Getting more clients as a freelancer is a never-ending job within a job. If you want to succeed with this career path, you need to be constantly reaching out to potential clients. But how can you get more clients as a freelancer?
8 ways to get more clients as a freelancer are:
- Create a website
- Leverage social media
- Reach out to other freelancers
- Network in person
- Advertise your services
- Cold pitching potential clients
- Leverage referrals
- Use freelance platforms
Below, I’ll go into more detail about finding clients so that you can grow your freelancing business. But first, how do you get your first clients if you’re just starting out as a freelancer?
How To Get Your First Freelancing Clients
Set Up Your Profile & Portfolio
In order to get your first freelancing clients, you need to make sure that you have a professional profile and portfolio set up. This should include an overview of who you are, what services you offer, why someone should hire you over others in the industry, and examples of past work.
You can put this on your own website, on social media profiles (especially LinkedIn), or you might just do it on freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr (that’s where I started!).
The next step is to start networking and building connections. This could include attending industry events, joining freelancing groups on social media, or just reaching out to existing contacts who may be able to refer you to potential clients.
Use Freelance Platforms
There are many freelance platforms available today that can provide you with an additional source of income. These platforms allow people to search and find freelance projects they’re interested in.
As I mentioned above, these can be great places to start if you want to find your first freelancing clients, but you’ll usually need to abide by their rules and regulations. This can mean you might outgrow them over time, as you want to start taking on clients outside of these platforms.
Cold Pitching Potential Clients
Finally, cold pitching potential clients is a great way to get more freelancing work. Research companies or individuals who you think might be interested in your services and reach out to them directly with an email or phone call.
Make sure that you have a well-crafted, personalized message prepared before you make the call or send the email so that you can present yourself professionally and explain what benefits your services can provide for their business.
8 Ways To Get More Freelance Clients
1. Create A Website
Creating a website is one of the most important steps you can take to get more freelance clients. Your website should include information about yourself, your services, and examples of past work. It should be well-designed and easy to navigate so that potential clients can quickly learn more about you and what you have to offer.
Key pages to include are:
- An inviting Home page that tells them who you are
- An About page that goes into more detail about you and what you offer
- Possibly a Services page that outlines everything you can do in more detail
- A clear Contact page with various ways to reach you
- Maybe some Blog content to flesh out the site and hopefully attract some traffic over time
2. Leverage Social Media
Social media is an invaluable tool for freelancers looking for new business. Utilize platforms like Twitter (now X) and LinkedIn to promote your services and network with other professionals in the industry to find new opportunities.
Share relevant content related to your field, comment on conversations that are taking place in related groups or pages, and build relationships with other professionals in the space.
3. Reach Out To Other Freelancers
Reaching out to other freelancers can be a great way to get new business. Ask around in your network, see who’s looking for help, and offer to take on their projects if they don’t have the time.
You may even find that they are willing to refer you on to new clients they come across. You’ll need an existing network for this to work though, and the next tip is one way to create that.
4. Network In Person
Networking in person is a great way to get more freelance work and build new relationships. Attend industry events or conferences where you can meet potential clients, exchange contact information, and start building relationships.
It’s important that you have business cards printed so that people can easily learn more about your services and how to contact you. Also prepare the kinds of things you’d like to share about your services in advance so that you can answer any questions people have.
5. Advertise Your Services
You can also advertise your services with online or print ads (although print will likely only be viable for in-person, local freelance services), as well as through word-of-mouth from people in your network.
Make sure that the message is clear and concise, so that potential clients know exactly who you are and what services you offer. Marketing yourself as a freelancer is a massive topic, so it’s best to do your research to find out which methods will be best suited for what you have to offer.
6. Cold Pitching Potential Clients
Cold pitching potential clients is another great way to find new freelance work. Research companies or individuals who may be interested in your services and reach out them directly with an email or phone call.
Make sure that you have a great elevator pitch prepared before making the call so that you can explain who you are and what benefits your services can provide for their business. If you’re doing it via email, you’ll need to keep it concise, avoid using known spam trigger words, and make it clear to them what the benefits are of your services.
7. Leverage Referrals
Referrals are an often overlooked source of new clients for freelancers. Ask around in your network and see if anyone knows people who may be interested in hiring you. You could also look into joining or creating networking groups on social media, or just reaching out to existing contacts who may be able to refer you to potential clients.
This is a method that will become more powerful the more clients you take on.
8. Use Freelance Platforms
Finally, don’t forget about freelance platforms as a source of new business. There are many popular sites where individuals can search and find freelance projects they’re interested in taking on.
Popular freelance marketplaces include:
4 Great Places To Get Freelancing Clients
Fiverr is a popular option for finding work as a freelancer, and it’s the one I used when I first started out. This platform focuses primarily on small tasks such as logo design or copywriting, but there are 500+ categories to choose from. You can offer everything from programming to video editing on Fiverr.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelance platforms available, and it can be a great place to find work. Clients post projects on the site, freelancers apply for those projects and submit proposals, and then the client selects the best candidate for their project.
Freelancer is another great option for finding freelance opportunities. This site focuses on larger projects that require more time, so it could be a good choice if you are looking for longer-term work. Clients post details of their project and freelancers can then bid on those projects by submitting proposals.
The Guru platform is similar to Upwork and Freelancer in that clients post projects and then freelancers can apply for them with proposals. What sets Guru apart from other platforms is its focus on established freelancers who have a lot of experience in their field. So if you have worked as a freelancer for some time, this could be a great option for you.
Tips For Winning Clients As A Freelancer
Build A Strong Portfolio
Your portfolio is your best weapon when it comes to showcasing your skills and abilities to potential clients. It’s important to curate your portfolio carefully, ensuring that it includes your best work and is relevant to the type of projects you want to work on. Be sure to update your portfolio regularly and to showcase a variety of projects to show your versatility.
Specialize In A Niche
One of the most effective ways to stand out from the competition is to focus on a specific niche. This could be anything from social media management for tech firms to graphic design for nonprofits. When you specialize, you can quickly become an expert in your field, and potential clients are more likely to seek you out for your unique skill set (and pay you more too).
Network, Network, Network
Networking is a crucial part of any freelancer’s success. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with others in your field on social media. The more you get your name out there, the more opportunities will come your way.
Use Freelance Platforms
Freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer can be a useful way to find new clients. You can show off your skills, bid on projects, and connect with clients from all over the world. They also take care of a lot of the payment and customer support for you, which makes it an attractive choice for beginners.
Leverage Your Existing Network
Don’t underestimate the power of the network you already have around you. Reach out to friends, family, and even former colleagues or employers to let them know you’re available for freelance work. They may be able to refer you to potential clients or even hire you themselves.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
When you do land a client, be sure to provide excellent customer service. Communicate clearly, meet deadlines, and go above and beyond to exceed their expectations. Happy clients are more likely to refer you to others and become repeat customers.
Ask For Testimonials And Referrals
After completing a project, be sure to ask your client for a testimonial. This can be a powerful marketing tool that you can use to attract new clients. You can also ask your satisfied clients for referrals, which can be an excellent source of new business, as I mentioned above.
Finding new clients as a freelancer can seem like an endless endeavor, but that’s just part of the game! Continuously growing your client base is not just essential for your stability and financial security as a freelancer, but it can lead to incredible opportunities and allow you to build lasting relationships with great people!
If the problem is keeping clients rather than getting new ones, check out our guide to handling losing freelance clients.
Chris is the creator of Freelance Ready. He originally started freelancing (on Fiverr) while at university, writing and editing website content. He created this website to share his freelancing experience and help others on their own self-employed journeys. He is now a freelance SEO consultant and content editor. You can learn more about Chris here.
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