All freelancers have to start somewhere. Unless you’re lucky enough to be bringing clients from your traditional job over to your new life as a freelancer, or have a vast array of family members ready to hire you, you’re going to need to find some clients. This is one of the hardest parts of freelancing and a lack of clients is the main reason that some budding freelancers end up throwing in the towel prematurely. If you are at a loss on how to find clients, we hope this post can help you get started.
Think like a Client
- Find a business that has hired someone in your niche area and ask them:
Have they hired a freelancer? If so:
- What led them to hire a freelancer?
- How did they come to choose that particular freelancer?
- Where did they find the freelancer?
- What did they expect from working with a freelancer?
If not, why not?
The answers to these questions will let you know exactly what your target clients want and you might even be surprised to find that what you think they're looking for isn't actually what they want.
- List companies you want to work for, thoroughly research them, find out what they’ve hired freelancers for in the past, and check out those freelancer"s websites to see how they might have won the client over.
- Cold pitch - direct to potential clients; include:
- Why you want to work with them
- What you’re an expert at
- What you can do to help their business
- Warm pitch - an indirect method that creates and nurtures a relationship with a business
- Pitch to job board ads
Before you pitch anything be sure you have compiled the necessary background knowledge. Be prepared to tell the potential client how you would improve the part of their business that relates to your field. Make the pitch about them and their business, not about you.
Do some Freebies
- Start out working for free to build a portfolio - be sure the work is in your niche area
- Use free work strategically to get more work
Check out those Job Boards
- A great source of work when your just starting out
- You can work for low prices until you get more established and can raise your rates
Tap into your Existing Network
- Think of people in your social network that might need your services
- Ask friends and family members to refer you to anyone they know who might need your services
- Remind people that you’re for hire
Network with Fellow Freelancers
- They might give you hints about where to find clients
- A fellow freelancer in your niche area might recommend you for jobs they are too busy to handle
- Work as a team with someone in a complimentary field to pitch and complete projects together
Have a Stellar Portfolio and Website
- Build it
- Show it off
- Keep working at it - regularly update it to keep it fresh
Now you have several good ways to start finding clients, why not help them find you? Sign up and create a freelancer profile with Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend.