How to find freelance clients (my top 5 methods revealed)
When I started writing this post on how to find freelance clients, I was going to share a HUGE list of all the different methods and strategies you could try.
Then I stopped.
I decided it would be much more useful for me to share the top ways that I find freelance clients. Not the could’s, might’s and maybe’s. But the exact methods that have actually worked to bring me more dream freelance clients.
Before we dive in, let me share with you who my dream design client is.
MY DREAM CLIENT:
> Entrepreneurs/ bloggers – most likely a coach in biz/ wellness/ transformation – who have a message to share and are all in.
> They span the globe and we both – amongst other things – have FREEDOM at the fore.
> They value being of the highest service to the clients and customers they serve.
> They’re women – often mothers – who shun the idea of work/life balance.
> They practice self-care and know that running a business is more than just spreadsheets and bottom lines.
Now let’s look at how to find freelance clients like these…
There are free or paid-for online networks where I know my dream clients are hanging out. Local and international, some run live events and others are completely virtual.
Online programs and courses
This has by far has been the most popular place my design clients have come from.
I’m always keen to learn new things, try other ways. And over the years I’ve been a part of some amazing online training programs and courses. Again, the women who are in these programs and courses are perfectly aligned with my dream client. But I don’t join with the intention of salesy self-promotion. Not my style. And BTW, people can smell/ feel/ taste that a mile away.
Most of these programs have private Facebook groups for students to support each other, get feedback, ask questions. Whenever someone posts a question about something design related (or anything really that I can help with!) I give them as much as I can. Feedback, recommendations, suggestions, answers. And here’s the important part. It’s all done without anything expected in return.
Overtime, people will start to see you as the go to person in your niche. And come aknockin’ when they need what you have to offer.
I’ve seem this happen in my own biz and for other people. Once you gain a reputation in a group as someone who offers an amazing service and who’s awesome to work with, the snowball effect ensues.
But it works both ways. Fail to deliver on your promise or give a sloppy service (which I know you would never do) and the word equally spreads.
Integrity, love and service are key here.
Referrals from past or existing clients
There really is no better way to get new clients than word-of-mouth referrals from your raving fans. These are the people who have first hand experience working with you. They have no other reason to share you with their friends and colleagues other than the fact that you are amazing at what you do.
I’ve been growing my newsletter list over the last few years, lovely person by lovely person, and even with a list of a few 100, there’s the potential to get some new clients from here.
When I’ve got some design project spots open or I’m taking on new mentor clients, I tell my list about it. So often, people hold back from telling their peeps that their books are open ‘coz they don’t want to come across and pitch’y or like some robot sales machine. But let me tell you this.
You are doing your tribe a disservice by NOT telling them how they can work with you.
If they’re on your list… and they’re opening your email… and they’re reading what you have to say… then they’re probably a pretty hot lead to want to work with you!
Each time I share this in my newsletter, I always get at least a handful of enquiries. Some become clients, others don’t. But for those that do, I’m sure they’re pretty pleased I let then know I was available to work with them.
This one came as a nice little surprise to me. But almost every live event I’ve attended has connected me with a future client or collaborator.
Again, it helps when you are moving in the same circles as your perfect clients. I’m not suggesting that you attend events and conferences that you have zero interest in with the sole purpose of nabbing some new clients.
Let me give you an example:
Last year I attended an event with a big name blogger I’d been following for a few years. I was super excited to get to hear her speak on stage and also get the chance to hang out in real life with some friends I’d made through online programs.
A few days after the event I got an email from the photographer who had been snapping the official pics at the event about working on her branding. We’d known each other from an online program we’d both been a part of but it wasn’t until we said an albeit brief in-person hi! that the connection was made and led to us working together.
Here are a few examples of events I’ve attended…
An Evening with Gala Darling | Soul-preneurs | Self-love and Sisterhood
Beautiful You Coaching Academy launch party | Gabrielle Bernstein
A breakfast with Brene Brown
I’d love to hear from you.
Have you used any of these ways to find freelance clients? Got another tip? Le me know it in the comments below.