Klaudia Szpiech 07/28/2022
If you’re a freelancer, then you know that one of the key factors for your success is finding reliable clients. After all, you’re going to be collaborating with these clients and depending on them to pay you on time. So how do you find the best clients? Here are some tips for choosing the right clients for your business.
1. Get referrals from other freelancers
One of the best ways to find new clients is to get referrals from other freelancers who you trust. If you know someone who has worked with a client that you’re interested in, ask for an introduction. You may be surprised that many professionals are very supportive to younger colleagues. They still remember taking their first steps not so long ago.
Still, it can be hard to introduce yourself and your services. Especially if you don’t know someone who has worked with those clients before! Luckily, there’s a simple way to find out if someone has worked with your target client: read their reviews! For example, on LinkedIn people write each other recommendations after collaborating on a project. Reading them is an effortless way to see if another freelancer has worked with a client before. Have you spotted a client with plenty of positive reviews from other freelancers? It’s likely that they will be great match for you too!
2. Get involved in your community
One of the best ways to find reliable clients is to get involved in your community. Invest some of your free time in activities and organizations that you care about. You may come across people and businesses that are looking for someone with your skill set. When you’re involved in your community, you can also build up a network of people who can help you find work.
There are a handful of unusual ways to find clients in your community. Here are some ideas to get you started: do you like dogs? Are you passionate about electronic music? Are you concerned about the climate change or you love gardening? Join an organization, team or club that’s related to your interests! These organizations may need your services, and while you care for their causes, it’s a win-win situation. Many organizations will have a budget to hire contractors who do work in their industry. Research shows that they’re more likely to hire someone they already know, like and trust. Are you a web developer? You can join the local chapter of the International Webmasters Association (IWA). Find out who’s doing well in your city and reach out to them. In worst case scenario, you get connected with like minded people.
3. Use a freelancer platform
Another great way to find reliable clients is to use a freelancer platform. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are great places to find work. You can browse through tons of projects and see which ones are right for you. When you find a project that you’re interested in, you can reach out to the client and get more information.
New clients join the platform on a daily basis, and dozens of new jobs are posted online by people who are ready to hire. You don’t need to convince them they need help – they know they do. You don’t need to tell them how much it will cost or how long it will take. They already know exactly what is in store for them if they successfully land a project. All that’s left for you is to show them, you are interested in collaboration.
Moreover, these platforms also offer a rating system, so you can weed out the clients that don’t pay on time.
4. Use social media
Social media can be a great way to connect with potential clients. LinkedIn in particular is super useful for finding clients in your industry or field. You can research companies and organizations before you reach out to them by checking out their profiles. Also, try out Twitter and Instagram for more than entertainment! They are great tool to connect with potential clients and promote your services. Just create an account for your business and start posting photos of your work right away! It’s a fun and easy way to promote your brand.
When you’re connecting with potential clients through social media, prepare your strategy. Spend time posting relevant content to help people become familiar with your business. Be sure to include links back to your website or blog so that they can find more information about what you do. You can prepare a content calendar, where you plan when to post new things.
5. Check out freelance job boards
Job boards are another great way to find work as a freelancer. You can browse through different job boards and see which projects are a good fit for you. When you find a project that you’re interested in, you can reach out to the client and get more information.
There are many freelance online job boards that list freelance opportunities. Some of the most popular are Upwork, Freelancer, and PeoplePerHour. To get started on these sites, create a profile and start uploading your resume. You can also write a brief description about yourself and what you’re looking for in a client. Make sure to include links to any sites where potential clients can see samples of your work. Once you’ve created your profile, it’s time to start applying for jobs! The best way to get noticed is by doing good work for people who have rated you highly on the site. This will help new clients find your profile and hire you for projects.
While job boards can be a great way to find new clients, be sure to vet the clients carefully before committing to work with them. As with most online marketplaces, it’s important to do some research upfront. Check out their reviews and ask other freelancers about them. This way you may learn if they’re professional or not before accepting a job from them.
6. Connect with other freelancers
When you’re trying to find reliable clients, it’s also a clever idea to connect with your freelancing peers. Do you have a friend who also works as a freelancer? Check Facebook groups for freelancing professionals. It’s a great place to meet people that you could network with. Sometimes when the freelancers take a project, they need complementary services to complete it. A web designer who works on a website may need some help from graphic designers. An UX specialist may search for the expertise of a copywriter.
If another freelancer invites you to collaborate on their current project, it can be a terrific way to find clients that you can trust. Are you a translator? There may be opportunities for networking with writers, bloggers, or marketing specialists. Don’t forget that collaborating with other freelancers is a wonderful way to build your network and learn from each other.
7. Attend networking events
Attending events is a perfect way to expand your network and meet potential clients. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you are there to meet people that could be interested in your services. Make sure that you have at least 10 business cards before going to a networking event. Always hand out your card first and then take one as well.
Starting a conversation with strangers can feel overwhelming, but remember: usually everyone feels a bit shy. One of the best icebreakers is asking people who they know at the event, or if they can tell you about their business. If they know anyone or any companies at the event then there’s a chance for them (and you) to network together. Found someone to chat with? Ask them about activities they would recommend for someone new in the industry. This way you can find out about new hot spots where people are spending time.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out Meetup groups in your area that focus on your industry or field. Meetup.com is a great place to find networking events. With more than 3,000 groups worldwide, you can easily browse through the agenda and see who else will be attending. Whether you’re looking to make business connections or just meet other like-minded people in your city, Meetup is a great way to get started.
8. Speak at conferences or events
If you’re not an expert in your field, check out conferences or events related to your industry. You will build credibility by attending these events. It also gives you a chance to increase your visibility. People will remember you if they need a similar service later on.
If you are already a “pro”, consider speaking at conferences or events. It’s a great way to build your reputation and attract new clients. Also, you may share your knowledge and inspire others.
Is there nothing interesting happening in your area? Try the webinars! They give you an opportunity to build your reputation as an expert in your field and to attract new clients. You can reach a lot of people in a personal way. A nice idea could be doing a joint webinar with a colleague from your industry. This way you’ll expand your freelance network by working together with others. A cool part of webinars is that you can record it and repurpose in the future, for example, to market your brand. Don’t know where to start? There are free webinar platforms that may work for you. Try out Adobe Connect, Livestorm and Zoho.
9. Write articles or blog posts
Writing articles or blog posts about your industry can help you attract new clients through search engines like Google. Write about topics that are relevant to your business and share them on social media or with blogs in your industry. When writing for an audience, remember to use language that is clear, simple and concise. Use website visitors’ search phrases as keywords in your articles as well as on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Be sure to include a call-to-action at the end of each article or post so that readers know how to contact you if they’re interested in working with you. (A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link on a website that leads users to extra information, such as an order form, blog post or another page).
10. Give free consultations
Last but not least, offering free consultations is a great way to show potential clients what you can do for them. Also it enables you getting feedback on your services. Free consultations help build trust between you and the potential client. A trust-based relationship is essential for long-term success of your freelancing.
The consultation process is simple. First, choose the potential client you like best. Then send them a message introducing yourself and your business. You can include links to your social media profiles, portfolio or other examples of your work. This way they can learn more about you. We recommend including a short survey for your potential client. Use the questions: What is the purpose of this meeting? What are you looking to achieve? How can we help you meet those goals? When is the best time for us to connect? This way you will know your client’s expectations even before you talk.
These are just a few tips on how to find reliable clients as a freelancer. Of course, success doesn’t happen overnight. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding clients that you can trust!