Comments

  1. says

    How I got my first client: With the exception of a a previous industry contact, I got my next few clients by emailing letters of introduction (versus the in person approach used the article). I do prefer emaling because you can approach clients throughout the country, and sometimes potential clients have realized that although I may not be a good fit for them, they will email it to other businesses who may need someone with my background and skills.

    From this article, though, I can see why personally going into offices and meeting clients face to face would be appropriate. To be honest, going and meeting the client face to face before even having a project would not be apropriate nor practical (many are throughout the country and in other states) in my particular niche area. However, again, I do think that the approach is valid for other industries/niche areas.

  2. says

    I would only add to Rob’s suggestions that you should remember that you’re playing the numbers or percentage game. the more you try the better the chances are that you will get through. I always felt the the receptionist was there to screen the callers and see to it I didn’t get in to see anyone. That was her job.

    Don’t rule out any method of communications. If one way doesn’t work try another. Remember, one of the qualification for a prospect is that you have to have a door or someway that you can approach the person. If you can’t contact that person you don’t have prospect.

    Good Luck

  3. says

    Well, I get my clients mostly from recommendations. But I do think at this point of time I have to get my “REAL FIRST CLIENT” with my own efforts and not just wait for someone else’s recommendations. It must be easy to find freelancers who are like me. lol..

  4. says

    These are really good tips for free lancers. Undoubtedly the free lancers would get a lot of help by this post. Thanks for the help for free lancers like me.

  5. says

    List of companies and you cold call going through door.??

    Really, after all the internet, videos, forums, linked-in, facebook, craigslist, indeed job board…you’re going door to door..??

    Need to come up with a list of companies, then do research of some of the people at those companies. If you still insist on cold call door, then at least have some people’s names to use. However, there are a lot more roads to travel than try to have someone go through the front door.

    Thanks for the post.

  6. says

    Thanks for the comments all.

    @Joe – yes I firmly believe that going door to door to get your first real client will help you to gain valuable experience in dealing with people.

    Anyone can put an advert up on craiglist or on a forum etc… but going door to door (only in your local area) will really help you to learn how to interact with people.

    By no means is this a golden rule, you should use every avenue possible to get new clients, but by meeting people face to face, (from experience) your conversion rate goes up dramatically.

    I suppose it all comes down to the individual; if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then it might not be for you – but if you are just starting out as a designer/developer, then your local area is a hotbed of activity, and actually meeting people is the way to go in my opinion :)

  7. says

    I understand what Rob is trying to say. He’s saying it’s important to know people and to understand how they think, and that skills in the real world will transfer better to the web rather than vice versa.

    As for my first clients, I was on an anime website (a big fan of Japanese animation). After the forum shut down, people contacted me because they knew I did websites. I’m working on two projects now and they both came from that forum.

    I find that the best way to get clients is to interact with them and develop some type of connection, because someone is willing to hire someone when they trust them. Trust takes time to build. Until you have an established blog/portfolio/testimonials, developing that network of contacts is vital. I like the advice here. :)

    I don’t know if I’d go door to door, because I’m really good at interacting with people on the web (plus I’m in college and know how to deal with people in the world as well). But the advice is great.

  8. says

    Great article but I still feel this falls into the cold calling category. I think you can have success with this method but it’s a numbers game.

  9. says

    Up to this point, I have had most all of my freelance opportunities based on word of mouth recommendations. Initially getting started is tough, but once your family and friends know what kind of services you provide, they start telling their family and friends, and on. The people that know what you do, the more opportunities you will be given.

    I think having 500 or so business cards on hand all the time is an excellent idea. Give them to family and friends and have them hand them out from time to time. Soon your clients will be handing them out to other potential clients.

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