You’ve decided to start freelancing.
First of all, congrats! Freelancing is the quickest and easiest way to dip your toes into working for yourself.
You know what kind of skills you have and you have an idea of what kind of services you want to provide. It’s time to start building your experience and portfolio (and maybe actually make some money along the way!).
So how do you actually do that?
3 Quick Ways To Get Your First Clients
1. Limited-Time Intro Deal
You might be nervous that you’re brand new and people won’t want to hire you because of that. You don’t have much of a portfolio (if at all) and you don’t have testimonials to help convince people you’re great at what you do.
But the fact that you are just starting also means you are more willing to start out with lower prices. There are plenty of budget-friendly people out there that are willing to hire a newbie if it means not paying as much.
Now, I’m a firm believer in charging what you’re worth (which is often more than you think), but doing a limited-time deal, that you advertise as an intro price because you’re just getting your business off the ground, is a great way to bring in those first few clients. After all, we all start somewhere and potential clients will not only understand that, but be more enticed and excited to help you out while getting started.
So think through your services and what kind of special you could put together and sell in an enticing way.
Then you can create some images promoting this “Business Launch Special” and share it on your social networks, in Facebook groups, on your blog and in your newsletter if you’ve started one.
2. Friends, Family & Existing Network
The easiest place to start when looking for new clients is your immediate network. It’s already there, and they already know, like and trust you.
Start by reaching out to people individually, letting them know you’ve just launched your freelance business and you are looking for some referrals of people that may need your help.
Then post on your social media channels introducing your new business to your close connections and ask for help in spreading the word.
(This also works great in combination with a limited-time launch special!)
A common problem most new freelancers have is that they have no idea what to charge in the beginning. This creates a huge mental block about putting yourself out there in the ways I mentioned above.
You may be worried about announcing your new business and that you’re looking for new clients when you aren’t even sure what to do once they knock on your door!
Doing a Pay-What-You-Can portfolio-building special is a great way for you to build your experience — without working completely for free. This will turn into a bigger portfolio, testimonials, and hopefully referrals down the line.
Lots of people do this, even after they are well-experienced. Wes Carr shared on FTF how he’s used the gift economy in his freelancing.
You might just find that they pay you more than you would have asked!