“But where do you find your clients?” It’s probably the question I hear most when I say that I work as a location independent freelancer. It’s also one of the biggest reasons people don’t dare to take that step into freelancing, or why digital nomadism stays a dream instead of reality. The truth is, once you know where to look, it really is not that difficult. I’m listing my favorite ways to find clients.
There are a couple of big, well-known websites that serve as virtual marketplaces for freelancers. They all have their own style, but as a client, you list your project, and as a freelancer, you create a profile and apply to the projects. Payment is often done via the website and both client and freelancer are relatively safe. In return for facilitating the platform, the website takes a commission from each project.
Competition can be fierce on those platforms, but don’t get intimidated by that. When you create a killer profile and list your previous results, you will be able to attract good clients. My personal go-to website is Upwork, but there is also Fiverr, People Per Hour, Freelancer, and a lot more.
I work in social media marketing so it wouldn’t be a good sign if I wouldn’t find clients that way! However, I believe that with any type of job, you will be able to find clients on social networks. First of all, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and reflects all your skills and achievements. Connect with potential clients and post updates with interesting ideas and advice within your industry. If you share enough value, people will get curious and find your profile.
The same goes for Facebook and especially Facebook groups. Don’t make the mistake of looking for clients in groups focussed on your industry – there, you will only find your competitors. Instead, look for groups aimed at your ideal client. There are groups for everything, so whether your ideal client is a new mom or a dentist, you will be able to find a group where they are discussing their problems.
Same strategy: provide as much value and advice as you can and people will know where to find you when they need your services.
Pro Tip! Why not start your own Facebook group for your niche?
If you haven’t discovered coworking yet, it’s about time! These places are hubs full of creatives and entrepreneurs and they are all eager to collaborate. In a good coworking space, the vibe is very supportive and everyone wants each other to succeed. So when a startup is looking for a marketing strategy, they will likely turn to the community, and when a content writer needs some images, they will turn to the freelancer at the next desk. Check out the coworking spaces around you with the Cowork7/24 app!
The way I met most of my current clients is by attending events like conferences, workshops, and other network opportunities. Just as with the Facebook groups, don’t try to find your clients in your industry events. Instead, go to the events where your clients are; startup events, medical conferences, … whatever niche you excel in!
Pro Tip! Want to make sure you get to talk to as many people as possible? Become a volunteer at the event or apply to be a speaker. Hosting an UnConference sessions works as well. Network possibilities guaranteed!
Of course, there are many more ways to find clients, but to me, these methods have proved to be successful time and again. What’s your favorite way of finding clients?