Life as a freelancer has its perks. You can work behind your computer on the beach of Hawaii or sitting at a coffee shop in Amsterdam. You can work at 1 am after a full day of adventure or wake up at 5am for a fresh start on the day. Your career opens doors to unlimited possibilities for exploration.
However, getting new clients can be daunting and frustrating. Sometimes you may even feel like throwing in the towel. It is a learning curve that comes with a great deal of frustration. After five years of developing my business, I now have clients coming to me. Achieving this required strategy. The following are techniques that worked best for me:
How do I earn work as a freelancer?
A positive referral is a powerful resource to earn new business. Clients want to work with companies that a trustworthy resource had a positive experience with. As word-of-mouth is the most valuable resource, it is also timely to achieve. I receive most of my word-of-mouth traffic from previous clients or referral partners. A trustworthy referral is more valuable than a polished resume.
As a website designer, it is essential that I update my portfolio with current projects. As new technology arises, your portfolio should showcase that you maintain website trend standards. For example, clean websites with white space are currently a top website design trend. People are ditching flashy for a polished professional design. Update your portfolio with the latest trends and designs to keep new clients coming to you.
Potential clients want to know that they are working with an expert in the industry. One of the best techniques to depict your knowledge is through a blog. Your article can be “how-to’s”, tutorials, or videos. As a digital marketer, I often write SEO related blog articles. For example, “SEO Trends of 2021”.
Industry Relevant Social Media Accounts
Not every business needs a Facebook! You heard me right. Not every business needs a Facebook.
If you are an attorney, it is unlikely a new client will find you through Facebook or Instagram. Focus on the social media accounts that will grow your business. For example, professional services may find more success on LinkedIn. Unless you are going to hire a social media manager, optimize one or two social media platforms. Most freelancers should focus on their LinkedIn profiles. There are numerous techniques to include such as;
- Summary that addresses your skills and experience
- Relevant posts with blog articles and examples of your work
- Crisp profile photo
- Recommendations from previous clients
Testimonials are a powerful marketing technique to earn new customers. 92% of consumers read online reviews before buying. As a freelancer, potential clients want to work with a service provider that other people have had a successful experience with. My favorite method to collect testimonials is through Google My Business (GMB). Google is the most used search engine. If you are searching for a service than the GMB pages are the first results that show. To increase your Google My Business rankings, you need to have testimonials. Part of my SEO packages include a review strategy for Google My Business.
If you have reviews on your GMB page, you can embed the testimonials directly into your website. As a website designer, I incorporate reviews into all of my sites. My preferred software to embed GMB reviews is Elf Sight. They use premium widgets to improve website design experience.
Directory links can help potential clients discover your services. One of my favorite is UpCity, a premium B2B directory for marketers. Unlike other directories, UpCity reviews businesses to ensure they are credible. You can then apply to be a partner where you can showcase reviews, service information, social accounts, project examples, about information, location, website links, and more. UpCity’s premium service does come with a price tag. A Certified Partner membership costs $120 per month with a 12-month contract. If you are a marketing freelancer, I suggest including UpCity into your monthly budget.
There are free directory services but you have to pay advertising fees to stand out, such as;
As a freelancer, you will find different marketing avenues that work best to grow your business. From my experience, building a good reputation in the community, depicting my expertise and earning external links has worked best to get clients to come to me. If you are new to freelancing, the grind of earning clients can be frustrating. Stick with it and you will develop a rewarding career and lifestyle.