We bring you top tips on how to find new clients in our article for entrepreneurs and freelancers
Securing clients can seem like the largest mountain to overcome when starting out as a freelancer and some unsavoury steps may be needed in order to make yourself a name in the freelancing world.
If you’ve just taking the step to become self employed full time, hopefully you will have followed advice and made sure you have enough money to live on for the first three months of your career. What this advice doesn’t tell you is that this isn’t just in case you don’t get work, it’s so you can offer your services that little bit cheaper in order to build up a fantastic portfolio.
No matter how busy or successful you become your competition should always be at the forefront of your mind. When starting out you are competing with freelancers that have oodles of experience along with a showcase of live websites they can tempt the client with. You need to research your competition and see what they offer, you need to assess their rates and quite slyly, undercut them.
This may seem devious however, you have your three month buffer, and they don’t. Clients will be unwilling to take you on if you haven’t got a full portfolio to show or your references are lacking. However ever client will speak in monetary terms and will be willing to give you a shot if you can show at least one piece of work, (even your own website) along with cheaper rates of pay.
Remember this isn’t forever, once you have secured this client, you will receive testimonials as well as live content on the web you can showcase on your next application.
Another advantage new freelancers have is time. With an empty diary you can offer quicker turnaround times than anyone else. Producing quality work ahead of a deadline will appeal to many clients, as most would like to see results yesterday. Established freelancers don’t have this luxury and have to slot new work around other commitments. You can dedicate full working days until the project is finished which will not only boost your reputation but will give you stunning feedback too.
In the first few months it’s also worth adding a little extra time to your day, using that initial enthusiasm you can be sure to succeed if you work around the clock.
Decide on your Market
Initially you can decide to work locally. This gives you a wealth of opportunity as you can target local businesses almost for free. Just a quick Google will show those who require some work to their websites, and by offering affordable services via email, or even dropping into the shop or office you can build up a good local client base. Most businesses know they need web designers, however few understand how to go about it, by bringing the service to them they
will appreciate the local flavour and also be surprised at how affordable it really is.
There are so many freelancing websites out there that when starting out it’s a good idea to put a day or two aside to join each one. Making sure you have a full profile with an easily accessible portfolio will not only make you available to clients it will give you an excellent web presence too. Some freelancing sites are better than others for gaining clients, however the more you become involved, the more chance you have of securing those all-important first clients.