How to find your first customer

    imageWhen you become well-known in your field, customers will constantly contact you, and not choose to look for them. When there is a lot of work, then there will be no particular need to try to sell your services.

    But what if you are just starting out? Before customers start contacting, there may be problems with what to do all day. This is the perfect time to make yourself felt.

    Searching for customers is different for everyone and what works for one does not always work for the other. However, I would like to share some of the ways in which I got the job right at the beginning.

    Do not concentrate on freelance sites

    If you have nothing to do all day, it can be tempting to climb freelance sites like eLance , Guru, or Freelancer . I mean, there are a ton of clients offering jobs, right?

    In fact, such sites can create a lot of problems for freelancers and therefore it is worth approaching them with caution. Hours spent on sites participating in contests and low (sometimes too much) payment, in comparison with the real cost. It is much better to spend this time promoting your name.

    Glows everywhere and always

    The reason customers started to find me was because I seemed to be everywhere where they were. I left comments on the blogs they visited. Then I began to write for these blogs. I “tweeted” useful articles and tips throughout the day and started to write my own blog with unique articles.

    I am often asked how I manage to be so much online. In fact, I often go offline after work or on weekends, but I continue to “tweet”. My Twitter account is connected to Facebook, my site, Linkedln and some other social networks, so it seems like I'm always and everywhere. Thus, the client will remember you, will be considered an expert and apply with work.

    Optimize your portfolio

    I have many interests and hobbies. When I created the first portfolio site, I placed everything that I did there: print design, web design, logos, layout, photographs and drawings. The funny thing is that I did not get any work, although I had a lot of talents. Clients could not understand what I was doing. Now I have a simple portfolio with the best projects in one area - layout. And customers can tell you exactly what I do.

    Write, write, write and write again!

    Customers want to know that they are cared for by the best in their field. If they need to choose between a freelancer that they haven’t heard about and one who has written on several popular blogs and published a book, how do you think up who they will consider an expert?

    you don’t have to write books, but blogs are a fantastic way to make your name recognizable. Most sites will even pay for articles - and this is a great way to make extra money.

    Old fashioned marketing

    Social media won’t make you rich or solve all your marketing problems. Sometimes, some good old-fashioned marketing techniques can be the best source for new customers.
    • Bulletin boards - Job search sites in the form of bulletin boards are different from freelance sites because they only contain a brief description of the company and what they want to do. Such clients are often willing to pay fair money, rather than on freelance sites.

    • Cold letters - The best source for customers in the early days was sending them cold letters. I just googled the type of clients I needed and sent them a pre-prepared offer. I still receive orders from this, although I stopped sending letters more than a year ago.

    • Personal Communication - I know most of us freelancers are hermits, but attending events is a great way to find local customers. At conferences such as Barcamp and Podcamp it is simply interesting to attend and communication with other freelancers is invaluable.

    Search Clients with RSS Feeds

    On most social sites, you can subscribe to RSS feeds and they can be super useful for finding new customers.

    For example, if you go to Twitter and type in the search “looking for a freelancer,” what messages will be displayed? What other phrases may be useful for finding customers?

    You’ll get an RSS button for every search you do on Twitter, so it’s nice to follow them in order to track messages from potential customers.

    In addition, almost all bulletin boards usually have newsletters. By subscribing to them, save valuable time, never miss useful messages and there will be no need to visit different sites every day.

    Tell everyone what you are doing.

    When you start, let all your friends know what you are doing. There is a chance that someone knows someone who needs your services. So be sure that everyone knows what you are up to.

    Post information about yourself wherever you can

    There are literally thousands of sites that allow you to place your name and link to your site. It’s not only a good practice of link exchange for SEO, it also brings us back to the idea of ​​shining everywhere. Here are some ideas:

    Don't despair

    True, the more work you have (or the opportunity to get it), the more orders come in. Despair discourages customers, so never give the impression that you have no job.

    For example, if you finally released your schedule, after several months of hard work, then there is nothing wrong with reporting your free status. But freelancers who do this every week or month give the impression that they have nothing to do (they look like they know little about their business)

    your thoughts

    How did you find clients when you first started freelance?

    Original author Amber

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