A Better Way to Get New Clients

The number one question I get from aspiring freelancers is “How do I get new clients”. Yes, I can definitely give some tips on immediate actions you can take to get a new client in the door fast (and have already done so here).

But those are “right now” strategies, that will only help you bust through a slow period, not sustain your business for the long haul.

It’s the long haul I want to talk about today.

Because it’s the long haul that matters.

If you’re anything like me, the ultimate success in freelancing is not an arbitrary income number (6 figures anyone?) but rather, steady income, month over month.

  • Not having to worry about how much to save this month, in case no clients come next month.
  • Getting past the fear of feast or famine.
  • Booking out in advance.
  • Getting to say no to people.
  • Knowing that if you want to take a vacation for a month, you won’t be back at square one when it’s over.

That, to me, is successful freelancing. And it takes more than a few “Get Clients Fast” strategies (although those can always help).

It takes consistency.

In your marketing, in your networking, in your level of service.

Have you heard of the Rule of 7? It’s an old marketing adage that states that on average, someone needs to see or interact with you 7 times before they will purchase from you (or refer you to someone else).

Which means, you need to start being consistent, in everything you do, in order to hit that ideal 7 (and hopefully surpass it) in all your biz building efforts.

ConsistentResults

So, here are some things you need to do consistently to guarantee a steady stream of clients.

Connect with strangers

Reaching out to a few folks you think are well connected, and then seeing nothing come of it and dropping the ball, is just a waste of time. Make it a part of your weekly activities, every week.

Tweet people’s stuff, like their posts on Facebook, comment on their blogs, email them to say thanks for a blog post you enjoyed.

Do it consistently, and before you know it, you may have a new online friend, and you’ll likely be on top of their mind when a referral opportunity comes up. I can’t tell you how many client inquiries I’ve had, as a referral from a random connection I’ve made online.

Being of service

When someone asks a question online that you know the answer to- answer it! When you see someone struggling with something, reach out and offer your help. Give your knowledge freely.

I’ve made this a part of my daily social media activities. And you know what’s happened? I now often get people contacting me who start the email off with “I see your name pop up everywhere”. That’s the rule of 7 in full force.

Treat your current clients like royalty

It’s not just about the results you provide. I assume you do great work for all your clients. It’s the experience. And your client experience starts with you process. (Don’t have a process? Get one here). Do you make working with you easy for your clients? Do they feel like you’re putting their desires and results above everything else? Do you over-deliver? How do you thank them when work is complete? Get your client experience process in place and be consistent with it.

Blogging & your newsletter

You know this. Everyone tells you this already. But I have to tell you again. I had no traffic when I started blogging consistently. And for the first few months, the only traffic I did get was from a random post on Facebook and minimal at that.

But then people started coming to my site via old blog posts indexed on google. People starting sharing my posts on social media if it became helpful to them later on. My newsletter subscribers started actually clicking on my emails because they knew (from consistency) that there would be a helpful article on the other side of the link.

But you have to be consistent. Get your visitors and fans accustomed to seeing you on a set schedule, and it will become part of their day.

Of all my favorite emails, I know which ones come on which days and it’s a part of my routine to read it on that day. As for other people, who I only see in my inbox every couple months…my brain hasn’t been trained to think that yes, clicking on this will be worth my time…..so I save it for later.

We all know what later means.

Are you consistent?

If you need some clients and cash fast, read this for some tips. If not, start being consistent in your marketing efforts. The results might come later (and I know that’s tough to deal with), but they will be the results that matter.

As usual, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Let me know your experience with being consistent. Have you ever had a client come to you because of consistent effort you made in the past?

-Leah

 

 

Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Robin

    Hi Leah,

    Your posts are so helpful and inspirational! Thank you so much for all the valuable information you share so freely. Have a wonderful day.

    — Robin

  • I couldn’t agree more. I love that you said that you make it your social media activity to reach out. Being consistent takes a lot of hard work but the reward is SWEET! At the end of the day we are in business to help people and that should be done effortlessly. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Leah!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Exactly! Hard work but worth it! And honestly, it’s not so hard if you have the right processes in place and make it a part of your routine.

  • I really needed the reassurance this works in the long-run so thanks so much for that! What happens if you move your website/blog to another provider – do you have to start again in terms of indexing?

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh yes, it certainly does work in the long-term! Negative effects on rankings when moving depend on a lot of things. If you are changing domain names for example, it can definitely have an effect and take some time for google to reindex the content. Whereas if you’re just changing hosts, not much should change. If you get a lot of traffic/clients from google, I always advise people to speak to an SEO expert before changing big things to mitigate the effects as much as possible.

  • Beth

    Great article, Leah! That’s how I found out about you … through your social media activity. Do you schedule it as part of your day or pop in when you need a break? (In other words, how do you keep it from sucking up too much of your day?)

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh, that’s good to hear! Honestly, I am definitely a social media addict….and need to get better at scheduling time throughout my day rather than always having it in the background. But I do put some focused effort at the end of the work day when my brain is too fried for client work, but I’m not ready to call it quits. So, I would say I mainly pop in when I need a break- but daily.

  • I can attest that the methods you outlined work better than any other “marketing strategies”. The vast majority of my work comes from referrals or through a personal connection. It’s such a surprise when a friend you never thought of as your advocate brings you business.

    Great tips, overall, I’d just add that people should keep an eye where they are investing their time. For example I used to spend so much time on a certain forum giving away advice left and right, but my “right people” weren’t there. That was not a smart decision and I had to find other venues to hang out.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Great advice Nela, you are absolutely right….that these are great tips- but be sure you’re using them in the right place! Thank you for sharing that.

    • Good point Nela! There have been a few forums that I just don’t “connect” with…or shall I say, they never end up converting into clients or even friends…but others are hot beds!

      The same was the case when I had my skincare studio. I used to leave cards all over, but I would only get calls from certain random places! It always amazed me!

  • Ahh awesome Leah. It is so easy to get caught up in the details of whats happening right now in the business that the long term gets overlooked. Is Google more likely to show up your older stuff rather than newer content? I hadn’t heard for the rule of 7 so am going to look that up now. Thanks!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Well, it takes them some time to crawl your site, determine it’s relevance and then rank it…so yes, older stuff generally will rank before newer stuff. And of course, the more content you have on your site and the more “authority” your site has over time, the better things will rank.

  • Loved this post, Leah.
    I can clearly see some actions to take now!

  • This is great! Another added benefit to this approach, I think, is that you end up with friends. In my experience, it is much more rewarding to work with people you have developed relationships with over the long run. You know each other better and you are both more invested in having a mutually beneficial, overall positive outcome. =)

  • Great post Leah. It can be hard at the beginning when you’re just getting started because it can feel like you’re doing tons of work and not getting much in return and then suddenly it just all starts to happen! It’s sooo true that you just need to keep at it 🙂

  • This was great to read. I’m basically starting from scratch on a new website with no blog posts there for google to crawl. I could port my old blogs over to my new site, but I wanted to start fresh since my new site is going in a totally different direction. So I’ll definitely be patient and consistent!

  • ahhh consistency.

    It’s the word of the year for me. I’m a massive action kind of girl so sometimes I burn out and being consistent is difficult for me. But it feels good when I just make that extra push and be there and keep going. Getting myself a process in April and getting more productive is the plan – taking consistency to another level.

    As always -your emails are reading my mind.

  • Leah, every time you post there’s so much value in it – yay for you! I struggle with finding a routine and system around social media & following up. For a while I tried having a “Follow up Tuesday”, reaching out to people every tuesday 😉 Now I’m checking into having a 30 minute social media slot at the end of each workday, to be truly consistent (and showing up! 😉

  • Great read! Thanks so much for this, Leah. Consistency is like one of those things in the back of my brain that I KNOW is so important. It’s like unity in design or writing work – it’s gotta be there! So awesome to have some actionable steps here to bring that wisdom to the biz-dom. Excited to implement!

  • First of all, hopefully my Gravatar is showing up…thank you very much for showing me how!! Great post and I’m getting better at it slowly but surely…with much thanks to all the wonderfully insightful people in your community! Thanks for the tips. I’m amazed every day by the power of social media…where most of my clients have come from thus far…and still hoping to build up my blog presence – waiting patiently! 🙂 Thanks as always, Leah!

  • Great post, Leah! I recently jumped ship and hopped aboard the FT freelance game (last month), and I know how my industry works – there are usually peaks and valleys (as with any industry, I assume). Anyhow, the shock of not getting a regular bi-weekly pay cheque is still throwing me off a bit. Not so much the feast or famine you’re talking about, but kind of! It’s scary, and I’m working hard to get past it to realize that I’m not going to default on my mortgage payments, and there will be inconsistency and I just need to embrace it.

    Booking in advance for me is also tricky because of the feast or famine principle. It’s either nothing or everything at once. I’m pretty good at eking out a good schedule, but occasionally there are those weeks where nothing is going on and then the next I’m working late into the night to get things finished. It’s a juggling act!

    I’m happy to finally be getting to a point where I get to start saying no to people and being choosier about the projects I work on – there’s something very satisfying about being able to do what you’re passionate about doing for projects that you feel passionate about 🙂

  • Excellent post Leah. Very helpful.

  • I love this reminder! It’s something I have to tell myself when I feel like I’ve spent a lot of the day reading and commenting on blog posts, FB, etc- that it takes time to connect with people and this is a good way to do it. Of course, I shouldn’t spend all day everyday doing that or I’d get no work done, but remembering that it’s part of building relationships online makes me feel so much better than thinking I “wasted” the day. Thanks!

  • You said it sister! I’m such a fan of consistency and I allays try to strategize the timing of my new launches and services so that I can plan for growth (and consistent income).

  • Yeap. I think in order to be consistent I have to be organised first. When things happen all at the same time it’s easy to lose track of what are you supposed to do. Great reminder Leah, thanks!!!!

  • Great article-I’m trying to build this routine right now and I loved the reinforcement. I’m on the right track!!!

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