Tom Martin from Advertising Age has an excellent piece of advice for all the professionals out there:
Stop being hired by clients and start hiring them. Stop waiting to receive an RFP or mailing hundreds of clients four to six times a year to stay “top of mind.” Instead, pick the folks you really want to work with, regardless of how big they are or what agency they currently work with.
The author is a little more concrete in the next paragraph, but if you want a second opinion, try this on for size: The Secret to Landing Clients Nearly 100% of the Time.
This is just another facet of what seems to be terribly wrong with business, which shapes our cynicism and despair over what we are getting paid to do. I hope that for you, it started out as a job you would have loved to do for free.
I think adopting this mentality of hiring clients instead of getting hired has a something to do with fulfilling your goal of being your own boss. That phrase is said a lot when it comes to freelancing, but applies to the rest of the industry as well. Even larger companies start somewhere. Somewhere small, in which they often compromise their true worth just so they can earn something. Something that really isn’t enough.
Whether you work alone or in a group, whether you’re a big name in the business or just starting out, stick to your guns. If that client does not understand why they have to spend the right amount of money for their venture with you, make sure that before you drop them you’ve done all you can to explain the numbers.
But if this request for proposal hoopla is hurting your operating costs and, more importantly, preventing you from doing your actual job, ask yourself: are they worth it? Have they earned what it takes to be part of your portfolio? You’d want to be proud of every single project you’ve done, wouldn’t you?