Articles from 12/2012
One of the questions that people ask me most often is this: How do I get more business? The long answer would fall in the realm of marketing and would thus require a book-length manuscript. I'll content myself with brevity for once.
Most of my new business comes through referrals, and I attribute these referrals to "the art of the casual connection."
For the first time on the internet, Jon, Nate and Austin will all be together on UMS Live podcast tomorrow, December 12th! Unmatched Style will be hsoting a marathon live podcast event showcasing a few great podcasts & shows. With guest like Carl Smith, Dan Mall, Zurb, United Pixel Workers, JD Graffam, and those guys from FortySeven Media
Honestly, we have no idea what will happen, but it should be loads of fun. We'll be doing a hybrid Kick Awesome Show and Kicktastic mashup with the good stuff you've come to expect from your favorite business bros.
We are in the middle of our year end planning sessions and want to share with you the process we're using to help FortySeven Media (jon nd Nate) and Bright Newt (Austin) gear up for the new year.
Last week, I wrote about identifying bad clients before you agree to work for them and take their money. But what about those clients who you've already got in the books? What should you do when good relationships sour and you wake up one day to realize that these clients cost you more than they make you? Do you feel confident in your ability to manage difficult clients?
Too many creative professionals are afraid to stand up for themselves and negotiate. They're afraid to make a client unhappy, believing that this person will malign them and tarnish their reputations. Or they are afraid that if spiteful Scrooge's meager checks stop coming then the business will go into a financial tailspin.
How will you pay your bills? How will you pay your team? If you remember only one thing from this post, remember this: Anxiety is a mediocre business coach. Don't make decisions simply to prevent bad things from happening. Make decisions to welcome so many good things into your life that they eventually crowd out the bad ones.
Today's post will cover something I've been thinking about a lot recently: bad clients, or, to be more precise, clients who cost your business more in terms of time, money, and anxiety than they make you.
As grimly satisfying as it would be to dish war stories about bad clients, my goal with this post is not to vilify the people who pay my bills but to help you identify and avoid potential obstacles to excellence, enthusiasm, and profit.
As I think back on what I did and didn't do well in 2012 and begin thinking ahead to 2013, I realize that I had to learn several lessons again. Let me begin with one short anecdote, and then I'll share three lists: 1) general beliefs about clients; 2) traits of bad clients; and 3) canned business pick-up lines.