Becoming an entrepreneur or freelancer so that you can become your own boss and control what you work means you also have to become responsible for finding your own clients. Finding clients for your freelance business can be tough and you don’t want to waste time cold emailing people who aren’t interested in working with you, and you don’t want to burn bridges with anyone who may not work out. This article provides a framework to help you source prospective clients for your freelance work so that you can successfully launch your freelance career.
Which type of clients are you looking for?
Before finding your first client, you need to define what your ideal client looks like based on the freelance services you offer. For example, if you are a freelance writer, which type of industries suit your copywriter skillset? If you offer graphic design services, do you prefer working with small business owners and can you also build websites with Wordpress or Webflow? Narrowing down your focus will allow you to build credibility with your target audience and make your business development efforts more productive.
Why should a client choose your freelance business?
Once you have defined your ideal client you then need to convince potential clients to work with you. They will want to know why they should choose your services over your competitors, especially if you are not yet known as a successful freelancer. You should therefore be able to demonstrate your superior expertise or unique approach in a specific niche (type of freelance work or industry focus). Potential clients will want to see some form of social proof in the form of case studies or testimonials to assess the quality and reliability of your services. If you have only recently been self-employed, try taking on new projects at a preferential rate to earn some testimonials or alternatively contact your previous clients from previous roles (if you are permitted to). These early clients can also help you grow your freelance business by providing client referrals.
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How to find freelance clients in your network?
Once you have defined who you want to work with and why they should work with you, you can start looking for freelance jobs within your network. Start with your LinkedIn network and identify forums, facebook groups and communities you have connections with to expand your reach. You can also identify social media platforms which are relevant to your target audience and network. If you work in a co-working space you might also be able to present
How to find new clients outside your network?
Once you have reached out to prospective clients in your network, you can build client relationships outside of your network. However, before doing this you should build a new website for your own business where you can share your client portfolio and explain the process prospective clients need to follow to work with you. Once you have built your website and connected it to a google analytics and search console account, you will be able to benefit from SEO and appear in your prospective clients’ google search results. You can also gain brand awareness via content marketing and launching your own podcast. You can then search for freelance work on freelance job sites, job boards and marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr. You can also reach out to local businesses which could benefit from your services via cold calling and cold emails. Finally, once you have a strong online presence and an outbound strategy in place you can connect with prospective clients face-to-face at meetups and networking events. In person chats can be a great way to learn about your clients’ pain points and wants before selling your services to them.
This article has provided a framework for finding clients for your new freelance business. Once you have followed these steps you will need to create contracts with your freelance clients to ensure that your rights are protected and there is no confusion in terms of what needs to be delivered as part of the freelance work. To tailor a lawyer-approved consultancy services agreement in minutes and offer a professional contract experience to your clients, sign up to Legislate today.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.