As a freelancer, finding work is a necessary part of your job. Early in your career it may consume most of your time. It will get easier, however, as satisfied clients will refer you to others, making landing new clients part of a more automated process.
The key to finding new freelance clients is to try a variety of methods. Don’t just stick with one way and do that repeatedly. Mixing up your search has been proven to be more effective in the long run.
Here we give you 25 ways to find new freelance clients. Some are easier than others. Some take longer than others. Some require a little upfront expense. But having an assortment of tactics will up your business marketing game and most likely land clients in areas you may not have encountered already. Take a chance on each of these tactics and you’ll be sure to land more freelance clients.
Ways to Find Freelance Clients Online
1. Contact previous colleagues and see if their current companies need freelancers
Turn to your network to see if there is a need for your freelance services. You don’t necessarily need to have worked in the same field as you offer in your freelance services either. Prior colleagues can vouch for your skills, work ethic, friendliness, and all the qualities that make you a person people want to work with!
Send a short email to previous colleagues letting them know you’re looking for freelance work. Be sure to give them a brief description of your services, too.
We have an email template showing you how to reconnect with past clients here.
2. Conduct instructional webinars aimed at your target audience
Whatever freelance services you offer, you can create a webinar for your target audience describing why they need to hire you. What benefit can you bring to their business that no one else can? How can the services you provide help them be more successful? Position yourself as an expert in your field that they cannot afford to nothave working with them!
3. Advertise on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn
Running ads on social media platforms can be very tricky. It’s easy to spend money without seeing any returns. But it can be a great way to reach new freelance clients. Just make sure the ROI makes sense.
Learn more about advertising your freelance business here.
4. Create a branded Facebook page and post regularly
Provide valuable information that your prospective clients will find useful that demonstrates your expertise as a freelancer. Remember, just like with webinars, focus on sharing how your services can help their business be more successful.
Read more about how to get freelance clients on Facebook >>
5. Create a Quora account and interact with people who ask questions in your area of expertise
Just as with your Facebook page, the key to this tactic working is to provide value in your responses. Show your expertise in your field by interacting with those who may be interested in your services. Don’t give away your work for free or do a hard sell of your services. Instead, point people to your online presence for more information about you and how you can help them.
6. Create a networking group
Use Facebook to connect with other freelancers in your field and share tips for finding work and landing clients. Contrary to what you might think, there’s plenty of freelance work to go around! Other freelancers are happy to share work leads if they can’t take something on!
Read our article, “Aren’t There Too Many Freelancers?”
7. List your business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great resource for advertising your freelance business and finding potential new clients. Make sure to include your full contact information and a breakdown of the services you offer.
8. Create a newsletter
Newsletters are an excellent way to keep potential clients engaged with your business and keep you at the top of their minds as a resource. Even if they’re not ready to hire you when you pitch them, getting valuable reminders of your services will increase the chances of them choosing you when they are ready.
The key to creating a useful newsletter, however, is to provide content that is beneficial to recipients. Tailor your content to your audience and give the latest news, insights, and information that is pertinent to them.
9. Host an online event for decision-makers in your target audience
Develop a topic that is of importance to your target audience and create an online event to meet and discuss. You should have a clear benefit for why people should join you and prepare to demonstrate why the services you offer in your freelance business can help them be more successful.
Zoom and Google Meet are free tools to gather a virtual group together easily. Lastly, remember to promote your event on social media and in your newsletter before and after the event.
10. Offer free 15-minute consultations
Research prospective clients and evaluate how your services can help them. Then reach out to offer free 15-minute consultations in which you’ll point out ways in which your services will benefit them. The consultation will give them insight into your strategic mind and how you’d make a great partner for their business. If you have a succinct pitch that clearly shows how you can help their businesses, then it’s a no-brainer that they’ll want to hire you!
See our five tips for sending pitches that land freelance clients.
11. Improve your website SEO to generate more organic traffic
Ensure your online presence is generating as much traffic as possible with search engine optimized keywords. What are the buzzwords in your industry? What are people reading about? What hashtags are trending on Twitter? What websites are prospective clients reading and what is that content? Answering these questions can help you generate SEO keywords and phrases to increase organic traffic to your site.
12. Create a business email signature
Put your contact information with a link to your website and a compelling message in your email signature.
13. Join Facebook groups and post about your services
Facebook groups are a great way to tell prospective clients about the services you offer. And social media is so shareable that your network can grow exponentially without you having to do much work!
14. Start a podcast
If you can confidently position yourself as an expert in your field, then create compelling content that prospective clients will want to hear. Carefully consider what content will most benefit your target audience. If your audience doesn’t see a benefit to your podcast (and if you’re not an engaging host!) then there isn’t any point in doing it.
15. Write a guest blog on relevant sites
Sharing your expertise on another website can help give your business more exposure and establish you as an authority in your industry. It can also open you up to new audiences and grow your network.
Make sure to include a link to your own website so readers can easily find you—and hopefully hire you!
16. Pitch clients on sites like Groupon
If prospective clients have a marketing budget to be on Groupon, then they likely have a budget to hire you.
17. Buy ads on niche sites
Advertising on niche sites will cost you less than heavy hitters like Google or Facebook. The added plus is that you can focus on a very specific target audience.
As with all advertising you consider doing for your freelance business, make sure you know your ROI so you’re not spending more than you’re taking in.
18. Post videos on YouTube
As with creating a podcast, if you have an engaging personality and great content to share then you might consider creating videos to post on YouTube. Any content you create needs to serve your target audience. What are they’re interested in? What can you share with them that will make them sure to position you as an authority and get you hired? Make sure to engage your audience without giving away any of your freelance services for free!
19. Apply to full-time jobs—even if you don’t want one
You’d be surprised by the number of companies that intend to hire a full-time employee then alternatively hire a part-time freelancer instead. Getting your business and services you offer in front of them is the most important thing.
Ways to Find Freelance Clients In Person
20. Host an in-person training or workshop
Just as with creating a webinar, an in-person training or workshop can promote you and your freelance services. Follow conferences in your industry that you can attend. The people who work for organizations that run conferences are happy to have you present to the attendees for a small fee. These are great opportunities to find new people who may need your services.
Remember to focus on the benefit you bring to prospective clients and how you can help them be more successful.
21. Pass out your info at trade shows and other relevant venues
One of the best ways to find new clients is to go to places where businesses are already spending money on marketing. Businesses spend hundreds, if not thousands, on trade shows because they are focused on the industry they work in. The businesses that have a booth and the attendees that go to the trade show are all interested in the same thing. And both are potential clients for you!
22. Attend industry meetups
Connect with others in your area who are also involved in your field. Join your local Chamber of Commerce to connect with other business owners. Consider joining service organizations like the Rotary Club that has a strong community presence and emphasis on business networking.
23. Send pitches to local brick-and-mortar businesses
Sure, this is an old-school approach like attending trade shows, but it’s a tried-and-true way to get new clients. Send a concise, value-packed pitch letter to local businesses showing how your services will benefit them and they just may bite.
24. Offer referral bonuses to previous clients
Previous clients are your best advocates! They worked with you and loved your work so it’s only natural that when someone is looking for the services you offer that they’ll be sure to recommend you. Consider giving them an incentive to recommend you. It may be a discount on future work or something else compelling to them.
Read about how to get more referrals for your freelance business >>
25. Pitch a story to your local news outlets
Local news outlets are always looking for stories. If your business has a fascinating or interesting story to tell, then it may just be newsworthy—and bring you subsequent business!
What are some other creative ways that you’ve gotten new freelance clients? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Tracy Quinn McLennan
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