We often talk about the right way to approach clients, write an application or find the right contracts. In those kinds of articles, an aspect often goes unmentioned – clients can also make the first step. Obviously, not every freelancing gig is initiated by the freelancer.
But there is a reason why you read less about making clients come to you. It’s difficult to formulate advice that fits everybody or even a significant part of freelancers. There is one common thread – it’s about being out there. About being seen at the right places, whether it is on Twitter, at a conference or on GitHub. The more people know about your existence, the easier it is for you to get noticed and approached by clients.
Having that in mind, here are some things you could try to figure out what works as an attention-grabber for your business.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most efficient ways to get your name not only circulating around in a room, but also connected to something. The best recommendations come from previous or current clients. With that in mind, remind your clients now and again that you’re free to work on other projects as well. Ask to be recommended. If they trust you and are happy with the way you work, they will spread the word to other potential clients. Here are a few tips on Client referrals for freelancers.
Word-of-mouth is always something that is spread easiest when working with and along others. If you’re tipping away at your keyboard in your home office, only your client notices that. But find a co-working place and suddenly you have people that can witness your work ethics and exchange ideas in the coffee break. Multiplying your network with that of others can be extremely helpful.
2. Social Media & Online Content
Social media often gets misused for strictly advertising and promoting one’s products or services. That doesn’t work. Because social media is about interaction and if we’re talking about getting others to notice you, it’s a great place to start. To do that, “simply” stay relevant. Participate in discussions about your field of work, give good input and be consistent. If you keep at it long enough, people will get used to your name being a part of that market – making it one of the first names that pop up when looking for an expert.Find IT experts worldwide.
A second way to get noticed online is to create content. That might be a bit more cumbersome that firing up a couple of tweets a day, but it can also be more effective. If you provide meaningful content, like long articles about your unique experience with some current issue, it will get noticed. Do not miss our article on How to grow your freelance business by producing quality content. This is one of those things that will require a lot of time and resources, however, so it’s not for everyone.
3. “Offline” events
The first step to getting noticed offline is to just visit networking events. That works like the co-working spaces we mentioned above, but on a much larger scale. Also, you might learn a thing or two about what the best in your field are up to. Apart from that being incredibly useful, networking events are generally there to do exactly what this article is about – build contacts and get your name out there.
If you want to go the extra mile with offline events and you have the expertise required, becoming a speaker can do wonders for your freelance career. Even if you start small, like holding key notes at local events in your town, being on stage is a surefire way to increase the number of people that know you. Again, obviously not for everyone, but certainly something worth thinking about if you are a person who is good at public speaking.
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