What is an Anchor Client?
Anchor clients are businesses with whom you, as an independent consultant or freelancer, have an ongoing relationship with and a steady flow of projects and income. An anchor client could be responsible for 50 to 80% of your overall income.
So why do we need them? Why should you have them as a client? Here are the reasons why you should consider getting an anchor client:
They are helpful during dry spells.
If you’re a full-time freelancer, you know there’s an ebb and flow to freelancing. You have good months and bad months in terms of workload and income. Not all projects are the same. Some projects last for years, while others last only for a few weeks, months, or seasons. Some things happen that are beyond your control, like an economic crisis, which can affect your prospects’ businesses. During dry spells, anchor clients can give you a steady flow of income while you are looking for new prospects.
They help you work smarter and not harder.
Because you have a steady stream of income, you don’t need to do a lot of prospecting. You don’t have to spend time every day searching for new jobs and calling different companies to hire you. Anchor clients give you more time to be productive with work or be with your family.
They are an excellent source of referrals.
If you have a long term relationship with an anchor client, and you give them your best service, there should be no problem finding additional anchor clients.
Where to Find Anchor Clients?
To search for anchor clients, go to job posting boards and look for jobs with the keywords “remote”, “telecommute”, or “flexible”. Read the job description thoroughly. If it sounds like the job fits your skills and expertise, go ahead and submit your application. There are many job posting sites out there, but the largest platforms include Indeed.com, weworkremotely.com, and LinkedIn. In these websites, you have a stronger chance to get somebody who will fill up 50% to 80% of your time, especially if you signup for their premium accounts. Check out our article on An Awesome LinkedIn Hack to Get Clients.
You might be wondering why Upwork and Freelancer.com were not included. It’s not that you can’t find anchor clients on these platforms. However, you’re less likely to find one compared to Indeed or weworkremotely.
Why is that? People who use Upwork, Fiver, or Freelancer.com go for specific projects that have particular needs. Compared to Indeed, freelancers can look for positions, not projects, and these positions are needed longer rather than project-based reporting.
Here’s a fact: Most employees are actually delighted to hire a contractor instead of a fulltime employee. It’s cheaper because they don’t have to pay benefits or payroll taxes. They don’t have to deal with layoff termination should they no longer require your services.
That might seem scary to you because you think you don’t have enough job security. You do. As a freelancer, you have more job security than you would as an employee because as an employee, (working full time for one employer) if you get fired, you’re done. It could be something that you have no control over. However, as a freelancer, if you get fired from a particular client, you still have other clients to work with. It’s not like putting all your eggs in one basket.
Try creating a goal to have two to three anchor clients at once. Ideally, if you have two anchor clients making 80% of your total income goal, then you’ll have a ton of job security, and you won’t have any dry spells. Having two anchor clients, could guarantee that you have a steady flow of income and feel more secure while doing what you love.