(Pssst. There’s action steps and a bonus worksheet at the bottom of this post!)
You guys. Sometimes getting clients can be really hard. Especially when you’re first starting out. If you don’t have a massive network of referral work coming your way, it can be a challenge to know where to look for people who want to pay you to do what you do. So when you’re in this situation, what do you do?
You Google it, obviously. “How to get freelance clients”
There are 1 gazillion blogs and courses out there to tell you how to launch your business – whether you’re a blogger, freelancer, coach, maker, etc. They talk about getting clarity on your brand’s vision, creating your unique voice and style, defining your ideal audience, and they might briefly touch on building your audience. They offer up vague advice on using social media and SEO to drive traffic to your site, or how hiring a website designer will get you clients, or how starting a blog is the answer!
That’s it – hire a web designer, start a blog, use SEO. And maybe self-publish on kindle so you look like an expert. Now you’ve got a business and you can quit your job and roll in your piles of money!
If you’ve ever tried this, you probably know that doing these things alone doesn’t make you money. At least not right away.
The problem is that most of these posts never tell you how to actually make money. They lay the foundation of what you need (vision, brand, website), but never get into the nitty-gritty of how to make it work. So you put up a website, you tweak your brand, and you wait for the clients to roll in. But it’s just crickets.
Dudes, it’s because that advice is kind of bullshit. ‘Build it and they will come’ isn’t real. Hear me out…
All of that foundation stuff is great. It’s important to establish your online presence with a brand that is uniquely you. It’s important to have a vision and know what you are working for. And social media and SEO are very useful long-term marketing tactics. But in most cases, just doing these things won’t get you clients. And even if you don’t mind waiting a while for clients to show up (because you have a vault full of gold like you’re Harry freaking Potter and this freelance thing is just a nice way to pass the time?), you could be waiting a hell of a long time for anyone to actually open up their wallet for you, even if they’ve found you online.
So what should you ACTUALLY be doing to get clients?
If you want to get clients right away – like now – you have to do more than get traffic to your website. You have to actually fucking TALK TO PEOPLE. And you have to hustle.
(Real talk – I don’t currently have a website or pretty brand to look at for my freelance business while I’m rebranding, and I’ve still managed to bring in 5 new clients in the last month.)
I know it sounds crazy. But this shit works. Here’s how to get started:
Step 1 – Go out and find the people you want to work with. Go to Facebook groups, forums on Reddit or Quora, networking events, twitter chats, blog comment sections, freelance job boards. Listen intently to how they are talking about the problems they have that you can solve.
Step 2 – Create a solution for their problem and set up a page for it on your website. Use words that they used when they talked about it. Make sure this page has a very clear way to hire you or buy the solution you are selling.
Step 3 – Go back to those people you found in step 1 and start joining their conversations about the topic. Be helpful rather than pushy or salesy, and when the time is right, let them know about your solution and how you can help them.
Step 4 – Don’t be afraid to promote your stuff to your network. Let everyone know that you have this awesome new solution to their problem and you have spaces available for new clients.
Step 5 – Kick ass at the project, collect testimonials from your new clients, ask if they know anyone else that could benefit, rinse and repeat.
Getting into action and talking to people about what they need is going to be far more effective for you for getting clients than simply having a brand that matches your personality. All of those other things are important, but it’s building relationships in the right way that is going to get you the gig.
Get started with your Getting Clients action sheet. Click below to download it and start bringing in more clients like now!
If you’re serious about getting more clients and you’re ready to take action today, check out Get Booked Bootcamp, a 4-week e-course that is going to whip your client getting skills into shape! Learn more about the course and how it can help you upgrade your freelance business now.