One of the hardest, yet most important things a freelancer can develop is the ability to make prospects chase you instead of you chasing them.
When it comes down to it, this is the same “skill” pickup artists teach to dudes without game to make ladies chase them instead of them chasing ladies. This “skill” is responsible for a loser with zero game getting more dates and having more secks than someone more attractive.
And it works the same exact way in the world of freelancing too.
Most freelancers have to chase, hunt, and stalk their prey. While this strategy works, it comes with a steep cost: The prospect always has power over you.
The best freelancers let their prospective clients chase them. This strategy is much harder to build up, but once built, it gives you all the power in your client relationships.
Because prospects chasing you is a sign that you don’t need any one client. In other words, you’re not needy — which is just as deadly for your freelancing career as it is for your chances of ladies swooning over you. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say being anti-needy is the ultimate prerequisite to the secret I’m about to share in this email.
So, what’s the one thing you need to make prospects chase you?
Cajones, to put it simply.
Here’s what I mean:
There are several things you can do to make prospects line up for your services: Being the best at what you do, having hundreds of case studies that back up your claims, niching down, spending decades serving the niche you niched down to, having top positioning, and the list goes on.
The problem with all of these things is they take time to develop. There are no shortcuts here. And most people won’t last long enough to build up the kind of “street cred” they need to leverage these things.
Cajones is the short-term antidote to this.
Having cajones can make prospects chase you (even if you aren’t the best at what you do, don’t have hundreds of case studies backing up your claims, don’t have expert positioning, and so on and so forth).
Let me give you two recent examples from my own freelancing business:
Example #1 — When I (almost) fired a client
Couple months back, a client accused me of lying to his audience. In reality, I added a little “deadline flair” to copy. We were promoting a bundle deal with a special bonus that expired at the deadline. He accused me of lying since the bundle is evergreen, and my copy made it seem like the bundle also expired at the deadline.
I shot back, saying I had my finger on the refund button, and that I don't appreciate being accused of lying. (When it comes to being truthful in copy, in my slightly biased but correct opinion, I lean more towards the truth telling side than the baseless claims side on the copywriting spectrum.)
Well, he called me immediately, scared I’d refund him, and gave a sincere apology.
Because my cajones challenged him. We’re still working together to this day (and appreciate our relationship more than ever).
Example #2 — When a prospective client tried to get me to work for free
This happened earlier this week. Perhaps you remember my email.
If not, here’s the summary:
A prospective client replied to my invoice request by saying “there is no obligation for me to pay this bill.” Well, again, my cajones shot back reiterating that I will not work without an upfront payment.
After several emails of her practically begging to reconsider, we’re meeting again later today, and I expect her to actually pay her invoice.
Again, because of my cajones.
In either example, I could’ve stuck my tail in between my legs and played an agreeable freelancer. Instead, I let my cajones poke out and flip the classic freelancer-client relationship. In both examples, I became the chased instead of the chaser because my cajones proved my anti-needy mentality.
Powerful trick, indeed, for those of you with, well, the cajones to try it yourself.
Anyway, I think I wrote “cajones” enough to win the Guinness World Record for mentioning cajones in an email, so I’ll leave you with this: