Can you get freelance work without any experience? Can you convince a client to hire you when you have no experience to show?
The short answer—Yes, you can!
But it depends on the approach you take. You can’t just ask someone to hire you based on your promise alone. You need to go in with a strategy.
In this quick step-by-step guide, I’ll show you the right approach you can take to get freelance work with no experience.
Before we get started, I want to clarify that when you try to get freelance work without experience, you are at a big disadvantage.
It’s much easier to convince a client to hire you when you have a portfolio as proof of your experience. So always try to build a portfolio first before attempting to seek clients.
Having said that, you also need to start somewhere. So this method will hopefully help you to land that first client.
Step 1: Pick A Client You Can (Actually) Help
The first, and the most important, step of your plan should be to find the right client.
I want you to think very carefully about this step because it will play a key role in the success of this plan.
Make a list of your interests. What kind of things are you most passionate about. Like the things, you use every day. And then look for businesses related to your interests.
Try to make sure if this business has a history of hiring remote workers as well.
For example, let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you love playing Fortnite every day. In this example, Fortnite (or Epic Games) would be a good client you can approach.
I’ll walk you through the process using this scenario as an example.
Step 2: Do Background Research
Once you pick a business or a client you can help, now it’s time to figure out how to actually help them.
Get into your research mode and learn everything you can about the client.
Visit their websites, product pages, get brand manuals, explore social media, and even visit their local shops if you can.
Following the example I brought up earlier, if you were to ask for work from Fortnite, you could take a much simpler approach.
You could ask them if Fortnite needs any help with designing new character skins. But I assume they already have dedicated teams working on that.
Obviously, they don’t need any logo design work either.
However, while doing your research, you notice that the official Fortnite social media pages don’t share regular original content.
This is what you should focus on: To help Fortnite social channels by designing original social media content.
Step 3: Find & Contact The Right Person
The next step is to contact the client and send your proposal.
This is a very important step. And finding the right person to contact is crucial.
Never use the contact page on websites to ask for work. Always find the person in charge of hiring to contact.
There are many tools you can use to find the right people working for a company.
You can use Twitter, LinkedIn, or even email finder tools like Hunter.
Using Hunter, I’ve just found the emails for a few people in the Epic Games marketing team. These people are perfect for sending your first proposal.
For an even better success rate, you can search the email on LinkedIn to find their profile and learn more about the person.
Step 4: Send Your Proposal
Now it’s time to contact the client.
Your first email should be something simple and casual. Don’t drop a bomb on the client with a thousand-word email.
Here’s a very basic example of what it could be.
You don’t know me but I just found your email on LinkedIn and I had to get in touch with you. Hope you don’t mind?
I’m a huge fan of Fortnite. I play the game every day. And I also happen to be a graphic designer.
So I’ve been following the Facebook and Twitter pages for Fortnite for a while and noticed that you rarely share original content on these pages. I think you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to engage with the community.
I have a few ideas for creating a social media campaign that could 10X your engagement rates. Would you be interested in hearing more about it?
It’s simple, casual, and friendly. And for now, keep all the details to yourself.
Step 5: Ask For A Trial Run
If the client responds with a green light, then it’s your lucky day. Get to work!
But, the chances are the client will send you a reply saying they are not interested in hiring you. That’s okay, you have a plan for that too.
There’s a way you can still try to win over the client. Here’s how.
Thanks for your reply. And I totally understand your decision. It makes more sense.
But, I have a counter-proposal. Let me explain my content strategy for the Fortnite social channels. And I will deliver content designs for 2 weeks. If you like my plan and my content, you can hire me for the project.
If not, I’ll move on happily knowing I had a chance to work with you.
You could think of it as a trial run.
What do you think?
This step, asking for a trial run, is your backup plan. When there’s no risk involved for the client, they will usually agree to your request.
When replying to a negative client email, it’s important not to seem desperate. So don’t try too hard. And don’t mention the word free anywhere in the email.
Also, keep in mind that these example emails are just to show you what it could be like. You can always write them better.
Step 6: Deliver Beyond Expectations
The final step is to blow your client’s mind (not literally) with your work.
When you get their approval, deliver beyond their expectations. This will guarantee you get the job.
This is where you’ll need your skills. Remember that even though you don’t have work experience, you still need skills to do great work.
So brush up on your skills before contacting the clients. You can use a platform like Skillshare to learn some tips and tricks.
Rinse And Repeat
If you didn’t get a good response from the client, which tends to happen all the time when freelancing, don’t feel discouraged.
Find another business and start the process from the top.
Try and try again until you get the client.
Failure is part of the process when you’re working as a freelancer. Make it your strength and turn it into a reason to do better.
Images via Freepik.com