You want your career as a freelancer to take off, you feel prepared and ready to take over the world, but there’s one problem. You don’t have any clients! So, how to get clients as a freelancer? What are the best ways to make your freelance business succeed?
The first step to getting clients is to know who your hypothetical customers are. On #GetToKnowYourCustomer Day we’re sharing all the secrets to increase your client database and get to know them more in-depth.
6 Tips to Find Clients Online as a Freelancer
1. Know Who Your Customer Is
While Get to Know Your Customer’s Day is an underrated celebration compared to others, it still reminds us of the importance of knowing who our clients are. If you’re wondering how to get clients online, the answer is simple: know who your customers are first.
Did you know that only 13% of customers believe salespeople understand their needs (Skilledup)? Shocking, right? Mostly because salespeople understand all the tactics and strategies to convince people into buying products and services. And yet, some of them still fail in understanding their clients’ needs.
In your case, you might be a sales guru, or you might have no clue at all. And the reality is that you don’t need to be a sales expert. All you need to do is understand who your target market is. Ask yourself:
- Who are you targeting?
- Who are your buyer personas?
- Why are they your ideal audience?
- What strategies are you currently using to reach out to them?
2. Build Your Portfolio (And Keep it Updated)
Would you let a stranger cut your hair just because they tell you they’re experienced with it? Probably not. The same happens with online clients. They need proof that what you do is what they’re looking for.
Having an online portfolio will help your possible clients see who you are, what you have to offer, and what successful projects you have previously worked on. There are many ways you can build your portfolio, and it might vary depending on your career. But often, freelancers choose websites because it’s easier to show their best projects, their rates, and testimonials.
Here are some great websites that can help you build your freelance portfolio:
3. The Power of Word of Mouth
How to get clients for a new business? Should you start cold emailing? What’s the best way to promote your services?
As a starter, the best way to get clients is with your inner circle. Remember when you were a little kid and had to make bake sales (or any other type of sale) at your school? Who were your first customers? Probably your family, right?
In the freelancing world, it works the same way. You start with your close circle, and then it expands. It works like the ripple effect. And if people trust and like what you do, then the word will keep spreading until you have a solid base of customers.
The most effective marketing strategy of all time are recommendations. People trust personal recommendations more than a degree, a portfolio, or even experience.
4. Start Networking in the Right Places
It all comes back to knowing where your clients are. By getting to know your customers, you’ll know where they commonly interact. This means you’ll be able to start networking with them and get even more clients.
But how to start? In the era of technology, the easiest place to start is social media. Moreover, Linkedin freelancing is a great way to offer your services and establish relationships.
Plus, if your focus is to work as a freelancer for companies, recruiters are always searching for new prospects. So keeping a good LinkedIn profile, with your portfolio, a description of what you do, and your CV. This will always help you get noticed and contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn.
There are also many communities of freelancers that help each other out with advice, tools, and strategies out there.
Other ways to network include:
- Attending events: Look in your area if there are any events related to your profession. In those, you can connect with other people that also work in your field and exchange advice or even contacts.
- Coworking spaces: One of the best ways to get new clients and meet professionals is through coworking spaces. You can get focused on your work for a couple of hours but also connect with other people who are in the same position as you and help each other out. Expanding your network of contacts will help you gain clients a lot faster.
Looking for a fun co-working space to meet new people? Check out our blog post about the best coworking space apps to find in your city!
5. Become an Authority
Another way to get clients as a freelancer is by becoming an expert in your field. You’re probably already an expert, but are you an authority? Do people know that you’re good at what you do?
While this is easier said than done, becoming an authority is mostly about increasing your digital presence. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Start a website: Blogging is an effective way to gain leads. And the best content is always the one that is created by people who know the topics first-hand. Sharing your insights and knowledge with others will make people believe that you know what you preach. And if you truly know your customers, it will be even more effective to write about topics they would find useful and explain how you can help them.
- Write a book (or eBook): If you’re passionate about a specific topic related to your service and have a lot of information you think would be helpful for others, you could write a book or eBook. While this strategy can be more long-term, it can help you become an authority and influencer in your field.
- Speak at events: Make your voice be heard (literally). Speaking at conferences is one of the easiest ways to show off your expertise.
- Social Media: Through platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok, you could share your knowledge and advice on certain topics, making it easier for people to reach out to you.
6. Find Clients in Freelancing Job Boards
When you have a base of customers, even a small one, and a solid portfolio, another easy way to get clients as a freelancer is through freelancing job boards.
Thousands of companies or individuals are looking to find freelancers online for specific projects. And in these websites, they can see reviews, rates, and projects that help them make a decision.
If you have reviews and a great portfolio, it will make the decision process easier for them. All you need to do is to set your profile and get started! Here are some great freelancing platforms to consider:
Happy Customers Are Your Best Marketing Strategy
Knowing how to get clients as a freelancer is something you’ll constantly be learning. However, keep in mind that the best way to get more clients is through your current ones! If they trust you and love what you do, then they’ll quickly spread the word.
Making your customers happy should always be your number one priority. Get to Know Your Customer Day is a great reminder of always focusing on their wants and needs. At the end of the day, happy customers are loyal customers!