• Advice

Geeky Skills to Work Smarter: Starting on the Right Foot With Clients

The life of a freelancer is often depicted as one of freedom and flexibility, but actually achieving this dream is rooted in how well you can manage client relations right from the get-go. Starting on the right foot with your clients isn't just a good practice—it's essential for the growth and sustainability of your business. From mastering discovery calls to setting clear boundaries, the steps you take early on can define your work experience and overall success. 

We’ll start at the foundation, emphasizing the importance of solid systems, effective discovery calls, and clear boundaries. Let's dive deeper into what it looks like to find clients and run a business like a well-oiled machine- so you can start (and grow) a biz that gives you that freedom and flexibility. 

Bonus: Finding Clients

Before you have clients to manage, you have to actually find them! If you are still working on building your client roster, there are a few things that will help you accelerate that process. 

Change your Title

It might sound like a small thing, but changing your title on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or other social media can make a world of difference. It can feel scary to take that leap, and some people get stuck trying to find the perfect words, but it’s a simple signal to the people already in your sphere that you have a service to provide. And guess what… you can always change it!

The Geeky Map Method

Use the power of Google Maps to identify local businesses that could benefit from your services. This method can be used with any business, regardless if they are a brick and mortar local business or an online business. 

Identify Potential Clients

  • Search for a town/city (this could be where you currently live, where you grew up, where you once lived, where you once visited, your favorite vacation spot, where your parents live, where your kids live, somewhere you have personal ties… literally ANYWHERE). 
  • Virtually ‘walk’ along the main street and around town where there are small businesses (coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, souvenir shops, churches, non-profits, bars, lawyers, doctors offices, dentists, chiropractors, etc.)
  • Identify several that fit your ideal client 

Do the Research

Check out their website, their Google Business Profile, social media accounts and ask yourself:

  • Are there things with their online presence that can be improved?
  • Can I improve their online presence? (There are so many ways you can help whether you are a web developer, photographer, marketer, event planner, or other service provider!)
  • Identify 3-5 points that could be improved

Channel your inner extrovert & record the review

Record your screen as you detail what you can help them with, we like to use Loom to do this. Keep in mind a few best practices to make the most impact:

  • Before you ever hit the record button… practice, practice, practice!
  • Show your face! People like to do business with people. 
  • Wave and introduce yourself.
  • Keep your video less than 5 minutes. 

Send it off

Do a bit more digging and try to find the business owner’s email (vs just using the contact form) and then send an email to a ‘decision maker’ with your video attached. Take a deep breath and move on to the next one, this is a great way to start conversations but it’s also a numbers game.

Discovery Calls

What’s the fastest way to make money? Start having conversations with potential clients. Discovery calls are a way to gather all the information you need from your prospective client so you can determine the scope of the project, see if the client is a good fit for you, and gather important project details like budget, timeline, and requirements. Your goal is to get to the truth of what is really going on in the client's business and head.

Remember practice is everything - the calls will get easier and easier the more you do them

Preparing for the Call

Do a little detective work through social media or google to see what you can learn before the call to build rapport and find common ground. Try to gather insights into what they like and their values. Most of all, ask yourself, “What do I love about this client?”

The Opening

Start by building rapport and ask them if it’s okay to record the call. Be curious, excited, and engaged because your objective during the discovery call is to uncover the true needs of your client. Some great opening questions to get started are:

  • Tell me about your business.
  • What are you up to... what are you trying to accomplish?
  • What is your biggest frustration with that?
  •  What do you think is slowing you down?
  • Where else have you gone to get help?

Come up with more questions that you need to ask or would like to know that pertain to your specialty. Preparing these will allow you to listen better as you won’t have to think on your feet. You can check out a free PDF to help you here: 148 questions you can use to mix and match the perfect profitable phone call 

The Close

Finish up your discovery calls by summarizing what they have shared and confidently presenting your solution. Tell them your offer, ask for their interest, and open the conversation for follow up questions. Be ready to follow up with a proposal that outlines how you can address their needs.

Systems & Processes

Freelancing can be full of ups and downs, but it can also be a sustainable path that delivers the consistency it takes for real flexibility and freedom. That ‘boring straight line’ path is achieved by following the client journey and establishing clear communication and boundaries. It helps in staying professional, avoiding scope creep, and taking necessary time off without guilt.

The Client Journey

You can follow the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ of the client journey all the way from initial contact to project completion.

  • Initial client interaction
  • Discovery Call
  • Proposal
  • Contract
  • Invoice 
  • Onboarding
  • Providing the Service
  • Collecting Feedback
  • Offboarding

Mapping these steps helps with a seamless experience, not just for client satisfaction, but for maintaining your own sanity. Project management tools like ClickUp can help organize lead tracking, and help save time and provide consistency through templating.

Communication and Setting Boundaries


Good communication starts with being upfront. If something is taking longer than planned, you are going to miss a deadline, or something went wrong- tell the client! Sticking to your word is also important. If you say you’ll get back to them by a certain date - DO IT! Even if you don’t have the answer yet, let them know you are still working on it. Lastly, listening is an underrated skill. Listen to your client and acknowledge their concerns, questions and opinions - even if you don’t agree. Follow up by providing a solution or at least showing interest.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries are beneficial for both parties. Setting clear expectations not only helps you protect your time and energy, but provides clients with information they need to make decisions and feel secure. Set expectations early and maintain them, figure out your non-negotiables, and learn when to say no. Determine when and how your clients can contact you, and stick to these limits. Above all, be firm- but friendly!

Starting on the right foot with clients and maintaining your systems and processes will help you navigate the freelance world with professionalism without compromising your own needs. You position yourself not just as a service provider, but as a valued partner in your clients' success. Remember, you don’t just need to be the right fit for the client, the client also needs to be the right fit for you!

Boost Your Freelancer Skills

Discover more by exploring all GeekPack's Free Resources HERE.

If you are ready to join the the Ultimate Training for Website Building (a la WordPress) + Community + Business Badassery for The Next Generation of Geeks (even if you suck at math and tech, or think you’re too old), check out WP Rockstar. If you’d like to learn about applying these skills and what being a Tech VA (or Tech Strategist) means, join our FREE Masterclass - How To Become A Sought-After Tech VA with a Pipeline Full of Leads & Lucrative Projects!

GeekPack is on a mission to create equity in tech with learning paths to master skills needed to build successful careers & grow thriving businesses. We aim to break down barriers, one Geek at a time.

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