How To Find Your First Clients as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, you might be your own boss. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need anyone else in order to succeed. In fact, there is one particular type of person that you absolutely need: clients.
When you first get started with freelancing, the biggest struggle is often landing those first few clients. You might be ready to work, but others might not be ready to hire you. And all the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that.
If you want to land clients, you’ve got to do something about it. So to make the getting started process a little bit easier, here are 10 tips for how to find your first clients.
#1 – See Yourself as a Real Business
The first change you need to make is in your mindset. Unfortunately, freelancing is often lumped into a host of other online get rich quick schemes.
If you’re of the opinion that freelancing isn’t hard work, or that it’s a passive income stream, you’ve either got to change your attitude or find another line of work. You are a real business owner who is going to be delivering real work to real people.
You’ve got to believe that and own it. Otherwise, your clients will read your disinterest and run for the hills.
#2 – Get Involved With the Legiit Community
Once you’re serious about landing your first clients, you’ve got to meet them where they’re at. While more established freelancers can count on referrals or online “foot traffic” for sales, you’ve got to do the leg work yourself.
The good news is that Legiit has a very active online community of both buyers and sellers. This is your place to make a name for yourself as an expert in the field, network with others, and form genuine relationships.
So start networking on the Legiit Official Facebook Group today. Clients will be more likely to buy from a seller they know. Just remember that there’s a difference between networking and selling yourself.
#3 – Leverage Your Existing Contacts
No one said that your clients have to be strangers. One of the most overlooked sources of business for freelancers are the people in our existing networks.
Don’t try to start freelancing in secret. Let your friends and family know. Even if your services are beyond the scope of what your immediate circle might need, odds are pretty good that some of them know someone who would be the perfect client for you.
#4 – Get Some Business Cards
Just because you’re selling your services online doesn’t mean you can’t market the old fashioned way. You never know when the subject of your business will come up. In the line at the grocery store. At a party. At a networking event.
If you keep some professional business cards on hand, you’ll have an easy way to market yourself whenever the opportunity presents itself.
#5 – Write a Really Good Service Description
Let’s talk a little bit about your Legiit service description.
This is often the first impression a potential client has of you. They are also probably comparing your description to that of your competition.
Is yours full of typos? Does it contain a strong unique selling point? Are you addressing your customer’s pain points?
If you threw your service description together rather hastily, consider going back and optimizing it to convert window shoppers into clients. If you’re looking for help, don’t miss our complete guide to writing a service description that sells.
#6 – Take Visual Sales Strategies Seriously
While you’re rethinking your sales page, don’t neglect the visual aspects as well. The human brain will process an image almost 60,000 times as fast as words, so they are key to making a good first impression.
Make sure that your images are crisp and clear. If you’ve got a logo that you designed yourself, consider having a professional graphic artist take a crack at it instead.
Another thing to consider is including a high quality headshot in your service image. A photo of a real live person breaks down the anonymity that’s inherent in online sales. As a new freelancer trying to figure out how to find your first clients, you need to do everything possible to reduce the perceived risk from potential customers.
#7 – Make Yourself Stand Out From The Competition
As a new contender in the ring, you are starting out at a disadvantage. You have no track record, no referrals, and no reviews. So it’s up to you to give buyers a clear reason to choose you over the competition.
If you’re priced the same as the other guy who’s stacked up 300 reviews, for example, it may be very difficult to convince clients to take the risk on you. So as you’re trying to discover how to find your first clients, consider setting your prices lower than your ultimate goal.
But there are plenty of ways to stand out from the competition other than reducing your fee.
For example, you could offer a free add-on that other sellers are charging for. You could create an ebook or some other sort of informational material that comes free with every order. Or maybe you have past experiences that make you stand out. Even if you’re new to Legiit, you might have an impressive portfolio of past clients or community projects that can prove your value.
#8 – Ask For Reviews
This might make you feel a little uncomfortable, but don’t be afraid to ask for reviews once you do land your first few clients. As a newbie, you need that social proof to build up your trustworthiness.
One study found that 7 out of 10 customers will write a review if a business asks them. So just make it a regular part of your order delivery message to invite the client to review you. This will help you snowball a few clients into dozens.
#9 – Ask For Referrals
Like asking for reviews, asking your existing clients to recommend you to their network is another great way to build on your successes.
If someone is pleased with your work, why wouldn’t they want to spread the word? And, Legiit’s affiliate program even gives them a monetary incentive to do so.
#10 – Participate in Legiit Mondays
Remember that Legiit Official Facebook Group we mentioned earlier?
Well, every Monday, sellers are allowed to promote their services in the group. This levels the playing field between new freelancers and the ones who have been around for ages. If no one is finding you simply by browsing, Legiit Mondays give you a chance to put yourself directly in front of the clients who need you most.