Freelancing—while liberating since you’re your own boss—can also be a struggle. There’s really no such thing as a “regular” client, on whom you can always count for a regular, monthly paycheck. Clients can be fickle, and they reserve the right to retain you or move on.
Then, there’s the fact that you regularly have to do your own marketing. And if you stop constantly marketing your services, there’s a point when your projects will dry up.
With all the challenges, it’s vital that freelancers understand the many ways to secure regular, well-paying work:
As a freelancer, you are your own business, selling your own services. To attract new leads and land regular clients, you’ll have to continuously market yourself. Though this may seem a bit daunting, it’s one of the best ways you can ensure regular work.
Marketing yourself can mean anything from going to networking industry events and introducing yourself as you hand out your business cards, to having an active social-media presence, on multiple, relevant channels.
It can also include setting up a simple Fiverr seller profile, so you can advertise your services within a global online marketplace.
Upsell Your Existing Clients
Did you know that the source of additional work for many freelancers is actually existing clients? One strategy to get more work from a current client is upselling, which is selling them something in addition to a service they’re already buying from you, to make the existing service better.
For example, if you’re a web designer and are designing a client’s new website, ask them if they also wouldn’t be interested in having you design their landing pages, which would bring additional traffic to their site. Of course, you’ll have to stress the benefits of the upsell for it to really be persuasive.
Explore Your Own Network
All entrepreneurs and professionals have their industry networks. If you’re a copywriter, you likely know a lot of fellow writers and marketers. If you’re a communications specialist, you probably know people in PR and journalism.
Your own network of fellow professionals can be a strong and pleasantly surprising source of good-quality leads.
Maybe your old marketing contact left his job and is now working for a startup that needs social-media curation and coordination—and that just happens to be your specialty. Or maybe your old boss—from before you went into freelancing—is now working with a big video-animation company that needs someone to create explainer videos for its clients, and you have years of experience in that skill.
Bottom line: Tap your own network, and reap the results.
Being a freelancer is incredibly rewarding in spite of the challenges. That’s why more and more people are choosing the freelance lifestyle instead of the old nine-to-five grind. Getting regular work as a freelancer takes determination, but it’s more than possible with these winning strategies.
How do you find new freelance clients? Are there some strategies that have worked better for you than others? Tell us in the comments below!