As a freelancer, I know all too well that getting more clients is often the most frustrating part of the job. With remote work on the rise and potential clients from around the world, it’s never been a better time to freelance, but growing your client base can still feel like a challenge.
That’s why I’ve laid out 6 ways to get more freelance clients. These are all methods I’ve used to grow my own client base. While some may work better for you than others, they’re all worth trying. Best of all, they’re free for anyone to use – so let’s dig in!
6 Ways to Get More Freelance Clients
1. Use Your Personal Network
When you first start freelancing, one of the best ways to get clients is by starting with people you already know. There’s almost certainly someone in your life that needs your services or knows someone who does. This includes:
- Friends and family: You probably have friends and family that could use your services, even if you don’t know it! Start spreading the news that you’ve started a freelancing business and that you’re looking to take on new clients.
- Former bosses and co-workers: A great option is to reach out to people you’ve worked with in the past – as long as you left on good terms. Ask them directly if they have any business or know of anyone that might have business for you.
- Events and social groups: Another way to build your network is to join local business groups, attend events and conferences in your niche, and participate in online forums and webinars. These are a great way to further build out your personal network and present yourself in a professional way.
While working with people you’re close to can be great, it can also sometimes cause tensions, especially around payment and scope. It’s important to ensure you set clear expectations, as the professional and personal boundaries can sometimes get blurred with friends and family. By setting expectations upfront, you can better avoid any issues.
2. Grow a Social Media Presence
No matter what type of freelance services you offer, using social media to boost your online presence is a smart marketing move. Almost every business and most individuals use social media regularly, so by making yourself known, you can grow your client base.
LinkedIn is often the go-to for many freelancers looking to digitally connect with businesses and individuals looking for services. You can network with others, which is one important aspect, but it's equally important to develop your own presence.
Post your thoughts and opinions, share articles relevant to your niche, and engage with others’ posts to build a robust following. Don’t limit yourself to LinkedIn though, as you may get even better results elsewhere.
If you’re a freelance graphic designer, you may have more luck on Instagram, where you easily show off your visual art skills. If you’re a freelance journalist, you might find Twitter is best for keeping up with breaking news stories as they roll in. You can even look in unconventional places – like Reddit – to find work or promote your services.
3. Ask for Referrals and Reviews
An incredibly easy way to get new clients is to ask existing clients for referrals. Most business owners are plugged in with the local business community and know other small business owners. That can be a goldmine of opportunity for new work in your area.
Without being pushy, you can ask your clients if they know anyone else looking for your services. If you’re working on a one-off project, ask when the project is complete and they are satisfied with the work. If you’re working with a client on an ongoing basis, you can still ask, but reassure them that taking on new clients won’t affect your work with them in any way.
Even if they don’t have anyone to refer you to, you can ask for testimonials or reviews. You can add these to your website to give credibility to your skills. It can help sell your ability to potential clients and present your services in a more professional way.
4. Team Up With Other Freelancers
You may sometimes view other freelancers as your competitors, but in reality, they can be a helpful asset to have on your side. When freelancers need to take a personal leave, take on too much work, or find they aren’t a good fit for their client, they often refer work to other freelancers in their field.
Having these connections can work out in your favor when these situations arise, as the freelancer may refer clients to you. Plus, if you find yourself in the same position, you’ll have people you can turn to for help, without hurting your professional reputation by missing deadlines or not completing work.
Additionally, you can also connect with freelancers that offer complimentary services. For some projects, clients will be looking for several different freelancers. By teaming up with another freelancer, you can provide additional value to the client, while also gaining access to a whole new list of potential clients.
For example, if you’re a web developer, you could team up with a UX designer to be able to offer full web design packages. If you’re a wedding planner, you could work with a photographer to offer a full wedding package.
5. Improve Your Payment System
As a freelancer, it’s important to not only provide great work for your clients, but to also be well organized and on top of the more mundane business side of things. A simple way to get more clients is by improving your payment system and offering different ways to pay.
While it can be tempting to stick with one payment method, doing so can limit the number of clients that work with you, especially if you work with clients from around the world. For instance, clients in your own country may find it easiest to pay using bank transfers, but clients outside your country may want to use digital wallets like PayPal or Payoneer.
You can set yourself up to accept many different payment methods with Pay.com. With the option to send invoices and Pay Links directly to your clients, you can choose which payment options work best for your business. More payment options means more potential clients.
6. Practice Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to draw in new clients and brand yourself as an expert in your field. This is crucial for setting yourself apart from your competition, especially as freelancing only continues to rise in popularity. Plus, as your recognition grows and your content becomes well-known, clients will start seeking you out, which can take the pressure off.
You can do start content marketing in a number of ways, including:
- Starting a blog where you discuss ideas, news, or promote helpful advice for your niche.
- Creating YouTube videos and tutorials that help others and promote your skills.
- Designing templates and downloadables for followers to use.
- Hosting webinars with experts and leaders in your niche.
After you create content, be sure to optimize it for your website or social platforms. You can do this by using specific keywords, updating content regularly, and using links and images to make it more reader friendly. These resources can help potential clients find you through organic search, but it is a more time-intensive way to market yourself.
What’s the Best Way for Freelancers to Accept Payments?
Freelancers who work with a variety of different clients often need to be flexible in how they accept payments. Some clients may want to pay using PayPal, ACH, or even credit cards. There are pros and cons to all payment methods, but as a freelancer, if you don’t have the ability to accept multiple payment methods, you may be limited in your client options.
With Pay.com, you don’t have to be limited. Setting up a Pay.com account is quick and easy. You can choose which payment methods you want to receive from a variety of freelancer-friendly options.
Pay.com lets you easily send invoice links directly to your clients. Then, the user-friendly dashboard allows you to track pending and accepted payments – a must when you’re juggling multiple clients. It’s a great payment tool for any freelancer.
The Bottom Line: How Should You Market Yourself as a Freelancer?
The best way to get more clients as a freelancer is by continually putting yourself out there and making yourself known. The more people know what you do, the more they will be able to hire you or recommend you to others.
Since many freelancers work remotely, growing your online presence can be one of the easiest and best ways to get more clients. However, using your personal network and asking for client referrals can also lead to clients. Overall, taking many approaches to marketing yourself will have the best outcomes and the farthest reach.
Once you’ve marketed yourself far and wide, having an easy system for sending payment requests and accepting multiple payment methods is a must.
Pay.com makes it simple to get started, with a quick onboarding process, a variety of secure payment options, and a user-friendly dashboard to keep track of accepted and pending payments. Click here to sign up now!