Once upon a time starting a business required a loan and a lot of risk. Nowadays, online tools have made freelancing easier than ever. Nine-to-five professionals are running side gigs in their off-hours and others are ditching their old jobs altogether to forge independent careers that let them work on their own schedule.
Getting clients in the early days of your freelance business can seem daunting, but by employing a few key strategies you can get customers in no time.
Pull Together an Organized Portfolio
Pull together a portfolio that dazzles your prospects. A polished and curated portfolio will quickly demonstrate the value of your work and give your potential clients an overview of your offering.
Many new freelancers complete projects for free to add work to their portfolio and receive testimonials. But be mindful not to employ a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Growing your portfolio does not equal taking on every job. Find your specialty and become the go-to professional for that niche whether it’s as a freelance corporate events planner or a wedding photographer.
Advertise Your Services with Tiered Pricing & Promotions
Create a shared value with tiered pricing. Tiered pricing and promotions are not restricted to phone companies and Internet providers. On the contrary, almost any business can use this technique to serve their customers and in return attract more business. Tradespeople provide much needed services, but oftentimes people will attempt to address minor issues on their own and sacrifice convenience to avoid fees. These odd jobs are a great source of income if secured. Plumbers and electricians can offer discounted second visits or packages for people who require multiple jobs. The latter option is particularly attractive for homeowners undergoing renovations who require regular assistance, but need an affordable price.
Solo business owners selling material goods like dresses or jewelry can offer express shipping at a higher price and advertise a limited time offer of free shipping on a certain number of purchases. Personal trainers trying to build a client base can offer various packages with different pricing. These options provide prospects with incentive to try your service. And if you deliver on your promise, it will be a surefire way to secure continued and referral work.
Establish an Engaging and Interactive Experience
The most successful freelancers are interactive, engaging, and authentic. Determine your niche and target audience and then proceed to start a dialogue. Your story can help to create that initial connection. Tell your story in a way that your clients can relate. Oftentimes this introduction begins online. Your personal digital marketing will help you get clients to come to you. But do not fall for the myth that digital marketing is the strict domain of media companies and large corporations; freelancers can benefit as well.
A number of real estate agents and real estate brokers are moving beyond traditional websites and billboards to advertise their services. Many are targeting existing homeowners or those who may be thinking about buying a home with blog articles that discuss useful topics. By providing helpful information, brokers and agents build an audience and establish a relationship of trust with individuals who will most likely turn to them when the time comes to buy a home.
Freelancers are also using online and mobile scheduling tools to publish their calendar availability online. Free services such as MeetVibe allow customers or clients to request an open time slot for an appointment. This makes it easy for customers to connect with you. The 24 hour time limit for confirmation ensures a responsive first-impression.
Designers or contractors supervising renovations can also provide homeowners peace of mind with MeetVibe’s SMS service called Concierge. Concierge is an in-app add-on that automatically sends a text message to parties when the freelancer arrives at a predetermined location. Using this tool, contractors can demonstrate additional accountability by informing clients on or off-site the exact time they arrive without interrupting their work.
MeetVibe’s Concierge feature is extremely helpful for real estate agents’ day-to-day work. An automatic text message can be sent to relevant parties such as the homeowner and listing agent when the real estate agent has arrived at a given location.
Take Advantage of Online Freelance Marketplaces
When you are unsure whether companies are even looking for your services, it can be hard to stay motivated.
Online freelancer marketplaces are especially helpful in this regard. Sites like Upwork create a community where clients and freelancers can connect. This way, instead of worrying about sales freelancers can search for postings that match their skills. Your pitches should include the following features:
- A very brief introduction with your background (include the number of years, descriptors like award-winning, if applicable)
- How you would tackle this specific project (focus on how you can meet this person’s needs)
- Your MeetVibe name for full contact information and to show your current availability to discuss the project
- Your rates
Upwork is terrific for beginners because it removes the stress related to advertising your services and handling payments.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Networking is one of the most useful methods of building relationships and landing clients. It can lead to a contract or referral work. In both cases, timing and context is everything.
Freelancers are often mobile and much of their work comes from networking and introducing new people to what their business has to offer. Wherever you are, at a conference or an event, make connections and follow up.
Relationship building and business development on the go is much more convenient with this mobile social networking tool. The MeetVibe app makes exchanging contact information and scheduling follow-ups easier than ever. After a productive introduction, business owners can bypass all the schedule checking and compare calendars to instantly arrange a follow-up meeting. Instead of exchanging business cards that get shoved in a drawer somewhere, you can capitalize on that positive response before a potential customer has moved on to thinking about something else.
Opportunities should fit into your schedule. Make yourself available today!
Once you have used these strategies I am confident you will attract the attention of potential clients. Best wishes for your freelancing success!Follow us on:
Also published on Medium.