Are you thinking about starting a freelance career and want to know how to get clients?
Finding clients for your service-based business is not that simple.
How you present and market yourself takes a lot more than designing and creating a website that showcases your skills.
You may have excellent skills, but the question is, how do you get clients to hire you?
Here are 9 simple tips.
1. Always follow the instructions in the job description.
Here’s an example of a job post on Craigslist.
The ad lists all the qualifications and requirements the ad poster is looking for.
And the latter part tells you exactly what to do to apply.
If the job poster tells you to include the name of your favorite author in the subject, then do it.
If the instruction tells you to fill out a form or take a test, then do that.
If the job says send a sample of your work, then do so.
Follow the instructions to the T.
There’s no need to respond with “I’m interested. I’m available for an interview. You can contact me at blah, blah, blah” if that’s not what the ad specifications say.
2. Communicate well.
What does this mean? If a client contacts you, respond and respond fast.
Why? You’re probably not the only person they have contacted. And there are times when clients hire on a first-come, first-served basis.
If that’s the case, of course, you don’t want to miss out.
So pay close attention to your emails. Make sure you respond within 24 hours or less. Or better yet, create an automated email to let them know when they can expect a response from you or perhaps another way for them to contact you.
3. Don’t focus too much on the money.
This is especially true if you’re in the beginning stages of your freelance career. You don’t respond to a job ad saying, “What’s the rate?”
You want to send a positive impression, and what better way to impress than to show your client how you can help them and not how they can help your finances.
Remember, clients are looking to hire someone that can solve their problems. That’s all they care about.
So when you respond to ads of potential clients, focus on what you can do for them and what they can achieve by working with you.
4. Fake it till you make it.
How you present yourself is very important.
However, there are times when you don’t feel confident doing certain parts of a job, maybe because you haven’t had enough experience.
That’s completely normal.
But rather than saying you can’t, it’s much better to say that you’re a quick learner and you enjoy exploring new skills.
Your willingness to learn new things will take you a lot further than sticking to what you already know.
5. Create a portfolio.
A portfolio is used to demonstrate your abilities so that clients can actually see what you can do.
You don’t necessarily have to have clients to have a portfolio.
Portfolio samples don’t need to be finished projects.
You can simply compile and show work samples.
For instance, if you’re a web designer, you can take a website and redesign it. This way, you can show the before and after look and feel.
If you’re a writer, you can create a blog so that potential clients can see your work.
6. Have testimonials.
It’s easy to request a testimonial from clients for a job well done.
If you’re just starting out, what you can do is reach out to your past employers and ask them to write a testimonial for you based on your character and skills as a worker.
Another way is accept one or two jobs that you can do for free and then ask for a testimonial in return after the project is done.
For example, if you’re a transcriber, you can offer to transcribe a 30-minute audio for free. It can be a win-win situation for both you and the client.
Once you have a couple of testimonials, it would be easier to get clients.
Referrals or recommendations can be the best way to get more clients.
7. Promote your business.
This is as simple as how can people hire you if they don’t know you exist?
You can’t just sit back and wait for clients to find you. You have to put yourself out there and actively market your service.
So what you can do is post some information about your business on a couple of social media platforms.
Choose ones that you feel most comfortable with, be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Webtalk.
Don’t do it once or twice and wait for something to happen. Instead, do it regularly or on a consistent basis.
Be active and maintain social media presence, so people can start to get to know you and build trust.
You can also market your business using websites like Pinterest and Craigslist.
8. Follow up.
Never make the mistake of not following up on your leads.
Prospects sometimes tend to get cold and forget you exist if you don’t follow up.
If you don’t hear back from a prospective client, it doesn’t hurt to send an email or two.
Clients are busy sometimes that’s why they haven’t responded back to your proposal. So follow up.
9. Don’t follow up too much.
Now, don’t overdo following up. Don’t send too many emails asking them why they haven’t responded.
You don’t want to look impatient, desperate, or pushy.
You can send a follow-up email two or three days after sending your proposal just to check if they have received your proposal or if they have any concerns.
If they don’t respond, wait for another two to three days to follow up. If they still do not respond, take the hint and move on.
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