Learn proven methods to find clients when you just started freelancing on the side.
If you are just starting out as a freelancer, one of the biggest challenges you are facing right now could be finding clients. Clients are the lifeblood of any business, big or small. Without clients, it is difficult to sustain your business. That is why it is important to know where to find them the smart way.
Many of you might have already known there are many websites where you can find freelance work. All you need to do is to register with the website and put up your profile there.
The problem with this method is that your profile is easily buried among thousands of profiles of other freelancers in the same field, especially if you are just starting out.
Usually, websites such as Fiverr and Upwork rank their freelancers, and only the highest rated freelancers will be featured on their first page and get the most exposure to potential clients. This significantly reduce the chances of newcomers getting seen and hired.
So, for freelancers who are just starting out, I am going to share with you 7 of my favourite methods to find freelance work.
Go Direct to Clients
This is one of the most effective ways. I have used this method when I was just starting out and landed some of my biggest clients.
When you are trying to find companies in a particular industry you want to work with, you can always ask google to get their contact information. And you can also use the good old yellow pages and local business directory as well.
Before you approach your potential clients, you need to have a portfolio ready. It helps if you have your own website that showcases your work. But if you don’t have, it is okay as well. You can always attach samples of your work in the email.
Linkedin is also a good place where you can directly contact your potential clients. For example, if you are freelance graphic designer, you should be talking to all the marketing managers.
Facebook & Linkedin Group Method
There are mainly two types of groups you should join. One is where you can meet other freelancers in your field and network with them. The other one is where you can find your target clients who might need your services.
Let’s talk about the first one. Making friends with other freelancers can open door for you to projects you might otherwise never have chance to work on.
For example, if they have a project but feel that it is not their area of expertise, they could send the client your way if it’s a good match for your skillset. Or if they have too many projects and need a helping hand, they would come to you.
The second type of group is good for networking and building relationships with potential clients. If your target clients are small business owners, you can find groups which they are members of.
Remember that you are not joining the group to harass people with your offer. No one likes a pushy salesperson. You should be there to give value and offer your advice. This way, you position yourself as the expert in your area and become their logical choice of service provider.
Find Strategic Partnership
Strategic partnership has been a good source of consistent freelance work for me. How it works is that you find businesses in another industry that have similar clientele as yours and you partner up with them.
For example, if you are a freelance makeup artist, you can approach wedding photography studios or wedding gown boutiques. If you are a freelance graphic designer, you can contact printing companies.
Set Up Email Alerts For Freelance Jobs
Craigslist is great to find freelance work. I got my first paying client from there. But to get the job, you need to be fast to respond to job postings. That is why you should set up email alerts to allow yourself to act quickly.
Here is how you can set it up.
(2) Job Boards(not from freelancing platform)
To make your life easier, you can do the same for job boards. First, you do a google search for the job boards in your niche, then create an email alert for the jobs meet your requirements. For example, if you are a freelance writer, you might want to check out ProBlogger job board and create an email alert for it.
Social Media Shout-out Method
Today, almost everyone is on social media. If used correctly, it can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. I have a friend who is a freelance makeup artist who specializes in bridal makeup. She has a huge following on social media and gets a lot of referral clients.
Here is how she does it. First, she does an awesome job doing the bride’s makeup, then she shares the photo of the beautiful bride on her own Facebook page and tags the bride, thanking her for the opportunity working with her.
What is so smart about doing this? By doing this, the bride’s friends and family will get to see it. If they love the work my friend has done and want to hire her services, they will know how to reach out to her on Facebook.
Referral From Friends and Family
When you are just starting out, it is good to let everyone in your social circle know that you are looking for freelance work. If they need your service, they can come to you. Or, if they know anyone who can use your service, they can refer you.
In fact, this should be the very first thing you should do. Freelancing is a relationship business. You should tap into your network to find work opportunities.
Revamp Your Profile On Social Networking Sites
It’s time to update your profile on all the social networking sites. The more specific, the better. It serves two main purposes. First, it allows people to know about you and what you can offer. Second, this makes it easy for potential clients to find you.
For example, if you are a freelance digital marketing consultant who is specialized in Facebook Ads, you should put the key words “digital marketing” and “Facebook Ads” in your Linkedin profile. Companies looking for freelance marketing consultant always search by key words on Linkedin.
These 7 methods are tested and proven to help you get more leads for your freelancing business. Now, go ahead and try it yourself. Let me know how it goes for you:) If you have other interesting ways of finding clients, please let us know in the comments below.