I have had a number of women declare to me that they are ready to take on bigger clients and projects. They are tired of the $2000 or $5000 one-off projects. They want to land three contracts that are $50,000 each—or more. But they don’t know where to start.
I HAVE A FEW IDEAS TO SHARE ABOUT HOW TO LAND BIGGER, BETTER CLIENTS.
First, make your top 10 list. Make a list of your 10 dream clients. Write it down, laminate it if your name is Frédérique Irwin, and tape it to your computer or wall so that you see it whenever you are working at your desk. You will look at this list a million times. Every time you do, ask yourself, what am I doing to land one of those? Have I spent time on LinkedIn trying to figure out who in my network knows someone at one of those companies? Am I mentioning in conversation to anyone who will talk to me that I am trying to break into these companies?
My second suggestion is to be where the bigger companies are.
Figure out who your ideal contact at the target company is and then ask yourself how to find them.
What conferences are they likely attending? What publications are they reading? Those are the places you need to be. You can ask your own network the same questions. “I’m working on filling my professional development calendar through the end of the year, and I’m wondering if there are any conferences or presentations you are planning to attend that you think I should go to?”
Finally, sometimes it is helpful to get your toe in the door as a subcontractor before you can land the big contract. Maybe there is a company in your space that is bigger and regularly gets these big contracts. Reach out and see if they ever have a need for more capacity and offer your services as a subcontractor. This will allow you to get into the organization and learn the nuts and bolts of the place. You will develop your own relationships within the company. Although you might have to sign a noncompete for that particular client, being able to tell other large prospects that you have experience with their equally large competitor will go a long way toward building your credibility.