Whether you’re a brand-new freelancer or someone with a few years under your belt, it’s always important to find new ways to attract quality clients and make more money. But staying on the hunt means hours of unpaid administrative work. How can you grow your freelance practice without the search for new jobs taking over your life?
A customer acquisition report found that it is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new client than it is to retain a current one. It makes sense; client-hunting takes time away from producing content for pay. Freelancers often rely on agencies to connect them with clients for one-time or recurring projects, but even if you’re signed with one, you may not get access to all of the right opportunities. How do you make finding clients more effective and less costly?
Here are four proven tips to market yourself and your freelance business well. Use them now, and you’ll soon find freelance work faster, which in turn will free yourself to spend more time pleasing your existing clients, earning money, and building your business.
1. Tap into your network
Tapping into your network goes beyond awkward happy hour events. Reach out to friends, current customers, or even old bosses and let them know that you’re looking to add more clients. While they may not be doing the hiring, they might just be within earshot of contract opportunities at their company and can give you a referral.
If you have other colleagues in your line of work, let them know that you have room on your schedule for new work. Many times, busy freelancers have to pass on work due to timing or experience and often want to give a referral for another candidate. That could be you.
2. Update your online portfolio
While it may seem like a small thing to do, making sure you have a stellar online portfolio is a sure-fire way to catch the eye of a potential client through organic search, a referral, or social media. Update your portfolio with your latest projects, an accurate bio, and contact information. If possible, have a one-pager ready with your current rates and available services to send out when you start getting inquiries.
Once you finish your online portfolio, blast it to your followers on social media, make sure that it’s search engine optimized, and share with any other online communities you may be in. Don’t forget: you are your best cheerleader, so let everyone know about your new updated site along with the services you offer -- you never know where your next client might come from.
3. Teach a class or start a blog
If you have a unique expertise, consider putting together a class to provide resources to others in your industry and expose potential clients to your skills. If you don’t have time to launch a course, use a blog platform like Medium to break down different pain points you see in your industry or related to your work.
For example, if you’re a designer, use your blog to go deep into current trends, advice for new clients, and design thinking. Becoming an expert in your field will show current and future clients that you’re worth every cent they spend to hire you.
4. Use apps and job boards
Companies will often look for a contract person for a particular in-house project by posting listings online. Try job boards and filter jobs by contract or sites like Krop to find companies looking for freelancers.
Once you have a few clients on-board, be sure to talk about the other services you offer with them and pitch yourself as a potential recurring contractor. You’ll get a regular client and they won’t have to keep training a new contractor — a great win-win for everyone involved.
Skillshare has hundreds of classes that offer great advice on freelancing. Want to learn more? Click here to find the one that fits your needs.