After years and years working for other people, you've decided that you want to call the shots and be your own boss. After all, at this stage of your career (and life), being a freelancer would not only give you a more flexible schedule, but better work-life balance, too. But just because you're ready to start your freelance career doesn't mean that you're going to have a steady supply of clients right away. Here's how to find clients as a freelancer.
Use your network.
The easiest place to find future clients is by starting with who you know. Let your friends and family know that you're making a-go of a freelancing career and could really use their help launching your business. Let them know specifically what services you offer so that they can provide quality leads for you. You should also connect with previous employers and former clients, all of whom might be able to refer you to prospective customers.
Utilize specific job boards.
You know that you want to freelance. So it makes sense to peruse job postings on websites that feature the types of jobs you really want. Sites such as FlexJobs or other freelance niche sites can help you keep your job search tailored for what you want without having to weed through what you don't want.
Join a team.
The whole point of becoming a freelancer was so that you could be your own boss and work alone. So why would you want to work with other freelancers (and frankly, those who could be perceived as potential competitors)? Well, teaming up with other freelancers like yourself offers many advantages.
For starters, you can learn how they structured their businesses and find their clients. Also, knowing other freelancers can help boost your own business, especially if they are swamped with work and willing to pass along paid projects to you
. Similarly, if you team up with other freelancers whose services compliment your own (i.e., a graphic designer teaming up with a writer), you can greatly improve your chances of finding clients and getting extra gigs
Move over, business cards. The best way to spread the word about your business today is by having a website. Even if you're not web savvy, there are many ways to get your website live in no time. From hosting sites to free website templates, there's really no reason why you can't have a polished website without having to pay a pretty penny for it. Having a site not only shows that you're professional, but it also can showcase your previous work to potential clients.
Perfect your pitch.
Sure, it's important to try to find clients all over the country (and the globe) when you're looking to launch your biz. But don't forget about local businesses, either. Before setting out to connect with local businesses, you should study up on what they do, and most importantly, what you can offer them. That way, you can have a steady stream of local, national, and international clients to round out your clientele list—and ensure a steady stream of income, too.
Once you decide that you want to have a freelance career, it's important to be strategic about finding clients and freelance jobs
. That way, you can experience success as a freelancer and have the work-life balance you need, too.
This is a guest post.