Finding clients is rather like fishing. First you need to know what sort of client you want in order to bait the hook. Then you need one to bite and you do a great job EVEN IF IT COSTS YOU A SMALLER PROFIT! They will tell others. You then negotiate your price towards a compromise.
Once you have a niche you will get more work via word of mouth.
I offer web hosting so my phone is with me night and day. In 5 years I have only had 2 calls at silly o'clock. Answering out of hours makes clients feel safe.
Retainers - I give an agreement based on anticipated number of updates that will be required per month. Some sites will be as low as 1 hour per month so they just pay me £50 per month and I will give them one hour of support, night or day. Above 1 hour is chargeable. They get a discount if they pay 1 year in advance etc. Carry over of hours is for 3 months only. Any accrued hours not used in 3 months are forfeited.
The golden rule - don't be afraid to say 'No' - some clients want the Earth for very little money. They will steal your time and kill your business. Always explain why you are saying 'No' so they can see that you are being fair. If they still won't budge then you don't want them as a client.
Hope this helps
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