We often say that ‘work is worship’ or that keeping yourself engaged is the most satisfying feeling you can have. But, what if you don’t have anyone to work for? In every venture you step into, there will always be a great risk involved or you may not be getting enough clients for your work.
Be it a professional or an amateur, acquiring freelance clients is probably one of the toughest jobs out there. Needless to say, you can be pushy or squander tons of money on unnecessary advertising, but apart from creating a wide hole in your pockets, it doesn’t really help.
This article provides you with the top six unusual techniques that can get you more clients than you could handle.
1. Social listening
The internet offers a vast pool of opportunities for freelancing activities. In such a scenario, it really all comes down to finding them first. Social listening done right helps you track conversations that are centered around specific phrases or words. Thus, helping you discover new opportunities or clients. If you are looking for specific prospects online, using the right keywords can go a long, long way in distinguishing you from the rest; providing you with tons of work in advance.
Let’s say that there are 100 clients who are looking for freelancers online for a specific project. By using efficient social listening tools, you can pursue these clients and pitch to them first. This will cause you to have a greater probability of acquiring the client as compared to others.
What are some of the best social listening practices? There are lots that you could follow. Some of them including the use of specific keywords that clients might use while looking for freelancers online or tracking conversations involving hiring opportunities using social listening tools like hootsuite, klout etc. There are many options to choose from, depending on the work you would like to undertake, based on your experience or skill set.
2. Collaborate with agencies
When it comes to building a stronger client base, there is nothing better than teaming up with different agencies that can help you find prospects online. Relationship building plays a very crucial role in networking for work and collaborating with the right people can pay off efficiently in the long run. Sometimes, it can be all about knowing the right person.
For instance, if you’re looking for freelancing in the field of journalism, you can tie up with leading newspapers to provide your services at a discounted rate. This will help you get more recognition and expand the existing number of customers you possess. This way, you will also add value to your work while working for different clients.
Furthermore, you could offer incentives to agencies for finding clients on your behalf, such as a 25% finder’s fee or a special discounted rate for your services in the future. However, it is also necessary to communicate what type of clients you would like to have, and you can briefly describe your needs to agencies for finding the ‘right’ job for you.
3. Create an informal referral program for your existing customers
Publicity via word of mouth is perhaps the most efficient way to land clients easily into your pocket. Referrals and recommendations go a long way in building your reputation as compared to a prolific CV or an awesome portfolio, as most tend to trust people they know personally more than someone completely unknown to them.
In order to create an informal referral program, you could offer your existing clients waiver in fees for referrals, or you could also provide free services in exchange of references. Either way, working at a discount is always better than having no work at all. The most advantageous aspect about referrals is that you do not need to expend your time or money on outreaching and marketing activities, as referrals themselves generate a lot of offers to work on. All you need to do is provide amazing services to your clients, and they’ll automatically refer you to others.
Always know, the more people that refer you, the more you are known for your work; and being famous is always good for business.
4. Don’t be scared to do pro bono
If you think that working for free is a waste of your time, think again. Studies indicate that providing pro bono services to customers helps generate goodwill, that can lead to many new client prospects in the future. It’s particularly important to those who are starting afresh, as it offers them a scope to showcase their skills, and at the same time build their portfolio.
While getting clients out of pro bono work can be a long-term thing, the payout is certainly worth considering. You can reach out to those who are in need of expert advice, and offer your services for free. Another way is to offer your opinion about the existing state of affairs they have, and how they can improve them.
However, it is necessary to make sure that your services are valued in the eyes of others. The person receiving your services should not conclude that because you are helping them, you have nothing else to do. To ensure this, make sure your client knows what you would normally charge for your services and appreciates your effort in doing it for free. You can also ask for referrals upon completion of work.
5. Create out-of-the-box projects
In a world so competitive, standing out from the rest is equally important to being good at your job. Being creative goes a long way in establishing your expertise. If you have something that is different from others, it acts as a secret weapon to attract more customers and thereby generating more revenue. Creating out of the box projects will certainly create more value for your work.
To attract more clients, one can undertake several initiatives like offering them discounts for your services on special occasions, such as on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas, or by going the extra mile and providing more than what they signed up for. In either case, the objective should be to make the client feel special and give him a more satisfactory experience.
Another approach to this is to start creative projects where you can showcase your expertise. You can use your imagination to come up with ideas to portray your skills in a manner never experienced before. For example, if you are into providing technical services, you can create cool games like the startup simulator or make my pulse, here and here.
6. Social media- Making the most of it
It may seem clichéistic, but the best way to attract new clients is by increasing your visibility on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Freelance oriented fields are gaining a lot of traction on social media, as potential employers regularly look out for talent and expertise on these platforms. With the help of social media, you can network better with your clients to acquire information about their preferences or gain insights from the current trends.
However, maintaining your reputation online is also important, as social media can fuel defamatory materials and rumors quite easily. Reputation Defender blog is a useful online reputation management tool in this regard. Apart from networking and visibility purposes, you can also advertise on major platforms to attract more clients, if you can afford it.
So make the most of these unusual techniques to get more clients for your expertise and the right jobs you desire!