Starting a freelance business can be a fantastic side hustle. With a freelance business you get to decide what service you’ll offer, what type of clients you want to work with, how much you’ll charge, and when you’ll work.
Earning money as a freelancer is a ton of hard work but it’s also very rewarding. Not to mention, in terms of immediate income, it’s kind of hard to beat.
Here’s a five step process for getting freelance clients.
What Will You Offer?
Your first and biggest step is determining your offering. Obviously, this is going to be extremely different for every person.
For instance, I personally offer freelance writing, virtual assistant, and blog management services. You need to offer a service that is congruent with your skills and interests.
Some examples would be:
- Graphic Design
Determine Who You Want As Clients
After you’ve determined what you want to offer your next step is to determine what kind of clients you want to cater to. If you try to be a generalist it’s going to be really hard for you to secure clients.
For example, I offer my services to people who are in the personal finance space. Personal finance interests me and is something I know a lot about.
To give you some quick ideas if you’re a website designer you could offer services to family owned restaurants, if you’re a landscaper you could cater to high-end neighborhoods in a certain section of your city, if you’re a painter you could choose to paint either residential or commercial properties.
Whatever service you choose to offer you need think long and hard about exactly who you appeal to and what types of clients you want to draw in.
Collect Samples Of Your Work
Next on the list is to collect samples of your work.
To do this I recommend that you start a website for your business and list out your services plus provide samples. (Samples could either be links to your work or pictures of your work.)
Setting up your own website is extremely easy to do and allows you to quickly point prospects to a place where they can learn more about you.
After you collect samples of your work it’s time to pitch yourself. The way you go about this will be different based on what industry you’re in.
As a freelance writer I’ll often cold pitch people I want to work for on a frequent basis. I simply send an email introducing myself and the services that I offer. Do I get hired every time? Absolutely not! Does cold pitching work? Yes – it is extremely effective.
If you’re not yet comfortable with cold pitching then start by spreading the word to your personal network. Post about your business on Facebook, attend Chamber of Commerce meetings, and tell your family and friends that you’re actively seeking work.
Deliver Your Work On Time
After you land your first client you need to deliver quality work and do it on time. If you’re serious about growing your new side business you need to develop a strong reputation from day one.
Do not be late in delivering your work.
I can't say this enough - it's the fastest way to lose clients and develop a poor reputation. And believe me, people in the industry (any industry really) will talk about which freelancers and good, and which ones are not.
Rinse and Repeat
To get more clients you can ask for referrals and continue to cold pitch prospects. Landing clients is the hardest part about starting a freelance business. If you can successfully build your client roster you’ll be able to take your business as far as you’d like it to go.
Do you have any tips for getting freelance clients?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.