5 Ways to Get Clients as a Freelancer (When You’re Just Starting Out)

So you’re new to the freelancing gig economy?

One of the hardest things all freelancers — no matter how experienced or fresh you may be — have to do is figure out how to get clients as a freelancer. If you’re like most freelancers, you’ve chosen this path because you’re passionate and talented at what you do but you might not be an expert at selling yourself to prospective clients.

Never fear!

We’ve put together this list of strategies to get your creative juices flowing and help you attract the best clients whilst being true to yourself as a professional.

Jackpot aids to getting clients for a beginning freelancer

Here are some realistic and attainable ways to get clients as a freelancer, no matter where you happen to be starting from. For the best results, and to leave no stone unturned, it’s a great idea to consider adding all of these in your lead generation toolkit.

Do your best on every single order

Even if you only have one small job, do it to the absolute best of your ability. This includes everything from customer relations and the quality of your work, to meeting deadlines. Most new customers come from reviews or referrals from past customers. The more customers you impress – and the more you impress them – the better the referral! By holding the same level of quality with all jobs, you’ll be able to maximise the potential amount of referrals.

Make sure your portfolio or case studies are ready to go at a moment’s notice

A portfolio or selection of case studies is a definite must-have as a freelancer. By showcasing your skills, you show potential customers what you’re worth. If you’re a creative, get permission from past clients to include samples or photos of past work that you’ve done for them, and interlace those with self-generated samples to create a full portfolio. If you’re in a professional services industry, create a set of case studies that demonstrates the kinds of problems you’ve solved for your clients, and show how you successfully met their objectives. This portfolio should be online (as well as in print for when you meet local customers) and easy to send when requested.

Optimize your professional social media accounts

Open and effectively use any professional social media account you can. Create unique and platform-specific posts that will get interested customers’ attention as well as promote sharing, liking and other engagements. Make sure that your social media accounts have clarity with consistent information and branding.

Network with other freelancers

While it’s not often in your best interest to network with direct competition, consider getting in touch with other freelancers and getting to know them. What other services do your clients need? Do you know freelancers who might be able to add value to your clients? You’ll be able to refer on business to them when the time comes, and they’ll likely return the favour! While unconventional in terms of how to get clients as a freelancer, it can certainly be fruitful to focus on supporting the freelancer community.

Focus on those unlikely local corners

One area that freelancers often forget about is those local people that you see regularly. These would be people such as your hairdresser, your mechanic, your insurance broker and even those local boutiques. Make sure they all get your card and that you encourage them to reach out if they’re in need of your services. Local supports local, after all.

While you might have thought it tricky to learn how to get more clients as a freelancer, the reality is that it’s all about reaching people where you can most interest them. From your Facebook account to a dentist’s chair, that location will often surprise you. You never know where a new client is waiting!

Alasdair Nicol
Alasdair Nicol
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