5 Ways Freelancers Can Find Clients

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When you’re employed by a business, it’s fairly easy to find clients because you work for the clients that are assigned to you. But when you’re a freelancer, you’re all you’ve got. You have to make sure that you bring in the clients in order to keep your business going. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for new clients so that your business continues to thrive and expand.

While some freelancers think that finding clients is difficult, it’s actually not – but it does take effort and consistency. Here are five ways freelancers can find clients.

Word of mouth – When you are good at what you do, word will get around. Happy clients will tell others what you’ve done for them. So when you know that you have a happy client, don’t be afraid to ask him to pass on your name if he knows others who may want your services. Satisfied clients usually are more than happy to do this. You can encourage referrals from your clients by offering a bonus or a discount for every person they refer to you. Also consider asking your current clients to give you a testimonial or other feedback that you can use to show prospective clients how others appreciate your services. These comments can be used in a variety of ways, including brochures and your website.

Online sites and job forums – A good place to look for clients is on online forums. Be sure to visit  online forums that offer categories of services that fit with the services you offer. Elance and Upwork are two large online job forum. Here users can both look for work as well as hire people to do jobs for them. Pay attention specifically to the clients who have a high job award score and check out a potential client’s feedback. See what kind of feedback they give freelancers and what kind of feedback they’ve received.

Professional networks – Professional networks often are overlooked when it comes to searching for potential clients. But these networks are valuable pieces of virtual landscape just waiting to be mined for clients. LinkedIn is a large professional network that can be used to both promote your services and to find clients that can use them. They key is having a robust, professional profile that describes your skills and how you can use them to meet your clients’ needs. Ask your satisfied clients to endorse you, which helps build trust with potential clients. To find clients on professional networks, you must become active there. Keep in mind that you want to give and not just get. Simply join groups, answer questions, and add value to the group.

Agencies – Many million-dollar companies hire freelancers to outsource some of their workload. But not a lot of freelancers know where to find these clients or how to get a foot in the door. Your first step should be finding agencies where your skills are needed. Put yourself out there and make contact. The worst they can say is no. But you could gain several new clients just by asking. You can find agencies by doing an online search for the type of business you’re looking for. Also check out trade magazines and websites that are associated with the type of freelance work that you do. These magazines and sites often have advertisers who could use your services.

Your website – Your website can act as a letter of introduction to potential clients. Since many potential clients conduct online searches for the kind of freelance services they need, your website should be a reliable piece of advertising to draw in potential clients. Be sure your website includes your portfolio along with a list of your previous clients (if they give you permission). You also should list your skills, kind of like an online resume. Add a blog to your website and use it to network with others in your industry. A blog can be a source for finding clients, so consider inviting key people in your niche to be a guest blogger on your blog.

Finding clients is a matter of showcasing your expertise, being a prime example of the type of worker people want to hire, and not being afraid to network with others to put yourself out there as an available resource. Don’t worry if you feel you’re not “big enough” yet. The people who are “big” in your industry now got there by not being too afraid to promote themselves.

While some freelancers think that finding clients is difficult, it’s actually not – but it does take effort and consistency. Here are five ways freelancers can find clients.

What is your favorite place to find clients? Tell me about it!

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