When starting out, one of the hardest challenges freelancers face is landing clients on a consistent basis as shown in this study.
Sometimes even established freelancers can find it hard to get clients regularly and break the feast and famine cycle.
This is why today I am going to show you my top tactics to get clients as a freelancer. You can use these whether you are just starting out or are experienced…
Narrow in on an Audience:
Freelancing is becoming very competitive as more and more people are going freelance.
If you do what everyone else is doing and try to get any client you can get, things will get harder. This is why instead of targeting everybody, you should target a very specific audience.
This will help you specialize in a topic and stand out from the crowd. For example, if you are a web designer you could decide on whether you want to design websites for ecommerce stores or bloggers or Saas businesses.
You can dive even deeper and create sites for businesses of a certain size. These could be startups or established businesses. You can also take in other factors like the industry into consideration.
This will help you establish yourself as an expert in that niche. An example of a company that understands the benefits of choosing a niche is The Hope Factory. They help design and market ecommerce stores built with Shopify only.
So if anyone needs an ecommerce store built with Shopify they know who to turn to. Clients also won’t mind paying more as when you are working with one platform all the time you will gain a lot of experience and establish yourself as an expert.
Set up a Website:
The next thing you need to do is set up a website. A website will make you look professional and will also make it easy for you to show all the services. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated, especially at the beginning when you haven’t got any testimonials or clients.
A simple resume website where you detail your education and work experience will be sufficient. You can also add a bit about your story and the services you offer. All this can be added to the home page. There are several resume website templates that can help you set this up quickly.
But after you gain some experience, you can begin adding other pages like a ‘clients I’ve worked with’ page, a testimonials page, samples page, landing pages for each service, etc. You might also want to add a payments page where people can directly order your services. But don’t limit yourself to this one type of payment. Instead, offer other options such as echecks, PayPal payments, and ACH payments. To learn more about echecks and ACH payments you can check the Paymentcloud articles.
Start a Blog:
One important component that should be part of your website while launching, is a blog. A blog with top quality articles can help you display your expertise even if you have zero clients and testimonials.
So create a blog that’s related to your niche when you are starting out and share your expertise on it. An example is Bill Erickson’s blog where he shares design and WordPress related tips as he is a WordPress developer.
People who are setting up their WordPress blogs will read Bill’s posts. Those who use his tips and get small wins will want to hire him to get even better results. And there will also be those who have no time to implement the tips that he shares. But they will see the quality content and want to work with him.
Write Guest Posts:
Another way to display your expertise through articles is with guest posting, one of the most popular link building tactics. Using guest posting you can get your articles featured on sites that get way more traffic than your site. This will help you build up an audience as you will reach more people quickly.
You can also link to posts on your own blog and to landing pages and get some backlinks that will help your site move up the search engine rankings.
So, regularly guest post on the top blogs in your niche. You will, of course, need to start small and build up your portfolio. After that, you can reach out to the top blogs in your niche. If you are a designer a couple of good sites for guest posting are 99Designs.
And when you write guest posts make sure they are better than the ones you write for your own blog. If you write great guest posts you will get the best clients and the sites will want you to come back and write more for them.
Reach Out to Potential Clients Via Email:
The best medium for getting clients is email. It is nearly 40 times better than social media for the acquisition of customers.
So, have an email outreach strategy in place. Spend some time every week where you look up potential clients, understand their business and their needs, and reach out to them via email and pitch your services.
Build Up an Email List:
There are only so many people you can email in a day. If you spend too much time reaching out to people via personal outreach, you won’t have any time left to finish the work you get. This is why you should automate the process by building up your email list.
You can do this by placing optin forms all over your website and blog like Andrea Vahl does on her blog header here. She also gives away a free ebook as a lead magnet.
When someone signs up you can get an email service provider like Aweber or ConvertKit to automatically send a series of emails to nurture your audience and pitch your services.
This can help you generate some customers organically.
Another way to promote your services is through ads. The best way to get started with ads is through retargeting. This is where you serve ads to people who are on your email list or people who recently visited your website or blog. You start the process by adding the Facebook retargeting pixel to your website.
After that, you should create a landing page detailing your services.
Then you create custom audiences. One can consist of people who visited your website/blog. While the other one can consist of people on your email list.
After that, you launch the ads targeting these audiences and then send them to the landing page where they can sign up for a consultation.
For best results only target people who read a blog or signed up for a lead magnet that is relevant to the landing page/products you are promoting. If you visit the Stellar SEO blog you will find that they have several blogs that are relevant to the topic of the landing page.
Stay Active on Social Media:
Staying active on social media by regularly sharing content and attracting an audience can also help a lot. Some of the best networks for freelancers are Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
After you share some content and nurture your audience, you can begin promoting your services by sending them to a landing page.
For some ideas on what type of content to share, check out Jenn Herman’s Instagram account.
She regularly shares content that attracts and nurtures followers.
If you follow the above techniques you will gain some customers. But if you want to take it to the next level and get even more customers, I recommend that you give webinars a shot. Webinar landing pages can achieve conversion rates of up to 80% and about 20% of the people who attend them will convert.
So, find the topics that your audience wants answers on and create a webinar presenting all the answers. Then promote it to your email list and social media followers. You can also use ads.
Get Clients to Buy Affordable Products First:
Spending on services can be expensive for several businesses. For example, if a business wanted a designer to design their website, it can cost $2000+. This can be a big step for them and they will be worried about the risk of hiring someone they have never worked with before. So they might hesitate to work with you.
You can nip these questions in the bud by first selling something more affordable like a website design template or a website design ebook. It can cost less than $50. More people will buy this as it is more affordable. If they like it they will know that you are the real deal and will feel more comfortable paying you for the more expensive services.
These are the 10 powerful ways to get clients. You should be able to use them to get clients whether you are just starting out or are experienced. So, give the ones you like most a try today.