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Most Effective Ways to Get More Freelance Clients & Make More Money

Most effective Ways to Get More Freelance Clients & Make More Money
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One of the toughest challenges as a freelancer is the ability to get clients on a regular basis. You’ve mastered the skills, the talent, built a new office set-up, figured out your rates and yet, you’re spending more time hunting down clients rather than doing the actual work.

When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, getting fully booked will require a lot of sweat and maybe a bit of tears. And even if your business is on an upward trajectory, it’s still important to have strategies in place for getting freelance clients on the regular or on a retainer.

For starters, you probably don’t have any testimonials or referrals yet. So how do you possibly distinguish yourself from the crowd and prove you’re the best choice for your freelance clients? And where do you even find them? What’s the secret to smashing those interviews so the clients are excited to work with you? And ultimately, get clients and become fully booked as a beginner freelancer.

Good news: I’ve got you covered mi amor, because I’ll be answering all of these questions. There are many practical ways to bring in work and I’m going to discuss my strategies to score more clients in order for you to have a more secure and stable income.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Quick Disclosure: Some of these links happen to be affiliate links which means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, it won’t cost you more but I may receive a commission for sharing this with you. This is great because I was going to share it with you anyway!

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Pinterest Pin Most Effective Ways To Get More Freelance Clients

How to Get Clients as A Beginner: Your Guide to Find Freelance Work Quickly

In my previous posts of my freelancer series, you’ve already learned how to find your specific freelance niche as well as create a portfolio in Canva. Now you’re ready to apply for freelance offers and get clients even though you’re a beginner.

The following strategies are quite straightforward and simple ways to promote your freelancing business and get clients.

Q1: WHERE do you find your freelance clients?

1. How to get clients with Word of Mouth

For starters, one way how to get clients is to get the word out! This is probably one of the easiest ways for a beginner freelancer to land clients. If someone recommends you to somebody, it means you can be trusted. You are more likely to get hired if someone personally connects you with a client that needs service.

Once you put yourself out there with your current network, it is likely that you’ll further connect to their network and so on like dominos. You’ll be surprised by the opportunities presented to you. So, don’t be shy and start sharing about your services, so you can get referred to others.

Begin by asking your friends and family who can vouch for you. You can also let your former colleagues or bosses know you’re looking for some freelance work. Ask if they know of any opportunities available or advice on finding clients. Who knows? They might have a project that you can work on and hire you on the spot!

One of the most overlooked potential freelance clients might be down the street from where you live. Go out there and ask your favorite hairdresser or nail salon if they need help promoting their business. Or maybe a local restaurant needs a new logo or would like a menu re-design.

So, take a walk in your neighborhood and imagine what local businesses could use your services. You have nothing to lose!

2. How to get clients in a Co-working Space

If you’re tired all day trying to land clients when you’re sitting at home on your computer, another way how to get clients is by networking with people in a co-working space.

These are essentially hybrid office spaces where organizations, small businesses, or entrepreneurs can rent a private office, meetings rooms, or just a flexible desk.

Most co-working spaces organize workshops and networking events for their members, so if you have the chance to go to such events, do it!

And even if your co-working space doesn’t organize events like that, you can still meet inspiring people, connect with like-minded people, and maybe land some new clients or create new business relationships by starting a conversation with someone next to the coffee machine.

3. How to get clients via Networking Events or Conferences

But co-working places aren’t the only ones that organize networking events.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; chances are that there is some kind of networking event or conference organized close by.

So definitely, put these on your agenda and make sure you’re available.

Depending on your niche, only 2-10% of the people you will meet and talk to during those network events, will result in some kind of a business relationship, so don’t be disappointed if you haven’t landed new clients after 2 conversations.

The key to networking is to do it consistently, have no expectations, and just be genuinely interested and curious about other entrepreneurs and businesses.

That way, you will not only land clients but also have fun doing it 🙂

4. Getting clients as an introvert? Job board platforms are ideal!

If you’re an introvert like me and feel going out and meeting with clients in person stresses you out, you can start off by freelancing on different online job platforms. There are plenty of businesses and entrepreneurs out there who post their projects and job offers with a list of specific requirements.

Some of the best freelance job sites where you can find clients are:

These platforms are well known and have opportunities for almost every industry, including design, virtual assistant, IT, data entry, and more.

The jobs that are listed are either at fixed or hourly rates. Make sure you always go through the terms and conditions, to find out the rules, fees that the platform charges… etc.

So start applying to jobs that are in line with your skillset and niche. Do thorough research on the company and mention how you can help them with the project.

However, there are some caveats you need to consider with freelance platforms.

Just like you, there are millions out there who are probably applying for the same job as well. In order to stay ahead of the competition and be fully booked, you need to apply to hundreds of projects out there which consumes a lot of your time.

Also, many freelancers are willing to work at lower rates so you probably need to set the bar low at the beginning and work your way up. There is also no guarantee that you’re going to be working with the same client long-term.

And finally, these platforms take quite a chunk of your income which can be unsustainable in the long run.

5. How to get clients via social media

Social media is one of the best free tools to reach out to freelance clients. There are several platforms that cater to a variety of specific industries for freelancers. It just makes sense, to be honest. This is why it is important to make the best out of your socials. Some of the platforms you need to try are:

  • LinkedIn: This platform was specifically created for businesses and has always been a great tool to connect with people in your industry or for employment. Recruiters and HR professionals use LinkedIn to reach out to freelancers and can view their resumes. So make sure you take your time to maintain and update your profile with relevant work experiences. The platform also allows you to search for connections you may have with people at companies that you want to freelance for.

  • Instagram: A great place to showcase your work especially if you’re in graphic design, photography, or architectural space. Posting some great pictures and showing off your creativity with some context can help you create a following. Using the right hashtags and tagging the right people will make sure people will find your post. You can also add a link to your website or portfolio in the bio for further details for clients.

  • Facebook: A platform that I love and that has helped me grow my blog to new heights! Let your Facebook friends know that you’re freelancing and they may refer you to a client and interesting projects. You may also want to join Facebook groups that share the same topic you’re interested in or that are specific to your niche. Interact with the members and promote your skills to local businesses. The more groups you join, the more your reach widens and the more opportunities will be presented to you. In addition, join your University’s or school’s Alumni group. Some of them may have started businesses that you can be a part of or maybe you can help each other out with job prospects that you know of.

Q2: How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd, and make sure clients are interested in you?

When you’re just starting out trying to land that potential client, it’s your job to answer questions, provide proof of work and essentially convince them that you’re the right person for the job.

Here are just some of the ways you can squeeze your way out of the crowd:

  • Ask yourself what makes you special? Do you speak certain languages that not a lot of people can speak? Do you have relevant experiences in a specific industry or an uncommon mix of skills and talents? Try to funnel down job offers that have the exact skill set that you have and you could be their unicorn freelancer. My first couple of clients were all Dutch-speaking and there weren’t really that many Dutch-speaking freelancers on several job platforms. So I had little to no competition compared to jobs that required English speakers.

  • Go the extra mile with your cover letters. Tell your ‘story’ and explain why you’re interested in their project. Share your relevant experiences and why you would be an A-MAZING addition to their team. But, make sure to keep it short and powerful!

  • Create a gorgeous freelance portfolio that you can attach to your applications. In my previous blog post (check it out HERE) I explain how to create one, what to include + a free Canva template!

  • Pictures speak a thousand words. It’s a great first impression tool for your client. So make sure your profile pictures on freelance platforms, Facebook, and your portfolio look professional.

  • Make sure all communications with potential clients are professional, free of spelling errors, and sound confident.

  • And honestly, let’s get real; a client doesn’t really care much about you as a person. So try to write and include stuff that’s related to the job. Nobody wants to know how you spent your last summer vacation! The main message should be “I’m talented in X, so I can help you achieve and help you in ABC ways”.

  • Establish credibility by offering something free of charge to establish a conversation like, how the client can achieve “XYZ” by trying “ABC”. You don’t need to go in-depth with the information. Just offer a little bit of free advice to make it feel like you’ve recognized the pain points of the client and you’re the niche expert.

  • Make sure the cover letters are personalized specifically to the client. Spend at least an extra 10-15 minutes researching the company or individual and share only one or two relevant samples in your portfolio. Include information that a client is compelled to respond to by creating a call-to-action within your cover letter. This helps establish an open conversation on how you can help the client.

Q3: HOW to smash your freelance interviews?

So you’ve finally managed to land an interview with a client, good job!

The client is interested in your profile and is curious about how you might help him or her solve their problems.

So how do you close the deal, and make your client excited to work with you?

1. Understanding the role

I guess the first step goes without saying, if you’re having an interview with the client, you need to know exactly what the client is looking for.

Familiarize yourself with the job description, the skills required, and the company/individual. Pay attention and listen to the objectives required from you.

Instead of shooting answers with “I did…” or “I have…” answer with how clients will benefit from your service. If possible, show possible hypothetical results in the next month, quarter, or year.

2. Showcase your work

Your portfolio is your best friend when it comes to sharing your previous work. When a client looks at it, they understand the level of competence you’re at and what they can expect from you.

Remember, a client wants to see that you’re organized and have things under control. Choose samples that are similar to what they’re looking for. Don’t include work that’s not related no matter how good of a job you did in them.

If you’re a content writer, include only those. If you’ve done design projects as well, no need to mention it unless a conversation leads to it.

3. What’s your rate like?

Before you set your rate by yourself, make sure you thoroughly research the type of salary range expected in your niche. Beginner freelancers may have difficulty setting the right rate for themselves. So, don’t undersell yourself and don’t commit to a rate right off the bat.

You need to know exactly to the T what is expected from a client. Many freelancers often regret setting a price only to find out that the clients expect extra work at odd hours or do work that’s not in the job description. So, get all the specifics before you commit to a price and you’ll be able to bill your clients according to the set deliverables.

4. Your availability

It’s important that you set boundaries with your clients right from the get-go, especially if you have clients from different time zones. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night by your client to do some unnecessary tasks. Reassure your client about your commitments and time frame you both agree on.

As a freelancer, you don’t want to set yourself up as a full-time employee unless that’s what you’re after. Then it’s ok. If your clients want you to attend a meeting or do extra deliverables, make sure it’s included in the contract.

Ideally, try to find clients that need you part-time or 10+ hours per week. Having many “small clients” is way more exhausting than having 2-3 big ones. It may take some time to transition to your niche and score those big ones. A great way is to sign a retainer with your client.

Q4: How to get clients and become fully booked as a freelancer?

So, in a conclusion, how do you get your calendar full of paying freelance clients?

Step 1 is to look for potential clients in different places, only as well as in real life. So go to network events, connect with people in co-working spaces, check those job platforms regularly, and get the word out that you’re searching for freelance clients.

Step 2 is about finding ways to distinguish yourself as a freelancer, so you stand out from the crowd. So, reflect on what makes you special, and emphasize this during your conversations, and applications.

Referrals and testimonials are so important, and will really help you show your clients you’re amazing and the best fit. So, don’t be shy to request them from your clients.

Step 3, it’s all about getting client interviews and closing the deal. Your mindset is absolutely everything here. When I do a client interview, for example, I already assume that I have the job and that we’re just discussing the specifics and details, like “when do I start?” “What are the deadlines?”…etc. Thinking ahead of time puts you in the driver’s seat rather than the interviewer. Not only do you come over much more confident, but also less stressed in that way.

Lastly, don’t give up. Getting fully booked isn’t something that happens overnight, have patience and you’ll see that little by little you will get your dream clients and get fully booked as a freelancer. You got this!

Related Reads:

What tips have helped you as a freelancer to get yours? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. anglophonic says:

    Really great tips! Being a freelancer is not easy as it’s getting competitive nearly in all field

  2. So delighted to see #4, that’s me too! I had only heard of Upwork, love that there are more. Thanks for the post!

  3. Lani says:

    Thanks for this. Just what I was looking for. Great tips!

  4. Mina says:

    Great post! Finding a client for me is probably the hardest thing to do

  5. Danika says:

    There is some fantastic advice in this post! I love that you mentioned writing cover letters as I’ve found that that alone can be the make-or-break difference.
    This is incredibly valuable from start to finish, thank you!

  6. Dana says:

    I’m considering offering mentoring and consulting services, and it was great to read your tips about how to get clients. Thank you!

  7. Meghan says:

    These are excellent tips and very helpful! I’ve recently started putting myself out there on a couple of freelance platforms and groups on Facebook! I’m excited! Thanks for sharing this information 🙂

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