It may be challenging to consistently get freelance clients.
As a freelancer, you are completely on your own.
Yes, you have excellent community support from online organizations and local freelancing groups, but your own efforts will determine a big portion of your success in learning how to get freelance clients.
Even if your business is thriving, you must have a strategy in place for obtaining new clients on a regular basis or retaining your current customer base.
Obtaining new freelance clients is especially important if your chosen type of freelancing job does not allow for repeat clients and requires you to start from zero each time.
So here’s how to get clients depending on where you are right now in your freelancing career:
1. Understand your ideal client.
Write a detailed description of your ideal client.
Be as specific as possible.
Is it a major company or a small business?
What industries do they cater to?
What areas of the chosen industry do they operate in?
What are the most challenging obstacles they face?
For example, if you’re a digital marketing business targeting IT experts, you may choose a few industries with which you’re already acquainted.
Create buyer personas for your ideal client in each of your target sectors so you can completely grasp their needs.
2. Improve and update your website.
Your website acts as a hub for your social media presence, portfolio, and case studies.
Your site’s design and content should be both professional and consistent with the image of your business.
Remember to connect them to your unique value proposition and highlight the outcomes you give to clients.
Include photos and videos of your achievements and hobbies.
Make your personality shine through.
Images of accomplishments and client testimonials should be prominently displayed as well.
3. Keep an up-to-date and versatile portfolio.
Create a digital portfolio in a variety of media such as a website, video, and PDF.
In addition, you should include a persuasive cover letter and a short résumé in your portfolio.
To attract clients, after your portfolio is complete, you must put it on a searchable portfolio site.
You may display your gig on any portfolio platforms such as Upwork, People Per Hour, or Fiverr according to your skills.
4. Make use of your network
Close friends, relatives, coworkers, and peers in your business or career comprise your main network.
You’ve earned their confidence through time, and they believe in your experience and understanding of a certain sector or issue.
They almost certainly have their own professional network.
A network of individuals to whom they can refer you.
This is the greatest place to start when seeking references.
Inquire if they know someone who may benefit from the service you’re offering.
Tell them about what you’ve created or what you do, and ask them to recommend anyone they know who might be interested.
But be cautious not to be overbearing.
Your network is precious, and it is not worth risking damaging relationships by bothering them.
5. Ask referral from a client or anyone you know
Referrals from past clients are frequently more effective than other marketing strategies.
Businesses frequently seek the finest service provider among their peers in order to skip some of the more time-consuming bidding processes.
As a result, it is critical that you ask your current clients to suggest you to new firms.
Asking around among your friends is your greatest bet for acquiring clients.
They might also be family members, mentors, past coworkers, supervisors at prior jobs, and so on.
Inform them that you are searching for references.
6. Ask for reviews and testimonials from clients
If your website has the capability, request from your previous clients to give an honest review of your services.
They may even do this on your Google business listing.
While asking for reviews is against Google’s standards, they can do it at their discretion.
Prospective clients get confidence through reviews and testimonials since they can see how you give value to others just like them.
7. Use employment sites to identify businesses that require your services
If a company is hiring for a relevant post in your field, it’s a solid indication that they’ll be interested in what you have to offer.
For example, if you provide product design services and notice a firm looking for a head of product position, there’s a good chance you’ll find work here.
You might potentially work as a contractor until they discover someone fit for a full-time role.
To find these companies, use employment aggregators such as Indeed.com.
If you know their company name, enter it into LinkedIn and look for the appropriate person to contact.
8. Use social networking to find freelance clients
In recent years, Facebook has evolved into a center for small enterprises.
Certain platforms may be simpler to use than others depending on the type of freelance work you are looking for.
Due to the high visual aspect of Instagram, freelance photographers may choose it over Facebook.
To promote word-of-mouth marketing and connect with possible new clients, use hashtags and network with other creatives.
LinkedIn has always been an excellent resource for connecting with people in your field and finding jobs.
However, in recent years, LinkedIn has become a fantastic resource for freelancers looking to learn how to attract freelance clients.
Finding clients on Linkedin has never been simpler, thanks to LinkedIn Jobs.
In an authentic manner, comment on and reply to social media conversations.
People like interacting with peers who offer value to discussions, particularly on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Giving advice or making recommendations indicates your knowledge of your chosen subject.
This may result in inquiries and, at the very least, significant lasting contacts.
Look for groups, hashtags, and live chats to help you successfully interact with your professional community.
9. Focus on LinkedIn
Managers and recruiters from medium to large companies choose LinkedIn for hiring.
Furthermore, when searching for names or talents on Google or Bing, LinkedIn is frequently the first search result.
Improve the appearance of your LinkedIn profile to make it more professional and elegant.
It might be beneficial if you try to include a link to your portfolio website or submit a portfolio video or PDF, a link to your freelance website, and a professional-looking profile photo.
Create a summary that highlights your abilities and accomplishments. Keep the skills and experience up to date.
Fill out the work examples area with completed projects, and update your LinkedIn profile with recommendations and skill endorsements.
10. To discover new clients, use freelance job boards
Online freelance job boards are one of the most straightforward ways to get freelance clients.
Many businesses know they need a freelancer for an upcoming project and may post job openings on freelancer-specific websites.
Although it may take some time to acquire a profitable job, it is still worthwhile to establish a profile on these platforms in order to attract them.
Furthermore, brands and companies may look for freelancers for new job postings.
You may attract these brands by first obtaining reviews for minor assignments.
Many freelancers utilize these platforms to reach out to new clients who they would not have been able to contact through traditional means.
One of the most well-known freelance marketplaces is Upwork.
It provides opportunities in every area, including design, writing, and administrative assistance.
Upwork also allows users to build their companies through the site, making it ideal for anybody looking for new clients.
If you like markets, there are several sites such as Upwork that may be a good fit for you.
Fiverr connects freelancers with tasks in graphic design, digital marketing, video and animation, programming and technology, and other fields.
All jobs are offered at a set rate rather than an hourly rate. Instead of competing for projects on Fiverr, freelancers sell themselves and then have clients hire them.
People per Hour is utilized by over 900,000 enterprises and over two million freelancers.
As a freelancer, evaluations of your profile from previous clients will aid in the discovery and hiring of new clients.
You may publish jobs that you wish to work on and have interested clients pick up your work.
The SolidGigs staff assesses hundreds of freelance opportunities and uploads just the best 1-2 percent every week to their daily job board.
Flexjobs is a portal that assists freelancers in finding professional jobs with flexible schedules.
The site checks all of the positions it publishes, ensuring that freelancers are less likely to be connected with fraudulent activities.
Flexjobs is all about giving freelancers the tools they need to find the appropriate work for them.
11. Make use of Slack and Reddit
Slack is more than simply a team communication tool; hundreds of communities have utilized it to bring people together.
Beyond humorous memes, Reddit has a plethora of communities.
There are groups for anything from real estate to bitcoin.
You may participate in these groups even if you aren’t an expert on the topics.
Add value by sharing your own experiences on specific subjects and responding to questions where you can give your knowledge.
12. Use email marketing
Getting into the inboxes of potential clients is one strategy to market your freelancing business.
These owned media platforms are critical because they eliminate the need to rely on organic search or social network standards to reach your target customers.
Using a pop-up builder to generate a notice on your site that encourages visitors to submit their email for a reward, such as a discount or downloadable item, is a simple first step toward developing your own community.
This is an excellent technique to quickly develop your email list.
You may also gather email addresses at local networking events (more on that later), or in some cities and countries, purchasing a legal email list or utilizing a site like Fiverr to collect email addresses of local businesses may be a smart alternative.
Send out frequent newsletters to keep potential clients engaged with your business and at the forefront of their minds for future projects.
You may accomplish this by hand or via an email marketing service such as Getresponse or MailChimp.
13. Create a YouTube channel
Starting a YouTube channel does not necessitate the purchase of expensive equipment.
In reality, you can create quality video content with little more than a smartphone and a tripod.
As long as people are interested in what you have to say, you can create a lot of attention on a tiny budget.
Begin by discussing issues that give answers to specific pain areas or that revolve around commonly asked inquiries from clients.
Remember to conduct research on your target audience and clients to determine what these themes are.
Choose a format that is appropriate for you.
To double down on your efforts, you may adapt your podcast into a video series, for example.
Alternatively, turn on your camera and add value in the same way that you would while writing a blog article.
Make a list of the points you want to cover, then sit in front of the camera, press record, and start talking.
When you first start out, the production value of your films is unimportant as long as the material is of great quality.
What matters is the value you provide to your audience.
14. To become noticed online, use search engine optimization (SEO)
Your ideal clients are actively seeking a freelancer like you.
The key to gaining their business is to be easily found.
Making your website search engine-friendly is one of the most efficient techniques to increase your visibility.
Essentially, this entails studying the keywords that people use to find someone like you and then incorporating those keywords into your website.
Of course, SEO is more complicated than that, but the goal is to mimic the language that searchers use.
Analyzing the search phrases or keywords that people use might reveal some surprises.
Therefore, conduct some research before building your website around words that most people don’t use.
15. Regularly improve and perfect your pitch.
A pitch is a message you send to a client to introduce yourself and explain why you should be hired.
If you’ve been asked to come in for an interview or demonstration, you can do it by email or in person.
In an email, you only need to tell the customer who you are, what you do, and how you plan to help them solve their business problems.
It’s a good idea to provide past work samples or a link to your portfolio.
Personalize your email to the company and show genuinely that you really care about solving their problems.
Don’t be hesitant to offer testimonials from previous clients to demonstrate your ability to do the work correctly.
If a customer is looking for proposals, don’t be shy.
Use this as a chance to demonstrate why you’re the greatest fit.
If you don’t hear back right away, follow up again and again.
Working on your in-person pitch is another strategy to obtain freelancing clients.
This can take the shape of a job interview or an out-of-office meet-up where you showcase your ideas and work.
Prepare for this like you would for any other job interview.
Research the company, identify its key problems, and demonstrate that you have a well-thought-out solution to their problems.
Have samples of your work ready to show as well as references.
16. Create a distinct Unique Value Proposition
To differentiate yourself from the competition, you must demonstrate how unique you are.
For example, if you’re a WordPress developer, you may set yourself apart by catering to a certain market, creating proprietary software to solve a specific problem, and providing supplemental services such as technical monitoring.
Whatever it is, make it clear in all of your marketing and communications what your unique value proposition is.
This way, you’re more than simply a WordPress developer; you’re a specialist who provides value to the company.
17. Create content in order to attract clients
The utilization of digital promotional materials is the next item on our list of how to obtain freelance clients.
Personal websites or portfolios, blogs, or having a presence on social media platforms are examples of these.
A personal website allows your clients to learn about who you are, what you have to offer, and what work you have done in the past.
This may be shown on your website in a different tab alongside your pricing and testimonials.
Having a blog, especially one that employs top SEO methods, is an excellent way to get discovered by people who are seeking your services.
People may not be aware that they are looking for a social media manager, but they are aware that they are looking for a solution to their specific problems like, “How do I get 10,000 followers on Instagram?”
If you’ve written a blog answering this topic, you’ve enhanced the possibility that clients in need of assistance will find your site and, as a result, your portfolio.
18. Look for Phone and Text Marketing Opportunities
The most prevalent methods of contacting new clients are phone calls and text messages.
You may use the same sales pitch you established earlier for cold calling and texting.
For local clients, you may explore phone and SMS marketing.
Google My Business, Google Maps, Bing Maps, and the Yellow Pages Directory are just a few of the places where you may get information.
19. Participate in networking events
Networking events allow you to connect with other entrepreneurs.
Begin with local events centered on issues related to your services.
Remember that the finest networking is rarely referred to as networking, but rather as a meet-up, huddle, conference, workshop, presentation, or demonstration.
Look for events that will draw your potential clients as well as activities that will interest your business colleagues.
Even if you don’t end up getting any business, you’ll learn a lot about your target demographic and their industry or occupation.
Consider attending events that will bring you closer to your peers and possible clients.
Online networking, Facebook Live sessions, Twitter conversations, and webinars are examples of such activities.
Remember that your peers are more than just competition.
They may also be excellent sources of valuable leads.
20. Upselling and cross-selling
Upselling and cross-selling are two straightforward methods for acquiring new business from existing clients.
You must be aware that your clients may be under additional stress as a result of the pandemic, and they may not have the time or funds to begin new initiatives.
However, if your products or services can assist them in overcoming these obstacles, they may be pleased to hear from you.
To go about this, when speaking with your client, inquire about the difficulties they are currently experiencing in achieving their objectives.
Pay attention to what they say and go further into their reactions.
Offer your services as a value-added solution to address specific pain areas.
21. Get yourself listed and encourage reviews
If you want to obtain freelancing clients, your company should be searchable on big platforms like Google and Facebook.
Industries will have their own listing pages as well.
For example, there may be one site for finding freelance graphic design projects and another solely for hiring freelance attorneys.
Make certain that the site on which you advertise yourself has people who are seeking the service you offer.
Once you’ve been included on these sites, request that clients post reviews detailing their experience working with you.
One thing to keep in mind: As an ethical business person, you cannot request just good feedback.
If you ask clients for reviews, you must be prepared for the unfavorable responses that may surface.
22. Include your contact information in professional directories
Another good place to get featured is in directories.
Even if they don’t generate a flood of leads, they might help your SEO efforts by offering another connection to your website.
Several directories need money, so select wisely, but you should be able to discover some that are completely free to join.
Some directories are dedicated to certain professions or freelancers, while others may be confined to persons in specific areas, specialties, or places.
You may identify relevant directories by conducting a Google search or asking other freelancers.
23. Create jaw-dropping case studies to back up your claims
Buyers prefer reading case studies and reviews throughout the purchase deliberation stage.
DocuSign, for example, utilizes case studies to demonstrate how its technology delivers corporate outcomes beyond making administrative chores faster and more efficient.
When writing case studies for your freelancing business, concentrate on the outcomes you’ve achieved for your clients.
What was the difficulty you assisted clients in resolving? How did you accomplish it, and what was the result?
24. Marketing Blog Contents
Maintaining a blog with a marketing goal is the most cost-effective approach to increasing brand recognition among potential clients.
You may start blogging for free using platforms such as WordPress, Medium, and Blogger.
When you submit material, make sure the writing tone is sales-oriented.
If you’re a WordPress developer/designer, create material that will entice your target audience to hire you.
Write, for example, how responsive websites enhance sales by a specific amount and how you’re an expert in providing such websites.
25. Guest Posting on reputable websites
To keep informed, many business owners, managers, and individual entrepreneurs subscribe to trustworthy internet technology or business-oriented websites.
So you should submit proposals to such websites to see if you may publish your creatives on their platform.
This will raise the visibility of your work to those with recruiting authority.
26. Make a project or bundle for your previous clients
Contact previous clients to see if they have any new projects that you can assist them with.
Alternatively, you might design new service bundles and highlight the advantages to previous clients.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer and a client doesn’t have an e-book available as a lead magnet on their website, request a brief appointment to discuss the benefits.
Send a proposal after the meeting to demonstrate that you’re the best person for the job.
27. Join forums and add value
Joining forums or online organizations that may have pertinent information is one approach to do online networking.
You must exercise caution in this regard, as many sites, such as Reddit and Quora, prohibit direct company advertising.
However, you may participate in these forums as a competent person and answer any questions that others may have.
By answering questions on these sites, you may add value to your profile.
Quora is a prominent Q&A platform where individuals may get detailed answers to their burning concerns.
There’s also a robust network of professionals willing to offer solutions, which you may join.
Contributing in-depth posts to Quora queries also aids your content marketing efforts.
You may tap into a fresh stream of traffic and prospective leads by incorporating links back to relevant blog articles and pages on your website.
28. On Twitter, look for your ideal client’s pain points
Using various hashtags, look for related pain areas on Twitter.
Look for queries or concerns that you can answer.
Keep an eye out for talks between competitors and their clientele to see if any possibilities arise.
29. Present yourself as an expert in your field
Businesses and freelancing clients will always seek the services of a professional.
Hence you must establish yourself as an authority on the project for which the customer should pay you.
Writing a book can help you establish yourself as a specialist.
You may use it to connect with opinion leaders, journalists, and bloggers in the same way that podcasting allows you to.
Thanks to companies like Amazon’s CreateSpace, self-publishing has never been easier.
Write your book, send it to Amazon, and get samples produced to give to bloggers for feedback.
You may also send your book as a gift to potential clients. This helps cut through the noise in their email inbox while providing distinct value.
Create free online courses and publish them on sites like Thinkific, Teachable, and Podia.
Develop instructional products to increase brand awareness.
On compatible platforms, you may create and distribute infographics, videos, whitepapers, press releases, animations, and other media.
30. Speaking engagements can boost your credibility
Event planners are always on the hunt for great speakers. When you initially start out, look for speaking opportunities and be prepared to work for nothing.
Make an offer to them that includes a convincing proposal that explains how you can add value to their event.
Make contact with local bookshops, libraries, and reading organizations to arrange for book readings.
Meeting writers is a popular hobby among bookworms.
31. Create strategic partnerships
Partnerships come in a variety of forms and sizes.
You may collaborate on a piece of content with a partner firm, such as writing an e-book and promoting it to each other’s audiences.
Begin with connections in which you have previously created the trust.
This covers your network, as well as your current clientele.
This is the key to successful collaborations.
It’s not just about bringing value to the businesses you want to work with.
It’s also about the audience they serve.
Determine what their target audience is interested in and make it a win-win situation for all parties involved.
32. Design eye-catching business cards
We understand that business cards sometimes appear antiquated.
And if you just work in the digital environment, this may not be for you.
However, you’d be amazed how many people still ask for business cards, and you want yours to stand out.
Using internet tools like Canva, Vistaprint, and MOO, create an eye-catching business card template.
Aim for clarity and originality.
Colors and visuals that say eloquently about your freelance services should be highlighted.
33. Attend industry conventions
Take advantage of the press passes that many conferences provide if you’re providing material as part of your freelancing company.
Getting behind the scenes provides you with an excellent opportunity to network with key figures in your business.
Most keynote speakers are well-known people, so this is a fantastic opportunity to meet them in person.
Offer them a chance for an interview.
Most influencers, journalists, and bloggers want to reach a new audience, so they’ll most likely take you up on your offer.
While Covid-19 has disrupted many live events, other conferences and trade exhibits are continuing as virtual events, which may provide similar possibilities to engage with colleagues and grow your network.
34. Make an effort to be helpful in all your interactions
Be a kind and helpful person in all conversations.
This will strengthen your personal brand as a kind person who is always willing to go the extra mile for clients and coworkers alike.
Helping people, even if they don’t appear to be the ideal client, builds goodwill in your industry.
Remember that you are your own brand as a solopreneur.
What you do and how you behave in the world will be reflected back to you.
35. Collaborate with an agency
Make contact with agencies that work with freelancers.
You might begin by contacting the top ten agencies in your town or city, such as advertising and digital marketing firms.
With a solid portfolio, case studies, and testimonials, you’ll be able to wow them.
If you’ve worked with similar organizations before, share your experiences.
Offer to collaborate with them by providing additional services to their current clientele.
Agencies may seek to white-label your services so that you appear to be a member of their team and their clients have a consistent experience.
36. Create an affiliate program
Customers and other companies can use affiliate programs to refer new customers in exchange for a reward or monetary compensation.
Affiliates vary from referrals in that they are required to actively market your items and brand.
When creating an affiliate program, send out an email with a link to a landing page where individuals may join up on your website.
Make it clear what the perks are and how much compensation they will receive for new clients they recommend.
Commissions might be one-time payments or recurring payments for the duration of a customer’s relationship with you.
As an example, suppose you give a 10% affiliate commission on a $100 product.
This implies that affiliates will get $10 for each new customer they suggest, which may quickly pile up if they’re aggressively advertising you.
The amount you pay affiliates is determined by your service price, product margins, and client lifetime value (LTV).
Use a solution like AffiliateWP to integrate these programs into your website.
If your website does not use WordPress, there are other options.
37. Use podcasts to help your business grow
Creating a podcast isn’t only a terrific method to provide value to your audience.
It’s also an excellent tool for connecting with industry thought leaders, key decision-makers, and target firms.
Determine who you want to connect with and reach out to them with an offer to interview them.
Although it may take some time for this to get traction, most thought leaders and CEOs are eager to get their names in front of a larger audience.
It’s a win-win situation for your future clients and audience because you’ll be bringing out new stuff for them to learn from.
38. Paid Media
Paid media may be a quick approach to acquiring new clients if you have the funds.
There are a handful of good methods for doing this.
Directly advertise your services, giving a free consultation or strategy session.
To bring visitors into your sales funnel, offer a lead magnet, such as an e-book or video training.
The networks you choose to promote will depend on your target demographic, but Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are likely to provide some results.
These four platforms offer an active user population that includes your targeted clientele, as well as effective targeting options to guarantee your message reaches them.
This is intended to serve as a resource for new customer acquisition ideas.
Not all of the choices we’ve shown will be suitable for you, but there should be a few strategies that will work time and again.
Remember that establishing a business needs dedication and perseverance.
The easiest method to use this strategy is to choose three to five ways that you are positive will work.
Then, to execute, learn best practices and strategies by reading in-depth guides on each topic.
Look for instances of how others have carried them out and gotten success.
Make a strategy to test these new ideas and decide on success measures.
While there are several ways available to you, not all of them will be effective right immediately.
Experiment with tactics that are applicable to your business and expand on those that provide results.
IMAGE CREDIT: Storyset