Are you wondering how to get clients as a freelancer? Would you like to have more, maybe better, and that they pay you more? Then this article is for you.
I’ll explain what actions you need to take to find new customers where you’re more likely to reach them, i.e. on the web. I’ll tell you not only how to intercept new customers but also what to do to keep them in the medium to long term, thus allowing your business to grow steadily. I will provide universally valid solutions whether you work online or not. I will do this by answering questions such as:
- How to get more clients as a freelancer online?
- What strategies to use to find new customers in the short term?
- How can I promote myself as a freelancer?
- How to get high-paying clients?
If, in addition to this, you also want to know how to become a digital self-employed worker, I suggest you attend the Digital Coaching Certification.
How do freelancer get first clients?
Before answering your curiosity about how to get clients as a freelancer, I would like you to focus your attention on an important aspect: to be successful as a self-employed worker, you must first sell yourself, then your products/services. So you have to learn how to do marketing.
Having said that, where to start to build a customer base? Undoubtedly you must be very clear with which role you want to propose yourself and to whom. Therefore, identify the target by analyzing their desires, interests, aspirations, problems, and fears. Find a way to satisfy his needs by offering him something useful but also exclusive, to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
1. The most important secret in the art of selling is: to find out what the client wants and help him get it.
2. There is only one way to get someone to do something: show him that you are asking him exactly what he wants to do.
3. Show a man what he needs and he will move heaven and earth to get it.
Once you have selected the public, you must be able to reach them, attracting them to you. And this is where marketing comes into play. Only this will allow you to be seen by possible customers and promote yourself to the fullest.
Finding customers, at first, may seem like a titanic undertaking. In reality, through careful preliminary analysis, a success-oriented mindset, a little initiative, and the right promotion strategies, everyone can succeed.
Finding customers online: success in 4 steps
Making customer onboarding digital is the best way to stop wondering how to attract clients as a freelancer. The world is permeated by digital technologies and the Internet.
People are increasingly connected to smartphones, tablets, and desktops, and the network has become an integral part of life and work. For this reason, if you want to understand how do freelancer get notice, I suggest you start right from the web.
Concretely, what does this mean? It means planning an Inbound Marketing strategy, through which to guide the buyer personas, from becoming aware of your existence to purchasing your service product, up to loyalty. A digital strategic plan can allow you to:
- bring traffic to the online “showcase” (site or landing page);
- convey features and strengths of the product/service;
- propose content of interest to the public at the right times and channels;
- select commercially useful contacts (leads) through dedicated campaigns;
- strengthen the relationship with buyers, leading them to buy again or become promoters of your brand.
So here’s how to get clients as a freelancer online in 4 steps:
- Build a web presence;
- Generate qualified traffic;
- Offer useful content;
- Ask for reviews.
Let’s see them in detail.
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Promote your self-employment
The first answer to the question “how to attract clients as a freelancer” is: having an online presence.
Typically, it is thought that the only way to build it is to create a performing website, with a recognizable and impactful design, name, and logo. In reality, even a simple landing page, or a vertical page where traffic can land, is sufficient to present itself as an independent specialist. As long as it’s well done.
Also, to have a better chance of finding new customers online, you need to open an account on LinkedIn. Attractively build your profile, post valuable content, and start public and private discussions with people of interest to you. All this will be very useful for increasing work assignments.
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You can write on blogs, personal and/or others, and network, creating and managing a network of contacts. Share useful content such as information, tips, support, know-how, or references; dialogue with colleagues and potential customers. Thus, in no time at all, you will be able to both make yourself known as a self-employed person and grow professionally.
The same goal can also be achieved by joining Groups, Communities or attending webinars and industry events. Finally, don’t underestimate client-finding platforms specifically for the self-employed, such as Fiverr and Freelancer.
Therefore, focus on your aptitudes, motivations, strengths, and whatever resources you have at your disposal. Create a professional profile using knowledge, skills, images, and reputation that you will gradually spread and build on the web. You don’t necessarily have to oversee all digital channels of visibility. Initially, you could limit yourself to the strategic ones and, subsequently, insert yourself into the others to be more complete and, therefore, successful. Remember, however, that your online image should reflect your job position, making it clear who you are, what you do, what is special about you, and why you are different from others.
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Use online tools to find customers
Are you still interested in understanding how to increase the number of clients as freelancer? Well, then the second thing to focus on is: bringing qualified users to the site/landing page.
In other words, to increase the possibility of conversion, simple traffic is not enough; people who are interested in what you offer must come to you.
Depending on the activity you carry out, you will be able to identify potential consumers where they are most present: Google, LinkedIn, Youtube, or Instagram, for example.
To reach them, you can use Digital Marketing by implementing organic and paid activities, such as:
- Advertising, is useful, in the beginning, to let you know and, just before the purchase process, to push the user to finalize;
- SEO, to be able to intercept specific search intents, especially on Google;
- Email marketing, to cultivate relationships with people who have shown interest in you, convert and retain them.
Advertising on search engines or social networks does not necessarily mean spending significant amounts of money. Even by investing a small amount of capital, you can have interesting results.
Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to take long. If you manage to position pages and articles well in SERPs thanks to SEO activity, you will be able to enjoy permanent income in terms of site traffic and landing pages.
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There are other ways to answer the question “How to get clients as a freelancer online for free?”
Yes, using other forms of organic traffic, for example:
- The blog is great for talking about evergreen topics in your field or answering common questions and problems;
- YouTube, where through videos, you can deal with various issues by easily creating interpersonal relationships;
- The podcast is an easy-to-use format with which to create elegant and discreet branding.
If you can reach the buyer personas well and respond to their latent and manifest needs through valuable resources, you’re halfway there. Remember, however, that to sell, it is also important to earn people’s trust. To obtain it you must demonstrate that you are competent, professional, and empathetic.
Create effective offers
The third suggestion to answer “how to get clients as a freelancer” is to offer users effective offers.
What do I mean? Try to make yourself known to potentially interested people, but not yet ready to buy, through something exclusive, useful, attractive, easy to consume, and above all free: a lead magnet.
Successful marketing offers can be, for example,
- pdf/ebook created starting from your existing articles or presentations;
- short tutorials to explain how a tool works;
- webinar, to deal with a certain topic exhaustively and authoritatively.
Alternatively, you can use podcasts, infographics, reports, courses, and mini-courses or offer a timed consultation.
Use the offer to invite the user to leave the email. Subsequently, contact him again, even in an automated way, and strengthen the relationship with him. Take advantage of the possible interaction opportunities to convince him to trust you and, in the end, when he’s ready, offer your complete product/service.
Dedicate yourself to building and maintaining high-quality sales relationships with every client or prospective client.
We have seen how to get customers as a freelancer means tracking down the user, attracting him, convincing him, and converting him. However, one last thing is missing, no less important than the previous ones.
If you want to ensure the continuity of your business and find new buyers, you need to build an online reputation. This means asking your customers for testimonials and reviews, written or video.
A happy buyer can become a powerful sounding board for the business; no one better than him can prove your skills and actions. People are naturally inclined to look for reviews on professionals or companies before making a purchase; for this reason, taking care of the web reputation is essential. Furthermore, by increasing your consideration on the web you will be able to:
- improve customer base;
- raise prices;
- increase credibility and authority;
- encourage the creation of a network of followers.
How to find potential customers offline
Although the web is the best context in which to intercept customers, the self-employed can decide to combine online research with offline research. How to get a tour of clients in this case? Word of mouth and interpersonal relationships, especially during industry meetings, are excellent practices for making yourself known, relating to colleagues and long-standing clients, meeting potential customers, and starting new collaborations. However, they have a limitation: they are limited to specific geographical areas. In addition to the fact that they are difficult to make, in this period of severe restrictions due to the pandemic.
You can also rely on other traditional promotional channels, such as the distribution of business cards, sales letters, and flyers. Or you can advertise in print, radio or television. The important thing is to have money to invest and skills in managing these activities.
As you may have seen, increasing clients in the freelance business is a job within a job. It requires precise planning of actions and a well-defined marketing strategy.
Digital can give you a better chance of success in this regard. It allows you to have a capillarity that is impossible to obtain classically, increasing the probability of selling in the short term. A sale will take place, however, only if you manage to put your heart into it, both in terms of competence and human relationship.
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