As you develop your business, you'll refine your "flow."  A lead comes in, a discussion (hopefully) ensues and you convert to a sale.

Eventually you expand, diversify, but also learn more about the type of lead and client you want.  There are those who want the world for a nickel, those who take a LOT of your time for proportionately little reward, and then there are those who challenge you to define your values more specifically.

Usually it's a pretty simple flowchart for me: 1) Will we be safe? 2) Money? The rest is doing what we say we can do.

After all, we've been doing this for a little while.  We know what we can do, don't brag about it, focus on making memories, and walk the talk.  As I've mentioned in a previous article, all we have to do is not suck.  That's a glorious state of being in business. 

Even more so (and we try not to get spoiled here) is to identify what "juice is worth the squeeze."  While just about anyone can be our client, we recognize that we can't be everything to all people (and budgets.) The expectation gap is real and getting caught up in that can drive you mad.  This helps trim the opportunities - refining and saving our energies and talent for the greatest outcome.

'Merica, right? 

We now rarely get the "work for exposure" clients, and quickly qualify the world-for-a-nickel clients.  There is room for others in our market, so we can focus on bigger services, hopefully working smarter (not harder) and a less-is-more on the bottom line between working and earning.

Once you vet that your skills are worth what you're charging, know your value, have faith in your potential, and keep moving towards the best results.