Whether you’re struggling to find a traditional 8 to 5 job, you need extra income or you’re ready to stop answering to bosses and supervisors and only answer to clients, freelancing offers you a chance to turn your talents into financial opportunities. However, as any experienced freelancer knows, there are downsides to freelancing, like struggling to find work consistently. Learn how to attract new clients and how to make those new clients repeat clients and searching for paying projects each day will become a worry of the past.
Get an Advanced Degree
Your clients value educated experts in their field. When choosing between you and a competitor for the job, a client is going to choose the person with a higher degree. Earn your undergraduate degree, or if you have one already, continue your education and earn your graduate degree. You’re likely used to working at home, so earn an online degree on your own schedule, from home; click here to see how easy and convenient it can be.
Not only will a degree bolster your resume, but if you study a field relevant to your freelancing position, you’ll learn skills to be more productive, incorporate new technologies and approach your work with a more educated point of view.
Create a Dynamic Website
Since much of a freelancer’s work is done digitally, a website is the first “face” of the freelancer a prospective client sees much of the time. Invest in a professional website designer’s services — unless that’s what you’re offering yourself, then make sure your website is reflective of your own skills. A compelling website most likely to attract clients is:
- Visually stunning
- Easy to navigate
- Compatible with smartphones and tablets
- Fast to load
Your website link will appear on your digital signature, in your profile for other websites and on your business card. Make sure the first impression you’re giving is a good one.
Participate in Social Media
People look at your website when they’re already interested in what you have to offer. They don’t often get to your website without first hearing about you from other resources. The best way to attract people’s attention online is to participate in social media. Put your business on social media and engage in ways that will get more followers, like by:
- Posting links to news relevant to your industry and your opinions on them
- Linking to satisfied customer reviews
- Putting up personal, friendly posts (no more than once or twice a day) on inoffensive, fun topics
- Avoiding discussion of politics, religion and overly personal information
- Posting news about sales, new products or services and events you’re attending
Avoid coming across as spam. Spam posts are too-frequent posts discussing your products or services.
Network at Industry Events
Word of mouth is oftentimes more effective than targeted marketing campaigns. Network at conventions, festivals and other events relevant to your industry. Sometimes a business might not even realize it’s in need of your services until you explain why. Hand out your business card at conventions. You might also meet other freelancers with whom you can combine services — you write the content for a website while a designer puts together the visuals, for example. It pays to know people.
Create a Digital Portfolio
Before a client is willing to take a chance on you, he or she wants to know what you can do. Post examples of your work on your website and from time to time on your social media profiles. Keep a digital portfolio on your website, and if relevant to your industry, a printed portfolio for the times when you meet prospective clients in person.
Forbes reports a Freelancers Union estimate of 42 million freelancers in the U.S. While it’s good there are so many when you’re looking for resources and people with whom to network, it’s not so good that you’re competing for meaningful jobs. However, competition is a part of freelancing. Learn how to attract more clients, and you’ll be able to focus on what it is you love to do — the talent you’re marketing — more often during the work day.
About the Author: Tyler Brown has been a full-time freelance writer and web designer for nearly ten years.