Landing your first "big fish" client

In our studio, we’re ready to move up to bigger budget projects, but we’re not sure where to begin. How did you start pitching a better class of client, and land bag your first elephant?

If you are sure your marketing methods will work with bigger budget projects, simply raise your prices and your projects will be bigger.

It may sound like a joke, but seriously to attract bigger clients you need to make yourself look bigger, one of your immediate options is pricing. If it doesn’t work, then you need to solve the problems identified in any case. Start selectively with new quotes and quote them higher.

HTH, Jochen

Jochen, I know you’re right about pricing. We’ve been steadily raising our rates without issue. Our proposals are well-received.

My question then is how do we get our name in front of bigger clients?


I think all big clients are found through networking and presenting yourself as a peer to the appropriate decision makers. Alan Weiss has been a good source of learning how to do this. If you need to learn networking, join BNI tomorrow.

HTH, Jochen

Agreed, networking is probably the way that the vast majority of larger deals are done. Start shaking hands :slight_smile:

Can’t quote this or re-post it enough.

For some reason, folks think they’re going to land the “big one” through their website contact form. I have yet to see that happen.

Two very important points made here.

  1. Make yourself look a big, successful company.
    People probably feel more comfortable having work done with successful companies.
    Its like buying a brand name pair of Shoes. You know it costs more then it should, but you would pay it for the peace of mind on quality etc.

  2. Networking
    Makes a big difference. Getting to know people who would shed a few sweat for you when you need, is key for any business networking. However I must say most of the time you have to make the first move offering something for them.

I respectfully, but completely disagree with this advice. There is nothing to be gained by making yourself look like anything that are you are not, and there is a fatal flaw to this mentality:

The ‘big fish’ clients are (by definition) more successful and experienced than the vendor who is still trying to land their first ‘big fish’ client. In almost every case, the ‘big fish’ client will see right through any effort that a little company or freelancer makes to look like a ‘big successful company’. In fact, that is the hallmark of the inexperienced vendor - an obvious freelancer or one-man-show who keeps saying ‘we’, calls them self a CEO and throwing out corporate-speak. The funny thing is how transparent it is - a quick check on the internet can tell me if a company is a big company or just a single person, but usually I can tell from the get go.

If you are trying to move towards bigger clients, don’t fake anything. Just be professional, do great work, be available, be on time, charge competitive rates, and above anything else make those big fish clients feel like they can trust you. It’s that trust that brings you to the big leagues.