Local Clients Eh?

Most of my clients are not local to me, I work for clients that are mainly in the US. Thursday Bram [proposes][art] that I might want to pitch myself for local work.

Sometimes it would be nice to meet clients in person but every issue she sites, I’ve dealt with. I’ve found that local clients seek me out at the local coffee shop and want to talk about their project, without me billing for my time. The best thing I did to combat this was ask the client to hang on one second while I pulled up their account and started the clock.

I’ve also found that no one local has the budget for a project. 99% of the people that want to talk over coffee about their project balk instantly at my hourly rate. I’ve started to charge local clients for that first coffee meeting just to see if they’re actually serious. Of course of they go ahead with the project I deduct the I total meeting.

Around here I think the lack of quality clients is due to location. I live about 1 hour east of Vancouver BC, it’s not a hotbed of technical wizardy. Maybe local clients would be better if I was in Vancouver?

Has anyone had success with local clients outside of a major urban center?

[art]: http://freelanceswitch.com/clients/billing-as-a-local-freelancer/ “Billing yourself as a local Freelancer”

1 thought on “Local Clients Eh?

  1. I have quite a bit of local clients, although I do notice the budget is smaller in general than my clients in the US and the rest of the world.
    I don’t charge people for meetings, because it’s also a way for them to see who they’d be dealing with. I’ve been in “face-to-face selling” for years, and 9 out of 10 initial meetings result in a project.
    I’m guessing it all depends on your area. People here in SK are probably different from BC clients.

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