So you’ve decided to drop it all and go solo. Being a self-employed freelancer isn’t an easy gig but it can be incredibly rewarding if you get it right. Whilst you might have some fantastic skills and a great website, this isn’t always enough to get your first client. If you sit around waiting for work to come to you, you’ll find yourself sitting at home very bored and very poor.
By taking a few proactive steps, you can find your first clients and start building your freelancers portfolio.
Get Inside Potential Clients Heads
Rather than telling people how great you are and showing them your expert skills, focus on what you can do for clients. Spend some time emailing potential clients, not asking them for work but instead asking them why they chose to hire a freelancer in the first place. Whilst not all companies will respond to your request, a polite email with two or three straightforward questions will probably attract the attention of some clients. If they’re experts in their field, they will be happy to take the time to talk about their business. Do this a few times and you’ll soon start to understand what clients really want from you.
Make The Most Of Freelancer Job Sites
There are many different freelancer sites out there who offer a platform to both freelancers and clients, helping them to connect. You can find a huge range of different jobs on there and whilst some may not offer much money, they will offer you fantastic experience. Unfortunately, many freelance roles are incredibly competitive. So no matter what your age or education, you have to be willing to start somewhere.
Working from home gives you the opportunity to take on a range of interesting roles, so bid for every job you can, even if the pay isn’t what you expected. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you build up valuable experience that will lead you onto higher paying roles.
Rediscover Existing Contacts
LinkedIn is great for rediscovering contacts that you didn’t even know you had. Friends you went to school with, university lecturers, internship work, all of these could be potential contacts. It’s a great idea to get in touch with them because even if they don’t need your services directly, they might know someone who does. It can be a bit daunting getting in touch with old friends or colleagues but try not to be shy about, or you might just miss out on some great work.
Speak To Others In The Freelancing Community
It’s important not to see others in the freelancing community as your competition. Instead, see them as potential friends or teachers that you can learn from. It’s nice to speak to others starting out about the difficulties they have faced and how they overcome them. Alongside this, don’t be afraid to get in contact with highly experienced and influential freelancers too. If they’ve got the time, they will often be more than happy to impart some words of wisdom to help out a first timer.
No matter how experienced you are, going freelance can be a real struggle but no matter what the job throws at you, it’s always important to remember why you started. Freelancing can give you more control over your life and can help you to build a name for yourself in a way that no other job can.