How to Get Client- Effective Ways to Find More Clients
Surviving as a freelancer in a continuously evolving market has always been a challenge for professionals in any industry. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global shift towards remote employment can make this situation even worse. As thousands of qualified office workers realize the benefits of working from the comfort of their homes, this will inevitably increase the competition in the freelance market as many of them will join the growing gig economy.
The situation itself calls for new ways to build resilience in this sphere to survive any upcoming turbulence. Below, you will find several effective ways to find new clients and increase your income as a freelancer.
1. Use Networking
Most professional marketers are aware of the concept of the marketing funnel or the AIDA model. The reasoning behind these concepts is simple – only 10% of the people who see your ads and become aware of your company will purchase your product. The same is true for freelance professionals. While you can endlessly hone your skills to increase the conversion rate, a better and much easier option is to stimulate growth at the top of the funnel.
Make sure that all your social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media of your choice are fully optimized to increase your exposure. Mention your skills in conversations with family members, friends, present and former colleagues or other professionals you contact with. Become a member of professional communities online and engage in discussions and projects.
Your ultimate goal is to become the ‘go to’ person people think about when they need to complete a certain order. If you still consider networking an inefficient instrument, think about the guitar player Phil X getting a gig with a Motley Crue band member when painting a garage of their producer and moving on to become an official guitarist for Bon Jovi afterwards.
2. Trim Your Portfolio
In the world of TikTok, no one spends hours thoroughly studying freelancer profiles on popular platforms. The attention span influencing managerial decisions has radically decreased over the years. Hence, you may only have several seconds to capture their attention and convince them that you are the right person for the job. According to Upwork, the approaches to portfolio management have changed radically over the years.
To convince present-day clients, you need to show how you can address their needs by telling them stories and providing additional information for every item within your profile. For example, you may use a certain case to demonstrate how you cooperated with your customer, show the results before and after your intervention, and provide details on how you worked on realizing the project goals rather than completing individual tasks.
This storytelling approach allows you to show your soft skills and problem management skills, which will build trust and convince prospective clients to delegate larger orders to you.
3. Develop Diverse Skills
The aforementioned search for larger projects is inseparable from your growth as a project manager rather than a freelancer. Your professional competencies may not be sufficient if you lack the soft skills necessary for cooperating with multiple colleagues and company representatives. Similarly, small and medium customers may not have the resources to hire 5-6 specialists to build a single-page website. The logic behind the skill gap search may seem slightly controversial since it implies the need to revise the past orders you declined due to the inability to fulfil them. What was the actual hindrance in each case? Are there any common elements in all of these orders?
The first natural urge for most freelancers is to discard this idea and resort to traditional thoughts such as,
- They wanted too much but did not have enough money.
- They wanted some weird skills from a person of a different profession.
- They do not understand the concept of the differentiation of labour.
If you go beyond that, you may suddenly find that many ‘cancelled orders’ have some things in common. The usual ‘reasons for failure’ may include the lack of,
As you find these gaps, you may choose to appraise whether the acquisition of these competencies will allow you to get more orders or get larger projects rather than individual tasks.
4. Build a Team
Even if you decide to not acquire some complementary skills due to the high associated costs, this does not mean that you have to lose larger orders from customers. If you do your networking right, you will probably end up making friends with some excellent specialists in graphic design, web design, and other areas via LinkedIn or professional communities. Building a team is a natural next step in your evolution as a freelancer. Here are some advantages associated with this decision,
- Teams can manage substantially larger (and better paid) orders.
- Teamwork frequently leads to synergies when colleagues provide valuable recommendations to each other.
- Many large companies prefer to work with other registered businesses rather than self-employed individuals.
- The development of the team introduces redundancies where some colleagues can replace their peers in the case of personal force-majeure situations.
Even if you are not a team player, a network of contacts allows you to fulfil larger orders via temporary cooperation with other specialists and enhance your income as a freelancer.
The marketing funnel concept discussed earlier pretty much summarizes the main idea behind the four provided recommendations. You need to use networking to boost your reputation and get more prospective clients. Portfolio optimization moves them further through the funnel to contact you and discuss a potential order.
Afterwards, you maximize the number of ‘converted leads’ by expanding your skillset or building a team capable of managing medium or large projects. If done right, this strategy will allow you to find more clients and build a solid source of income. Professional development and networking may also reveal additional sources of revenue that you could not recognize at the start of this process due to the lack of awareness about these trends.