How to get clients as a Freelancer


Embarking on a career as a freelancer can be exhilarating. You have all the freedom that comes with being your own boss; setting your work schedule to suit you, choosing to do exactly the type of work you like best, and gaining the opportunity to become an expert in your niche. In this blog post, I will talk you through some strategies on how to get clients as a freelancer – from where to find them, how to win them over, and how to set yourself up for long-term success.

You will know that your entire livelihood as a freelancer depends on your ability to attract enough clients. This can feel daunting, and generating a reliable stream of clients is most likely one of the biggest challenges you will face as a freelancer. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your existing client base, these strategies will set you on the path to freelancing success.


Define your Niche

Embarking on a career as a freelancer is becoming an increasingly popular choice. In fact, according to IPSE, the trade association for independent professionals, there are now 4 million UK freelancers in a wide range of professions. That means there is a lot of competition for clients. The best chance you have of standing out from the crowd is by being crystal clear on what niche you serve. There is no freelancing career without clients, but that doesn’t mean you should reach out or pitch your services to just anyone.

When trying to get more clients, it might seem the best approach is to cast your net far and wide, in the hope of attracting any and all clients. The opposite is in fact true. When you try to appeal to everyone, your marketing message becomes diluted, and you appear to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Clients want a specialist, not a generalist. Figuring out your niche helps you find the right customers and the right customers find you.

Ask yourself the following questions to figure out who your ideal client is:

  • What are your ideal customer’s goals and values?
  • What is their demographic (if relevant to your business, think about age, income, etc.)
  • But also, what are their current challenges or pain points?
  • What are some of their objections to buying your services?
  • Where can you find more of your ideal clients?

The key to not being ignored in a crowded market is to be 100% clear on who you want to serve. Think about it – you can’t find more of the people you want to help if you don’t know who they are! So be specific and aim to identify the absolute best person you want to serve. Specialization is key. Define your niche and position yourself as an expert in a specific area. Clients are more likely to choose a freelancer who excels in a particular niche over a generalist.

By niching down in this way, you can tailor your services to meet the specific needs of your ideal clients. Identifying your niche will help you showcase your expertise and make it easier for your prospective clients to find you.


Work on your Marketing Message

When looking for a solution to their problems, your potential clients are looking for specialists. This is why it pays to figure out your niche first – so that your marketing can demonstrate your expertise within your area of your freelancing specialism. Be clear on what you do and use it to craft a clear marketing message. This is key to everything you do (both online and offline) to promote your freelance services.

If your marketing message is unclear, it will be ineffective. This is not only a huge waste of your time and money, but it will mean your ideal clients won’t be attracted to working with you. Your potential clients have real problems and they need your help. When you market, you let them know that you can help them. What can be more valuable than that? You are not trying to sell them something they don’t want, but something they want and need. So make your marketing message clear and your ideal clients will be drawn to working with you.


Craft a Compelling Portfolio

Craft a Compelling Portfolio

How do you show potential clients what you do best? With your portfolio. Your portfolio is your virtual storefront. It showcases your previous work that aligns with your niche, showing potential clients what you can do, why they should pick you, and how you can help them. Make sure to include your best work, highlight your skills, and create a narrative that demonstrates your expertise.


Portfolios can either be physical – books or binders filled with examples of your previous work, or digital. Nowadays, digital format portfolios are the most common type used by freelancers and the most effective. They are easy to share with clients no matter where they are located. Clients can browse your work at their leisure instead of only when you are in the same room with them.

If you are still building your portfolio, there are great resources online that can help you. Having a compelling portfolio of your work makes it easy for potential clients to see the value you bring to the table.

Optimise your Online Presence

In today’s digital age, most people looking to employ a freelancer will search online before anything else, so having a strong online presence is crucial if your ideal clients are going to find you.

Develop a clean and user-friendly website and ensure your social media accounts reflect your freelancing brand. Your website, and your business social media, are how your clients will get to know you, so make sure it accurately represents you and the assistance you can provide.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make it easy to navigate: Your website should be easy to navigate, with clear and concise information about who you are and what you do.
  • Be clear about what you do: Be sure to clearly outline your services and niche as a freelancer.
  • Include testimonials: Including testimonials from satisfied clients can help to build trust with potential clients and show them what you’re capable of.
  • Optimize for search engines: Optimizing your website for search engines can help to increase your visibility and attract more clients. Make sure to use keywords related to your specific industry and niche.

It’s possible to design a good website yourself without being an expert using free or low-cost templates that you can individualise. You can use platforms like WordPressSquarespace, or Wix to create a professional-looking website quickly and easily. Alternatively, if you don’t have the confidence or time, you can call on a website designer to do it for you.

As well as having a website, you should also be socially present on professional platforms like LinkedIn. This will help you look for and connect with prospective clients. It can also give you work ideas, let you post updates, and help you to promote yourself.

Optimizing your online presence will help you reach a wider audience and showcase your freelance work to potential clients.


Network within your Industry

A great way to find more clients is by expanding your network by attending networking groups. These are events where professionals from different industries and backgrounds meet and exchange information, ideas, and contacts. By attending these events, you can introduce yourself and your freelance services to other professionals who might be interested in working with you, or who might know someone who is.

Another way to expand your business network is by reaching out to people of interest through LinkedIn or other social media channels. Making these connections is invaluable to promote your services. There are many networking benefits. Building a network means you will be able to leverage the skills, expertise, and experience of other professionals in your field. And, even if you don’t find new clients there and then, the people you network with will have you in mind if they hear of freelancing opportunities that fit your niche. Word-of-mouth referrals can be extremely powerful in the freelancing world.

Networking can also mean simply letting the people around you know that you’re looking for more clients. Reach out to past colleagues and employers, as well as to your friends and family. Word-of-mouth recommendations are by far the best form of advertising you can receive. You gain instant credibility as soon as another person starts speaking positively about you.  Studies show that 92% of consumers believe in word-of-mouth recommendations over all other forms of advertising, so this is a highly effective way of securing more clients.


Utilize Freelance Platforms

In addition to LinkedIn, there are several platforms that host a complete freelancing ecosystem with clients posting their needs and freelancers bidding to do that work. Using freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr is a great way to find potential clients. Craft a compelling profile, submit tailored proposals, and actively engage with the platforms to increase your visibility.

Freelance marketplaces are a great way to find new clients when you are first starting, but please remember to charge what you’re worth. Some freelancing websites encourage freelancers to undercut each other when pricing services, meaning you are forced to constantly underprice your work in order to win jobs. This doesn’t help anyone – clients cannot find good quality work and freelancers cannot earn enough money to sustain themselves. Work out a pricing structure that is sustainable for your business to survive and stick to it.


Work on your Pitch

When you meet a new client or find a project that you’re interested in working on, offer your skills and services with a pitch. A solid professional pitch is essential to getting clients as a freelancer. When delivering a pitch or proposal, explain why you’re the best person for the job and add any relevant examples.

A great pitch starts by showing that you understand the client’s needs and illustrating why they should choose you over other candidates. Then highlight your most recent experience and skills that will make you successful. Include certifications, past projects, degrees, and anything else that demonstrates your expertise. Attach your portfolio, or examples of your work that are more relevant to the job. Finish the proposal by asking to arrange a time for a follow-up call about the project.

Another important tool to have ready is your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is an engaging but brief summary where you explain who you are, your experience, and why a client needs your skills, in around 30 seconds. The elevator pitch is a useful thing to have prepared for when a potential client says, “So, tell me about yourself” during an interview or first meeting. The purpose is to let them know a bit about you and show that you’re qualified for the project. Spend time working on this now, and I promise it will come in handy time and time again.


In Conclusion

Freelancing success is achievable with a strategic approach to client acquisition. By showcasing your skills through a compelling portfolio, defining your niche, optimizing your online presence, and leveraging various platforms and networking opportunities, you can attract clients who appreciate your expertise. Remember, building a successful freelancing career takes time and dedication, so be patient and persistent in your efforts.

If you feel like you’re doing all the right things but are still struggling to attract clients, get in touch to learn how I can help you succeed in your career as a freelancer.