Building a stellar profile as a freelancer can start to feel like a bit of a pipe dream after a while… 💭
Book clients, they said.
Work for yourself, they said.
It’ll be great, they said.
But let’s be real.
It takes some time—and effort—to establish yourself in your niche and build a solid foundation of paying clients.
But you see them around the internet: you know, those freelancers who always seem to be booked (months in advance). They’ve got a concrete list of high-quality clients.
Cool clients. Clients you’d love to work with.
So how do you get there? What are they doing that you’re not?
Well, there are strategies that separate successful freelancers from the rest. And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in today’s resource.
Getting more high-quality clients as a freelancer boils down to a few things:
- Building your brand online
- Positioning yourself as an authority in your space
- Networking like a pro
- Continuous improvement
Soon enough, you’ll have other freelancers side-eyeing your profile asking, how do I get there?
Yes, soon you’ll be that freelancer… booked solid for months with clients you love.
Tip #1 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Flex Your Social Media Profile
No matter how you feel about social media, there’s no denying it: the top platforms are a great way to reach potential freelance clients.
There’s roughly one billion active users on Instagram alone—and you better bet that there are plenty of potential clients roaming around the platform at all times.
So what does that mean for you?
For one, look at each of your social media profiles as a mini portfolio. It’s a great way to advertise who you are, what you do, and what value you have to offer.
Whether you’re a copywriter, designer, or photographer, there are plenty of ways to get creative and showcase what you’ve got. This means:
- Keeping your profile information up-to-date (contact info, website, and credentials)
- Showcasing your best work for all to see
- Posting high-quality content regularly (yes, algorithm, we see you)
- Regularly engaging with your followers
- Networking with other freelancers in your space
- Following and engaging with potential clients
Social media is used by 74% of freelancers, and for good reason—these free platforms are a great way to be seen by the public. And hey, you never know who’s going to stop by.
The only caveat? Keep things authentic and professional.
Tip #2 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Network Online
Networking is no longer confined to stuffy business conferences or awkward conventions… in fact, you no longer need to be face-to-face to network.
Today, there are plenty of niche-specific ways to touch base with potential clients and fellow freelancers in your industry—all without leaving the comfort of your own home:
- Online conferences and networking events (hack.summit, Make Mentors)
- Forums (Quora, Facebook groups, subreddits, LinkedIn groups)
- Social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
So how do you actually do the networking?
- Participate. In order to network, you have to get your voice and name out there. Share your opinion, offer help to those who ask, and provide value where you can. This is a great time to begin shaping yourself as the expert in your field that you are!
- Engage authentically. Long gone are the days where “networking” meant putting on a fake smile and faking a connection. People want to see the real you—and if there’s a connection to be made, it should happen organically.
- Be patient. Establishing real relationships takes time. Be consistent, be true to yourself, and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals with the same interests as you. Who knows… you may even find your next dream client!
Tip #3 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Work with AutoGrow
Looking for freelancing clients on places like Upwork and Fiverr works for some… but there are some major drawbacks to freelancing sites like these:
- The site takes a cut of your payment
- Workload and payouts can be unsteady and unpredictable
- There’s no ongoing support or education to improve your skills
- Your account could get shut down at any time
With AutoGrow, freelancers (designers, copywriters, digital strategists, and more) have the great opportunity to work with a community of like-minded people to continuously level-up their skills.
Plus, AutoGrow offers freelancers steady work, regular payouts, and no fees (because let’s be real, you work hard to get those deliverables done… those fees sting).
Tip #4 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Keep Your Portfolio Up-to-Date
Many freelancers have some form of a portfolio—but then they neglect it, forgetting to keep it up-to-date with their latest projects and accomplishments.
Here’s the thing: not all prospective clients will ask for a portfolio as a requirement, but most of them will. And when you click “send”, you want to make sure you’re sending the best darn looking portfolio that client has ever seen.
Your portfolio should:
- Be clear and up-to-date
- Include work samples and/or case studies
- Have testimonials from previous clients
- Display your contact information
Remember, your portfolio is that first impression people always talk about. You want to make sure you’re putting your absolute best foot forward.
Tip #5 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Position Yourself as an Expert
When it comes to hiring a freelancer for the job, what are clients really looking for?
Someone who knows how to do the job—and do it well.
They want to know that you’re reliable and capable of doing good work. That you’ve got the skills to execute on some high-quality projects, whether that’s a killer logo, incredible email copy, or a gorgeous design for their new website.
A portfolio is great for starters.
But when you position yourself as an expert in your space, you’re going to open all kinds of new doors for clients to come through. And you’re going to open yourself up to a different level of clients. Higher-paying clients.
But how do you position yourself as the expert you are?
- Create an online course
- Build information products (PDFs, files, templates)
- Write an eBook
- Design mentorship programs
Sure, this route takes a little more time (and TLC).
But if you’re looking to build a solid freelancing career, flexing your knowledge—while helping others—is an incredible way to become an authority in your space (and catch the eyes of next-level clients!).
Tip #6 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Tap into Email Marketing
Email marketing generates an average of $38 for every $1 spent, making it one of the most lucrative marketing channels for businesses.
And guess what? This is no exception for freelancers.
If you’re not already using this channel to attract, nurture, and close freelance clients, it’s time to start:
- Add a pop-up to subscribe on your website in exchange for a discount code or free download
- Include your subscription link on all social media profiles
- Send out a monthly newsletter showcasing your latest projects and industry-relevant content
- Use a well-crafted cold email sequence to introduce yourself to potential clients who are likely to benefit from your services
The rule of thumb? Always provide value and meaningful information for the reader.
Not only will that value keep the recipient engaged (nothing like an obvious hard sell to encourage an “unsubscribe”!), but it’ll also show the client that you know what you’re doing… and you have something to offer them.
Tip #7 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Update Your LinkedIn Profile
70% of small businesses in the U.S. have hired a freelancer in the past, according to LinkedIn.
And for good reason: 83% of businesses say they get the job done, change culture for the better, and make businesses more adept at working virtually.
Guess where many of these businesses connect with freelancers? On LinkedIn! So keep that profile up-to-date as much as possible:
- Upload a clear profile picture
- Keep experience and skills updated
- Include your best work to the “work samples” section
- Write a killer summary with your skills and achievements
- Ask for and add recommendations from former clients
Tip #8 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Ask Clients to Give Reviews
In the online era, reputation management is key for every business—including for freelancers.
Prospective clients want to know… can you do the job? Can you do it well, and on time? Can they trust you?
In order to build credibility, ask previous and current clients to give a testimonial about their experience working with you.
To get those testimonials out to the world for potential clients to see, you can:
- Ask clients to post on sites such as Facebook, Yelp, or Google
- Host the testimonials on your website as social proof
- Take advantage of industry-specific listing sites for clients to post on
Tip #9 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Create Content
To generate more traffic to your website and social profiles, consider creating content.
Creating content can come in a few different forms:
- SEO-optimized blog content
- Video content (see: YouTube channel)
- Social media series (i.e., “Photographer Fridays”)
Not only will creating strategic, niche-relevant content help drive traffic to you, it’ll also help establish you as an authority in your space—and network. Yep, we’re touching on 3 tips in 1 here!
Tip #10 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Identify & Target Your Ideal Client
Have you ever stopped to actually think, who is my ideal client? If you feel like you’re all over the place trying to build your client base, you may simply need a strategy. And if you’re working with a strategy but not seeing any results, perhaps you’re targeting the wrong audience.
Take a moment to consider what your ideal projects are. Are they industry-specific? Or maybe you’d prefer working with small businesses over corporate clients.
Having a crystal clear picture of what types of projects and clients you enjoy will help pave the way to find them. This will also help you niche down, and become the expert freelancer in that specific space.
Say you’re a graphic designer, for example, and you love creating designs based around animals. You could reach out to local shelters, pet shops, and nonprofits to begin building your brand and portfolio around that work (and type of clients) that you actually enjoy doing.
Soon, you’ll be attracting your ideal clients automatically—they’ll know you’re the designer for anything animal-related.
It’s a win-win.
Tip #11 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Dedicate Time to Outreach
There’s a major freelancing myth that if you’re worthy of being hired, clients will simply come to you.
But the truth is, in order to get more freelancing clients, you should be setting aside time every day for outreach. Yes, every day! 😃
This can include a variety of activities, depending on your goals and the types of clients you’re targeting:
- Outreach or follow-up emails
- Responding to inquiries
- Interacting in forums or on social media
- Calling potential clients
By building outreach into your daily routine, it won’t feel like a herculean effort. Instead, you can make connections, perfect your pitch, and if all goes well, land a few clients in the process!
Tip #12 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Be Consistent with Marketing
Consistency is the key to success.
And in order to get more freelancing clients and build your business to new, sustainable heights, you’ll want to make marketing a regular part of your freelancing routine.
That means staying consistent with:
- Social media posting and engagement
- Keeping your website and portfolio up-to-date
- Networking with other freelancers & potential clients
- Keeping branding, messaging, and projects cohesive
- Prospective client outreach
Tip #13 to Get More Clients As a Freelancer: Refine & Optimize
With everything in life, there’s always room for improvement.
When it comes to your actual work, you should always be looking for ways to learn, grow, and strengthen your skills—but the same goes for your process of attracting and retaining clients.
What marketing or outreach strategies are working? Which strategies are falling short? Pay attention to the response—and the data—so you can continuously optimize:
- A/B test your emails (subject lines, content, call to action)
- Keep your website, portfolio, and public profiles fresh
- Practice and improve your pitch
- Always ask for feedback (from clients, friends, colleagues)
- Utilize tools like Google Analytics and website heat maps to identify ways to streamline your website
Attracting and retaining clients is possibly the hardest part of building a lucrative freelance business—and it’s something that many freelancers can empathize with.
But with the right strategies and tools in place, you can build the freelance business of your dreams (and get the freedom + flexibility you’ve been looking for).
Is it an overnight process? Heck no.
But everything good is worth working for. And once you get a steady stream of clients coming your way, you’ll realize that all of that elbow grease upfront was more than worth it.
Which one of these freelancing tips is new to you? Which one are you most excited to put into motion?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.