Millions of people enjoy a home-based career thanks to the many freelancing opportunities found online. Those people had to start somewhere, though, and more often than not, they didn’t begin by winning multiple clients after sending a couple of emails.
Instead, those successful freelancers spent months working on a plan to attract and attain long-term clients to create a steady income.
If you’re a new freelancer wanting to achieve that same success, here are some ways to win your first clients.
Understand Your Ideal Client
Before you can appeal to a client, you must understand them first. Who are they? What are their goals? Most of all, how can your skills help them achieve those goals? Knowing them inside and out means you’ll have a better time finding them and writing a proposal.
Understanding your client is not just about winning them – it’s also about choosing ones that stick around and pay well. Freelancers must simultaneously win clients and avoid ghosting, which can be tricky to balance—knowing who your ideal client is makes it so much easier.
Build a Portfolio
A portfolio tells prospective clients who you are and what you have to offer. It should include your projects, experience, testimonials, and anything else that shows clients you are worthy of working with.
Remember that your portfolio is the face of your freelancing brand, so put time and effort into making it look as professional as possible.
Reach Out on Social Media Platforms
If you are on social media, you already have access to a powerful marketing tool. On each social media platform, there are tons of clients just waiting for you to reach out to them – and they don’t even know it yet.
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals, but you can also find success on other sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Consider making new social media accounts dedicated to your freelancing work to ensure your social media presence is professional and in keeping with your brand image.
Consider People You Know in Real Life
Your first client might be familiar. In fact, they might end up being your sibling, aunt, or best friend’s brother! By reaching out to people in real life, you expand your networking reach. Plus, the people you reach out to may spread the word for you, leading to more clients.
Use a Freelancing Site
Freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiver, and Freelancer have poor reputations. It’s not wholly unfounded when you consider how many low-paying jobs are advertised there. However, it can be a place where you find your first-ever clients.
You get the ball rolling by building a good reputation on a freelancing site. Plus, you might find some excellent clients on there that you end up working with for a long time.
Nail the First Proposal
It’s all about the words. To win your first clients, you must write an excellent proposal to reel them in and keep them interested. A good proposal should include a link to your portfolio, your experience, your pricing, and an outline of what you can offer. Your goal is to assure the prospective client that your skills are their solution.
Every successful freelancer started somewhere – usually on their sofa with a mug of coffee, a laptop, and an idea – so don’t get put off if you haven’t acquired your first client. With the right plan, you will soon find your first clients, which will only lead to more.