How to find new clients as a freelancer, is probably one of the biggest hurdles faced by those who are working from home. Freelance writers or any other type of work from home job takes loads of energy in itself, so searching for new clients takes up precious time.
All is not lost, though, because we’ve put a guideline together to help you find the new clients you need to stay in business.
What are clients looking for in a freelancer?
First, get inside the mind of potential clients. To find out what they want, you need to ask yourself several questions. What do you think they’re looking for in a freelancer, and how can you provide a solution to their problem? Go one step further and approach several clients that you know use the type of freelance services that you offer.
Ask for their advice. Knowledge really is powerful, so you’ll want to ask them what caused them to employ the last freelancer whose services they used. Find out where they sourced the person and why their services were needed.
Lastly, ask them what their expectations are when hiring someone. Once you have this information handy, you can start narrowing down your ideal target market.
What does your ideal market look like?
Finding new clients is a process of elimination. Ask the right questions of clients and yourself to narrow down your potential market.
A narrow market provides focus so that you don’t waste precious time contacting potential clients that you’re not really interested in working for. They may be great businesses, but they don’t cater to your specific passion.
To help define your market, you’ll need to ask more questions. What areas interest you, and which clients will you be able to help through your work? If you don’t enjoy a certain type of work, don’t pursue the clients in that field.
It really is as simple as that, but once you’re clear on what motivates you, your clients will pick up on your passion. It could be anything from blogging to creative writing or college papers to dissertation writing.
Develop a focused profile
Register with relevant freelancer websites. Create a comprehensive profile that attracts business. Gain perspective on your profile from an outside source by asking them whether they would use your services.
If not, work on your profile, until you have a piece of marketing that is irresistible to potential clients. Use these platforms to do some valid bragging about your skills, talents and accomplishments.
Check out the competition to see how they market themselves. Website platforms often indicate how many jobs other freelancers have completed.
Learn from the most successful ones and adjust your profile to showcase similar offerings. Remember that you are in this line of work to earn and to live, but you’re essentially also a solution provider. Clients employ people who can provide solutions.
Build a profile and spread it far and wide
Register accounts on as many platforms as possible. LinkedIn is always a good platform on which to build your career and to attract customers. Share your profile on this site, with shareable links to Google drive and everywhere else where your writing work has been published.
You may have to go the extra mile as a freelancer by doing a lot of free writing to showcase your talents, but the effort will be worth your while.
Bylines aren’t always easy to come by, so look for websites that welcome free content in exchange for using your own name with your article. Free bylines are a lot better than ghostwriting for everyone else, which doesn’t give you any marketing. But sites like Twitter, Google, Facebook or Quora provide you with additional opportunities to get your name out there.
Search the internet for other sites where free content is a desirable asset. They get what they want, and you get marketable bylines for published work. Published work is highly desirable to clients, because they can immediately view the quality of your work, and they appreciate the extra work you’ve done to get yourself noticed.
Pitching brings in the money
Have you done any pitching to the billions of online websites? If not, now’s the time to develop a new strategy. Follow your heart to find the website niches you’d like to write for. Develop a killer pitch, and start sending out the emails.
Decide on how much your time is worth, provide links to top quality work, and wait for the responses. Keep a record of the replies that trickle in, and once you become familiar with the process, refine your tactics.
Calculate how many pitches it takes to bring in the work, and what the value of that work is. Once you have this data handy, you can manage your time better. Aim to do an hour of website searches a day for the type of client you’d like to work for. Follow this up by sending emails to those you’ve identified each day.
Ask happy clients for recommendations to post on your social media platforms, and for permission to include these in your emails. Happy customers are good for marketing, so don’t pass up on this opportunity.
Learn how to market your freelancing skills to bring in the clients. Don’t undervalue yourself in the process. Determine the value of your time per hour, quote on that, and get your name out there. More importantly, drive your target market to where they can view your work, and see the valuable solutions that you’re offering.