When starting out as a freelancer, the hardest step is often finding your first client. Not only do you have to convince them to come work with you whether or not you have extensive experience in your field, but you also have to figure out where to find them in the first place.
However, by following the advice provided by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council, you can make the experience a little less daunting. Here, they advise new freelancers on how to build their client base from scratch and secure their first paycheck.
1. Connect with other freelancers
Connecting with more experienced freelancers is a great first step. They’ll be able to provide insight into what strategies and resources have proven effective for them, and will likely consider you for work they don’t have the bandwidth to take on. No one likes to turn down a client without offering a solution, and by putting yourself on the radar of an overextended freelancer, you become that solution. -Samuel Saxton, ConsumerRating.org
2. Keep your prices low
When starting out as a freelancer, keeping your service charges a little lower than the market can help. Clients are generally reluctant to offer work to new freelancers. Therefore, starting with a low fee can help clients consider your profile, especially small businesses or those with a limited budget. As you grow, you can constantly increase the amount you charge for your services. – Chris Klosowski, Digital Downloads Made Easy
3. Maintain an optimized presence on social networks
Finding your first freelance client isn’t easy, but you can get one if you can make your work and yourself stand out. The best way to do this is to maintain a strong social media profile that not only reflects your work but also your personality. Leverage relevant keywords and hashtags to optimize your profile for better reach. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
4. Focus on building relationships
Focus on building relationships with potential customers. Networking is key to finding new clients, so be sure to attend industry events and network with people in your field. Also, don’t be afraid to cold call or email prospects. You should also consider joining websites like Upwork or Fiverr. Finally, be sure to build a portfolio. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
5. Keep an eye on LinkedIn
Freelancing isn’t easy, especially if you’re just starting out on your journey. My #1 tip for building your base and getting your first paycheck is to keep an eye on LinkedIn. I see people asking for freelancers every day. You want to follow relevant people to receive leads that match your skill set. – Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit
6. Take advantage of freelance markets
Freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com can help you connect with clients looking for freelancers. To secure your first check, make sure you communicate clearly with your client about your services, deliverables, and fees. Be professional, responsive, and reliable, and be sure to bill them promptly after the job is done. – Adam Preiser, WPCrafter
7. Give something away for free
When you’re starting out as a freelancer, offering free resources can help you land your first client. For example, if you are a writer, mention that you would write the first blog for free. This would get you more eyeballs, no matter what platform you use to find customers. Since they have nothing to lose, people might consider trying your services, and this gives you a chance to show off your skills. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Shapes
8. Create work samples for your portfolio
Showcase your skills by creating work samples and case studies for your portfolio. Create samples for imaginary clients in industries or types of businesses you’d like to work with, highlighting your unique approach and style. Show them to your potential customers, as this demonstrates your capabilities, competences and skills, and most importantly, it facilitates their buying decision by building trust in you. – Devesh Dwivedi, Devesh Dwivedi
9. Try cold emailing
Mass emailing can be an effective way for freelancers to find their first client. A freelancer will need to use mass emailing tools and lead generation tools, and will need to carefully research their target customer. Finally, they need to send tailored and personalized messages. When they reach the right number of people, they will find their first high-paying customer. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
Are you in the process of launching a business and want to build your client base from scratch? Finding and sustaining clients as a startup can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Many companies have found success in growing their customer base, and so can you. Here are nine tips from Ikaroa that you can use to start building your client base from scratch:
1. Network Within Your Industry: It’s important to make connections in your industry. See if there are any trade shows or industry conferences that you can attend to network with potential clients. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other companies in the same industry as you and make connections.
2. Create an Attractive Website: Your website should be professional, easy to navigate and visually appealing. Use Ikaroa’s website building solutions to quickly create a beautiful and effective website.
3. Utilize Social Media: Take your business to the next level by utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to promote your business and build relationships with potential customers.
4. Offer Special Deals: Try offering special deals to attract people to your business. This could be a free trial of your product or service, discounted pricing, or a bonus for signing up.
5. Build an Email List: Build an email list from your website visitors, social media followers, and network connections. This list can be used to send out emails about your company, new offers and promotions, and more.
6. Utilize Online Advertising: Invest in online advertising. Take advantage of search engine and social media ads to target potential customers.
7. Speak at Events: Look for events or conferences in your industry, and offer to be a speaker or panelist. This will give you an opportunity to showcase your expertise and get your business in front of new audiences.
8. Ask for Referrals: Word of mouth is still one of the most effective forms of promotion. Ask your existing clients and contacts to refer you to others they know who may be interested in your products or services.
9. Stay Organized: Make sure to keep detailed records of all your marketing activities, customers, and leads. This will help you stay on top of your client base and ensure you’re able to convert leads into loyal customers.
Following these tips can help you to build your client base from scratch and grow your business. With the help of services such as Ikaroa’s website building solutions and online advertising solutions, you’ll be able to create a successful client base and reach your business goals.