5 Cheap Methods for Attracting New Clients

Freelancing successfully is all about meeting new people and generating leads for project work. This is how you can pay bills and earn money for work day-to-day. This isn’t the easiest task but it is necessary if you plan on freelancing long-term.

I have collected five interesting viewpoints for generating potential freelance clients. These techniques are often cheap or even free and may only require some of your time. Marketing your skills to the proper audience will ensure at least a couple positive results. But persistence is the most important trait when looking to success in the freelance world.

1. Build a Web Presence

I have met plenty of webmasters and editors online who I have done excellent work for in the past. Meeting professionals online is one of the quickest ways to showcase your skillset. But this often requires some type of portfolio, or at least some personal details and interests.

I would recommend setting up a few online social profiles on websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Behance, or FreelanceSwitch. This will give you an opportunity for networking with other people in the same field who have been online building a presence for even longer. There is a lot to learn from other professionals and you can often ask for references to clients who must be passed over due to excess workflow.

2. Printing Brochures & Flyers

Print work is often seen as a dying art but many professionals would disagree. Some of the most important business/contract work must be handled on paper. And along with business cards you can get some fantastic results by printing your own informative brochures.

Using an online service such as PrintRunner you can quickly put together brilliant artwork and have it approved to ship anywhere. It’s easy to package and distribute around at meetings, business events, etc. The general pricing chart for prints is a fantastic way to plan your marketing budget. I would also recommend performing some background work into the field.

Find out what your target demographic would be most receptive towards. These could be 3-fold brochures or even mid-sized business cards. Others may be more interested in a small booklet or multi-paged pamphlet on your services and pricing. Any freelancer who plans to meet with clients on a regular basis cannot forget this!

3. Website Template Redesign

If you have your own website then you know how important it is to have something modern and up-to-date. When people ask to see your work it’s often easiest to direct them towards your website. But along with updating your content it’s also important to keep your layout in sync with newer design trends.

If you don’t have the time to build something from scratch I always recommend a simple template shop. Agencies and design studios can follow along with a simple marketplace like TemplateMonster or even go into purchasing WordPress themes. This gives you the opportunity to utilize blog posts which are great for bringing in views to your website.

How should you know when it’s time to update your layout? Well this is also a personal viewpoint because it stems from the theme & tone presented from any freelancer. If you feel that your website layout no longer represents your work then it’s time to update. You always want to be thinking about how your average visitor will feel when first landing on your site.

4. Writing Guest Posts

There are tons of website design & development blogs you can find on the Internet. Many of these are run by editors who manage the queue of posts on any website. As a freelance designer you may consider submitting a few posts to a few of these popular blogs.

Many of the magazine style layouts will include an ‘About the Author’ box with extra information. Here you could provide a link to your online profiles or even directly to your own website. It’s a method for driving traffic and attention onto your work. Plus these articles are often kept up online for years so they provide an excellent resource for your portfolio.

5. Cold Emails

This isn’t the most glamorous method but it does bring in clients every so often. How you go about getting in touch with people is a choice you should decide. But there are many freelance job boards for recruiters and also personal ads on Craigslist.

Through cold e-mails you’ll also have to consider the quality of work and how you are getting paid. If you are just getting started as a freelancer without much of a portfolio then it will be tough to land anything. You’ll need to show off some other personal projects or school works, something relatable so the client can see your design style. This is often a difficult route for marketing but over time you may form a series of lasting freelance business relationships.


I hope these ideas can give you some pointers about reeling in some new connections. Every freelancer must spend their time working to increase project work if there isn’t enough money coming in from already existing contacts. These 5 techniques are just some thoughts to get rolling around in your head. Feel free to attempt any methods here, or share your thoughts with us in the discussion area below.


  1. says

    Hi Jake! Thanks for the great post! I find this as very helpful to freelancers. It may take some time but it will definitely pay off. Guest posting is a good idea. I’ll try some of the stuff you’ve listed.

  2. says

    I like the tip about writing guest posts. It gives you the opportunity of leveraging on another webmaster’s hard work while adding value. But it does even more: It helps you network with more webmasters. Don’t forget that these webmasters themselves might eventually need the services you render.

  3. says

    Although I write on a regular basis for sites like WeBlogBetter, kikolani.com, Problogging Success and have just been accepted to Problogger as well as Famous Bloggers, I haven’t thought about using these posts as part of my portfolio.

    What is you take on that? Would you say a list with anchored links to your work online within your “Hire Me” page is a good fit or can count as a form of a portfolio?

    Thanks for the helpful article; it made me think but better yet, it made me want to move over to action – good work!


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  6. says

    I haven’t really tried cold emailing. Is it really that effective? I think most of the companies or individuals I email simply ignore emails.

    I suggest using job sites like Elance. I’ve found this to be a decent site to get really good clients.

  7. says

    Never heard of freelanceswitch.com before. Only $7 a month might be worth it.

    Cold emails are a waste of time. They never work and you could wind up pissing some people off.

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