How To Get Freelance Clients: 3 Easy Ways (And 2 Unexpected Sources)
Freelancing is one of the most exciting career paths out there. It offers you more control over your time, and you can still make good money. It’s gotten to a point where freelancers tend to like their jobs more than full time employees. If you’re thinking of going into freelancing, you’re in luck – demand is surging. Even big businesses are getting in on the freelancer revolution. But you might still be wondering how to get freelance clients.
With more people entering the freelance workforce, a big challenge to consider is how to get freelance clients. Although there are plenty of ways to attract clients, some can be more effective than others. Lucky for you, we have three easy sources – and two unexpected ways – to get clients.
Easy ways to get more clients
One of the easiest ways to get clients is to go where they already are. Instead of putting time and effort into a search, you can focus your attention on preparing your pitches, and closing deals with potential customers.
1 – Marketplaces
Whether you’re a freelance programmer, writer, or any kind of worker offering a service, freelance marketplaces can be a great way to find clients. People in search of freelancers know they can go to these marketplaces, so you don’t have to do any searching. You just have to set up your services on the platform of your choice, and focus on pitching and closing business.
Another convenience of marketplaces is they’ll often handle the financial side of things. They’ll make sure you offer services at the rates you want, and offer protection for any issues with payment.
With so many options at your disposal, it’s important to be aware of:
- Each platform’s rules and policies: make sure you follow them!
- What their fee or take is: platforms will take some of your revenue for bringing you clients.
- Who else is offering your service within the marketplace: it’s important to price competitively, but be reasonable about it. Price wars are almost never worth it.
2 – Managed services
When you work with a managed service, the platform handles everything for you, making it an easy answer to the question of how to find freelance clients. They’ll find you gigs, place you for work, and handle all of the administrative tasks. It’s almost like being an employee, except you have way more flexibility and can often make more money. The best part is you don’t have to worry about anything but delivering your work.
Like marketplaces, these platforms will take a portion of your rate in exchange for doing the heavy lifting for you. Be aware that these rates could be higher than open marketplaces, because managed service platforms do more work for you compared to marketplaces.
Some of the most popular platforms for managed service providers include The Virtual Gurus and GetMagic. You can also look to traditional agencies within your field of work, and ask if they have any freelance opportunities available or keep a roster of freelancers on hand.
3 – Your personal network
An obvious route that often gets overlooked is our own personal network. You really never know who might need your help unless you reach out. A great way to be prepared for these scenarios is making sure you have a good “one liner.” Here’s an example:
Formula: “I’m a freelance [skill] for [ideal client].”
Example: “I’m a freelance audio designer for podcasters.”
The next time you have an interaction with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, bring up your one liner, and tell them about the work you do. Even if they don’t have a need for your service, they can come back to you if they come across any work.
An important thing to keep in mind in these interactions, is that simply having a one liner is not the same thing as asking for freelance referrals the right way. If a person is curious about what you’re working on, that’s a great time to let them know what you’re doing and that you’re open to helping new clients.
Unexpected sources of new freelance customers
As you start to think about how to get clients for your business, you don’t have to limit yourself to the more well-known options. There are several unexpected ways to get more customers, and they can be just as effective. Here are two to consider:
1 – Social media
Social media is one of the fastest ways you can connect to your network. Although most people use it for leisure, it can be an effective way to find clients. People regularly post callouts to hire freelancers on their Twitter pages, or LinkedIn profiles. It’s a great opportunity to meet potential customers you probably wouldn’t have come across in person.
If you’re using social media to win clients, follow these three tips:
- Put your one-liner in your bio.
- Introduce yourself with your one-liner whenever you are in open conversations.
- Be helpful when other people ask for help. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t a potential customer. If you can help, do it. You never know where referrals will come from down the line.
Additionally, given how social media algorithms operate, the more you talk about a certain topic, the more you’ll see content related to it. This could lead you to even more posts from people doing callouts for freelancers.
2 – Job postings
When you come across a job posting, you usually think of them as opportunities for full-time work. But this isn’t always the case. Some postings on job boards are actually meant for contractors or freelancers.
Two tips for finding freelance work through job postings:
- Sorting on job posting websites can help narrow down your options, but you can also always ask employers if they’d be interested in hiring a freelancer.
- Consider asking an employer if they’d be interested in bringing you on until they can find a full-time option.
Although many posted freelance gigs are short term, it’s still an opportunity to build your network with clients. And who knows… if they really like you, there could be an opportunity for a long-term contract.
Freelancing is fun, but it’s still work
Freelancers may like their work more than other workers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work as hard. Even with a great inbound funnel, you still have to do great work for your clients. Freelancing is a business, just like any other.