August 3, 2015

5 Tips to Get Clients When starting Out As a Freelancer

1438640809_business_stack_money_cash_salaryWhen starting out as a freelancer, you need those first few clients who can give you recommendations and referrals that will propel you to more work in the future.

This is a challenge.

With no referrals, you will have to be more creative about getting work that will, in turn, get you to receive more work.

It might feel like climbing a steep mountain. But what it comes down to, is a matter of doing the right things.

Here are 5 innovative techniques to getting those first essential clients that can bring you more business in the future. If you already have some solid clients, these techniques will certainly boost the biz and gain you some serious publicity.

1. Narrow your Focus

drive-44362_640If you have looked into the world of online marketing you are no doubt familiar with the term “differentiation.”

This means asking yourself what sets you apart from everyone else and why people should choose you over your competition. This is what you want to become known for.

Maybe you specialize in bold copy for companies who are sick of timid copy. Maybe you are good at writing homepage copy. Or maybe you’re great at finding and stating a clear USP for a business.

By narrowing your client pool you will get more clients.

Sounds a bit contradictory, right? Yet it works!

Generic doesn’t sell, specific does. Narrow down.

2. Blog, Blog and then Blog some More

working-699400_640

It is fairly common knowledge that a web site is essential to an up-and-coming freelancer. But it’s a little less common to see a well updated blog with great content to showcase their talent.

A blog gives you the chance to become an authority in your field.

By helping other people with your free advice they will even feel indebted to you and want to complete the circle in whichever way they can. This is reciprocity at work.

By continuously posting a variety of interesting blogs regularly you will also begin to attract an attentive following of regular visitors to your site. A static web site is basic stuff.

But a blog, especially an interesting blog with loads of useful information will be re-visited, shared, and loved by your target audience. And even if they won’t buy your products or services, they might refer you to someone who does, all because you showcase your talent freely and regularly.

3. Connect With Influencers Like Your Life Depends On It

Are you connecting with influencers? You should. Trust me, if you’re as passionate as they are, you’ll be able to build a connection. And you’ll get them to share your posts on social media!

For example, i sent Ryan from Blogging From Paradise and email because i featured him on one of my list posts. He loved it, shared it for me and left a comment on the post. Now we’ve been emailing a couple of times 🙂 It’s cool stuff.

I even decided to promote his books on my blog. They helped me a lot as a blogger. And they’re only about $2.99 a piece. It’s a win-win for anyone who buys them!

But how does connecting with influencers get you new clients? Well, maybe not directly, but you’ll definitely grow your reach!

Influencers can catapult you out of your dark corner of the interweb. But you need to be their friends to become their friend. You might even find that they are human, just like you. Try it out for yourself…

4. Hold a Contest

By holding a contest online, you can generate considerable publicity for your services.

This is a very good way to get some traction if you don’t have a portfolio yet.

You will offer specific access to your services as a prize for the winner. A free 1 hour consultation on a specific subject, a strategy session. Whatever floats your boat.

As long as this free service is something you know is on demand by your target audience, you’ll be good.

If you deliver great work, they might hire you for years to come. This is not uncommon at all. Another advantage of a contest is that you’ll generate a lot of buzz around your brand, which could result in additional clients.

Keep it very simple. This way you’ll keep the contest low-barrier, which you need to generate that traction.

For example…

How this contest works:

  1. Like this post.
  2. Enter your company website.
  3. Tell me why you think your company should win.

The best comment will receive a FREE 1.5 hour consultation in which we’ll go through YOUR business and get you more traffic, leads and sales!

In addition, you’ll receive a PDF with cliff notes of all the important things we discussed to GROW your business and make more SALES.

I will stop the contest and pick 2 lucky winners after 150 entries, so don’t miss out and take action now 🙂

5. Create a Product

You already have expertise on your subject. You could be using all of your energy to create beautiful things and results for your clients, but why not create something for yourself?

I recommend every freelancer to create its own product. It definitely adds to your credibility if you have a book or a high value information product.

This is a great way to showcase your expertise and make passive income in the process. A quality product generates confidence in you as a freelancer and can go a long way in attracting new clients.

Plus what else are you going to do with all that time on your hands? Work the biz!

You can learn how to create a new product by getting a course on Udemy:

Conclusion

If you’ll do these things, you’ll be well on your way to build credibility, authority and an audience that will love you.

Know your target audience, create and give. Connect with influencers by being a friend. Show that you got skills by doing, less telling. You’ll become the go-to guy or gal in your niche. And that will definitely result in you getting more clients.

Now, over to you: did you like these tactics or do you have some super cool tricks that i should know about?

Leave a comment below 🙂

Jasper Oldersom

Hey, I am Jasper and I am an authentic freelance (copy)writer and marketer. If you need time to focus on other parts of your business, while I write a quality article for your website - I'm your guy.

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Sunday - August 5, 2015 Reply

Hmm! “Nuclear” tips? that was an amazing title! Jasper!
Getting a client when starting as a freelancer may not be the easiest thing to achieve.

Especially with the huge competitive forces around. However, it is still doable if one can make valuable distinction in the product and service provided.

Testimonials are great for starters and this can be achieved by taking time to develop valuable content consistently!
I left this comment in kingged.com as well

    Jasper Oldersom - August 5, 2015 Reply

    Hey Sunday,

    Ha – i figured that would grab the attention! I don’t want to write “clickbait” titles, but an unusual word certainly helps sometimes. I don’t see “nuclear” too often, so i figured i’d just try it out. Glad u liked it.

    I agree that there is a lot of competition, but it’s definitely possible. Everyone started off somewere 🙂

    Thanks for commenting!

Theodore Nwangene - August 8, 2015 Reply

I couldn’t have agreed more Jasper,
Its really a very difficult task to get clients when you’re just starting a freelancer and that is because people have not known you.

However, following all the tips you outlined here will make it much easier especially the idea of having a blog and also building a product. You also need to connect with the people that has already achieved what you’re aiming for as soon as possible because they’ll help to get the word out there about you.

Thanks for sharing.

    Jasper Oldersom - August 8, 2015 Reply

    Hey Theodore,

    First of all, thank you for reading! It’s definitely not an easy task when you don’t know how to go about this. But what it comes down to is really showing your expertise.

    Having a well updated blog with good content written in an unique voice helps a lot with this. Your own product only further establishes this credibility and expertise.

    And yes, i think connecting with people that have already done what you want to do is absolutely vital as well. You can’t even imagine how helpful most of them are 🙂 so it definitely helps to reach out to them.

    Thanks a lot for stopping by Theodore!

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…A 3 Minute Lesson To Engage Your Blog AudienceMy Profile

Mark - August 13, 2015 Reply

Great stuff Jasper!

I just found your totally excellent blog while reviewing
some of the comments on my Coach & Mentor, Adrienne Smith’s blog!

I really like five totally awesome tips!Especially #’s 4 & 5! It sounds like
to me, you’re equally as skilled as a marketing consultant!LOL!

In that you can definitely make a go of it, as your back end income stream,
any time you wish!

I already see a few additional posts you’ve written, that I’m definitely going to
check out, and more than likely share as well!Great job, thanks!
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    Jasper Oldersom - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Hello Mark,

    Well, i can tell you this: you picked the right Coach! Adrienne is great and she can definitely help you to acquire more success from blogging 🙂

    I have quite some knowledge and experience when it comes to online marketing but when it comes to blogging i still have a lot to learn, though.

    I do truly appreciate your compliment though and i hope to see you here more often!

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Mark.

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…This Simple but Untapped Strategy can Make You a Popular BloggerMy Profile

metz - August 13, 2015 Reply

Being a freelancer means a lot of freedom to plan your own days at work. It’s great, right?

The question is, how to get clients when starting as a freelancer. Sure, it’s not an easy task, one should start from scratch.

In my point of view, creating your profile and online presence well is significant and very helpful. Blog, blog and blog, yes, that helps a lot and it can increase brand and it can make you easier to trust.

You can also start by getting into the head of the people you want to get hired by, like making a list of people that have hired freelancers that use the same skills. Additionally, creating connections with influencers has a big impact.

Useful post all in all, I must say.

    Jasper Oldersom - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Hello Metz,

    Being a Freelancer is really nice, even though it can be quite hectic at times 🙂

    When you are early on in your career and struggling with starting to get clients, it’s hard.

    But when that ball starts rolling, you might find yourself in more work than you can handle. Your additional tips are absolutely valuable, thanks for adding these here!

    Enjoy the rest of your week Metz!

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…This Simple but Untapped Strategy can Make You a Popular BloggerMy Profile

Sherman Smith - August 16, 2015 Reply

Hey Jasper,

It can be a challenge to when you first start out as a freelancer, but it’s definitely possible. Especially by following your tips here

I really like tips 1,2 and 3…. Although I was in the mindset of doing mass marketing, in the online world it doesn’t work like that. You definitely want to narrow down your focus because now people are more specific about what they really want.

Also, blogging helps to brand yourself and to become an authority in your niche. What better way to do this than to share your knowledge with your targeted audience so that you earn their respect and eventually their business.

Last but not least, reaching out the influencers eventually helps a lot. Especially if you’re trying to kill 100’s of birds with one stone. When you get in good with an influencer, from just their recommendation you can catapult your blog and business.

Thanks for sharing Jasper! Have a good one!
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    Jasper Oldersom - August 16, 2015 Reply

    Hey Sherman,

    It’s certainly a challenge. 1,2 and 3 are my favorites as well Sherman so i’m glad those stood out for you. However, having your own product also can’t be underrated. Personally, i know i always like it when someone has products to offer.

    Being specific is super important Sherman and i’m glad you found that out because the more generic you are marketing and writing, the more effort you’ll have to take in order to achieve the same results.

    I absolutely agree when it comes to blogging. I believe in giving freely. I just finished reading “How to Blog to Win Business” by Henneke Duistermaat and she says that if you are worried you’re giving away too much valuable information, you’re on the right track 😉

    Having an influencer as a mentor definitely helps. And you learn a lot just by connecting with them and reading what they share, too. If you’ll soak up their information for long enough and are eager to learn, you’ll naturally improve as well.

    Thanks a lot for your insightful comment and for stopping by Sherman!

    Have a good one 🙂

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…This Simple but Untapped Strategy can Make You a Popular BloggerMy Profile

Lawrence Berry - August 20, 2015 Reply

Freelancing can be easy when you have the right strategies in place and the right people to mentor you. You have given some great advice here that will help mentor many. I really like what you said about connecting with influencers. I think it would be great to connect with influencers to try and get a little bit of advice, and to expand your own reach by adding value to their brand as well. You also have to email like crazy and have the right strategy in place to get clients. Great article.
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    Jasper Oldersom - August 22, 2015 Reply

    Hey Lawrence,

    I agree that you need to have the right strategies in place and having a mentor is massively important. You always need to have a student mindset.

    Connecting with influencers is really helpful and I have found many of them are actually really nice and generous. If you focus on creating a long term relationship you’ll definitely reap the rewards at some point.

    Totally do agree on e-mailing like crazy, and if you do this right you can actually land clients cold. I appreciate you for adding that point here in the comments.

    Thanks Lawrence!

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted…This Simple but Untapped Strategy can Make You a Popular BloggerMy Profile

Brent Jones - September 5, 2015 Reply

Hi Jasper,

Nice tips here.

So many things I wish I knew when I started out last year… 😉

For me, narrowing my focus didn’t come until later. And I’m grateful for that. I knew I wanted to work for myself online… so I quit my job and hoped for the best. I worked tirelessly at offering just about any service I thought I get away with charging money for.

Eventually, I started to figure out which services I could charge the most for, which were in the highest demand, and which tasks I could complete the fastest.

That turned out to be copy writing and social media management.

But in the beginning… I offered everything from video editing to making memes to blog setups to proofreading to tweet writing to… well, you name it. Whatever I thought might bring in a few bucks. (I had a mortgage to pay, after all)

To really be successful, you definitely need to narrow your focus… but sometimes it’s good to play around a little in the beginning to see what services really “stick”.

Have a great weekend,

Brent
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    Jasper Oldersom - September 7, 2015 Reply

    Hey Brent,

    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such an amazing comment.

    I totally see your point of view and I believe you’re very right – It’s something i’m also talking about right now with Adrienne. I’m what MOZ calls a T-based marketer which means broad experience in a lot of fields and deep knowledge in some of them, so I’m still figuring out what services work best for me personally.

    I’m glad to see you feel the same way about that, even though we all eventually have to narrow our focus a little or we will have to put in more effort for the same kind of results.

    Copywriting is something I also have a passion for, and there is definitely enough work to go around in that world 😉

    You took a brave step Brent. I’m glad you made it work. You have the guts to be a successful entrepreneur, no doubt. It makes me think of that Henry Ford quote “remember, the plane takes off against the wind”.

    May I ask at what point you decided: that’s it…i QUIT or is that personal.

    Again, I totally agree with you that you have to throw your services on the wall to see what sticks. There are some things I already know now that I will not be doing again in the future. We learn best through experience.

    Other people who will read your comment will pick up on some great insights and that’s why I love personal stories like these.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great week ahead.

    – Jasper
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      Brent Jones - September 8, 2015 Reply

      Hi Jasper,

      You are right about that! There is plenty of copy writing work to go around!

      I spent the majority of the past 10 years in sales, in some capacity or another… I was able to earn a pretty significant income, but I wanted to have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world and the freedom to be in complete control of my earnings.

      When my wife moved to Canada in 2014, she started freelancing part-time. I saw that she was able to earn a fairly significant income on her own terms.

      So when the timing was right, I put in my notice and left my job. With no clients and no presence online to start, I dove in with both feet and decided to follow in her foot steps.

      I’m glad I did. She was an inspiration to me and an excellent mentor. 🙂

      Now we both freelance full-time, which allows us to travel together and work on our own terms. It’s also a very satisfying feeling to pay the mortgage each month knowing we were entirely self-sufficient.

      If you want to chat in more detail about it, let me know.

      Oh, and by the way… I used CommentLuv to link to my newest episode of Better Blogging below. Are you familiar with Don Purdum from Unveil the Web? He’s Adrienne Smith’s coach. I only recently became acquainted with him. Really bright guy, and definitely knows his stuff about building an online business.

      Best,

      Brent
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        Jasper Oldersom - September 9, 2015 Reply

        Hi Brent,

        Copywriters are always in demand. Good copy can make a huge difference for any business, and there is a LOT of bad copy 😉

        Being able to work from anywehre and being in control of your earnings sure is amazing Brent. I’m glad you had such an excellent mentor 😉 how awesome is that? That is an amazing story.

        You two truly live the laptop lifestyle, something that was unimaginable not even too many years ago. Being self-sufficient sure is an amazing and satisfying feeling. I’d love to chat in more detail about it with you sometime, Brent.

        Oh yeah, I definitely know Don Purdom. Amazing guy and very intelligent, definitely knows his stuff. It’s cool, because Adrienne is actually my coach at the moment.

        Like I told Don before, i’m pretty confident we will cross paths in business at some point. I’m glad you got to interview him and you can bet i’ll check it out so thanks for pointing that out for me & others 🙂

        If it’s anything like your other interviews you can bet i’ll leave a comment and share it.

        Thank you so much for getting back to my question by the way, truly appreciated!

        – Jasper
        Jasper Oldersom recently posted…How To Communicate Effectively and Become Super Likable as a BloggerMy Profile

Nathan Ambrose - September 29, 2015 Reply

Hi, Jasper.

Great work.

These tips will be helpful for all new starters, as well as the experienced. These are the sort of things that we often have to learn the hard way.

For example, the first point about being more specific with our focus. Not only does it concentrate our efforts, but id adds more clarity to our message. This is something which takes time, so knowing this from the outset is essential for a good start.

Great tips that I will use for myself and my friends.

Tweeting soon.

Nathan.
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Kazi Mamun - October 6, 2015 Reply

Hi, Jasper.
this is the great post for beginners who want to be a freelancer.
i am also a new freelancer.
this post is really effective for us.
thanks for share this post.

Sanu Siddharth - November 10, 2015 Reply

Hi Jasper,
This is very fabulous post indeed here!
Actually if someone have quality of providing any service then my suggestion is always start with freelancing work but getting client is very difficult task for everyone.
so here you have pointed with all important and helpful tips which can help to any newbie to getting costumer for his/her service.
Thanks 🙂
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Nikhil Suthar - July 4, 2016 Reply

Thanks For This Unique Post
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