The following is a guest post from Tia Grado, the founder of Freelancing Females. Tia shares her insights into how to land your first freelancing client. Learn more about Freelancing Females and join the free workshop series between Freelancing Females and Teachable. The three-series workshop will teach you how to jumpstart a new revenue stream, monetize your expertise, and launch your first knowledge product.
As a new freelancer, landing your first client can be daunting. You may be asking yourself, “How do I find clients?” or “How do I convince them to hire me?” Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to land your first client and kickstart your freelance career.
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8 strategies for landing your first freelancing job
1. Define your niche
The first step to landing your first client is to define your niche. Instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, focus on a specific area of expertise. This will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and make it easier for potential clients to find you. For example, if you’re a writer, you might specialize in copywriting for e-commerce websites or creating blog posts for startups. You could even get further into a niche and focus on a specific topic, like finance or mental health.
2. Build your portfolio
Once you’ve defined your niche, it’s time to start building your portfolio. This can be a challenge when you’re just starting out, but there are several strategies you can use to showcase your skills. You might consider writing guest blog posts for other websites or offering to do pro bono work for a nonprofit organization. Make sure to also create a portfolio site to showcase your work, details on the services you offer, testimonials, and how to contact you.
3. Leverage your network
One of the easiest ways to land your first client is to leverage your existing network. Reach out to friends, family members, and former colleagues to let them know that you’re available for freelance work. You might be surprised by the number of people who are willing to help you out or who know someone who needs your services.
4. Use freelance platforms
Another way to find your first client is to use freelance platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer. You can also join creative directories, Facebook Groups of specific niches, or use the Freelancing Females job board. These platforms allow you to create a profile and bid on jobs posted by clients. While there is a lot of competition on these platforms, they can be a great way to get your foot in the door and build your portfolio.
5. Attend networking events
Attending networking events is another great way to meet potential clients. Look for events in your area that are relevant to your niche and make an effort to introduce yourself to other attendees. Don’t be afraid to pitch your services, but be sure to focus on how you can help them rather than just promoting yourself.
And use it to plan your first freelance project!
6. Managing incoming inquiries
When you’re trying to land your first client, it’s important to be professional at all times. This means responding to emails and messages promptly, delivering work on time, and communicating clearly and effectively. Remember, your first client could lead to more work in the future, so it’s important to make a good impression. Once you finish with your first client make sure to ask them for a testimonial on Linkedin and feedback for your next project.
7. Offer a special deal
Finally, consider offering a special deal to your first client. This could be a discounted rate, a free trial period, or an added bonus such as a free consultation. Not only will this help you land your first client, but it could also lead to positive reviews and referrals that can help you land more clients in the future.
8. Create the work you want to be hired for
Are you interested in focusing on poster design? Start creating posters for your portfolio to showcase your work if you do not have previous work in the same realm.
Earning your first client
Now that you’ve got the tools and tactics to land your first client, it’s time to put yourself out there and show the world what you’ve got! Remember, finding clients as a freelancer is all about being confident, persistent, and creative. So, go ahead and let your skills and personality shine! And if you hit a few roadblocks along the way, don’t fret – just keep learning, growing, and trying new things until you find the perfect match. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, you’ll soon be on your way to a thriving freelancing career.