, it seems less and less important how others are doing.

I have met tons of people who are losing in life. They walk around like victims that have no control over what they do or where they’ll end up in life – so they constantly envy others and want to see others fail.

It is a toxic mindset that kills success and it’s obvious why some of the biggest losers I’ve ever met are also the most jealous and most consumed people who never can be satisfied. All they care about is how others look at them. It’s a small minded trait of the losing individual.

They care so much about what others are doing and what they are thinking of them that they don’t get anywhere at all.

When you’re successful and secure in what you’ve accomplished, you don’t bother with caring what others think of you. When you’re too busy writing your own life story, you lose the desire to read other people’s stories.

That is a truly amazing feeling of freedom that comes with the territory of success.

If you’re finding your dreams coming true, you don’t care what others think of you. You write your own story and being able to harness this powerful mindset is a huge sign that you’re winning and dominating in life.

It’s a mindset

Being successful is something to always be grateful for. It takes hard work and sacrifice to get there. Whether you’re already winning or on the way to dominating life, keep these things in mind and remind yourself daily that even if you don’t feel like a success – you may be doing much better than you realize.

If you’re successful that means you have high standards. So it’s easy to miss out on the obvious fact that you are successful.

You realize you’re already successful and the only thing that will change is that you’ll become more and more successful – but you’re already there.

Success is about freedom. Some people run away or try and fill their lives with meaningless stuff – when in the end, what truly makes you successful will also give you the life of options – the options to do what you want and do what you love.

When you stop and think, you may be surprised to find that you’ve “made it” for a long one now – and you’re continuing to win in life because winning has become your “normal.”

School doesn’t prepare you for the real world

School paints a false reality of the real world. Not only is this “reality” completely wrong, but worse, they convince students the real world is most definitely going to be the way they say it is. Students, having never yet lived in the real world, naturally believe it to be accurate. But, of course the real world is nothing like way schools describe it.

instead of simply peddling a false sense of the “real world,” they take it a step further and convince students that this “real world” they describe is exactly what students should anticipate once they leave academia. They paint it as a magical place where jobs are plentiful and available to anyone who gets a good degree and follows the rules.

So not only do students get a false perception of how the real world works, but they are forced to believe that the schools version of reality is absolutely true. It’s not just moronic and irresponsible, it’s deceptive and malicious because after leaving school, students continue to search for thisnversion of the “real world” painted in their heads by the school system – a reality that doesn’t exist.

The result is not just students when are shocked and surprised by what the real world is actually like, but they go into denial, refusing the accept the real world entirely and waiting for their version of the real world – filled with promises of a bright future – to materialize.

Its not that schools don’t tell students Santa Claus doesn’t exist. They tell students that Santa really definitely exists, and tells them they should search and wait for him to appear because he’s absolutely real. It’s incredibly dangerous and explains, in part, why recent graduates are so dillusional and unrealistic about what to expect as an adult.

Their value to the economy, their perceived skills and knowledge, are said to be absolute and “special” in this fantasy world instilled into them by every teacher, professor and guidance counselor they’ve ever encountered.

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