How You Can Find New Clients as a Freelancer

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How You Can Find New Clients as a Freelancer

Aug 20, 2020

Image Source: Unsplash

The gig economy has been gaining ground for years. As of 2017, there were 55 million gig workers in the U.S. alone. Thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely we’ll see an even greater rise in gig workers and freelancers throughout the country. 

There are many benefits to being a freelancer. You can set your own hours, work at your own pace, and be your own boss. Essentially, you are your own small business owner. But, with that in mind, you have to have a business plan that includes marketing yourself and developing strategies to find new clients. Without regular clients, your business won’t succeed. 

With so many people working in the gig economy, how can you stand out and find new clients in order to keep yourself busy? 

Understand SEO 

Marketing yourself as a freelancer is one of the best ways to gain new clients. But your area of expertise might not necessarily be advertising or marketing. So it’s important to understand the ins and outs of SEO and how it can help your business. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of growing your web traffic and ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The higher your website ranks, the more likely it is for a potential client to click on it and use your freelance services over your competition. 

There are many different aspects of SEO and multiple ways to improve the ranking of your site, including pay-per-click advertising. 

But if you want to grow your web traffic organically, some tactics to improve your ranking are: 

  • Publishing frequent, relevant content

  • Identifying and implementing specific keywords

  • Using metadata

  • Creating relevant links within your text

Google tends to change its algorithm from time to time, adjusting what it considers important in order to rank highly in the SERPs. A good rule of thumb is to keep your content real and relevant. If your website feels like one giant advertisement, it likely isn’t going to rank well and readers might be turned off from using your services. 

Utilize Freelancing Websites

If you’re just getting started as a freelancer and you’re having trouble getting clients, you can get your feet wet by signing up for different freelancing websites. Some of the most popular options are: 

  • Upwork

  • Fiverr

  • Flexjobs

  • Freelancer

Most of these sites do take a small percentage of whatever you earn, but it’s a great way to build up a client base. One of the best things you can do when you’re starting out is to build a reputation. This will allow you to keep consistent clients who are impressed with your work. But it will also help you to create a list of references. Clients who are happy with your work will be more likely to refer other business owners and those in need of your services. 

Signing up for sites like these can also help you to learn how to network. Though you might not be meeting people in person, getting to know clients in different industries can help you to gain more clients simply through word-of-mouth advertising. One of the nice things about freelancing websites is that they allow people to leave reviews of your work, and “rank” you, depending on the system they use. 

This gives others who are interested in your services a chance to see what others are saying about you. The higher your ranking and the more positive your reviews, the more likely it is that you’ll get hired for more jobs. As you do, you can start regularly communicating with your clients to develop a strategy for them as you move forward. The goal, eventually, should be to break free from these sites and branch out on your own, and you can do that with positive reviews and effective communication from a growing client base. 

Go Local

If you’re struggling to find clients, why not start looking in your own neighborhood? 

Sometimes, businesses are hesitant to hire out jobs when they would prefer someone local to provide a service for them. Reaching out to area businesses and organizations can be a great way to build up your portfolio. Plus, if local clients are impressed with your work, they will also likely be willing and eager to spread the word about your services. 

Research different companies in your area and approach them with a few different ideas on how you could help their business by offering anything from graphic design services to content writing. If you already know several business owners in your community, they might be willing to give you a chance (even if you do it for free!), in order to start building up your client base and having an opportunity to show your work to others. 

As a freelancer, finding new clients should always be a top priority. It’s easy to get complacent with clients sometimes, but you never know when you might lose one, especially during difficult economic times. Keep these tips in mind whether you’re just starting out or you’re on the hunt for a few more gigs, and you can keep successfully growing your freelance business. 

Meet The Author:


Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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