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The 7 Steps a Potential Client Takes to Hire You as a Service Provider

It’s common business advice that in order for a potential client to hire you, you need to consider the “Know, Like, Trust Factor.”

They need to know who you are, like what you do, and trust you enough to hire you.

In reality, it’s a bit more thorough than that.

Service-based business owners need to play the long game with relationship building in order to have a sustainable stream of clients.

And the toughest part? The bigger the project, the bigger the budget, the more trust required to hire you.

After all, hiring a freelancer can feel risky! Your clients have a set budget to meet their goals and it’s your responsibility to help them understand that you, and only you, are the person that can help them get there.

So what does this trust building entail?

The whole process is called the “Client Acquisition Cycle,” and it has these seven steps that help a potential client feel ready to buy over time:

  1. Awareness: They know you exist.

  2. Understanding: They know what you do for work.

  3. Interest: Your offers are intriguing for them to consider.

  4. Respect: You are credible in their eyes, or known for what you do.

  5. Trust: They believe that you can provide the outcome you promise.

  6. Ability/Authority: They have what they need to decide to hire you.

  7. Readiness: They have enough resources around timing, budget, and decision making to officially start work with you.

Different freelancers will struggle with different areas, but each step includes skills that you, as a service provider, can strengthen.

For example, are you making it easy for people to understand what you do? Your positioning statement will help here.

What about your services? Do they resonate with the needs of the client? If not, you might be struggling to build interest and need to re-evaluate your offerings.

When you get to the Respect step but don’t feel like you’re the best fit for their desired outcomes, do you refer them elsewhere? That’s another way to build Trust, and your honesty and help will make you stand out for future opportunities.

Take a moment to jot down some thoughts about where you could strengthen your skills in the Client Acquisition Cycle.

And if you want to dig into each step, I have a recording of my “Perfect the Client Acquisition Process” workshop!

It’s an hour long, costs $15, and is immediately accessible.

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