Working as a freelancer brings so many exiting opportunities to travel, work with different people, and also pick and choose the work you do. On the other hand, we all need to pay our bills so we are always on the look out for work! Over the last 9 years as a freelancer I have had clients come and go, people and companies I work with infrequently, and those who I work with all the time.
In this blog I am going to give you my 3 Tips to help in finding clients you just love working with!
Tip 1 – Get a Website
The first tip is really about helping them find you!
Having a website makes you appear established. It shows you have put some effort into finding work and equally should show the effort you put into your work.
On your website you want to state clearly who you are and what you are offering. You want to demonstrate your work in an easy to see way, such as a showreel. This will show your prospective clients the sort of projects you work on and the skills you have.
You need to allow the prospective client to delve deeper; so having a hand selected portfolio, clearly stating what you did on each project, on your website gives them opportunity to do this. You may want to develop this further by offering testimonials from clients and behind the scenes pictures or ‘works in progress’ to give your work authenticity.
And finally, a way for people to contact you, whether via email, online form or phone.
Setting up a website can be a daunting prospect but it has never been easier to do than now, with various web hosts offering website builders and WordPress compatibility.
If you are looking for a website hosting company I can strongly recommend Kualo. I use it to host this website and they are brilliant!
It is also worth considering purchasing a bespoke domain name, like danmears.tv, to add professionalism to your site. My domains are registered with 123-Reg and can throughly recommend them too.
Both the links above are affiliate links and I earn from qualifying purchases.
I’ve had a handful of great clients contact me from directly finding my website, but more so potential clients looking over my website once we’ve connected – either through recommendation or networking.
Tip 2 – Keep in Touch
This industry works heavily on word of mouth and the idea that you are only as good as your last job! With that in mind, keep in touch with the people you enjoy working with! If you enjoy working with them they probably enjoy working with you, so therefore they won’t hesitate to recommend you to their other clients!
If you struggle to keep in touch with them through work, keep in touch with them through social media. By doing this you can see what they’ve been working on (providing they keep their social media up to date!) and it allows you to start a conversation with them around the posts that interest you.
Further to this, I regularly plan to meet people for coffee if I’ve not seen/worked with them for a while. This gives me chance to have a chat about what they’ve been up to, what kit they are using or just seeing if they have any work on for me! Keeping on their radar will help keep you in their mind the next time they get asked to recommend somebody!
Personally, most of my work from the last 9 years has come though keeping in touch with the people I enjoy working with! What’s harder than that? Well.. the next bit!
Once you’ve been recommended it’s YOUR decision to whether you want to work with the prospective client or not. Find out about the prospective client by talking to the person who’s recommended you and directly with them too. Through these conversations you need to answer the question “Is this somebody I’d like to work with?”.
Once you’ve made your decision, thank the person who recommended you and let them know if you managed to take on their client. It’s a good idea to touch base with them, even if you don’t take on the work, as this will let them know your grateful for the recommendation and therefore they won’t hesitate to recommend you again!
Tip 3 – Networking
You might consider Tip 2 as networking, but here I am referring to something different: this is networking with people you haven’t worked with before.
Networking with prospective clients can be tricky! How do you find them? What do you say?
Firstly, go looking for people you might want to work with. Perhaps you’ve got a particular niche you work in or geographical location. Search for businesses that might make use of your services.
Once you’ve found them, check out their website and social media channels. Check out the quality of their work, their team and their clients. If they’re your cup of tea “follow them” on social media. Doing this allows you to see what they are up to and connect with them by commenting and liking their posts.
Remember to keep it professional, don’t blanket ‘like’ their content or comment to the tune of ‘amazing’ & ‘wow!’ on every post! Keep your comments engaging, for instance asking a question means they will likely respond to your comment and therefore start a conversation with you.
By commenting and liking their content you start to build a ‘relationship’ with them. This may lead to them following you, which is great, as they will start to see the content you post too. Because of this you must keep your social media profiles and content professional. It should be an extension of your website and marketing. Keep it up to date with fresh content, for instance showing what you are working on with behind the scenes photos or finished projects. Ultimately you want to get to a position where you start a direct conversation with them about working together.
Why not connect with me?
Working as a freelancer is all about being able to pick and choose who you work with and working on the sorts of projects you enjoy and are good at! Finding clients that tick all those boxes is one of the most important things you can do!