Without clients, freelancers would not be able to do anything. Freelancers need work—good work—that pays them reasonably and makes them learn; naturally, we need good clients to achieve all of this. In the freelance industry, there is a huge scope of finding qualitative work and amazing clients, but it is not always as simple and easy as it sounds.
The freelance industry is growing faster every day, and with its growth, many people are willing to hire freelancers for getting their work done. These people are looking forward to working with highly talented, responsible, and punctual freelancers who deliver what they promise and stay away from anything which is afflicted with problems.
If you are a freelancer and reading this article, you might be wondering how to attract clients. The simple question is what the tricks are to expand your reputation on the freelance platform. Well, there are many ways you can achieve a significant rise in your reputation so that clients may make the first approach and give you what you deserve.
In this article, we are going to talk about exactly that. In order to help freelancers in establishing their presence in the freelance industry, there are a number of things to be kept in mind and some of those things have been consolidated in this article.
Read the points mentioned below carefully and you might be able to attract clients:
1. Word of Mouth
The best and perhaps the easiest way of attracting clients is through word of mouth. However, word of mouth should not be marked by excessive informal attributes—there are ways to handle word of mouth communications.
When somebody recommends you to someone, we are talking about more than just submission of a refined resume. The idea is people find people who have been personally recommended to be more trustworthy than those with a top-notch resume but without any personal touch. It, therefore, becomes important that you ensure you do not break the faith reposed in you.
When you do good work, you get referred to other people. Slowly you will establish connections and be able to expand your freelance career to newer dimensions.
If a family member offers you work, do not refuse it out of shame (yea, people do that!). Get the help of the family setting to know professional environment better. Moreover, money is money; experience is experience. In order to succeed in life, you require both of them.
2. Maintain a clear and refined portfolio
Never wait for offers to come. Always have in place a well-prepared portfolio that highlights exactly what should be highlighted. A good portfolio will leave no scope for negotiations and will make your position pretty clear to the employer.
Now, when you have a well-maintained portfolio, all you need is marketing. You will not be noticed by clients unless they know what you are made of and what makes you stand out. For that, you will have to engage in the regular marketing of your portfolio.
There are many websites that will be of great use to you: Hireanillustrator.com, Coroflot.com, Sortfolio.com, etc. Another way to market your credentials is through blogs. Write meaningful and precise blog posts about you, your works and how you deliver the best of the best.
Basically, unless you sell your credentials in the freelance industry, nobody will notice you. You must offer something distinct otherwise you will be lost in the community of mundaneness.
3. Blogging is a charm
This recommendation should be taken quite seriously because it does wonders. Blogging is an amazing way to expand your presence. Here, we want you to consider blogging not for the sole purpose of freelance blogging but for showing off your knowledge and interest in the field you offer services.
If you are a writer or engage with the online community on issues related to your field, then clients will notice your caliber and might hire you. Blogs will help in creating an image of yours that shows that you enjoy working in the field and study it quite intently to keep yourself updated. After all, a well-informed freelancer is loved by clients all over the world.
You can blog about solutions to various problems affecting your field of work. Offer solutions which clients are looking for, and get yourself hired.
4. Write for others
Now, we jump to the next step: writing for others. Blogs are personal, but when you write for someone else, clients start respecting your authority. You need not necessarily write, but can draw illustrations, charts or create images.
Basically, we recommend you to guest write on major public forums where people will notice your command over the subject and this will help you gain reputation and repute in the industry. People will talk, and as they talk, you might get mentioned, and things might spiral into something good for you.
5. LinkedIn is not to be messed with
LinkedIn is the biggest community of professionals in the virtual space. It is global, credible and highly qualitative. You get access to millions of jobs every day and therefore you should maintain an informative and to-the-point profile to keep the clients coming.
Make sure that you include a brief summary of your relevant skills and accomplishments; what experiences and skills you have gained through professional engagements; upload your work samples to buttress authenticity. Yes, most importantly, do not upload a fancy profile picture—be mature and upload a pic in your best professional attire and against a formal setting.
You should know many recruiters peruse through the LinkedIn profile to take the final call. Make sure your first impression does not turn out to be an ugly one.
6. Do not forget other media accounts
Apart from LinkedIn, there are other social media platforms where you should certainly have an account. And, yeah, they go beyond Facebook and Twitter. These websites are considered highly useful to freelancers, and therefore, we strongly recommend them.
To name a few of those websites, we have GitHub for developers, Dribble and Behance for designers, Photo Critique and Flickr for photographers and Vimeo for videographers. Keep tabs on these accounts as closely as you do on LinkedIn.
One really important tip: When on social networking websites, always stay active on professional forums that contribute to the making and strengthening of professional connections. The more you are there in the public’s eye, the better prospects you have.
7. In person
The freelance community is largely confined to the virtual space, but that should not stop you from engaging with prospective clients in person. It is, therefore, recommended you join associations and attend local conferences and meet-ups.
When you attend such events, do not go there without business cards. You are there to socialize as well as solidify your career prospects. There will many others like you attending the event, and you might have bright credentials, but people won’t necessarily remember you. Hence, business cards!
One more thing: Attend events that interest you. Do not attend any random event which does no good to you. Find out about the event, profiles of the people attending the event and other aspects of the event before attending it. Do not waste time on things that do not help.
8. Co-working, yea!
Co-working is a great way to establish in-person networking. You and your co-workers hang out, discuss a variety of matters, work on assignments together, and exchange valuable information.
Co-working spaces are usually big rooms used by groups of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. These spaces facilitate a professional setting with an occasional downpour of giggles and amusement. You will engage in networking and eventually become a part of a professional web that will put you on a ground visible to clients connected to the network.
While co-working, you might even find someone who shares your interest and you might end up starting a business of your own. Well, who knows!
9. Speak at conferences and events
In order to put yourself in the limelight, you must come forth and speak. Attend conferences and deliver speeches on relevant matters that will show your potential and attract clients. Once you are there up on the stage, everyone will notice you. They will want to know more about you and even work with you.
If you wish to create an everlasting impression on the audience, you must work on the speech very diligently. Be specific and informative about what you say. Create a rapport with the audience by asking for their feedback. This way you will connect and grow in reputation.
10. Keep patience
The best tip is kept for the last. The only thing that will drive you forward in the freelance career of yours is patience. There are millions like you trying to find a place in the industry so opportunities might come a little late. But, if you are talented and determined, you will find the opportune moment to seize.
Networking and everything else takes months to crystallize, but, trust us, if you undertake everything noted earlier the right way, there is no way you are losing out to competition.