One thing about freelancing is extremely special - as a freelancer, you need to be an all-around entrepreneur. Being great in your specialty is simply not enough.
You need to be good at sales, communication, branding, marketing or at least provide such a great service that you can afford to have specialized people doing these things for you.
If you're early in your freelancing career or just struggling with growing your portfolio, you need to build your sales skills as early as possible. If you're not able to get new clients, it's going to be very hard for you to grow your business. Here are some of our tips on how to get new clients.
It's hard to find new clients if you don't know who you are looking for.
So the first thing you should do is to create a profile of your ideal client.
Just a few points and you're all set.
This can be an example of a profile for an ideal client:
Just a few points can help you narrow down and segment your target clients. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose your clients and working with ideal clients should be your ultimate goal. Of course, from time to time you need to take on some gigs that probably won't match your ideal client criteria but that's absolutely natural.
On top of that, once you know your ideal client, then you need to check where these clients move, what events they attend, in which part of the city are they concentrated and so on. The more you know, the easier for you is to get in touch with them.
One thing that every freelancer has, beginner or professional, are friends and family. Everyone has them and everyone can (positively) use these people to boost their business. How exactly?
Reference is the best marketing channel for a freelancer. If someone refers you to another person, it's almost 100% sure that you will close the client. Simply because a friend recommended you and they trust their friend.
So what do you do? Talk about your business!
Just mention it whenever you can and let the word of mouth do the magic for you. If you talk about what you do, it surely will reach other people.
And most importantly, if you're looking for new clients, just straightforwardly ask your friends and family if they don't know anyone. Always remember, if you don't ask for it, you won't get it.
What about fools? Well, you don't want to contact them, trust us.
Fools - at least in the business jargon - are people who help you but always bring some painful points into the process. When it comes to references, fools are people that recommend you but always want some work for free or a discount that is very close to working for free. So when it comes to fools, try to avoid them. Other than that, friends and family are a great way to acquire new clients.
Clients don't contact them on their own?
Then you need to be the first one to make the move.
First step is research.
Just research the ideal clients you can provide your services to, check if you can really help them, and if yes, then politely approach them through e-mail or phone.
Inform the company that they're not living up to their potential but you can help them!
A simple well structured e-mail can get you a new client way easier than any advertisement. If you want to know how to write such an e-mail, check our previous article where you can find the template! /prelinkovať predošlý článok s procesmi/
Even though freelancers usually work on their own, it's always great to take on challenges and new opportunities with other freelancers. And the best part is, all freelancers love to cooperate if they have the capacity!
If you need to acquire new clients, there's nothing easier to do than ask your fellow professionals and see if you can be of any help. It comes very natural and the best part is that it's a win-win situation. And even if the other side asks for a provision from the business, it makes more sense for you than giving the many to a fool.
Networking events are a great way to make contact with other freelancers and think of a way to cooperate. Every freelancer should have a list of contacts with all kinds of specialisations so that the freelancer can recommend them. In freelancing world, it always works on both sides.
One thing is getting new clients and other thing is having long-term clients so that you don't need to always reach out to business and look out for opportunities (not that it's bad to look out for them).
To avoid the need to always look for new clients, try to create long-term packages that you can offer to all kinds of clients and you will see that if you structure it well, you will be able to close most of the clients. Always look for long-term deals and create packages that require monthly reporting and payments.
Of course, packages don't work in every industry but you can at least use them as pricing templates for clients.
We left the best approach for the very end.
The simple most effective way how to get new freelancing clients is to always leave some capacity for quick consultations, quick chat when other freelancers need help and good old-fashioned support when someone needs an advice in the field you're the expert in.
It helps more often than not, that people don't forget such favours. For you, it can be a five-minute investment and a little bit of know-how on top of that, but for the other side, it can mean a lot. And you never know when the person you just helped lands a huge deal and comes to you with it.
So here's a quick recap of the best ways for getting new freelancing clients: