One of the main questions of a novice freelancer: where to look for clients? Before customers start coming on the recommendations of other customers, you will have to mine, attract and persuade them to cooperate on their own. How and where to do it, we will analyze this material.
Ask friends and acquaintances
Remember to whom among your friends and acquaintances you can be useful. Indeed some of them is an entrepreneur, and your competence will help him develop the business, bring new customers, and increase profits. Some of them may be working for companies that are looking for contractors.
Don’t be afraid to make a name for yourself. Write a post on your social media about what you are looking for customers. The main thing is to indicate your experience, strengths, problems you can solve, and your capabilities. For example: “I have been a herpetologist for three years, specializing in Facebook and Instagram. I will attract leads in the themes of beauty and sports.”
In the same post, give your work results in numbers, attach cases, and recommendations from previous customers.
It is psychologically easier to contact friends and acquaintances and discuss options for cooperation. The main thing is that before that, you have established yourself as a responsible person. And they’ll try to help you.
As for me, I think the phrase “it’s better not to work with friends” is a template. We and our friends and acquaintances get effective design teams; we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If it so happens that you do not have a large circle of acquaintances, move on to the next point.
Browse groups on social media to find contractors
Join job search groups on Facebook, VKontakte, and subscribe to similar channels in Telegram. They publish posts about the search for performers for specific projects. You can immediately offer your services to the author of the post by writing in private messages. But I advise you to respond in the comments under the post – so you learn the author of the post and other members of the community.
Pay attention to how information is provided in the post from a potential customer. If the minimum of specifics: no scope, tasks, and conditions, remote work or office – most likely, that the customer does not have a system in his head and similarly you will be set working tasks. Separately, consider whether you are ready to work with those who have a lot of pathos about capturing the world.
Monitor job search sites
Yes, you can also find customers on sites like Headhunter. If you’re working remotely, filter out the vacancies for this option. Often it is in this format and is looking for specialists of the company, who have project work or part-time employment. This is an excellent way to find an in-house job if you want to work within company departments, but at the same time in a format that is convenient for you.
When responding, it is essential to have a portfolio and correctly compose a resume – it directly depends on the frequency of responses.
The site allows you to make several resume options. In each of them, focus on your work experience according to the requirements of specific, interested in your vacancies. If the vacancy says, “Setting up contextual advertising in Yandex. Direct,” tell us more about your work results with this system.
In the cover letter, let me know that you have not read the vacancy diagonally. Write about why you want to work for this company and tell us briefly about the relevant experience. It will tell you about your care.
I do not advise against sending anonymous resumes – the chance that they will respond is minimal.
Sign up for contractors’ search exchanges. For example, UpWork has a platform where companies place their orders on contextual or targeted advertising and select specialists and agencies. You can review and respond to projects and tasks. Also, a request for a brief assessment may come to you and from a potential customer.
Digital advertising professionals may benefit from non-specialized exchanges such as Fiverr.com or Freelancers.com. Just be prepared because there will be many customers who choose performers on the principle of “me that is cheaper.” And it will be challenging to compete with those who put up a small pay. Those who are willing to pay the average market value will choose based on feedback on the performer, portfolio, the wording of the response.
Take a walk through company contacts
Write down a list of companies you would like to collaborate with. Just approach this list wisely based on your experience and capabilities: it will be easier to present yourself to companies from the topics you have already worked on. Find the websites of these companies and the right contacts – it can be both the HR-department and social media account of the head of the desired department. Ask if they need contractors.
You need an excellent presentation of your services here: prepare specific suggestions for why you should work with you. Suppose you have seen advertising with errors on the Internet (from spelling to geo, for example, showing the advertising of a beauty salon in St. Petersburg to residents of Moscow). In that case, you can offer an audit of advertising campaigns and pay attention to yourself.
I know of a case where a specialist wrote a letter directly to the director of the department. It turned out that the company has already made a decision to change the contractor but has not yet published an announcement about its search.
Try to play ahead of the curve, and suddenly it will be successful (and luck, in this case, is especially necessary!), and you will work with the customer of your dreams?
Ask at your places of study
This is suitable for beginners or those who are trained to improve their skills. Many offline and online schools have established links with companies that need specialists. For example, after studying at Skillfactory in large companies, Skillbox promises an internship at the agency. Tatiana Mikhalchenko passes clients to his best students and PPC. The world is looking for projects for their students during training.
So, you can get your first skills or take full charge of block works. The main thing here is to show yourself correctly in your studies so that the school can recommend you.
Go to offline events and conferences
What events are your potential customers at? These can be business events, marketing, and promotion conferences, and themed maps. Look for such events through search engines, Time Pads, or Facebook events.
At events, meet people and tell them what you do. Be sure to exchange contacts – whether it’s a business card or friendship in social networks.
This method has a huge advantage – you are seen in person, which is an excellent reason to start trusting you.
Getting to know you at events is the norm. Therefore, no one will be surprised if you introduce yourself to a neighbor before the speakers speak or a neighbor at a table at a coffee break.
Add to profile chats
Telegram has profile chats, it seems, almost all: SMM-is, SEO-sinks, developers. And they include not only representatives of professions, but also customers. Here they are looking for specialists, colleagues in the design teams and can just “give” the client if there is no time to conduct it or specialize.
It can be advertising agencies that are looking for specialists in a row. So, you can make a website or set up contextual advertising for a client of the agency. And if you do it qualitatively and responsibly, the agency will attract you to work with other clients.
I have collaborated with several advertising agencies as a specialist in targeted advertising. In such cases, you do not need to look for customers: work is on the tasks of the client of the agency. Sometimes you are directly added to the chat with the client, periodically – only in the project chat agency. You do your block of work, report it. If your work suits everyone, you continue to cooperate. If the agency has stopped working with the client, you may be invited to work on another project immediately or over time.
From the advice: stay in touch during the agency’s working hours, do not answer at night. Unfortunately, customers often write at a convenient time for them. Make clear what your responsibilities are, such as who makes teasers for advertisements: you or the agency’s designer?
Describe yourself as an expert. Everywhere
Offline and online. Don’t neglect networking – it’s power. Talk about your workflows and your results, try to speak as a speaker at the conference.
Keep a personal or public page on social media: describe your specialty, publish cases, collect customer feedback. This ensures that whoever enters your account understands where you work and how you can be useful to them.
Comment on posts in thematic communities – carefully and competently. Our goal is not to look for customers but to make sure that they find us.
Try to write material in a profile online edition – this is another way to contribute to forming a personal brand. Start with cases and analysis of tools – it will show your expertise and professionalism.
A few tips to conclude
Before you search for customers, take care of the following:
- Gather your experience and prepare cases in the “Task is the result” format. The wording is allowed: the lid’s value has been reduced by 50% if absolute figures cannot be announced.
- Determine the cost of your work to answer the question: “How much do your services cost?”
- Collect all the links where you can be found as an expert: articles on thematic portals, video interviews with you, and so on.
- Learn to present yourself in person: speak, do not tremble, smile! A sense of humor wouldn’t hurt either.