Going out on your own as a freelancer is an exciting, yet scary endeavor. And if you're like most freelancers, getting clients is one of the biggest fears you have as a new business owner. After all, without clients who will pull out their wallets and pay you in real money, you have no business.
But the truth is, if you are offering a service that a group of people need, then finding clients can be easier than you think.
The good news is there are many ways to attract new clients. It just takes a plan and consistent action.
Here are a few ways you can start getting clients through your door.
- Connect with Your Network
You might shudder at the thought of networking, as it often conjures up fear for many people. But the truth is, networking is simply tapping into your own network of family, friends, and the local community, and making them aware of your services.
If you provide a service where you meet face-to-face with clients, such as a beauty professional or accountant, then once you have set up shop, get some business cards made and put an announcement on Next Door, Facebook, and anyplace else where you can reach your friends and community members.
If you provide online services, then tweak your networking a bit and focus on reaching out to people who are in touch with your ideal clients.
A simple email to friends and family letting them know what you do is a great first step to building your business.
- Set Up A Referral Program
When you reach out to friends and family, let them know they’ll receive a special gift if they refer people to you.
The key to a good referral program is asking for the referral. It’s an easy thing to do, but many people don’t do it. By simply asking, you’ll get better results.
If you have a few clients, be sure and let your clients know about your referral incentives so they are more motivated to spread the word.
Word of mouth will, ultimately, be your best form of marketing.
Offer a free service, product, or a discount on a future service. A handwritten note is always a nice touch along with the gift.
- Use Social Media to Spread the Word
Social media is huge for promoting businesses. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for showing off your work, providing value by educating or inspiring your ideal customers and for announcing promotions.
Social media can be intimidating and time-consuming if you don’t have a plan. Create a strategy and a schedule for posting content but be consistent. Leverage your contacts on Facebook to announce your business – but don’t go overboard with promotions and sales pitches on your personal page.
You can quickly set yourself up as an authority in your field using the power of social media.
- Speak at Events
Speaking is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. Before you back away from this idea, keep in mind that speaking gigs don’t have to be huge and intimidating.
You could offer to give a lesson to a small group at a local chamber of commerce meeting, or at a Meetup where your ideal clients attend.
You could even look for Facebook Live presentations to be a part of, webinars or virtual summits. The idea is to get your name out there and establish yourself as an expert.
- Offer Amazing Customer Service
How are your customer service skills? You may be a skincare specialist or a bookkeeper, but the success of your business will be built on the way customers feel when they interact with you.
From the time someone books an appointment to the time that person pays their bill, they must have a positive experience every step of the way.
Again, nothing will grow your business faster than word of mouth!
You Can Do This
If you combine a high-quality service with great customer service, your business will grow, and it will most likely grow quickly.