Most people fear starting a freelancing business because they don’t know how to find freelance jobs online. I’ve battled with the problem several times in the past (when I was looking for writing gigs online). One thing is for sure; once you land your first client using a certain strategy, getting the next one becomes much easier.
Here’s the better part of it.
You may never even need another client for a long time! Depending on the kind of work you do online, one client can cover most of your financial needs for a significant period. The way you price your services also plays a role in making you a successful freelancer.
There is nothing like ‘high pricing’ when it comes to high-quality services. If you are good at what you do, clients are willing to pay you whatever you ask, as long as they can afford it. I even got huge ‘tokens of appreciation’ a year after I stopped working for a particular solopreneur.
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Do these strategies work for any freelancing business?
Absolutely! You can use the tips to find clients to buy whatever skill you have. For me, I did it with my writing and launched a successful online business.
Whether you’re in copywriting, social media management, graphic design, or any other field, you can use the tips that I’m going to share in this article.
Does your level of expertise matter?
You don’t have to worry about your skill level if you need new clients. Giving good services to your client is all that matters. Even if you aren’t highly-skilled yet, people will still appreciate your work.
Becoming an expert doesn’t happen overnight. You have to go through being a newbie before establishing your portfolio online. If you are a professional who still needs clients, this blog post is for you too.
7 Simple Ways to Get Clients as a Freelancer
Freelancing is one of the leading online businesses that can be depended on as a source of income. A successful freelancer doesn’t need any other job to keep up their lifestyle. Look it up online, and you’ll see all the success stories of people who quit their 9 to 5 to focus on their freelance business.
One reason for an unsuccessful freelancing business is not having clients. Keep in mind that you can rely on one regular client to make money as a freelancer. But it doesn’t hurt to have more clients or ideas to find them.
Now, let’s explore the top ways to find clients online for your freelancing business.
1. Join multiple niche-specific Facebook groups.
Due to its popularity, Facebook is a powerful tool for finding people to buy your freelancing services. I made this strategy top the list because I found my first high-paying client through a Facebook group. You can increase your chances of landing clients online by joining several Facebook groups related to your skills.
One way to find clients on Facebook groups is by posting about your freelance services. If people know about your service, they might lead you to potential buyers or buy it themselves.
Here is an example of a quick Facebook post for a freelance digital marketer looking to generate leads for a small business:
“Hey small business people, I recently tried [PRODUCT/SERVICE] from [SMALL BUSINESS] and I loved it. Aside from being a ‘small business customer,’ I’m good at working with them. I have helped several SMEs like [INCLUDE EXAMPLE IF ANY] to find recurring buyers who can’t get enough of their products! Reach me out for an agreement and I will be happy to send customers your way!”
Be creative and try creating different posts on various platforms to find out which brings in the most engagement. Add relevant photos to trigger emotions and trust. Minimize using a specific message consistently since it violates Facebook’s policies and also appears like spam.
Before announcing your services on any Facebook group, ensure that the admins allow such posts. Consulting with a Facebook admin is necessary if you are unsure about the group rules. By doing so, you avoid putting your membership at risk.
If a certain group doesn’t approve posts about selling services, you can start by sharing informative tips with your targeted audience. People will want to know more and thus ask you questions. You can save the details of some prospects and pitch your services to them.
Another way to get clients on Facebook groups is by responding to clients’ posts. Don’t hesitate to comment if someone needs a service that is within your realm of skills. Tell them about your accomplishments and how they can benefit from giving you the job.
2. Browse freelance job boards.
Fiverr, Upwork and PeoplePerHour are some great sites to grab freelancing gigs. Although these platforms have lots of clients in desperate need of services, they also have many ‘hungry’ freelance workers. Competing among thousands of people offering the same skills as you may not be your best bet.
Less popular freelance job boards come in handy if you are a beginner. You can use such platforms to learn and grow your freelance business. Problogger, AngelList, and Remote.co are some powerful job boards that you can use to get clients for free.
Unlike high-level freelance sites, most job boards don’t require certifications or any test to get tasks. You only have to locate a job that you fit in and send your application. With the free membership of freelance job boards, you keep all your earnings.
Job boards enable you to work directly with clients. You need to send killer proposals to get clients’ attention. The good thing is that getting one long-term client can save you the trouble of constantly applying for freelance gigs.
Keep in mind that doing business with people without payment protection can bring you problems. Freelance sites have the advantage of secure payments over job boards. Asking for partial or full payment before submitting work to your client can solve the issue.
3. Work without payment.
It isn’t easy to work for free. But this approach works in your favor if you have no experience and find it hard to land freelance jobs. There are several things you can get in exchange for your free services.
Your first step is to reach out to some potential clients and offer your skills for free. You can either ask them for some task or submit something you’ve already done. For instance, a content writer can send some unpublished articles to a niche-specific sole proprietor or brand and ask for their thoughts.
If they like your work, propose that they use it as their own and give you a testimonial on your website or a freelance marketplace. You can then use it as social proof for attracting other clients. As you may know, social proof is powerful when it comes to buying decisions.
Working without pay can get you paid jobs or leads from the same client in the future. They’ll want to offer you something in return. If one prospective client declines your work, offer it to the next one with a tweak to your proposal.
You can also boost your ranking using this strategy. With several 5 stars, getting jobs without asking for it won’t be a far-fetched thing to you. All you have to do from that point is to strive to maintain your reputation.
4. Partner with other freelance businesses.
Direct clients aren’t the only source of long-term freelance jobs. You can put your skills to use using your other freelancers. The odds are high that some of the freelancers you meet online have a load of work and could use an extra hand.
Social media can help you connect with freelancers in your niche. Follow them to know more about what they do. Participate in discussions and appreciate the achievements of others as much as you can.
If you establish a relationship with them, they can give you tips on finding freelance jobs online or tell their clients about you. Don’t rush into asking for help. You can get all the help you need without bluntly asking for it.
Individuals and businesses that aren’t in your niche but are closely related can also be great partners. Driving referrals to each other is an effective way to build a strong network. You can get leads from them and give them some benefit in return.
For example, a web designer can partner with a photographer. The web designer gives out the details of e-commerce sites that need product photos. The photographer provides the information of models that need to set up their portfolio websites.
5. Go to Twitter.
Twitter is another platform where you can get freelance jobs for free. Since the site millions of users, clients use it to tweet various remote jobs for freelancers. You can also use it to connect with other freelancers and get some leads for jobs.
An optimized profile enhances your chances of gaining the trust of clients. Upload a professional cover photo and profile picture of yourself. Summarize your abilities in the bio section and add links to your portfolio.
Being inactive reduces your credibility as a freelancer. Share your thoughts frequently and participate in relevant discussions. The 80/20 rule suggests that 80 percent of your feed should provide some value while the remaining 20 percent incorporates promos about your products or services.
Follow the accounts of people and brands in your niche and look for any freelance jobs. Reply with your skills as soon as you find such tweets about hiring. You can also perform a search by typing something in the format of ‘niche + job’ or ‘hire + niche freelancer.’
Hashtags are useful for finding freelance gigs and sharing your services on Twitter. For example, you are a logo designer. You can use hashtags like #LogoDesignerNeeded and #FreelanceLogoDesigner to find potential gigs. Click on any other hashtags you see in job tweets and respond if you find a recent one.
Some Twitter keyword tools like Hashtagify ease your hunt for job-related hashtags. This tool shows all the hashtags related to your targeted keyword. You also get the Twitter handles of regular users of a particular keyword.
6. Send cold emails.
Cold emails are those sent to a potential client with whom you have no previous relationship. As much as people hate such emails, they can work wonders if crafted properly. The other factor that influences their effectiveness is how niche-specific the recipients are.
If you research your prospects and figure out how to help them, your cold email gets more responses. People tend to spend money on things that can enhance the productivity of their businesses. Finding out about these problems is necessary for creating a catchy email.
Limit talking about yourself in the email. Mention your abilities briefly and then let your samples, if any, do the rest of the work. Speak more about your prospect in a personalized way.
Your chances of getting a response are much higher if your potential clients know you’re interested in them. Their first impression of you should be a positive one. Even if they don’t reply to your first pitch, your subsequent emails can be received with warmth.
Cold emails work best when sent to a big list of prospects. You should collect tens, if not a few hundreds, of email addresses. While it’s hard to send many emails each day, it pays off in the long run.
Following up is essential for winning the prospects that didn’t see your first email or forgot to respond due to busy schedules. You may still land your first freelance gig after sending only a couple of emails to the right prospects. That’s why it’s best to believe in what you’re doing.
7. Start blogging.
Blog posts are useful for getting exposure. Niche blogging attracts a particular type of monthly visitors who you can turn into clients. You can use your blog to post some of your work and talk about your experiences in a specific field.
Although you can get a free blog, purchasing a domain name increases your credibility. Hire a designer to customize the blog according to your niche. An alternative is to invest in a high-quality website builder and play with the templates.
If you have a portfolio website, you can add a blog section there. All blog posts should relate to the skills you sell on the website. Prioritize sharing your best works in your blog.
Creating an email list is one of the top ways to convert your blog audience into clients. Newsletter offers have been long used to collect email addresses, and they aren’t much effective. Giving out freebies such as eBooks, workbooks, and pieces of training can grow your lists far more effectively.
Let’s say you are an expert in creating online stores.
You can share free tips with your readers to help them start their businesses. You’ll get questions since they want to know your exact working method. The next thing to do is throw in a limited offer about creating a Shopify store for 10 people at some fee.
Guest blogging is another great way to put your freelance services before buyers. There are thousands of blogs that can accept your guest posts. You benefit from unpaid guest posting by sharing your portfolio or services.
Different Strategies Work for Different People
Start with the strategy you trust the most. If one method doesn’t get you some clients, give another one a shot. If one strategy works well for you, feel free to try another one to build up your client base.
You only need to get started as soon as you can. Be patient, and don’t spend a lot of money on gurus. By moving one step after the other, you’ll reach your goal sooner than later.