Are you looking for effective ways to get freelance clients? We understand the struggle! Finding new clients is one of the hardest things about working in the gig community, but it’s super important. Whether you’re a web designer, blog writer, or voice-over artist, you will know how tricky it is to find customers.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out! This practical guide introduces you to fifteen tried-and-tested ways to attract more clients and boost your sales as a freelancer. You don’t have to follow every tip, and you might even find you’re already doing one or more of them. But that being said, we hope you find the guide helpful!
Let’s dive in and take a look at how to get freelance clients.
1. Create A Portfolio Website
Arguably the best way to show off your skills to prospective clients is to build a stunning website of your own. And the good news is that putting together a portfolio website isn’t as hard as you might think. Plus, you can always hire a fellow freelancer to help you with the bits you get stuck on!
On your portfolio website, be sure to include:
- Details of your skills and offer.
- Information about you as a person.
- Case studies from previous clients in the form of testimonials.
- Examples of completed work (if appropriate).
- Links to your social media feed, LinkedIn profile, and blog.
- Contact details for potential collaborations.
You want your portfolio website to scream HIRE ME! It should be unique and informative and build trust with potential clients.
While there are lots of website builders to choose from, we recommend setting up a WordPress blog through BlueHost to get things started.
Disclaimer: We are an affiliate for Bluehost, meaning we will earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you click through one of our links and sign up for a hosting plan. That said, regardless of a commission, we recommend Bluehost for all beginning bloggers because their customer service is second to none, and their hosting plans are super inexpensive. In other words, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to start your blog, and if you ever run into an issue, you can just give them a call and someone will help you figure things out.
2. Blog About Your Niche
One of the most important elements of your new portfolio website is your blog.
Because creating engaging, relatable content is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site.
Your blog posts should prove to your potential clients that you know your stuff, and you should be prepared to go into detail about your life as a freelancer.
Sharing stories on your blog is also an excellent way for potential clients to get to know a little bit about you as a person. With that in mind, keep things relevant. Even if you’re obsessed with pro baseball, don’t write about it on your portfolio website. Reserve your blog for interesting topics about your freelancing niche.
We recommend that all freelancers start a blog, but it’s vitally important for writers and photographers, as it’s the ideal place to showcase your work.
Like setting up a portfolio website, if you choose to start blogging about your freelance niche, we recommend setting up your blog through Bluehost.
You Might Also Like:
- 9 Lucrative Freelance Skills You Can ACTUALLY Learn Online
- 5 Ways To Make Money Online (For Beginners)
- 15 Best Digital Side Hustles For 2021
- 5 Blogging Secrets Every Beginner Needs To Know
- How Much Does It Cost To Start (And Run) A Blog?
- How Do Blogs Make Money (10 Proven Ways)
- Blog On A Budget: 10 Low-Cost Essentials For New Bloggers
3. Try Out Freelance Job Sites
In the early days of your freelance career, the best place to find clients is on freelance job sites.
These are places where clients actively go looking for freelancers, so the burden of finding work doesn’t just sit on your shoulders.
Lots of freelancers begin their careers on Fiverr or Upwork (or both), as they’re excellent places to meet clients. If you’re a writer, you can also find gigs on ProBlogger, which also contains helpful information about how to grow your personal blog.
4. Connect With People On Linkedin
LinkedIn needs little introduction.
While it’s marketed as a network for professionals, it’s also an excellent resource for freelancers.
You can reach out to people you already know and introduce them to your services. Conversely, you can search job listings and connect with people who you would like to work for. To get the most out of LinkedIn, make sure of the following:
- Your profile is up to date.
- Don’t just connect with your friends (that’s what Facebook’s for).
- Personalize messages when you reach out to new connections.
- Optimize your bio and tell connections what you do and what you’re looking for.
- Post statuses and regularly share updates.
- Comment on and share other people’s updates.
LinkedIn is one of the best places to find freelance clients, so make sure you’re making the most of it.
5. Start A Youtube Channel
If you’re a videographer, then you don’t need us to tell you to start a YouTube channel. However, freelancers across many industries can benefit by getting in front of the camera.
You can start by offering basic tutorials about particular products or platforms that you use and like, and then crank things up a notch as you increase your following.
You can use YouTube to deliver online classes, review products and services, and give inside advice about freelancing in your niche. Videos increase your visibility and build trust with your clients, so investing some time into starting and growing a YouTube channel is a great way to find freelance clients.
6. Leverage The Power Of Social Media
While many people have a love-hate relationship with social media, when put to good use, it’s a powerful tool for finding freelance clients.
Whichever platforms you decide to use, it’s a good idea to keep your personal and professional lives separate.
For instance, if you’re a freelance photographer who captures stunning landscapes and uploads them to Instagram, it will look a little strange to share a feed with candid snaps of your two-year-old daughter!
Maintaining a professional social media feed is an excellent way for clients to find you.
Just be sure to post regularly and remember to engage with your followers by commenting and liking posts on your timeline.
7. Always Ask For Referrals
As a freelancer, asking for referrals is a great way to bring business to you without spending an eternity convincing clients to pick you over hundreds of other people.
While you might feel uncomfortable doing so, asking for referrals is a part of freelancing, and your clients won’t blame you for it.
Just ensure that your requests are polite, appropriate, and professional.
Be careful not to come across as too desperate, and don’t overstep the line by getting too demanding. Asking for referrals is a delicate balancing act. But if you’re polite, respectful, and do good work, most people will be happy to refer you to their friends.
8. Run Ads On Youtube/Facebook/Instagram
Social media sites are full of ads for various products and services. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t create an ad for your freelancing gig and attract customers to you.
When designing an ad, you will need to consider the following questions:
- What is my budget for running this ad?
- Do I have the capacity to carry out work if I get flooded with requests?
- Can I offer a special promotion as part of the ad campaign?
- Does the ad contain everything a potential client needs to know about my service?
- Should I target a specific niche with my ad (geographic location, age, etc.)?
Due to the cost of ads, you don’t want to waste them by not being prepared. It’s helpful to sit down at the start of each month to plan your various ad campaigns and figure out what kind of preparations you need to make.
9. Attend Networking Events
Just because you work alone, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network with other professionals.
As a matter of fact, networking is even more important when you’re self-employed, as you have to source your business yourself.
Networking events come in so many forms, from early morning business breakfasts to online monthly meetings. You can find networking opportunities on LinkedIn and Facebook, so be sure to scroll through your feeds and groups to find events and meetups that fit your needs.
To get the most out of networking, be very clear about your offer and what you’re looking for from the event.
If you’re attending an actual event, take along a handful of business card with all of your details, as this is the best way to exchange information with other attendees.
10. Collaborate With Other Freelancers
Sometimes you’re presented with the opportunity to quote for a large-scale project. This presents an excellent opportunity to collaborate with other freelancers and undertake the project together.
Freelancing can be lonely, so working alongside someone else can be a nice change of pace. You will also find that they might recommend some work or offer you some clients if you work well together.
If you’re approached to collaborate with other freelancers, view it as an excellent opportunity to broaden your network and meet fellow professionals. Even if it doesn’t lead to new clients, it’s an excellent chance to share industry secrets and get some tips from like-minded people.
11. Do Some Pro Bono Work For A Local Charity
Whatever your skills are as a freelancer, you can undoubtedly put them to good use to help a local charity.
Perhaps you’re a social media content creator and can help run the Twitter feed of the animal rescue center in your community?
Or maybe you’re a web developer and can offer a day of your time to improve the website of your local church or faith community?
In many instances, offering your time as a freelancer is just as, if not more valuable, than offering money. To find a charity to offer your services to, you can talk to your church, talk to your friends and family, or take a look through social media for charities in your local area.
Trust me, they will be thrilled to hear from you!
When you offer your services for free, you will connect with lots of new people, and you may well receive some paid work from new clients as a result of your generosity.
Regardless, you’ll be building your skillset and contributing to your local community.
12. Build An Email List
Email marketing is still an incredibly effective way of attracting new clients. You should use your portfolio website to build your email list, and you can get started by doing the following:
- Create a call-to-action popup on each page of your website.
- Factor in a limited-time offer into your call to action.
- Pitch your email newsletter on your social media accounts.
- Promise you won’t send spam or junk mail.
This free e-book is a super helpful resource and tells you everything you need to know about how to build an email list from scratch.
13. Start A Podcast (Or Be A Guest On Someone Else’s Podcast)
Podcasting has exploded in popularity. There’s a podcast for pretty much every topic, be it true crime or learning Japanese. For a podcast to do well, it needs to add value and offer insight into a particular area of interest.
Freelancing itself is a super interesting topic for podcasting and sharing the many trials and tribulations of a freelancer’s journey could very well be a popular show if run by the right people.
If you don’t like the idea starting your own podcast, you could always reach out to other hosts and ask to be on their show. Even if it’s not related to freelancing or your offer, most podcasters allow you to plug your social media and website at the end.
If the right person’s listening, you could attract a new client or at least new followers.
14. Deliver Your Projects Early
There’s nothing worse in the world of freelancing than late delivery. To be frank, it’s totally unacceptable. If you’ve taken on work and agreed on a deadline in advance, you should honor the agreement and deliver on-time.
Even better, to make a great impression with your clients, seek to deliver your project ahead of schedule. Delivering early shows that you’re professional and can be trusted with deadlines. But it also gives you time to work on any revisions should your client request them.
A good tip is to set a longer delivery time than you intend to keep.
For instance, if you know you can deliver within three days, offer a four-day delivery time. That way, when the project is early, your client will be thrilled that you’ve delivered ahead of schedule and will be grateful for your hard work.
15. Run A Giveaway For Your Services
Everyone loves a promotion or a giveaway. When you’re marketing your services, you could run a special offer that rewards customers for working with you. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but it should be enough to appeal to prospective clients.
For instance, if you’re a blog writer, you could promote an offer like ‘order four articles and get a fifth free.’
Or maybe if you’re a photographer, you could say ‘one free photoshoot for one of my followers who likes and shares this post.’
Not only do giveaways offer excellent value for money, but they also help you get noticed by clients, which is a great way to build your following. Just be mindful not to undersell your services!
There you have it! We hope you agree that these fifteen ways to get freelance clients are perfectly achievable. While they require effort on your part, they’re undeniably worth it in the long run. Instead of waiting for work to come to you, they ensure you’re being proactive and taking the initiative to find work for yourself.
If you try one or more of these tips and they don’t work for you, then don’t be disheartened. The more things you try, the more successful you will be in attracting new clients. So, remember to be patient and persevere. If you stick with it long enough, I am confident that the tactics in this post should help you get freelance clients.