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How to get Freelance Clients - A Guide to Freelancing

Sunada Jayaram
Sunada Jayaram
Create: Oct 10,2022

Freelancing is a new form of micro-entrepreneurship where individuals peddle their skills in the market. This parallel hiring model has given many qualified professionals a fresh lease for their careers as they can work from anywhere, around their schedule, and at a comfortable pace. Furthermore, it does not limit individuals to a single skill. A person can be a Vlogger, copywriter, and web designer and take on projects in any of these fields based on the mastery of their skills.

It takes time to build a client base and get recognition for one's skills. The first job is generally the toughest as one does not have any work experience to show, and one relies solely on their proposal. Things get easier as one builds their portfolio, but one can still hit a plateau in their career. By studying the markets and what others with similar skill sets are asking for their services, one can figure out the rates they can ask. The challenge, however, is how does one get freelance clients - consistently?

Know your market

There are many online freelance job sites, that cater exclusively to freelance projects such as ZoopUp, Upwork, or Freelancer.com. Then there are some websites that one can visit to hire freelancers from the IT development sector such as Gun.io or Turing. Then there are other professional networking websites and job sites that also advertise freelance job openings such as LinkedIn, Naukri, or MonsterJobs. These are good places to start looking for clients. Study the competition – 

  • Qualifications of freelancers offering similar services
  • Experience levels of freelancers applying for any project
  • Rates charged by different freelancers
  • Skillsets possessed by freelancers in the same industry or domain
  • What’s new in your field?
  • What are companies looking for?

Where’s the market?

Although the internet is not the starting place for every freelancer, it is where much of the work is now advertised. Whether you live in New York, Melbourne, Lagos, or Lucknow, the surest way to find clients is on the world wide web. Most companies post their projects on job sites and the candidate that best suits their requirements is recruited, immaterial of where they are from. The top freelance job websites have secure portals on which one is assured of the legitimacy of clients and freelancers. 

Thus, even if you are marketing yourself through your known circle of alumni groups, family, friends, former colleagues, and companies you have worked for, the fastest way to get good projects and great clients is online. Freelance job portals help one connect with international clients, and just for ease of use, even businesses prefer advertising online. Even large companies advertise their requirements on certain niche portals such as Toptal, besides their company sites. 

A strategy-driven virtual presence adds value

For every profession, one does not require social media presence. For instance, an auditor or marine engineer does not require Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook presence to promote their professional skills. However, a digital marketer, event manager, or photographer can benefit highly from a strong social media presence. In all these cases, professional networking sites such as LinkedIn can be very valuable in helping one connect with others in their profession or with clients. it is important to create a very driven virtual presence, highlighting one's projects and career graph. 

In an age where anyone can find information about anyone else online, it is important to manage one's media presence to their advantage. For instance, even if you cannot use popular social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to find professional connections, by following the right people, businesses, and pages, one can build an image of their professional inclinations. By answering questions on Quora or Reddit, you can communicate your expertise. Publish articles and blogs on professional networking sites, or websites such as Medium.com and then marketing on one’s social networking sites will help you cherry-pick the projects of your choice.

Communication is the key

In every aspect of the building, one’s professional biography, to ace it as a freelancer, it is important to create a clear narrative of –

  • Who you are
  • What drives you
  • Your professional aspirations
  • What value do you have to offer

For this, the first step is to create a strong portfolio. One can maintain multiple portfolios based on their level of experience. This helps in creating a niche profile for different projects that will communicate your capabilities and eligibility. If you do not have too much experience, then weave in aspects of the expertise that can be related to the project and how you can add value to it. 

To have a rewarding career as a freelancer and be noticed by clients one must know how to market their skills and position themselves in the market as someone who has a strong value proposition to offer. 

About The Author

Sunada Jayaram
Sunada Jayaram
Create : Oct 10,2022

I am a freelance writer with varied experience of 11 years