Your success as a freelancer primarily depends on how many clients you can get for your business. Your freelance business doesn’t just hinge upon your ability to deliver, people need to know about you and they need to be convinced of your reliability.
Talk to different freelancers (successful freelancers not occasional ones) and you will notice one common trait: they continuously promote themselves and their businesses using various channels available to them. It doesn’t necessarily mean advertising constantly, it involves being visible at strategic locations and being known as someone who can deliver.
Aside from turning in assignments as a freelancer, in order to get new clients you have to allocate some of your time to this activity. Listed below are a few things you can do to keep on getting new clients for your freelance business:
Have an active presence on the Internet
This means having a website, a proper website, not one of those sub domains hosted on free-website building websites. If you don’t have an exclusive domain name booked and hosted for your business people are going to say, well, if this person isn’t confident enough to even invest in a domain name and a little bit of hosting space, can we trust him or her? If he or she doesn’t believe in his or her business, how can we believe?
So therefore, in order to establish a credible presence you must have a credible website for your freelance business. On that website you can either remain in the background and just promote your business or you can promote yourself as a brand. And this shouldn’t be just a one-page website. It should have a well-written homepage, an “about” page and a page that talks about your services. A person planning on doing business with you must get as much information as possible from your website. The layout of the website should also be professionally designed. It doesn’t have to be extraordinarily high-flown, but it should be neat and clean and properly arranged.
Have a blog for your freelance business
A business blog these days is as much important as your primary website if not more. In fact there are many freelancers who merely have a blog without having a website, although this is not a good strategy because on a blog information appears in a chronological order and this might confuse a person unless he or she is hell-bent upon doing business with you (and hence would go to the trouble of digging out the needed information). A blog lets you communicate your thoughts on a regular basis. It also conveys to the prospective customers and clients that you haven’t vanished somewhere after hosting your website; you are constantly there and building quality content for your visitors.
Make sure the theme of your freelance business blog is centered around your business and you are not using it just as a personal diary. Leverage your business blog to highlight your expertise and your knowledge. Continuously write about the various issues concerning your business and the business of your prospective clients. Solve problems as much as possible and encourage people to interact with you through your blog. Continuously publishing relevant posts about your business has an additional benefit: it improves your search engine rankings by improving your keyword density.
Try to remain active on social networking websites as much as possible
As a busy freelancer it might not be possible to spend hours every day posting messages on Facebook and Twitter and replying to various discussion threads, but choose a time and be active on these platforms. You can also use LinkedIn as this website is exclusively for business networking. Many freelancers these days get lots of work while interacting on various social networking and social media websites. You can also use your profiles to solve your customer or client problems and raise awareness about your capabilities. You can also use Google . Read how you can create a Google business page for your freelance business.
Publish a newsletter for your freelance business
Although you share lots of ideas through your blog not everybody prefers to visit your blog. A majority of people still prefer to receive updates via e-mail and if you are not reaching out to them you’re missing a big chunk of the market. You can use e-mail newsletter services like Aweber and MailChimp to not only manage subscriptions, but also produce and send first-class e-mail updates and newsletters.
Attend conferences, meet-ups and workshops
These places can create lots of business opportunities for you because they brim with business-oriented people. Don’t forget to take a big pack of your business cards with you. If you can manage you can also present a paper or speech and this will immediately help you gain lots of recognition.
Write a book on your expertise
Writing a post on your business is perhaps one of the best ways of establishing your authority because even in the times of blog publishing (where almost everybody becomes a writer) publishing a book is still a big deal and it is going to remain so for many more years.
Write for different websites and blogs
Writing for blogs other than your own is called guest blogging and this has a great potential of getting you massive exposure especially if you can manage to publish your blog over a highly popular blog in your stream. It’s not just the exposure that you get on that blog, highly popular and rated blogs have greater chance of their content being pushed onto social bookmarking websites like Digg and Delicious and they also enjoy massive following its on Twitter and Facebook.
Use PPC marketing
All the methods mentioned above don’t cost you much money but this one. Nonetheless, it is a great way of getting new clients as a freelancer. It is not possible to rank well or gain traction over social networking websites immediately and you will need some initial push. If you are not providing a highly competitive service than it won’t even cost you much. Of course, if you’re providing something like SEO or web design (just to name a couple of them) you might have to shell out lots of money per click. But until you can make a presence for yourself this can bring you lots of business.
So these are a few things you can do to get more clients as a freelancer? What more do you do? You can share your thoughts in the comments section.