It can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to find more clients for your freelance business. But by working away consistently using effective marketing activities, you will get there.
So which activities are particularly effective for a freelancer? Here you go…
1. Referrals are one of the best ways to get new clients. People want freelancers who do great work and are reliable, so they are much more likely to ask around their network for a recommendation than they are to hire a complete stranger. The first step is to do a great job for your existing clients. Then you can either wait for word to spread about you (which can be slow), or you can encourage clients to recommend you. This doesn’t have to be done in a pushy way, it could be as simple as leaving a few business cards with a client just in case she knows someone who needs your services. Or you could give clients a call and ask if they know anyone who might need a graphic designer, virtual assistant or whatever it is that you do.
Try not to appear to be desperate for work (even if you are desperate for work 🙂 ). Not only does that make conversations uncomfortable, it can suggest you’re not that good your job. If you are really short of clients – and it has happened to us all at some time or another – you could just say that “I’ve got some time available in my schedule at the moment which I’d like to fill”. Which is completely true, but doesn’t sound desperate!
Referrals can also come from family, friends or others who are informed about your business. Referrals are sometimes the strongest prospects you will have to work with. Turn those prospects into paying clients!
2. Build a reputation amongst your current clients. Once that reputation is built, it’s important to continue to maintain it by being the best you can be. Give your clients the best possible service. They hired you once – take time to impress them with your skills and knowledge so they will not hesitate to hire you again. Stay in regular contact with them so when they need a service like yours again, you’re the first person they they think of.
Don’t forget to ask current clients for testimonials that you can use to show new prospects just how good you are.
3. Work out your target audience and provide free and useful information to them about your business. You can create newsletters, reports, articles and even videos that will not only provide viewers with useful information, but also help bring visitors to your website in an effort to gain knowledge from an expert (ie you!)
4. Social media networking is another great way to bring some clients your way. Use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. There are tons of useful sites that you can tap into and build a reputation amongst a community of people who are interested in what you do and what you have to say.
5. Do you have a blog? If not, then you need to put one together! Blogging is a great way to put your experience out there for others to see. You can also post your blog links on the social networking sites to help lead traffic to your site. This is a great way to bring those prospects to you and will also help build links.
As you can see, there are potential clients just waiting for you to put yourself out there. Once these prospects see your level of expertise, your professionalism and can see for themselves what a great job you have done for others, they will definitely want you to provide services for their business. Some of these new-found clients could become long-term clients who will depend on you to provide services for them on a routine basis.
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