Newbie Jitters: How To Get Your First Five Clients As A Freelancer

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Starting your own freelance business can be nerve wracking.

The fear of not being able to acquire a consistent stream of clients is probably the biggest fear.

For the last few years, I’ve worked as a freelancer and entrepreneur. I’ve spoke with hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world about their experiences as an entrepreneur and the biggest struggle tends to always be connected to getting started.

What tactics can you implement to help you get your first few clients?

Where should you be spending your time and energy?

These are the questions I’m going to answer in today’s post. I’m hopeful that these tips can help you find and close your first few deals and ultimately arm you with the ability to create a thriving business.

EXCLUSIVE: Want 100 tips that will help you make your first $100k? Order this guide now. It’s filled with the tips you need to make your transition from a freelancer running an average business to  a thriving one.

Ok – Let’s get to it…

Embrace A Singular Focus & Own It

One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is offering their services to everyone.

I’ve talked to way too many designers and web developers who say they will work with anyone.

While this may be the truth – it’s not the message you need to convey to the world about your business. You need to find a niche in which you can serve and craft a story around how you deliver. For example, if you’re a new web designer – identify an industry you get excited about (ie. Breweries, Restaurants, Startups, etc) and then focus on that industry in everything you do.

Hired Guns

Take this example from Hired Guns Creative, this company has carved out a niche and owned it. Whether you’re a brewery or vineyard – Hired Guns is a company that has owned the story around delivering quality work for these industries.

Create Content Tailored To Your Audience

From the blog posts you write to the tweets you share – focus on delivering value to those who fall into your niche. Build relationships with these individuals by sharing articles with them that may be of interest and strengthen them by writing the articles yourself.

One of the best ways to create content that is going to drive results is to take inspiration from others. You can use a site like Crate or Nuzzel to find content that people want and use these articles as inspiration for your own posts.

Don’t steal the actual content. 

But don’t be afraid to uncover a title like ‘Six Steps To Achieving Success As An Entrepreneur” and decide to write an article called “Six Steps To Making Your Breweries Website Redesign A Success”.

Start Nurturing Relationships With Ideal Clients

Build Relationships

Once you’ve identified who your target audience is and your story – it’s time to strengthen those relationships. People do business with people they like and trust. So in the early days, it’s going to be very important for you to build strong relationships with your prospective clients.

How can you build these relationships? Here’s a couple ways:

1) Identify + Help Solve Existing Problems

Did you notice your target client forgot to add meta descriptions on their homepage? Did you notice that one of the images on their site are low res? Or maybe you noticed a few broken links on their about us page? Find existing issues or opportunities to improve and communicate them.

2) Attend Events Within The Industry

Take the time to do research on what events your prospects are attending and get a ticket. If you can schedule lunches during the events with a few of them – even better! Face time is one of the best ways to build a quality relationship.

3) Share Your Content With Them

Whether it’s through a newsletter or in a LinkedIn message linking back to a blog post – distribute your content as often as you can to stay top of mind.

Conclusion

These are really just some of the ways you can start locking in clients for your freelance business.

You should also consider doing things like signing up for Dribbble if you’re a designer or browsing job posting sites to uncover new opportunities. The possibilities are endless! The key is uncovering the tactics that work best for you and focusing on them. In our book with 100 tips for making your first $100k, you will have the chance to learn and capitalize on some of the tactics that have worked for me.

But I want to hear from you – What tactics have you tried in the past? What works for you?

Comment below!

TAKE YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Download these 100 tips that will help you make your first $100k? Order this guide now. It’s filled with the tips you need to make your transition from a freelancer running an average business to  a thriving one.

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