Congratulations on deciding to become your own boss. Working for yourself can be liberating and utterly satisfying. But before you pop that bottle of champagne, here’s the catch: working for yourself means that you have to get your own clients. Your job as a freelancer will never really kick off until you do something for someone, knowing how to get your first clients will help get the ball rolling.
If you are unsure how to get started, this article features a compilation of all the methods used by freelancers to land new clients. Be advised, some of these methods require you to actually leave the comfort of your home or office and meet new people out there. Don’t forget the importance of compliance in your new business. So, if you’re ready to finally get your business up and running, here’s how to get your first clients.
How to Get Your First Clients
1. Try Some Offline Networking
We all dread meeting new people, especially if they’re in large groups. However, you need to shove this feeling of dread aside if you hope to land new clients any time soon. Go out there and attend local events where you might meet prospective clients. Use Google to search for business events in your locale and make a point of attending them as frequently as you can manage.
2. Do Some Work for Free
No one will hire you if you have no experience and no clients, but a few might consider letting you work for free in exchange for testimonials. Don’t turn down the chance to impress a new client even if you’re not getting paid for it. The experience and testimonial you will get in return is invaluable, and it will ultimately be what your business needs to attract the attention of prospective clients.
3. Let Everyone Know What You Do
People won’t automatically know what you do if you don’t tell them about it. Update your social media pages and let all your contacts know that you’re looking for work. Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing tool, so don’t be surprised if you start getting referrals left right and center.
4. Ask for Referrals
If you’re still not getting referrals, why not just come out and ask for them directly? Ask any old clients, businesses, old schoolmates, and acquaintances if they can refer you to someone who needs your services.
5. Search Through Job Boards and Freelancing Sites
The pay here is meager, but job boards and freelancing websites offer a good starting point for new businesses. If not for the money, getting clients from these sources will give you experience and can also serve as a foundation for your client base.
6. Try Cold Outreaches
If you have a clear idea of the type of clients you want to work for, go online and Google them, then perform a cold outreach via email or phone. Adopt a friendly, non-salesy tone with these people, and let them know how your services can help them in their respective fields.
7. Do Plenty of Follow-Ups
Follow up with any clients from the past and see whether they still need your services, or whether they know someone who does. Again, reach out to them in a friendly manner, ask about their kids, their families, and have some friendly conversation before getting to the core of the matter.
8. Work from Co-working Spaces
Try shifting from your home office to a co-working space every so often where you can meet like-minded business people. Networking with such people can be very beneficial to all parties since they can direct some clients your way if you return the favor.
9. Maintain an Active Online Presence
Don’t be shy about answering questions on online forums especially if you consider yourself knowledgeable in that particular field. This bit of information can reel in more clients with the same problem in the future, so you never really know how far being active online can take you.
Talk to anyone and everyone about referrals as well as your services when your business is just starting out. It’s best to know how to get your first clients so your business can grow right from the start. Project confidence when talking about your services, but be kind and affable to leave a lasting impression.