When they start out many freelancers have no idea how to find new clients. This is especially true if the freelancer is coming from a corporate background where new work is assigned to them as soon as they complete a project.
While the task of finding clients can seem overwhelming to a new freelancer, clients are actually all around you if you know where to look.
In this post we’ll share five easy tactics that you can use regularly to build your client base.
Simple Client Finding Tactics for Freelancers
If you are using the right tactics to find clients, you can grow your freelancing business. Here are some simple strategies to use:
- Ask for Work–Referrals are the number one way that many freelancers find work. This is true for me and surveys have shown that it’s true for other freelancers as well. Sometimes referrals just happen. A client likes your work and refers you to a friend. When it happens like that it’s nice. But, if that’s the only way that you get referrals, you’re missing opportunities. To maximize the number of clients that you have, you should be gently asking for more work each time you successfully complete a project. You can try saying something like this: “Is there anything else that I can do for you, or do you know of anyone else who could use my services?” You’d be surprised at how this can increase the number of clients that you get.
- Tap Into Your Past Life–Whether it be at school or in the workplace, everyone has a past. Too often freelancers fail to tap into their past life to build their business. Naturally, most of us stay in touch with our friends and family, but what about former employers and teachers? Often they are forgotten. Consider contacting the teacher who helped you the most or that former employer who gave you your very first job. What about contacting your former boss who served as your mentor? Let these people from your past know that you have started a business and that they played a role in your success. You’d be surprised at how helpful these people can be in connecting you with potential clients. Who knows? Some of them may have moved on too and may even become a client themselves.
- Tell Your Story–Every business has a story. It’s the story of what the business about, how it got started, and why it’s the best at what it does. Too often, freelancers let this story go untold. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure that your website and your promotional materials reflect your story. Also, when you are interacting with your network keep your story in mind. You don’t have to be overly aggressive about pushing your business, but at the same time your contacts should know what you and your business is really about. Often, this is just a matter of speaking up when people are discussing their jobs and describing your work as well.
- Get Organized–Organization can help you find leads that can be turned into to prospects for your business. To start, you should have the contact information for each and every client that you’ve ever done work for. If it’s been over six months since you contacted them, it’s acceptable to touch base with a former client again in a friendly way. Keeping your name in front of them can generate additional work for you. Also, you should know the source that generated each and every client. Did they come from an advertisement? A referral? Some other source? Make sure that you know. If some part your marketing is successful, you need to know that so that you can repeat whatever it was that worked.
- Be the Best–Reputation is a vital part of finding new business. Pay attention to what you do and say online and in person. Pay attention to what others are saying about you as well. Having a good reputation can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a client deciding whether you should get a gig with them. I recently had a prospective say to me, “you have an excellent reputation.” In my opinion, there’s nothing better that a freelancer can hear. It’s important for prospective clients to know that you can be counted on to do a good job.
What Do You Think?
I’ve shared my tactics for getting new clients, now it’s your turn. Share your ideas and tips for building your client base.
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