How do you successfully convince a client to hire you?
How come other freelancers easily land new clients without effort while you struggle to get a reply for your proposals?
What’s their secret?
I’ve been answering these questions for a while now. Usually, I end up giving the same answer to many people because I only know about the strategies that worked for me.
As a change of pace, I wanted to see what type of strategies other freelancers use to successfully land and manage their clients. So, I reached out to several successful freelancers from different industries to ask them this question:
What kind of strategies and tips do you recommend for beginners for landing new clients?
And here’s what they had to say.
“Choose a topic/ industry you are passionate about and research where to find your ideal client. Are you targeting small businesses, large corporations or government bodies? Where can you reach these people? Is it on social media or at conferences and events? When you start out, networking is essential.
Another great place to start is to do a copywriting course and become a member of a writing community or to sign up at a marketplace for communication professionals, such as Commtract for example.
And then, keep your eyes and ears open, read industry newsletters and browse job sites for open positions, use your social media feeds to connect with people and let them know what you are doing. Tell your friends and private network that you are looking for work.”
“Connect with more experienced freelancers in your local area or online via social media or their websites. Sometimes they will have overflow work they need to refer on or can give you a few pointers.
If you have zero experience, consider working for a nominal amount or even free just to build a portfolio. It’s not for everyone, but sometimes you have to have those runs on the board to kick off your freelance career.
Tips to keep clients happy:
– Be clear about what you’re providing, when you’ll provide it and how much it will cost
– Always keep the lines of communication open, send polite updates or reminders where necessary
– Stay organized so you can deliver on time
– There’s a lot to be said for just being friendly, polite and approachable: be someone you’d like to work with!”
“One of the most important things is knowing yourself and being aware of the skills you specialize in. This allows you to come clean towards clients and effectively manage expectations.
On the other hand, you will feel comfortable doing your job while also focusing on delivering the best results to ensure customer fidelity. It is also important to remember that communication is key to have as much information as possible about the project.
Asking for constant feedback makes the client feel deeply involved in the process and it helps take out some of the tension when presenting the final proposal.”
“Build a good and targeted portfolio, to attract the clients you want to work with. You will never please everyone so be sure to pick your niche and create some great pieces (even if it’s for made up projects). Open a service on freelancing websites or advertise what you do on social media. Just show up where you think your potential clients are.
And then deliver more than they asked for. They will recommend you to everyone they know and even come back if they ever need something else. It’s very important to go that extra mile, but it will be worth it. I promise!”
“When you’re starting out as a freelancer, my top tip would be to make the most of your contact book – your friends, family, people stored on your phone for whatever reason, Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts – and let them know what you’re doing and what services you offer.
Most of my design work comes from word of mouth referrals so a good place to start is with the people you already know.
I manage my own clients by estimating how long a particular project will take and blocking out the time required on my calendar to help me see how much capacity I have to take on new work. I aim to spend 50% of my time working on client projects and the remaining 50% on growing my business.”
“First, research your potential clients because it’s helpful when you submit your pitch. Next, find successful entrepreneurs in your field, and follow their example pitch (personalized, of course). Finally, don’t give up. It takes persistence and work.”
I’d like to thank all the wonderful freelancers for taking the time off of their busy schedule to reply to my email and for providing great advice for beginning freelancers.
I reached out to many freelancers (both male and female) asking for their advice for beginners and only 6 female freelancers cared enough to reply. One male freelancer replied to my email saying that he can’t provide an answer because he’s on vacation. Other than that I received zero responses from male freelancers.
Does this say something about how the freelancing community treat each other? Well, I hope all freelancers will take this post as an example to be more caring and sharing in the future.
What’s your take on my question? Have any advice for freelancers on landing clients? Share your thoughts in the comments section.