5 Key Points You Need To Know In Order To Get High Paying Clients

Finding Your Ideal Client

Last week I wrote a post for clients who order writing jobs. In that post I was giving the client tips to save them (and the writer they would hire) some time and money.

Today, I wanted to write an article for freelance writers out there who may still be wasting a lot of time arguing back and forth with clients about small details and prices. I know one thing, I’m done with that. Wouldn’t you want to be as well?

If yes, then keep on reading. As a matter fact, if you’re reading this and are not a freelance writer, you could still apply those tips to any business you may have.

Maybe it’s time to ask yourself the question; why am I still fighting clients that are difficult and seem to be reluctant to pay what I’m asking for?

The answer maybe that you’re not focusing on the type of client-market that you should.

Here are a few ideas to help you think and find your ideal client for your writing business.

Brand Yourself

What type of brand of a Freelance writer are you?

Take Ralph Lauren designer clothes brand, for example; they’re not trying to sell their products to low income customers, are they?

They have a type brand that has a certain standard. They are not interested in targeting low income customers, because they know that this type of customers simply can’t afford what they’re selling.

But does that mean that they can’t find their ideal customer? Of course not, they most certainly can and do.  It’s just that their ideal customer is a high income one.

It’s exactly the same thing for your writing business. Define what type income range is your ideal client is. Write it down and look for them.

Decide Who is Your Ideal Client

Writing is the action of thinking and it can literally create magic results.

Since this blog is mostly about writing tips, here is the first thing I’d like you to do.

Write down who your ideal client is. If you are tried as much as I was of dealing with broke clients that want you to write for them for pennies on a dollar, write down your ideal client type.  Believe me there’re out there, it’s just that until now you’ve not been able to attract them to you yet.

  • Write down the personalities you’re looking for
  • Write down the budget you want them to have
  • Write down how easy to deal with you want them to be
  • Write down how quick decision makers you want them to be
  • Write down any details you would love your ideal client to have

Do you think I’m joking here? No, I’m serious. Write down each of the qualities you want your potential client to have and see what happens.

Time for Low Income Clients Discrimination

Yes, you’ve read me well.  You need to do a low income clients discrimination. Just like big brands do. To take our Ralph Lauren example again, that’s what they do, right?

If their cheapest pair of pants cost let’s say $80 that means that they discriminate against any potential client that is used to pay anywhere from $30 to $45 maximum for a pair of pants. They don’t care. They’re not in the business of pleasing and accommodating this type of market anyways.

It’s not their business to please everyone. It’s their business to target their ideal customers – their target market.

It’s the same with your freelance writing business.  You’re not in the business of charity for people who want them to write for them for peanuts.  You’re in the business of making a decent living with your writing skills. Think low income client discrimination and you’re business will start feeling much better.

Raise the Bar of Your Target Client

Your target client for your freelance writing business is your target market. All you have to do in order to find your ideal client is to raise the bar of your target market.

For example, if you want to attract people who can easily afford to pay you $75+ per article or more, don’t hang out in writing mill type platforms. They are full of customers that want you to write for them for peanuts.

Few months ago, I did a little test and registered in several writing mill platforms just to see if there would be any writing offers that may interest me at least once in a while. Well, five months later, I’ve not accepted a single writing assignment yet.

None. Nada. They don’t interest me at all, because they are so low, it’s ridiculous.  I calculated that even their short 250-300 word article gig offers are not worth it to me. I’m sorry even writing 250 words for $10-$15 is not worth it to me at all anymore. Oh, and did I mention that they want to pay me less than that? Thanks, but no thanks.

So, do yourself a favor and spend some time somewhere else, where the big buck clients hang out, not the broke-want-you-to-write-for-peanuts ones do.

How Writing for Content Mills is Killing your Business

Now I want you to think about this – what would it do to the Ralph Lauren brand if they started making their products available at Walmart?

Well, it would do AT three things I can think of.

1)      It would make people believe that their quality has gone down.

2)      It would make their high paying customers look somewhere else (turn to another designer brand).

3)      They would not gain in the process – they would lose big time.

If you are getting too busy on low paying content mills, you are going to be seen as a low paid writer and that’s not a good thing if you want to attract high paying clients.

Just like the effects on Ralph Lauren would be negative for the brand if they decided to sell their brand clothes at Walmart, the effects of you hanging out and accepting low paying articles in content mills would be negative as well.

It’s OK to do it for a while if you’re new in the business and want to get some practice or create a portfolio, but other than that, keep away from those.


Are you a freelance writer who would like to make the best out of your business? If you are, make sure you follow these tips. Here they are again so you can jot them down and remember them.

  • Brand yourself – make a name for yourself
  • Decide who your ideal client is – write it down as specifically as possible
  • Discriminate against low pay clients – stay away from content mills
  • Raise the bar – think big brands and how they do business


Your turn now. What do you have to say to add to this?


 photo Signature_zpsf484c136.png
Banner photo 468x60_zps9de5648e.jpg

43 thoughts on “5 Key Points You Need To Know In Order To Get High Paying Clients”

  1. Hey Sylviane,

    How are you today?

    For the past 1 year, I have grown tremendously in my writing skills and I was already thinking of taking it to another new level.

    I write daily and enjoy the activity. I have written on some blogs where I got paid $100 per article. I have also been contacted by some clients who proposed $5 per article. I can’t for any reason on earth descend to this level – no way!

    Though I still struggle with keeping my blog fresh and meeting up with other offline obligations, I seriously hope to one day get into more freelance writing.

    This is a helpful post. Will surely be contacting you for more coaching on this.

    BTW, how was your weekend?
    I’ll be shooting you a mail this week. We have something to talk about 😉
    Enstine Muki invites you to read..15 Top Bloggers Reveal How They Make Money Blogging!My Profile

    1. Hi Enstine,

      Always nice to to have you here. If you’ve got paid $100 for an article that’s the way to go. No need to go down to $5 for sure. If you have any question I can help you with, just let me know.

      I’m taking the week off, but I’ll still be online with blogging and stuff though, that’s why I still made sure my post went out today as usual.

      Sure I’ll be on the watch for your email.

      Thanks for coming.

  2. Hi Sylviane,

    I am not a freelance writer and I can’t even be even if they want to since English is my third language 🙂 I am thankful to God almighty for being able to write my own blog posts.

    However, the principles you shared although your post is for freelance writers, is a valuable principle for everybody. Branding is the key no matter what we do. Having clear goals in mind, identifying our target market and an ideal client profile is equally important for business.

    So I think that your points are very valid and it is for everybody whether or not they are freelance writers.

    Thank you for sharing these steps and have a wonderful day.

    Kumar Gauraw invites you to read..Things To Do Before You Launch A Brand New WebsiteMy Profile

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Yes, those points are good for anyone having their own business, not only freelance writers.

      You’d be surprised that many freelance writers in the English language are not native English speakers (me included), because it really doesn’t matter as long as you come to dominate the language. Your English is great.

      Thanks for coming.

  3. Hi Sylvianne, it’s been a while and how I so missed you! Trust me it has never been easy to be a Nigerian blogger or to blog from mobile. Well, I’m not complaining. So how’s you?

    These are actually the top 5 traits you can practice to get high paying clients.

    I’m now just about lunching into Freelance and Ghost Writing, I don’t know where to start from though but I sure will put these your five points to heart.

    Thanks so much for penning this down for this great community, which I’m proud to be a part of. 🙂

    Sam Adeyinka invites you to read..5 Ways To Write Like Seth GodinMy Profile

    1. Hi Sam and nice to see you here.

      I’m glad those points came handy to you. I’ll write about many more tips for writers overtime, so be on the lookout.

      Thank you for coming.

      1. Yeah it did ma’am and I’ll sure do myself well to be on the look out for such of posts on writers and the likes.

        Thanks ma’am!


  4. Hey Sylviane,

    Well as you know I’m not a freelance writer nor am I trying to get clients for that business but I can somewhat relate to this only because I do consulting.

    I did start out and still am really not charging a lot for my service only because I wanted to build up my own confidence and see if this was the direction I wanted to go myself. I’m enjoying it more and more because I do see the value of helping others who need more direction. But I do need to start to consider raising my prices now that I do have the experience and all of my clients have benefited from what I’ve shared.

    I would never argue with someone over my price though. Either you’re willing to pay for my services at the price I offer or not. It’s really that easy and you are right in your example of Ralph Loren. He doesn’t cater to the low end spectrum so we as business owners shouldn’t either. If you believe you are worth more then charge more and don’t deal with clients who want to penny pinch you for every dollar.

    You said that the content mills hurt your business but I have a feeling those people are getting what they paid for and it’s not quality. Just like those people who hire SEO companies and then later on are being slapped by Google and de-indexed, these people will have the same results. What a shame right!

    Great points Sylviane and rock on my dear. You are definitely showing people how to ask for what they’re worth. Stand your ground and hold your head up high and as you mentioned on your other blog, you’ll attract the right clients to you. 😉

    Adrienne invites you to read..The Seven Deadly Sins Of A Selfish WebsiteMy Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, indeed, as I mentioned in the post, even though this talks directly to freelance writers, it applies very well to any freelance business out there that doesn’t want to undersell themselves.

      I was saying that content mills kills the freelance writer business, especially if they are good writers for that very reason. Writers there are often writers that are not that great, but unfortunately there are also some good ones too, and it’s really bad for their business to be seen there. As a matter of fact, it’s bad for the whole freelance writing industry too.

      You’re absolutely right, we need to stand strong behind our fees. Either they like it or not, but I won’t change them for them.

      Thanks you for your input here, and have a great day!

  5. Hi Sylviane,

    Although I’m not a freelance writer, this principle applies to any brand. I like the analogy of Ralph Lauren. The key target there is high end, and that is where the focus is.

    I’ve been doing some research myself these days in marketing. Stats have proved that low end products don’t do as well as high end. So with that in mind, if you are a writer, a coach, a mentor, or whatever, we have to take this into consideration.

    Great stuff!

    donna merrill invites you to read..Why Is Google Like My Ex?My Profile

    1. Hi Donna,

      Nice to have you back.

      Yes, this apply to any business and I agree, high end products do better than low end ones. So true.

      This principles can apply to any business, indeed.

      Thanks for coming dear 🙂

  6. Excellent post Sylviane!
    It certainly sounds like you’ve graduated from the University of hard knocks!LOL!

    Sometimes that University serves as our best teacher! I got my degree from there as well!LOL!

    I love the four extremely critical points that you share in this post.

    Especially your sound advise about avoiding (at all cost) those potentially low paying, resource draining customer and or clients!!

    And that we all definitely need to spend some quality time deciding who our ideal customers and or clients are!

    Then how to best reach them, consistently and in a cost effective manner! You shared a lot of real world common sense in this excellent post! Thanks!
    Mark invites you to read..So Why Do Some Call It Economic Recession While Others Call It Opportunity!My Profile

    1. Hi Mark,

      Yes, I think that many of us learn from that hard knock university don’t we? Only practice and experience can teach us those things, and when we finally learn them we can, indeed, consider ourselves graduated.

      Thanks for your feedback here.

  7. Hi Sylviance,

    This post works so well for me, totally vibes with my view of freelancing.

    If you want to attract high paying clients:see yourself as a highly paid writer, work on your writing skills by writing daily and hang where high paying clients hang. Simple, concise tips here. I totally dig this post.

    Most freelancers hang where broke folks congregate. Not good. Brand yourself, to both stand out from the crowd and to attract a higher paying client base. People need someone who’s noticeable, or someone with a unique brand, to be confident enough to fork over their hard earned money freely.

    Never, ever, ever, ever lower your rates. I mean, never. This sets such a dangerous precedent for the Universe. Sure, you may offer a slight discount for a volume order, or if you’re working with a trusted client, where you’ve already established a professional relationship, you may lower a price order here and there to help out someone.

    But once you find yourself arguing over price you’re sending out an “I’m broke” signal to the Universe, which gladly sends people who want to haggle over price your way.

    You’ll always get what you’re putting out, energy wise, and when you begin to feel wealthy, and change your self image, you’ll naturally attract higher paying clients who’ll spread the word for you too, to their high paying client friends. Sweet deal.

    Excellent Sylviane, I can see you’ve built a prospering freelance business through your prosperity consciousness and your inspired actions. Well done 🙂

    Tweeting this through Triberr of course.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ryan Biddulph invites you to read..From Employee to Entrepreneur: 12 Rock Solid Tips for Retiring to a Spectacular Life of Island Hopping through BloggingMy Profile

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thank you so very much for this excellent comment from someone who knows what he’s talking about. You are 100% right on all of that.

      That’s right freelancers who are lowering their rates are sending the signal to both their potential clients and the universe that they’re broke.

      Thanks for your input.

  8. Love for content mills is killing the business of many freelance writers today. If they can only avoid it then attracting high paying clients would become easier.

    Yes, branding and raising the bar for client are good tips to stamp authority on your work. The good thing is that clients pay higher for authority works and websites!
    I upvoted this post in kingged where it was shared for Internet marketers.

    1. Hi Sunday,

      Yes, low rate habits is something that’s really killing the industry and I don’t know why those guys don’t understand that. It’s really very sad.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful day ahead!

  9. Hi Sylvianne,

    Great Post Indeed and is useful for any kind of business not only the freelance writers.

    Your points are all spot on from branding to raising the bar. Identifying your ideal client and writing their qualities is very helpful. I wrote mine and I even gave them a name and age range.

    What I liked most of the 5 points is the last point to raise the bar and find high-paying customers. It will also be helpful Sylviane if you can write a post about how to go about and find your ideal client.

    Thanks Sylviane for sharing your wisdom with us all. Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..4 Advantages To The Importance Of Teamwork in Business!My Profile

    1. Hi Neamat,

      I’m glad to see that you’ve written down all the qualities you want your customers to have. That’s the way to go. Now how did you write their name? I would love to know that:)

      Yes, I will definitely write a post about how to find those clients, even though I already wrote one of the sort, but it doesn’t hurt to write another one.

      Thank you for coming and have a great day.

      1. Hi Sylviane,

        I took a course called branded and there was an assignment given for us to write who our Ideal Client is but write it in the form of a story. So, I wrote a story about who my Ideal Client is, what they are looking for, what are their pain points and so on. The presenter of the course suggested to give our Ideal Client a name, any name. The name you give to your Ideal Client will remind you of the qualities you are looking for in the Ideal Client, even without referring to the story again

        They will be in your mind when writing your sales letters, your email marketing series, what products to promote to them and in general, you will design all your marketing around them.

        Thanks for asking Sylviane.

        Be Blessed,

        Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..4 Advantages To The Importance Of Teamwork in Business!My Profile

  10. Hi Sylviane,

    This is a great article. I’m a fairly new freelance copywriter and blogger. Although, I was a team member of Writers in Charge for a while. I also did some ghostwriting for a well known blogger. But that was before I quit my teaching job to take up freelance writing.

    I totally agree with everything you said. I’ve always been paid $100 or more for blog post. And I refuse to settle for less. I’m looking for new clients. But I’m not prepared to lower my fees. I know how much I put into writing, including research, proofreading and editing. Plus I need to make a decent living.

    Well done for writing this article. I shared it on Twitter. Other freelance writers need to see it.

    Enjoy your evening. 🙂
    June invites you to read..Lost Your Passion? 3 Ways to Find it…My Profile

    1. Hi June,

      I’m glad to see that you don’t want to settle for less and you shouldn’t.

      There are many expensive services and products out there and they don’t want to settle for less either, yet they sell, so why should we? And like you said, freelance writers need to make a decent living not work for nothing right?

      Thank you so much for sharing my post. Very much appreciated.

  11. Hi Sylviane

    This post indeed a wonderful guide to the freelancers who seriously get involved in the business.

    The tips given are really work well if follow strictly. Though I am in the field for quite sometime I never thought of it seriously as such. This post opened my mind to go beyond my thinking.

    Thank you so much Sylviane for sharing this educative post.

    Keep writing

    Best Regards

    ~ Philip
    PS: Hey Sylviane, I found this post at kingged.com and I up-voted it and posted this comment there.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Philip Varghese Ariel invites you to read..Adding Your Picture To Word Press Blog Comments Helps Brand You (A Guest Post by Chery Schmidt)My Profile

  12. Hi Sylviane,

    I’m so glad you wrote this and came to this place for yourself. I can remember when I first started out in web design in nine years ago, I questioned my business coach at the time who was challenging me to raise my prices.

    He went on about the quality of my work and the value I bring.

    The real problem is that I didn’t see myself that way. I wasn’t the Ralph Lauren and at the time I may not have even been WalMart. Maybe more like the Dollar Store, lol…

    It really is a mindset and insecurity issue. I know it certainly was for me. I didn’t value myself so how could I ask someone else to.

    I’ll never forget the first time I asked for $5,000 and got it. $10,000 and got it. $150,000 and got it on one website sale.

    It was AMAZING! I had to build my confidence and learn how to believe in myself. No one could do that for me. But, I did have someone who pushed me and showed me how amazing I was.

    Nine years later, who would have ever known?

    Thanks so much for sharing such a deeply needed article!!!!

    I appreciate you,
    Don Purdum invites you to read..Mastering Your Business – 5 Areas You Must Perfect to SucceedMy Profile

    1. Hi Don,

      I like your comparison with the dollar store and I was feeling just the same myself. If we feel more like Dollar Store than we feel Ralph Lauren, how are we going to charge high fees? That’s impossible.

      So, as you said it’s all in the head first. Is’t an inside job. That’s what I teach as a coach. Our money flow can only go as much as we have grown.

      Thank you so much for our feedback.

  13. Hi Sylviane,I\’m happy to stumble upon your blog. I\’m your new follower. You know what, I\’ve been reading a lot of posts on how to look for high paying clients or on what is the ideal writing rate/fee. There is one question that is always left unanswered: Where can I find those high paying clients? I hope you can enlighten.Thanks/

    1. Hi Chella,

      Thank you for coming and I’m so glad to have you here as a new follower.

      Even though I’ve written one such post in the past “how to find high paying clients” I will write an updated one as several people have asked me that.

      So keep in touch 🙂

  14. Hey Sylviane,

    This lesson applies to all industries!

    I can definitely relate to what you’re saying. I teach salsa from time to time and you can tell the once who are serious about learning and those that aren’t. The ones that are serious actually want to pay me, and the ones that aren’t want free lessons.

    So if I want more serious students, I have to focus on the type of students I want as well as Brand myself as a great dancer and teacher.

    Besides that, the ones that are looking for a free ride can always look on youtube to teach themselves!

    But yes, you want to Brand yourself to attract the right clientele. If high paying clientele is what you want, then you have to become the type of person that want to do business with. This goes with the Law Of Attraction!

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you’re having a great week!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      Excellent comment here and thank you for that. You said it, those who take anything seriously want to pay for it, and that’s a normal behavior, because we are not used to get much of anything worthwhile for free in this world, are we?

      And again, you’re right when people don’t want to pay it means that they are not serious about the thing at all. We need to keep this in mind when we promote our business and accept a client.

      Thanks so much for coming and have a wonderful day!

  15. Hi Sylviane,It is always nice to get high paying clients especially by doing writing jobs. I think deciding who our ideal clients is best to start personal approach that will end in contract.Thanks for the post. Wish you enjoy the weekend
    Okto invites you to read..How to Clone Your Best CustomersMy Profile

  16. Ciao Sylviane,

    Loved your title, and definitely had to check it out. 🙂

    While I’m not a freelance writer, I have students who are, and can help them by sharing your excellent points.

    I’ll also share this article right away on social media so that others can benefit.

    There are definitely take-aways for those not offering writing services. For me, I actually tried a few of the “content mills” early on in my blogging to see what was available, and I was sadly disappointed.

    You are spot on when you recommend branding yourself, and deciding who your ideal client is. Awesome, because these are critical elements for online business in general much less for freelance writers… win-win! 🙂

    Thanks for putting out content that I’m anxious to share…

    Take care,Carol
    Carol Amato invites you to read..How to Build an Active Blog CommunityMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Carol,

      You are such a valuable reader of my blog, and I’m so glad we met.

      I actually just wrote you a comment on Facebook. You’ve inspired me with a video of yours, so in my last post on my personal development blog I mentioned you and linked to the said post where that video is.

      I gave those content mills yet another try about 5 months ago and they still suck. Too much effort and work for too little money. Not worth it.

  17. Hi, Sylviane! Hope you’re having a good day. 🙂

    There are a lot of ways freelance writers are doing in order to earn money online, and one of these ways is a writing business, in which you should find the right client to do a work with.

    The tips you’ve shared are indeed wise and simple. These tips will surely help many freelance writers get high paying clients for their writing business.

    The most remarkable point as for me is the fourth one. I agree with you that writing for content mills kills your business, so writers must avoid it.

    Thanks for this article! 🙂

    I’ve found this post shared on Kingged.com and leave the same message there.

  18. Hi Sylviane; hanks for an excellent post. this subject is one that applies to anyone who is making a living as a free lancer or independent contractor. first on your question of branding, a couple people have suggested that maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned blind in the name of my new blog or website. the name was suggested to me after several people referred to me that way on social media groups. I don’t personally see anything wrong with it. the point they have made is that i am such a good talent that vision or lack of it should never be an issue. I’d appreciate your opinion. so are you suggesting that people remove their names from these writing mill sites? I’m wanting to do some coaching or public speaking and am considering doing it for free or very low cost in the beginning. if i am reading your post right, you don’t see anything wrong with this as long as it is temporary and only to get established? thanks for the advice, Max
    maxwell ivey invites you to read..Life Lessons From A Blind BloggerMy Profile

  19. Ah yes … we work for money, don’t we.
    And we should. After all, you wouldn’t choose to spend your afternoon writing a press release announcing ACME Balloon Rental’s new vice president of inflation instead of working on your novel, would you? Nor would you pop out of bed in the morning thinking, “Finally, today I get to write a brochure about widgets instead of finishing my screenplay!”

    The fact is, as freelance writers, we work to eat, and to eat, we must charge for our work. But there’s the rub: What should we charge?

    Let’s cut to the chase. I currently base my fees on $75 per hour for anything clients ask me to do, whether it’s writing, ghostwriting or editing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for a brochure, Web site, book, press release or what. It’s $75 per hour. (That rate is higher than some writers charge and less than others charge. The geographical market has a lot to do with it.)
    Emebu invites you to read..Responsive Templates – Benefits of Using Responsive TemplatesMy Profile

  20. Sylviane Nuccio Thank you very much. I am freelance web designer not writer but this post is equally helpful for me as well. I’ve learned new thing by reading this post. Thank you for guidance and sharing. I’ve bookmarked your blog. Please keep it up.

    1. Hi Hafeez and welcome here.

      I’m so glad you liked the post. I can tell you that it’s one of the kind, because this type of info is basically none-existent on the web.

      Nice to meet you and hope you keep in touch.

  21. I just like the valuable information you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here frequently

  22. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any
    better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

Comments are closed.