The Difference Between A Freelancer And A Client Champion


Written by Joanna Sapir

Here are some key differences that I see between those that think of themselves as Freelancers (or maybe you call yourself a Bookkeeper, Career Counselor, Health Coach, Physical Therapist, Fill-in-the-Blank with your service)…and a person who identifies herself as a leader, an expert, a guide…a Client Champion:

Client Acquisition

A freelancer looks for “jobs” from people that have the money to pay for the work. When someone needs their services, they’re there to do it. They’d generally never turn down people that are going to pay. It’s a new job, and the prospective client has the money to pay – of course they’ll take it! 

A Client Champion is selective about accepting a new client. She has a red velvet rope policy, a specific process she’s designed to vet prospects and make sure they’re a great fit to work with her. And her work fulfills a deeper purpose for her. It’s not a “job” and she never refers to her work as such.


Freelancers tend to see themselves as someone who works for their clients. They are there to do what the client wants. They’re getting paid to fill this role.

A Client Champion works with her clients and she is an expert and guide that helps her clients achieve particular goals. The Client Champion’s clients understand that she has a particular process and way that she does things, and they are committed to this process. The Client Champion is a leader, a guide, a champion for change!


Freelancers often experience boundary problems with clients. The clients expect the freelancer to be at their beck and call – after all, they are the client and they are paying for this! And the freelancer, as noted above, feels like he works for the client so he obliges and is at the client’s beck and call (or else risk losing the job).

A Client Champion has clearly defined her boundaries with clients even before they have become clients. Establishing expectations is part of her sales process, and she gets full buy-in from the client before accepting them as a client, regarding what they will do together and when, and what exactly the service looks like and what exactly the process will be.


Freelancers often charge hourly rates. Even if they offer packages, their packages are just a set number of hours at discounted rates. So they make even less money when they sell packages!

A Client Champion has ensured that the pricing of her services is based on the profitability and sustainability of the business, as well as the results and value of the transformation for the client.


Freelancers send invoices or charge the clients after the work is done. Sometimes they get 50% up front and 50% upon completion. 

A Client Champion gets paid up 100% up front or with monthly recurring charges that are independent of when the work is completed.

One Time Revenue vs. Recurring Revenue

Freelancers have to get more ‘jobs’ in order to make more money, which means that if they’re trying to make more money they’re slammed and have little time for the rest of their lives. Say goodbye to family time or self-care when the freelancer is trying to make money. And because they never know when the work might dry up, they are afraid to say no to work, even if they’re stressed and overworked.

A Client Champion designs ongoing services that provide recurring revenue, not only because that provides financial stability and sustainability for her business, but because that’s how she helps her clients actually achieve their long-term goals! She has built self-care and family time into her schedule, which was a factor in determining her pricing, so even when she’s at full capacity she’s making the money she needs and has time for her life outside of work.

How Time Is Spent

Freelancers spend most of their working hours working for clients. The bulk of their time is spent working IN the business, fulfilling client contracts.

A Client Champion spends most of her time working ON her business, creating the capacity in the business that will allow her to achieve her short and long term professional and personal goals AND help her clients achieve theirs.

To learn more about the Client Champion Formula watch my free master class.

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Joanna Sapir is a business strategist and coach helping innovative wellness practitioners and coaches build more profitable and sustainable businesses. She's on a mission to build a movement of people creating a new vision and reality for our future as humans on earth.

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