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As a freelancer your income depends on your ability to get work from clients. The truth is to land new clients, you need to have a clean reputation. In this post we’re going to show you the things you can do to help find new clients and build your network.
Reach Out to Past Clients
Many freelancers are under the impression that their relationship with their clients ends when they’ve finished a job for them. However this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every client that you work with has the potential to land you a new client. Keep in mind, I use the word “potential” here. Of course not every client is going to land you a new client or extra work but often times this does happen.
Having a great reputation for your clients can lead to new jobs from them down the line. Just because you did work for a client once doesn’t mean it’s just a one-off deal. Follow up with your clients and see how things are going and if they are happy with the job you did for them. Sometimes clients will tell you that they want something else done or that they may know someone who’s looking for a freelancer. They may just recommend you for the job.
Another misconception freelancers seem to believe is that they can build their network by doing absolutely nothing. However, there is more to networking than meets the eye. There are typically two types of networking: passive and active networking. As the names imply, passive networking is slowing growing your network of clients and fellow freelancers by waiting to meet the right people and waiting for the right opportunities to come to you. Meanwhile, active networking is the exact opposite. Active networking is where you intentionally put yourself out there in the effort of meeting new people and making your own great opportunities happen. If you’re serious about building your network, it’s time to stop being passive about things and start actively networking today.
Be Great at What You Do
As we said earlier, reputation is everything. Whether you have a great reputation or a bad one, it’s going to follow you around for life. If you want to land more clients and make more money, it’s worth making sure you put in the extra effort to be great at what you do. In the end, it’s all about making the client happy and creating good relationships with them.
Cutting corners just isn’t an option if you want to be the best. When you do land a client, make sure the work you do represents your business. If you’re not proud of something you’re delivering for a client, it’s a good indicator that you probably shouldn’t be delivering it. You’re only as good as your worst job.
Write a Book
What better way to become an authority in your field than to write a book? Wouldn’t it be impressive to ask someone a question and they respond with something along the lines of “Oh yeah I wrote the book on it”? I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty impressive to me.
One good example of this would be with web designer, developer, and author Ethan Marcotte. If you’ve been paying attention to the world of web design in the last five years or so, you’ve probably heard about a little thing called “responsive web design”. Ethan is the guy that came up with the concept of responsive design. He not only guest posted articles about it to popular websites like alistapart.com but wrote a book about it.
Ethan Marcotte is the poster boy for Responsive Web Design now (as he should be). It’s pretty safe to say that Ethan probably doesn’t have a hard time finding work with those credentials.
Finding new clients can certainly be a challenge starting out, and sometimes even when you’ve been doing it for a while. The important thing is to make sure you’re getting enough exposure and building the right relationships that will help you get your name out there.
What are your tips for finding new clients and growing your network? Share them with us in the comments below!