Freelancer? 15 Proven Ways To Find Your First Client
If we ask any freelancer: ” what’s your biggest problem as a freelancer?” the answer will definitely be- Finding clients! This also can be the first challenge that prevents many full-time employees from starting freelancing as a career. Whether you’re a full-time employee, a fresh graduate, a freelancer with no experience, or a professional freelancer who wants to find more clients, these tips will help you quickly find clients.
- Study Your Industry Market Well
Your passion for starting your own business and being your own boss shouldn’t make you forget that you’re diving into a totally different career option. Markets now are very competitive, and freelancer numbers surged.
So, you’ve to know how you can stand you among the crowd? How can you set your rates? Does your selected field need freelancers? Will freelancing be beneficial?
Understanding your industry market’s roots will help you draw a bigger picture and know where and how to start your freelancing journey.
- Utilize Your Skills
Although you may start freelancing with zero experience, you can get paid for your skills. Find your inner talents and unique skills and rely on them as valuable assets. Your skill can help you stand among the crowd to get your first client.
Your medical background as a doctor, perhaps, would distinguish you as the best fit to translate medical-related documents, or you may be the best for a freelance medical content writer position for that prominent hospital website.
Think out of the box and define those considerable skills and unique talents that will make your potential client takes you seriously- Skills eventually pay off!
- Invest In Your Portfolio
Having a well-crafted updated portfolio as a freelancer will showcase your milestone achievements, and it will be qualified- proof for your potential clients to hire you. A strong portfolio includes a strong bio, your services and skills, the projects you’ve worked on, employers who have hired you, and your work samples.
Nowadays, you didn’t need a professional to create your portfolio. There are many tips everywhere on the website that helps to make it like an expert.
Why Creating A Portfolio Is Essential?
- A portfolio represents you when someone wants to make a referral or talk about you.
- A portfolio highlights your most significant achievements.
- A portfolio can be featured on all your social media accounts so potential employers can easily know who you are.
- A portfolio is the first step to be a professional. Creating a portfolio shows that you’re serious about your business.
- Reach Freelancers In The Same Boat & Build Partnerships
Your fellow freelancer can be an ideal mentor who supports you with more advice and information related to freelancing as a career. Hold a career informational interview where you can ask questions to obtain more tips and hints on how to step into the freelance world. Although you may not ask for referrals, your fellow freelancer may do this voluntarily, and it’ll leave a great impression on your potential employer.
Moreover, you can create a partnership with another freelancer who can complement you. How?
- You can work on a subcontract when he is overwhelmed with tasks and looking for outsourcing specific tasks.
- You, both, can build up a team to offer a broad range of services. For example, if you’re a content writer, you can partner with a designer to provide ultimate services to websites’ owners.
- Your Network Really Matters
Have you ever heard that ” It’s not always what you know, but who you know?” It’s a Cliché, but it brings a huge benefit when you decide to kick start your freelancing career. Why? Because we are living in a world of ” word-of-mouth” marketing. You can get many future employers, although you don’t have the experience because someone from your network sings your services and strengths when someone needs your services.
So, spread the news and let everyone around you, physically or virtually, know that you are a freelancer, and you would appreciate any recommendations. You don’t know who might be in your network’s connection list.
Spend more time writing posts and sending formal emails telling your networks that you’re going to start freelancing, your field of expertise, your pricing, and what kinds of clients you seek to collaborate with. Ask your connections to share the post, and make referrals if anyone they know may need your work.
Your family, friends, and online connections may have VIPs in their connections list who may be your next clients.
Drjob Tip: You can make a limited time offer for connection as a kind of “Marketing” to your business. This offer can be a discount, a bonus, or a free service to get more proposals on the table.
- Pat Your Old Contacts
We make many friends through our life-time activities, work in many companies, join many internships, and build more relationships in different forms.
You can refresh these relationships by sending a message asking what they are doing now and where they are in their careers to start the conversation friendly before asking for any favor. Indeed, many of these people have started their own businesses, worked for top companies, or know someone who can be your next client. Be smart and helpful; don’t be sale-sy. You can build a long-term professional relationship if you do it smartly.
- Use Social Media Platforms Smartly
Update your bio and add a link to your portfolio, spread this everywhere: Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Then, add a note that you’re open to new opportunities and let others know that you’re ready to start your own business.
Another way to utilize social media platforms to land your clients is to join industry-specific groups of experts in your industry. Community groups are popular in the last few years because people create groups for everything you may think of. Search using a keyword in your field and join groups to gain access to thousands of people interested in the same area.
How to gain the benefit of industry-specific groups?
Join groups in your niche. Once you join one group, a list will automatically be suggested.
Read the group rules and turn them to your benefit.
Post an introductory post about yourself, your name, work, and how your services can help group members.
Be active. Answer questions, and build more relationships. Don’t say it explicitly, ” Hire me.”
It takes time, but once people recognize your name, define your mindset, and know that you’re an expert in your field, your inbox will not stop binging, and your connection requests list will not be empty after that. You’ll be like a PUBLIC FIGURE in some groups.
- Attend Business Networking Events
If you’re planning to be a business owner, networking will not be an option. It’s a significant aspect to be professional. Face-to-face communications are essential to get instant results; it a vital way to build more relationships quickly.
How To Network Like An Entrepreneur?
- Check out meet up platforms to find where professionals with the same field of expertise hang out.
- Learn how to break the ice, start a conversation-friendly, be a good listener, and leave a good first impression.
- Prepare a professional answer to the frequently asked questions: Who are you, and what do you do? Avoid buzzwords and prepare a short, professionally crafted bio.
- Ask if a person has a business card so that you could keep in touch after the event.
- Send a LinkedIn connection to everyone you met and send a “nice to meet you” message within a brief period of the event.
You might build robust networks that lead to a long-term professional network.
- Give A Chance To Job Portals
Job boards come among the most reliable ways to find freelance jobs. As a new freelancer, you need to create a portfolio, contact clients and know how the industry is going. All these can be done through freelance websites like Freelancer Drjobs.
This website lists real, legitimate, and scam-free freelance opportunities. Its team verifies the client is legit, and they exclude any suspected posting. So, you’ll be able to browse +50 categories until you find a project that meets your requirements without being worried that it might be a scam.
How to make the best of job boards for your interest?
- Don’t randomly apply for jobs
- Read carefully through the project posting
- Know the contract type and terms
- Read more about the client and his services in the market
- Tailor your proposal to each project description by using the highlighted keywords
- Know the payment methods and terms
- Make sure to communicate with the client before starting any work to know more about his requirements, needs, and aims.
- Maintain The Brief Case Technique
Applying this technique depends on your ability to collect more information about your potential client and his product or service. Before contacting the client, prepare notes on your strategies to enhance their businesses, and use your skills and experience for their aims. Business owners usually get impressed by anyone who cares about their business and has ideas to make it better.
- Work It For Free
Imagine creating a catchy logo for a friend who just starts a business. When he succeeds, you’ll succeed perceptively. Every time he receives a compliment on it, he will mention you, and your name will be known. The person will spread the word about how professional you’re as long as he is happy with the result.
It’s a win-win situation. You’ll build your portfolio with great samples, market yourself, receive testimonials and endorsements, and the other person will receive a service for free, and your work will be a part of his success.
- Create Your Virtual Business Card
Today, every group of experts in any field creates a niche-specific social media platform. All you need is to be active on these platforms. For example, if you are a designer, create a profile on Behance. If you’re a videographer, be active on Vimeo.
Showcase your best samples to your target audience. Highlight your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. Clients will contact you directly, through third parties, or friends. Make sure you make your contact details and online inbox accessible.
- Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a home for thousands of clients that you can reach with a click. Recruiters, also, are looking for freelancers via LinkedIn. So, updating your profile is not an option.
Spend some time polishing your profile and adding all the updated details. Select ” Open to new opportunities” Status. Fill out all the relevant information or upload documents that you see may attract clients.
Remember adding a professional profile picture, a catchy career objective, and feature recommendations from your network.
Sync your current list, start following professionals in the same niche. Check out the 2nd connections list, and the “people you may know” list is vital in getting in touch with potential clients. Send personalized connection requests.
Create a post teaching people something in your field, and don’t forget to add 1-3 relevant hashtags to ensure more reach.
- Publish A Useful Content
If you are a designer, write How-to tips that can help professionals and non-professionals to excel in a new skill, and if you’re a copywriter, write a guide on how to create a copy that sells.
Show how you can add value to others. If you create anything useful for your potential clients and it is for free, they will recognize your name and know how much you are initiative, and collaborating with you will benefit them.
- Send Cold Emails To Your Prospect Client
Cold emailing is vital to find a freelance opportunity. It hasn’t to be scary.
Use Google to search for local businesses near you. Many companies usually hire contractors or freelancers to help their in-house employees. Write a promoting email that markets you as a professional in your sector, and tailor it to every client you send.
Your email could address a problem that the client has and how you’re planning to solve it. This costs some effort, but it pays off.
Little-Known Facts About Freelancing:
- Clients Come to You On Twitter, YouTube, Website, Blogging, Viral CV, Word of mouth.
- You Go to Clients Via: Online search, Social search, Networking, Online freelance communities, Facebook groups, and Concept cupboards.
- To Be A Successful Freelancer, you have to learn how to knock down 7 times and get up 8.
- Try, Try, Try until you find the way that works for you.
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I hope these 15 proven ways to find your first client are useful!
Now, I want to hear from you. What are some of your best ways to get clients? Share in the comments box below to help other freelancers to follow in your footsteps. We rise by lifting others.