How to Find Your First Client as a Newbie Freelancer

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The company that you are working for might not exactly reciprocate your hard work that has contributed to the success of their business. You might get a promotion however, you will not acquire the total earnings that you were able to pull in for the company but you were only given a fixed salary not equal to what they have earned through your efforts. This is one of the reasons why some skilled professionals go freelance. As a freelancer, you reap all the rewards of your efforts that go directly to you only.

Working freelance has lots of benefits as you were able to earn more without going abroad and the chance to work with global clients that can enrich your knowledge and adaptability to foreign cultures. You were also given an opportunity to grow as you were exposed to new tasks that expands your skills that are beneficial to your freelancing career. Now, you have decided to freelance and you wonder how you can get clients and where to start. In the online world, there are lots of frauds, so be wary. Here’s how to begin your journey in freelancing.

1.) Know your niche to find your target market. First of all, what are your skills that also match to your interests? You can start from here to know your target market. This will redirect you to what your niche is in order for you to find potential clients that are most likely to get your service. Be specific and narrow them down through age, location, gender, interests, income level, occupation, marital status, etc. Knowing these details makes it easier for you to locate your ideal clients. This will save you time and get a higher response rate and find client in a short time.   

2.) Sign-up to various freelance platforms. A freelancing platform is a talent marketplace wherein skilled freelancers from around the world gather to offer their service to work remotely to global clients for a project. Both the client and the freelancer should register to the site to use the platform to hire talent or find work. Some Fortune 500 companies or businesses from numerous countries are getting the services of freelancers to outsource some work that won’t require permanent employment. Here are some of the best freelancing platforms to find clients:

a.) Upwork. This is the most established and largest freelance marketplace based in Mountain View, California, United States that was originally named Odesk which started in 2003 by Founders Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. It merged with another freelancing site, Elance in 2015 and rebranded itself as Upwork. On the other hand, Founders Beerud Sheth, Srini Anumolu and Sanjay Noronha created Elance in 1999. Now, Upwork has 12 million freelancers and 5 million clients registered in the platform. An estimate of 3 million online jobs is being posted in the site yearly.

b.) Freelancer. Founder Matt Barrie started this global crowd sourcing marketplace in 2009 in Sydney, Australia wherein freelancers are bidding for jobs. There are a limited number of bids to apply for jobs that renews each month. Registered users can also host or create contests with money as the prize. This is one of the easiest platform to join. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

c.) Fiverr. This is an online marketplace to offer freelance services headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel that started in 2010 by its Founders Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger. Freelancers can start a service offer labelled as “Gig” from $5 onwards. The site snagged a spot in the top 100 most popular sites in United States and has posted 1.3 million Gigs since 2012.

3.) Check Job Boards Regularly. Job boards are curated job listings from various sectors to advertise their vacancies. Using job boards allows you to find jobs easily that suits to your background, skills and interest through an advanced search tool. Creating an account in job boards facilitate fast application process since you can use a single resume to apply to multiple jobs merely by clicking. Also, there is an automated job notification that automatically sends you an email each time a new job opportunity arise. Listed here are some of the most popular job boards.

a.) Indeed. In 2004, Founders Paul Forster and Rony Kahan started Indeed with headquarters in Austin, Texas and Stamford, Connecticut, United States as a worldwide job employment search engine. Indeed is a subsidiary of Recruit Co. Ltd. of Japan that is available in 60 countries along with 28 languages with offices around the world.

b.) Simply Hired. Launched in 2003 with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, United States, Simply Hired is an employment site, a mobile application as well as an online recruitment advertising network that curate job listings from various job boards and websites. In 2016, Simply Hired was acquired by Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd which is the owner of its competitor, Indeed.  

c.) Glassdoor. Founders Robert Hohman, Rich Barton and Tim Besse started this review site in 2007 in Mill Valley, California, United States. As registered users, former and current employees can review a company anonymously, view job salaries and apply jobs. The firsthand information coming from company employees is highly useful as it serves as a guide to other job seekers.

d.) Freelance Virtual Spot. I founded this site since October of 2018 as a resource for my fellow freelancers wherein curated remote job listings, freelancing tools, guides or tips are provided for freelancers or to those who would like to start their freelancing career. Remote job listings are posted daily to help you find clients or work with progressive remote-first start-up companies.

4.) Market yourself in social media. Take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc. to generate leads and find potential clients. Advertise yourself to your target market by showing your skills to let them know your availability to work and how you can help their business. In relation to this, discover job opportunities using the search filter with relevant keywords with formats like: #hiring #keyword or looking for a [keyword].  Also, there are niche-specific social media platforms based on your expertise. For instance, join Behance if you are a designer or Github if you are a developer. Build a strong portfolio showcasing only your best work.

5.) Network online and offline. Go out and expose yourself to any events to meet potential clients. Getting to know people personally and vice versa build trust that can eventually result in getting clients. Check Meetup.com, Eventbrite or even Events in Facebook to be updated of various local events that catch your interest. On the other hand, socialize online through joining various social media groups and be an active participant.