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.
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?