What to do if you are struggling to find clients as a freelancer

Updated: Apr 20

It’s the nature of being a freelancer. Some months you can make a killing and other months you are getting by on savings. If you are racking your brain trying to come up with a way to make a little extra money or your looking to score a new client but are out of ideas, keep reading. I want to share with you some secrets that will help you earn an income in those cold winter months where nothing is biting.

Your efforts to become self-employed will come to nothing if you do not find enough customers to pay the bills. But that's not all this fight is about. Here you can find out how to find customers as a freelancer newcomer. It is a task that is more difficult than many realise.

Depending on the services you offer, there are some obvious approaches. Here's a complete starter guide to finding customers, but if you're just getting started or need new ideas, here are some tips to help you find customers who want to work with you.

Thinking Creatively about Finding New CLients

To contribute to your search for more customers, you need to keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to try something new if you think it will bring you one step closer to finding the customers you need. As with any potential customer, you need to make sure there are no rough edges that get overlooked. With a little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, you can find new customers. I'll give you a little secret: I didn't make cold calls during my freelance career, and 90% of the clients I worked with came from Upwork.

Learning how to get clients on a regular basis can be difficult. As a freelancer, you have to do it all by yourself. Sure, you have wonderful blogs and free Facebook groups, but much of your success in learning how to find freelance clients will depend on your own efforts. There are simple, affordable ways to promote your freelance business to freelance clients. First, pick a few and find a mix that works for your business. You don't have to use every method to promote yourself, only those that meet your needs.

Let’s say you come across a niche business and you notice that they do not have a website. As a web designer, you can reach out and offer your services to help them growth their business online. When it comes to cold emailing, If they don't answer try calling them. It may seem daunting at first but with more practice, you will find that it can be super effective.

How to Get Clients to Come to You

Customers want a place where they can find out about the services you offer, see examples of your work and find out how to contact you. A website you own is a good place to do this. This means that you have paid to host the site and have a legitimate business URL. Don’t feel like this alone will boost your client contact rate. I remember thinking in that direction when I started. You have started your business, you have given your online presence a kind of website, you have finished a few portfolio articles on your website and you are waiting for a flood of customers to knock on your door and flood your inbox. In fact, this is a bad expectation if you are a creative freelancer, because your customers will need to actually have a reason for wanting to work with you and before they can even decide that, they will need a way of finding your website. Learning the basics of SEO and digital marketing can be hugely beneficial here.

Reaching Out to Prospective Clients

Another way you can improve your clients onboarding is by improving your personal pitch. This is a form of a job interview or meeting in an office where you present your ideas for work. Prepare for the meeting as well as for a regular interview. Before you even get to the meeting, you will need to make that first contact. This comes in the form of a phone call, cold email or even a LinkedIn or Facebook message. My persuasive tone in the email is aimed at my potential customer. I have a specific customer who has a problem. They have spent time researching the problem and the solution in three places, and there is only one way to break this down into one of them.

Charity is great for first projects, but most of them are great when they are terrible in other aspects of running a business. I have noticed a few charities that I think are mediocre websites that don't offer any services at all.

It's not easy to rock your first day as a freelancer. Searching for the first customer can feel like staring into a barren desert with only a few prickly cacti and the cat in company. The good news is that with a little hard work you can turn this desert into a flourishing oasis. One way which we have helped countless freelancers reach the next stage in their business is by taking them through our Freelancer Launch Kit. It includes dozens of resources to help them find clients, deliver a professional pitch, build an online presence and start charging up to ten times more than they were making on freelancer platforms. If you are thinking about growing your freelance business and taking on higher paying clients, check out the Freelancer Launch Kit today.