Are you a freelancer struggling to find new clients? As a freelancer, finding work can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming. But don’t worry – you can look for clients and find new opportunities in several places.
As a freelance writer, I have had my fair share of struggles finding new clients. I often spent hours searching job boards, pitching to companies, and networking at events. When I started exploring different avenues, I began to see real success. By leveraging freelance websites, social media, and referrals, I was able to build a steady stream of work and grow my business.
Keep going if you’re struggling to find new clients as a freelancer. There are many opportunities out there waiting for you. This post will discuss some of the best places to find clients as a freelancer, including freelance websites, social media, job boards, referrals, your own website, and networking events. By following these tips and leveraging these resources, you can attract new clients and grow your freelance business.
8 Places to Find Clients as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, you should never focus on just one outlet – that whole don’t put your eggs in one basket thought process applies here. If you focus on just one outlet, you miss out on a world of opportunities. You are also limiting yourself in a few other ways.
- Limited income potential: If you rely solely on one outlet for your income, you may not be able to make as much money as you could if you were able to diversify your income streams. If that outlet were to go under suddenly, you would be left without any income.
- Limited opportunities: By focusing on one outlet, you may miss out on other opportunities to help you grow your skills, gain experience, and build your portfolio. Exploring multiple outlets can give you access to a broader range of projects and clients, allowing you to broaden your skillset and grow your business.
- Dependence on one source: By relying on one outlet for all of your work, you may become too dependent on that outlet, which could put you at a disadvantage in negotiations or limit your ability to take on other work. Diversifying your outlets can help you build a more substantial, sustainable business in the long run.
Of course, there are also benefits to focusing on one outlet, such as developing deep expertise in a particular niche or building strong relationships with a particular set of clients. However, weighing the pros and cons and considering whether diversifying your outlets might be a good strategy for your freelance business is important. Let’s look at eight places where you can find clients as a freelancer.
1. Freelance Websites
You can create a profile on popular freelance websites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and Guru. These platforms allow you to showcase your skills and experience and bid on projects posted by clients.
Other great outlets include:
- Craigslist (Yup!)
- Niche Specific Facebook Groups
Why should a freelancer use freelance websites?
- Access to a large pool of clients: Freelance websites are home to a vast network of clients actively seeking freelancers for their projects. By creating a profile on a freelance website, a freelancer can tap into this pool of potential clients and increase their chances of finding work.
- Easy to use platforms: Freelance websites are designed to make it easy for freelancers to find and apply for projects. The platforms typically have search functions, filters, and other tools that help freelancers quickly find the projects that best fit their skills and experience.
- Built-in payment and invoicing systems: Many freelance websites have built-in payment and invoicing systems that make it easy for freelancers to get paid for their work. These systems often provide security and protection for the freelancer and the client.
- Ratings and feedback systems: Freelance websites typically have a ratings and feedback system that allows clients to rate the quality of the freelancer’s work. This can be a valuable tool for freelancers, as it can help them build a reputation for high-quality work and attract more clients.
- Opportunities to build relationships: Freelance websites can also be a great way for freelancers to build relationships with clients over time. If a freelancer consistently delivers high-quality work, they may be able to secure repeat business from clients or even referrals to new clients.
Freelance websites can be a valuable tool for freelancers looking to build their client base, increase their income, and build their reputation in the industry. However, it’s important for freelancers to carefully evaluate each platform and consider the fees, competition, and other factors before deciding which sites to use.
2. Social Media
You can leverage your social media presence by creating LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. Share your expertise and experience, engage with potential clients, and network with other professionals in your industry.
There are many great Virtual Assistants who share how to utilize spaces like Twitter and LinkedIn – these methods work out well for Freelancers, too!
There are several reasons why a freelancer might choose to use social media to find clients:
- Increased visibility: By building a presence on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, a freelancer can increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. Social media allows freelancers to showcase their work, highlight their skills and expertise, and connect with potential clients who might not have found them otherwise.
- Building relationships: Social media can be a powerful tool for building relationships with clients and other professionals in the industry. By engaging with potential clients and other freelancers, a freelancer can establish themselves as a thought leader in their field and build a network of contacts to help them find new work.
- Showcasing work: Social media allows freelancers to showcase their work visually appealingly. Platforms like Instagram or Pinterest can benefit freelancers working in creative fields like photography, design, or writing. By sharing examples of their work, freelancers can demonstrate their skills and attract potential clients.
- Cost-effective marketing: Unlike traditional advertising, social media is often free or low-cost. This makes it an attractive option for freelancers who are just starting out and may not have a large marketing budget.
- Staying up-to-date: Social media can be a great way for freelancers to stay up-to-date on industry news, trends, and best practices. By following influencers, thought leaders, and other professionals in their field, freelancers can stay informed and continue to grow and develop their skills.
Social media can be a powerful tool for freelancers who are looking to expand their reach, build relationships, and showcase their work. However, freelancers must approach social media strategically and focus on platforms most relevant to their target audience.
Ask your current and past clients for referrals. If they are happy with your work, they may be willing to recommend you to others in their network.
Why should a freelancer gather referrals?
- Trust: When a freelancer is referred to a potential client by someone they know and trust, the client is more likely to trust the freelancer and be open to working with them. Referrals can help build a sense of credibility and reliability, which can be important for building long-term relationships with clients.
- Cost-effective marketing: Referrals are a form of word-of-mouth marketing, which can be very effective and cost-effective. By leveraging their existing network of contacts, freelancers can expand their reach and potentially find new clients without spending money on advertising or other marketing efforts.
- Higher conversion rates: Referrals can have a higher conversion rate than other marketing efforts, as potential clients referred to freelancers are often already interested in working with them. This can result in shorter sales cycles and more efficient use of the freelancer’s time and resources.
- More targeted leads: Referrals tend to be more targeted than other types of leads, as they come from someone who knows the freelancer’s work and can make a direct connection between the freelancer and a potential client who is a good fit for their skills and experience.
- Stronger relationships: Referrals can help freelancers build stronger relationships with existing and new clients. When a client is referred to a freelancer, they often feel more connected to them and may be more likely to become a repeat client or refer other potential clients in the future.
Referrals can be a powerful tool for freelancers who are looking to build their client base, increase their income, and build strong, long-lasting relationships with clients. However, freelancers need to maintain strong relationships with their existing contacts and provide high-quality work to ensure that they continue receiving referrals in the future.
4. Job Boards
Check out job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter for virtual assistant positions. These positions may be full-time or part-time, but they can provide steady work.
And if that is not enough, here are some other reasons a freelancer should check out the job boards which are accessible to them.
- Access to a large pool of job opportunities: Job boards provide a centralized location for freelancers to browse many job opportunities. This can save time and effort compared to searching for individual job postings or clients.
- Ability to filter and search for specific types of jobs: Job boards typically allow freelancers to filter and search for specific types of jobs based on factors such as location, job type, and pay rate. This can help freelancers focus on the jobs that best match their skills and experience.
- Competitive pay rates: Many job boards offer competitive pay rates, which can be attractive to freelancers looking to maximize their income.
- Built-in project management tools: Some job boards provide built-in project management tools that can help freelancers manage their workload, communicate with clients, and track their time and progress on projects.
- Opportunity for ongoing work: Some job boards provide the opportunity for ongoing work with a client rather than just one-off projects. This can help freelancers build a more stable income and long-term client relationships.
Overall, job boards can be a valuable tool for freelancers who are looking to find a wide range of job opportunities, filter and search for specific types of jobs, and potentially build ongoing relationships with clients. However, it’s important for freelancers to carefully evaluate each job opportunity and consider factors such as pay rate, workload, and client expectations before accepting a job through a job board.
5. Cold Pitching
Cold pitching is the process of reaching out to potential clients who have not expressed interest in working with you. While it can be intimidating to reach out to strangers, there are several benefits to incorporating cold pitching into your client acquisition strategy.
Want to know the benefits of cold pitching?
- Access to a larger pool of potential clients: By cold pitching, you can reach out to potential clients who may not be actively searching for freelancers or posting jobs on job boards. This can help you tap into a larger pool of potential clients and increase your chances of finding new work.
- Ability to showcase your unique value proposition: When you cold pitch, you have the opportunity to showcase your unique skills and expertise and explain why you are the right freelancer for the job. This can help you stand out from other freelancers who may be competing for the same job opportunities.
- Personalized approach: When you cold pitch, you can tailor your pitch to the potential client’s specific needs and pain points. This can help you demonstrate that you deeply understand their business and are invested in helping them achieve their goals.
- Higher conversion rates: While cold pitching can be time-consuming, it can also lead to higher conversion rates than other types of marketing efforts. This is because you are reaching out directly to potential clients who may be a good fit for your skills and experience.
- Building relationships: Even if a potential client doesn’t have an immediate need for your services, cold pitching can help you start building a relationship with them. By following up periodically and providing value in other ways (such as sharing relevant articles or offering advice), you can stay top-of-mind and potentially win work in the future.
Cold pitching can be a valuable tool for freelancers who are looking to expand their client base and find new work. However, it’s important to approach cold pitching strategically and research potential clients before reaching out. This can help you tailor your pitch and increase your chances of success.
6. Your Own Website
Create a website to showcase your work and services. Use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to increase your visibility in search engine results, and consider investing in paid advertising to attract more clients.
Here are some reasons why having your own website can be a valuable tool for gaining clients.
- Professional presence: A website can help you establish a professional online presence and showcase your skills and experience to potential clients. This can help you stand out from other freelancers who may not have a website or may have a less professional online presence.
- Increased visibility: With a website, you can increase your visibility online and potentially attract clients searching for freelancers in your niche. You can optimize your website for search engines by including relevant keywords and creating high-quality content, which can help you rank higher in search results.
- Portfolio and testimonials: Your website can serve as a portfolio of your work and a platform for showcasing testimonials and case studies from satisfied clients. This can help build trust with potential clients and demonstrate your expertise in your field.
- Contact information and calls to action: Your website should include clear contact information and calls to action (such as a contact form or a “hire me” button) to make it easy for potential clients to contact you. This can help streamline the client acquisition process and increase the chances of converting website visitors into clients.
- Control over your brand: Having your own website gives you full control over your brand and messaging. You can design your website to align with your personal brand and target the specific audience you want to attract. This can help you build a more cohesive and recognizable brand across all your marketing channels.
Having your own website as a freelancer can be a valuable asset for attracting clients and building your business. By creating a professional online presence, showcasing your work and expertise, and making it easy for potential clients to get in touch with you, you can increase your chances of success as a freelancer.
7. Networking Events
Attend networking events in your industry to meet potential clients and build relationships. These events can help you make valuable connections leading to new projects.
Remember that finding clients as a freelancer takes time and effort. Be persistent in your outreach efforts and focus on building relationships with potential clients over time.
For example, if you’re a freelancer in the real estate industry, go to the home builder, real estate, or home inspection trade shows and set up a table/booth.
Need more reasons to check out networking events?
- Meet potential clients: Networking events provide an opportunity to meet potential clients face-to-face and pitch your services directly to them. By building relationships with other professionals in your industry, you may also gain access to their networks and be referred to new clients.
- Build relationships: Attending networking events allows you to build relationships with other professionals in your industry, which can lead to collaborations and partnerships in the future. By building a strong network of contacts, you may also gain access to industry insights and be able to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
- Learn from others: Networking events provide an opportunity to learn from other professionals in your industry and gain new perspectives on your work. You may also be able to attend presentations or workshops at networking events, which can help you build new skills and knowledge.
- Raise your profile: By attending networking events and building relationships with other professionals, you can raise your profile in your industry and increase your visibility. This can help you build a strong personal brand and position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
- Build confidence: Networking events can be a great way to build your confidence and practice your pitch. By attending events regularly and meeting new people, you can refine your communication skills and become more comfortable talking about your work and services.
Attending networking events can be a valuable way to build relationships, find new clients, and expand your professional network as a freelancer. By being proactive and seeking out opportunities to meet other professionals in your industry, you can position yourself for long-term success as a freelancer.
8. Local Networks
As a freelancer, joining local networks can be a great way to expand your professional network and find new clients in your area. Here are some local networks you may want to consider joining:
- Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber of Commerce is a business-oriented network that operates in many communities. Joining your local chamber can help you connect with other business owners and gain exposure in your community.
- Meetup groups: Meetup is a platform that connects people with common interests in their local area. You can search for Meetup groups related to your industry or interests and attend events to meet other professionals in your community.
- Freelancer associations: Many freelancer associations operate at a local level, such as the Freelancers Union. Joining a freelancer association can help you connect with other freelancers and gain access to resources and support.
- Business networking groups: Many business networking groups operate in local communities, such as BNI (Business Networking International) or LeTip. These groups typically meet regularly and provide a structured environment for members to exchange referrals and build relationships. Check with your local library, too, as many of them have business-related meetings for networking that are free to join.
- Local industry groups: Depending on your industry, there may be local industry groups or associations you can join. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you may want to join your local American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) chapter.
By joining local networks, you can build relationships, find new clients, and stay up-to-date on your industry’s latest trends and developments.
Freelancers – Delegate!
Freelancers, do not be afraid to delegate tasks. No written rule says you have to run your entire business yourself. Got a website? Perfect! Let me help you with your social media marketing or copywriting while you focus on client leads and generating revenue.