A lot of professional think that simply being good at something is enough to have clients knocking on their door. However, you need to be more than good to get attention and to get paid. Nailing down your first freelance client can be a daunting task, but once you get the ball rolling it becomes easier. We’ve rounded up a few ways to help you get your first freelance client. Each business is different and therefore each approach to client acquisition needs to be different as well. Read on to find some ways to help you find your first freelance client!
Do Your Research
What are other freelancer’s doing to attract clients? Look for other professionals who provide the same offerings as you and identify the strengths and weaknesses in their approach to client acquisition. If you have the same kind of target market, chances are that many of their strategies will work for you as well.
As a public relations professional, an essential part of your job is business development. The two roles go hand in hand. Part of your value in public relations is that you can help your team increase their visibility, growth and profitability.
If you really want to grow your organization, it’s essential for public relations and business development to be focused on the same goal – bringing in new sales. As a public relations professional, you need to be equipped with the skills to help you attract ideal clients and stand out from your competition.
Utilize Job Boards
Job boards, especially those geared specifically towards freelancers, are a great place to build your client list. In the beginning, pitching as much as you can is crucial. Lead your pitches with how you can solve their problem and then finish with the skills that qualify you to do it. Expressing interest in as many projects as you can when you start out gets your name and portfolio in front of as many people as possible.
Use and Build Your Network
Contact members from your network as potential clients or to be referred to potential clients. Join the Women in Public Relations Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Send short and personal emails to people in your network telling them what you offer and the types of clients you’re looking for. Provide samples of your work so they can truly see what you have to offer.
Don’t just stop at using your current network however. Ensure that you keep building your network and subsequently seek out chances to build your brand. When you network in person, you can also provide these people with your business card and direct them to your online portfolio which we will discuss next.
Create an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio is a great avenue for people to view your work to see if they want to work with you. It also removes the geographical barriers so that you can work remotely with people from all over the world. However, having an online portfolio won’t matter if nobody knows about it. Ensure that you market your portfolio to your target market. Also consider extending your portfolio to become an entire website. You can try your hand at blogging which will also increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Plus, once you have received some clients you can have them provide testimonials on your website!
Learn how to start your freelance service business, attract your ideal clients and price your services.
Actively Participate on Social Media
Social media is an extremely effective tool to market your business, particularly Instagram. However, you need to be active, yet credible, on social media to attract your target market. One way of doing this is by providing advice and answering questions. For example, many people use Twitter to seek advice and recommendations from their peers. Melyssa Griffin, who teaches online courses and workshops for entrepreneurs, suggests you seek out these people, and help them with their inquiries.
To do so, you can use searches such as:
- Hiring a (keyword)
- (keyword) recommendations
This tip is a very simple, yet effective way to find people who need what you’re providing right now. To generate leads, ensure you are sincere, let them know you can help, and then provide them with a link to your portfolio and website.
Build Your Online Brand
Social media builds trust and expands your reach. Clients want to do business with real people. Ensure that your online brand accurately reflects your life, coupled with your business. Create trust between you and your followers with genuine and consistent posts. Sporadic posting dilutes the trust that your network has in you.
Have you successfully nailed down your first client or are you looking for new clients? Check out our signature program Fully Booked to help you attract new clients for your service based business. If you are just getting started as a Freelancer, take a look at our Freelance Business course.
Join the Public Relations Academy to take your creative ideas and put them into a systematic plan to help you deliver the content you need to succeed. You can also sign-up for our one-on-one coaching monthly strategy calls.
The Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations (Women in PR Canada) and American Women in Public Relations (Women in PR USA) is a network of leading business women striving for excellence in the field of public relations. Together, our organizations form Women in PR North America.