Finding Clients as a Freelancer
One of the most daunting parts of being a freelancer, from my perspective, is finding clients. No clients, no money. Even when I have a good roster of clients under my wing, I still find myself looking for the next, just in case. It’s a never-ending cycle, but in the long term it is so worthwhile – particularly in the early days of your business.
Over the past few months I’ve solidified my approach to finding new clients, having tried and tested a few different methods, and now feel like I have a good routine in place for the current stage of my business. There’s no one tried and tested method – unfortunately – but these are some of the best ways I’ve found to find new clients for my freelance business.
Building a Network
Networking is a scary word – particularly if you’re a little bit on the shy side – but unfortunately, it works. Nowadays, however, networking doesn’t have to mean mingling in the function suite of some local bar or hotel. Although I do try to attend as many relevant events as I can find on the likes of Eventbrite and Meetup, I also try to do a lot of online networking where possible. Things like local and national Facebook groups, building LinkedIn connections and generally just conversing with people online can be a great starting point for finding those all important clients.
Word of Mouth
The best part of building a solid network is that other people start to do some of the legwork for you. By creating strong connections with people working in your industry, or complementary industries, you’re planting yourself and your business in their mind. Should the time come that they are asked for a recommendation for a digital marketer, a designer, or whatever it is that you’re doing, they’ll hopefully feel comfortable recommending you as someone they trust. That’s why all connections are valuable, no matter how irrelevant they may seem.
Using Social Media
As someone who offers social media services, I think this is probably a pretty obvious suggestion. Social media has played such a huge part in my freelance journey, be that for networking, self-promotion or just finding companies who are looking for a helping hand. As mentioned before, Facebook groups and LinkedIn are massively valuable resources when it comes to finding freelance clients, so in my eyes, having a social media presence is key.
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. Found a company that you’d love to work for? Tell them that! Sometimes, people don’t realise what they need until it’s spelled out for them. You can be the one to make the first move – it’s okay. Do your research, personalise your pitch and tell them exactly why you’re worth it.