Freelancing can either be the “meat and potatoes or whip cream of your professional diet”. Yet, no matter which camp you belong, one thing is almost always certain — at one point, you’ll find yourself seeking for new and awesome clients. When we say awesome, we mean the opposite of power-tripping and ultra-demanding clients.
You probably know the drill of fishing out for potential clients by now — building your web presence, asking your current clients for referrals, collaborating with other freelancers, and mastering the art of cold calling. Such strategies involve going online or picking up the phone.
Now, what if I tell you that the secret to finding new clients is to actually log out of your email now and go out of the house? Read on below to learn why.
Nothing beats personal interaction.
The old-fashioned way of networking by personally talking to people should not be considered as obsolete. Despite the convenience of emails and social media, nothing beats getting out there and talking to prospective clients in person. Who knows? A casual chat at a coffee shop or a new acquaintance at the annual alumni run may turn into a promising lead.
The Internet has made it possible for freelancers all over the world to serve clients on an international scale. However, have you thought about the businesses in your locality that may need your help? Could be that small laundry shop business a block away from your home need some help with their logo and posters? Or perhaps the coffee shop that you used to frequent pre-freelancing days is in need of a website makeover? Opportunities for new projects may literally be just around the corner.
Here’s a quick guide to help you get started in acquiring new clients online:
1. Come up with a list influencers in your community.
Apart from figuring out your potential clients, possible influencers refer to individuals you know whose current standing in the community could influence the decision of the majority. They could be dentists, doctors, policemen, local town official, real estate accountants, etc.
2. Join local organizations such as the chamber of commerce group, business improvement associations, networking chapters, etc.
These groups are comprised of small business owners who regularly meet to discuss business (of course!) and some other stuff like bowling or running a marathon. Find a way to be a part of the group and don’t be afraid to mingle with them! Say you’re a designer, why not offer to take a look at their websites through your smartphone, give a suggestion or two, and end the conversation by leaving your contact details.
3. Find events in which you can talk about your services such as classes, seminars, or workshops. In fact, most libraries offer classes for free on a wide variety of subjects so you might want to present yourself as a possible speaker.
So what are you waiting for? It’s about time you spend more time away from your computer!