If you decided to become a freelancer not so long ago, you may be experiencing some shortage of clients. When you're starting, getting your first clients is never an easy mission. However, there are things that you can do that will allow them to find you and your awesome work.
Here's how a new freelancer can get their first clients:
#1: Keep Creating
When you're looking for clients, you need to have some previous works to show them. So, you just need to keep creating your portfolio that is able to meet your future clients' needs.
If you think about it, the new freelancer's dilemma is a bit similar to the dilemma people need to deal with when they're looking for their first job: "To get a job, you need to have experience. But how can you get experience if you never had a job before?"
If this is what's bugging you, just take a look at your competition. Look at photography or design freelancer websites for example. Do you think that their portfolio is only what they did for their clients? It's not. Most of it, it's actually the work they did on their own when they hadn't any client yet.
If your only motivation for being a freelancer is money, you'll have a hard time to build your career. We're not saying that money isn't important. But reputation is what makes you succeed. And in order to get a reputation, you need to show what you can do. So, just build a portfolio. Your clients expect to see it before they hire you.
#2: Do Some Projects For Free
Yes, we know how much you hate this word. After all, you also have your own bills to pay. However, when you're just starting, this is really one of the best paths you have. We need to say that this is a long-term play, but it is completely worth it.
Let's say that you build websites. You know many different local stores near you that already have their own website. But when you look at them, you just see so many things you could do better. So, why waiting.? Go ahead and make them a new website. When you're done, just send them an email with the link to the one you created and tell them something like this: "I saw your website and I know your store and this is how I see it. If you like the website, you can take it. It's yours."
Not only you're making something great for the community as you're also building your portfolio. Plus, you can be sure that the store owner will be so glad about your work that he will tell other store owners about your work and you might get your first clients this way. They can also write an amazing testimonial or reference your services to somebody else. It's just a win-win situation for all the parts involved.
#3: Be Accessible
Just like you decided to be a freelancer, other people have done the same. So, it might not be very easy for people to find you on the search engine. So, the first thing you need to do is to google your name. If you're listing on the first page, that's great. However, if you have a common name, you might not be there. So, you'll need some SEO efforts to make sure that you appear on the first page when people search for you. One of the things that will make it easier is if rank your name and the service you provide.
As you can see, it's possible to get your first clients with just a bit of creativity and hard work. However, when you pass on this phase, you'll have returning clients as well as you'll be referred to others who may also want to hire your services. So, be ready for the positive snow ball effect.