Are you sick and tired of expert freelancers stealing all the good jobs on freelance platforms? How do they land so many new clients but you have a low success rate?
It’s time you take action to beat those 5-Star rated freelancers, once and for all.
It may sound ironic coming from another expert freelancer, but I know exactly what you’re going through.
Freelancer competition is tough. In the first 2 years of my freelancing career, I had a terrible time landing jobs because most clients go with veteran freelancers who has a lot of experience and plenty of 5-star ratings on their profiles.
Whether it’s on Elance, oDesk (now UpWork), Freelancer.com, or Fiverr, it’s always the same.
It took me a while to figure out how to beat this system and learn the methods of how to get freelance clients. And today, I’m going to share it with you.
Here are seven ways you can use to steal clients away from veteran freelancers and increase your success rate on freelance sites.
Method #1: Build Badass Reputation
No other freelancer stood a chance against my killer pitch because my reputation made me stand out of the crowd.
If you’re a freelance writer, get an article published in Forbes. If you’re a web designer, design a website for a popular company. Graphic designer? Help a fellow photographer edit his work.
Do some work for free if you have to. Just make sure you have something solid to present to your clients to show off your skills.
Method #2: Choose Your Clients Carefully
“How can I compete for clients when freelancers from India are offering their services at extremely low prices?”
A common myth most new freelancers fall victim to is believing that they can’t compete with cheap freelancers just because their prices are low.
If a client wants to get their job done for a cheap price, they will look for a cheap freelancer. Forget about those clients. You’re better off not working for them.
But, if a client wants quality results, the price won’t matter to them.
I’m also from a developing country. And yes, US dollar is more valuable here. Yet, my prices are just as same as a freelancer from the US. Why? Because I know the value of my skills and knowledge.
So, price your services right and choose clients who will value your skills.
For example, you can look for the client’s budget limit to see how much they are willing to spend on a project or check their hiring history to see how much money they’ve spend on hiring freelancers so far, just to get an idea about if the client is cheap or not.
Method #3: Learn How To Communicate
“Focus on making me comfortable with your communication skills. I’ll pay 20x to work with a functional human.”
Ben Vaello, a regular client on UpWork left that brilliant piece of advice as an answer to a question on Quora.
Your communication skills matter more than anything. Don’t frustrate your freelance clients with overly complicated words and technical explanations.
Instead, show your confidence. Write your client pitch and emails like you’re talking to another human being. Be friendly. Use simple words. And keep it short.
Method #4: Build A Portfolio To Showcase Your Work
Copy-Pasting links and attaching big files to show examples of your work each time when pitching to a client can be exhausting and frustrating to both you and your client.
Wouldn’t it be easier for you if you just share a single link to a website where all your work is neatly showcased for everyone to see?
There are plenty of ways you can get this done. For example, you can setup a simple WordPress website to showcase links and images of all your previous work. Or you could create a portfolio using an online service, such as Somewhere or Contently.
Method #5: Keep Improving And Learn New Skills
Join one or two courses in those sites. Try to watch a couple of those videos when you have free time. Heck just leave them playing in the background while you work.
It’s easier to get comfortable thinking that what you already know is enough to make some money as a freelancer. But, you’ll be surprised how little you know about your field after watching these courses.
Learning something new will not only help you learn new skills and earn more money, but it will also give you the confidence to talk passionately about different topics with your clients and flaunt your knowledge and expertise.
Make your clients think like: “Wow, this guy sure knows what he’s talking about.”
Method #6: Provide A Solution, Not Advice
Each client posts a job on a freelance site hoping to solve a problem. Whether it’s for creating an eBook, developing an app, or writing articles for their blog, they end up on sites like UpWork for a reason: To find someone good to get their work done right.
The least you can do before writing your pitch is to take a few minutes to carefully read their project description and hop on Google to do some research to figure out the best way to approach this kind of a job. And then you can write a unique pitch describing your take on their project.
For example, let’s think that a client has posted a project for redesigning their website. If you’re a web designer, you can visit their website and spend some time reviewing the site for its flaws and mistakes. Then you can write a pitch explaining how you plan on fixing those mistakes.
This is a great way to show your enthusiasm and your love for what you do.
Method #7: If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
Not all expert freelancers are jerks.
Believe it or not, there are good freelancers out there who are willing to help out other new freelancers.
Send them a message, or connect with them on Twitter. Ask them how they land big clients or ask if they could throw you an extra job they have. You’ll be surprised to see how kind some freelancers really are.
Yes, seriously! Take me for example.
Most of the time I’m too busy to accept new projects so I just turn them down. But if I know of someone eligible for the job, I’ll gladly refer my clients to them. And I’m sure I’m not the only freelancer who does that.
If you couldn’t find any veteran freelancers like that, don’t be disappointed. Just drop me an email. I’d be delighted to answer any of your questions related to freelancing.
Freelancing does involve a little bit of friendly competition. Especially when you offer your services through popular freelance platforms. And it’s all only until you become a professional athlete.
But, always remember that freelancing is not a game, a battlefield, or a gamble. It’s a way of living.