No matter how good your products or services can be, if you don’t have clients, your freelancing business will simply fail. A lot of people, specially the new ones in the freelancing and virtual assistant industry, are struggling in this area. In this article we’ll present several ways on how you can generate customers in your business.
So how do you actually get more clients? Well, do not expect to find many clients by just doing one strategy. No, it doesn’t work that way. You need to get rid of that kind of mindset in your freelance business. There’s actually no single way but what you can do is to test different strategies and focus on the ones that actually converts.
Whether you’re into Web Development, Graphics Design, SEO, Content Writing, Marketing, Virtual Assistant, Consulting Business, a Personal Trainer, or just about anything, these tips below can help you attract customers and grow your business..
How to get more clients in your Freelancing Career
Newbie Freelancer’s Client Generation Method:
In this section, we’ll tackle the strategies that can be used by those who are just starting in the industry. At this stage, you’re still a nobody trying your luck to get into the business. This is the most frustrating stage in your career but don’t give up. Just think of this as a long tedious process of overcoming the barrier. Just enjoy every moment of it.
Think of this as your learning stage. Don’t lose hope, don’t give up. At this stage, you need to actively find clients who need your services.
1. Get customers from other Seasoned Freelancers. One of the things you can do as a newbie is to contact and connect with well established people. These freelancers are most likely having a lot projects coming in but have no time to handle everything. This is a good opportunity for you to get those clients. You can also stalk those people inquiring for their services.
You can find these well established freelancers on facebook groups, through their own facebook page and other social media accounts, through their own website, or through outsourcing sites such as upwork.com, onlinejobs philippines, freelancer.com.
Here’s the thing..
These established freelancers may not give you the client fully. What they will do is to still talk with the end client as if they’re the ones who are taking care of the project but on the other side, they will give you the project. They will pay you but they will get their commission.
This is just fine. You can get experience and build your portfolio through this method. This is also a chance for you to showcase your skills. If these established freelancers see that you’re good, they may end up partnering with you or give you more referrals.
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2. Advertise. Another way to find clients is through Facebook. Facebook ads is easy to learn and use and has high return of investment. You can run your ad campaign for as low as P40 pesos (~$1) and this can already be your daily budget for your campaign. What you need to do is to:
- Identify your Goal
- Research about your target Market
- Find the right Timing
You can experiment running different ads. Try to tweak the headlines, description, the image then boost more the ones that are making results. Once you’ve mastered this skill, you’ll end up getting more customers.
3. Join Webinars. Webinars are great way to connect with like minded individuals. There are a lot of valuable things you can get from joining webinars. You may not be able to get direct clients here but you can take advantage of the connections you can establish with other freelancers as well. Keep regular contacts with them, it’s a way to stay up-to-date regarding matters in your field.
If you’ve got the skills, you can actually share your thoughts regarding the topic. Try to answer other people’s questions. This way you are giving value to other people and in turn, they might see you as a good source of knowledge. They may end up as your followers.
4. Create a portfolio. As a starter, you may want to create a portfolio you can showcase to your prospect clients so they’ll be able to know that you’re the right person to hire.
If you want to start a career in freelance writing, you can setup your own blog then showcase your work there. There are free platforms you can use such as Blogger and WordPress. You can even utilize Facebook now for this purpose. Once you’ve manged to create a portfolio online, you can redirect your prospects there so they can see how well you’re doing.
Similarly, If you want to start a career in Web Development, you can also get your hosting site and place all your web development projects there. You don’t need to have clients to create a portfolio. You can always compile your self-initiated projects and show it to public to attract customers.
5. Have the Self Confidence and Believe in Yourself. One aspect why most starters don’t get hired is because they lack self confidence. If I were to place myself on the client’s side, it’s a big impact for me if I see the freelancer is not convincing in what he/she is saying or doing. Who would hire somebody who’s not sure in what he’s doing, right?
I personally know people who talk as if they know everything about their craft but the reality is they’re just confident. You just need to learn how to present the things you don’t know in a positive manner.
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More ways how to Get Clients for experienced freelancers:
New freelancers should put this into their minds that they need to actively find clients. Meaning, they should not approach their business as a waiting game. Moving on, if you’ve been in the game for quite some time, there’s an added flavor for experienced and established freelancer. We’ll talk about it in this section.
6. Get clients through referrals. For every successful project you get, you can always have a kind of repeat business. How? You just ask your previous customers to refer you to other clients. Simple!
Another approach to do this is to keep the contacts of all your previous clients and send them emails regularly (but don’t spam them) and ask them a referral. You can have a referral promo or program if you want to.
Word-of-the-mouth has been known to be one of the best marketing strategy you can use to expand your business. It’s more powerful compared to simply running ads online. Recommendation coming from friends or business partners are more influential because it’s coming from a real person and the reviews are real.
7. Create your own brand. For people to recognize and remember you and your business, you need to build your brand. It’s one way to retain your previous clients and also a good way to generate new ones. If you’re serious about your business of running it for long term, building a brand is essential. Basically, brand is just about anything – it can be a logo, a color theme, music, reputation, tone, environment, a system, a saying or tagline, or emotion that can be attached to your business.
Here’s an example..
Nike is a shoe brand right? They build their brand through creating advertisements that shows their attachment to sports athletes. If you’re into basketball and wants to buy a pair of shoes, most likely, you’ll end up buying a Nike shoes. That’s just how effective their strategy in building their brand.
Coke is a brand that has gotten to the point where they cannot be erased from people’s mind. Their business is a good example of how brands can touch people’s lives and how they have managed entering everybody’s home.
If you want your business to be remembered and acknowledge by your clients or prospects in whatever field you’re in, building your brand is a must. It’s a way how to attract customers and clients to your business. You need to strategize how you can build your brand to be the go-to business in a particular market.
You might want to read: Effective brand marketing strategy for your small business.
8. Build Your Website. There are bunch of opportunities you can exploit using a website. It’s one powerful way how to get clients online. I have written a post on why small businesses need a website and you might want to check that one out. I’ve written it on a separate post and it will be just redundant to discuss it all here.
Basically, it’s a long term strategy. If you’re doing strategy number #2, you can redirect people from social media to your business website or blog. You can create a page as a landing page or opt-in page where you can generate leads through capturing their emails.
You can also utilize the power of search engine. SEO marketing is still one of the highest converting method to get leads and sales. Just do a good research on your target market, strategize your content, optimize for search engines, and network with other webmasters. This is a good long term investment for your business.
9. Conduct Webinars and Seminars. When you’re starting, you join webinars, now that you are already established, you can conduct your own webinars. It is a good customer communication medium because it brings together three powerful elements — client or prospect interaction, audio, and visual elements including presentations and videos.
You can host publicly available Q&A webinars throughout the year, which allows you to “give back” to your market while also acquiring valuable ideas from the questions asked.
Also, through webinars, you can pitch your products, if you have, or pitch other things you can promote. Again, there are many opportunities here you can explore. Don’t ever miss this one.
10. Turn your skills into a product. If you’re a website developer, create your own web development course! You can add new perspective or new approach in learning to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. Same thing if you’re a fitness instructor, consultant, or an expert in any field.
You can make digital courses and put them on Udemy, write an ebook, create a product like supplements, training materials, recipe, device, app, and many more. It’s up to you what products to make. You are the one who knows what type of product fits your current business. Your product can serve as part of your brand building too. It also adds value to you as the product owner.
Once you’re able to establish yourself and your freelance business, you can actually continue and put it to next level. You may want to create your own company or agency. With all those connections you have and the works you’ve done before, you’ll no longer need to find clients. Your clients are the ones will be searching for you.
If you find this post helpful and informative, you may want to share it with your friends! Good luck on your freelancing career and see you on your success!
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