Do you find yourself chasing after new client projects week after week? Wouldn’t it be nice if every once in a while a client came to you?
I want to break down exactly how you can better your chances at getting found by clients. I’ll share what’s worked for me, and what I’ve found has worked for many other successful freelancers.
This may be obvious, but if you can get your name and website link in as many places as possible, you’ll for sure better your chances at having clients find you.
Since this is a bit self-explanatory, here are some ways you can start getting your name out there:
Blogging is a sure-fire way of generating traffic. If you can publish solid resources every once in a while on your blog targeting the audience that you’d like to attract, then over time, you will start to see traffic roll in from search engines. In addition to posting on your own blog, try pitching your posts to a blog with an established audience. You’d be surprised at how effective it is to have your link in an author bio.
I personally wouldn’t be where I’m at if it weren’t for blogging. It’s how I get 86% of my traffic on my personal site. (75% is what I get from Google’s search alone!)
So think of an audience that you’d like to attract, then brainstorm 3–5 article ideas that you can create. Once you have a few posts written, either post them on your own blog or contact another blog with an established audience and pitch your ideas. There’s no downside to doing this, so you have no reason not to give it a try!
If you need help brainstorming ideas, you can try writing these type of posts: Informational (common blog post type), instructional (tutorial), review, list (5 Way to…), interview, case study (attracts clients), link roundup, rant, inspirational, and critique.
You’d be surprised how much work you can get just from putting your Twitter, Facebook, and Dribbble account to use! Share relevant links, promote your work, and you will better your chances at getting found by clients or like-minded people.
Let me give you a scenario where I landed a couple of new projects from using my social media accounts: I had just completed a logo for a client that I was really proud of. I posted it to Dribbble to showcase the design, then tweeted the new shot on Twitter. I also followed-up the project with a case study, explaining the project and my process. The following day I had two projects hit my inbox: a new logo (inquiring a similar style as the logo I just completed) and a poster project (that I received through Dribbble)!
Now I’m not saying this is a concrete way of generating new client projects, but I can say that without the use of my social media accounts, my taking action to share this project, and a bit of luck, these opportunities wouldn’t have presented themselves otherwise.
So if you’re proud of a design that you’ve created (it doesn’t have to be a client project), then be sure you share and promote it.
There are a ton of directories for freelancers that allow you to post your bio, link, and/or list of services. This makes it easier for clients to find you depending on your specialty.
Do some Google searching to help find these various directories: “freelance graphic design directory” (swap out your specialty)
Last year I signed-up on Microlancer, a platform for freelancers to setup a virtual shop for their services. (You can read my detailed experience with using Microlancer here.) Having my services listed had resulted in landing a few small fun projects on their site. However, over the past couple of months, I’ve recently been getting clients emailing me directly, saying that they found my services on Microlancer but would like to work with me off the site.
You can also list your business on a more specialized or local directory. An example of this that I’ve found is the Genesis Developers list by StudioPress. If you’re a developer that specializes in using the Genesis framework, then this would be absolutely perfect for you!
I personally have stumbled upon a local (Ohio) print company’s site, and they too have a list of “recommended” professionals. I simply submitted my own banner and it’s landed me a couple of design projects.
Sell on a marketplace
Another great way to get your name out there and to even generate a little bit of extra income is to sell a product on a marketplace. Being on a marketplace betters your chances at someone stumbling onto your profile, which may lead to them visiting your website.
Just last week I received a message from someone suggesting I add a few icons to my social media icon set. Like any product maker, I wanted to provide good customer service, so I did as requested and created the suggested icons. Because of that, they purchased my icon set then followed-up with a message asking me if I’d be interested in helping with some other graphic design work.
Comment and leave your mark everywhere
The easiest way you can get your name out there and generate traffic back to your own website is by leaving a comment on the content you view. If you enjoy a blog post, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section (hint hint), give your feedback on more Dribbble shots, answer questions on Quora, and try participating on forums that are in your niche.
“Being everywhere” does kind of rely on luck, but you wouldn’t get these opportunities if you weren’t putting yourself out there in the first place.
Love your clients
The absolute best way you can generate more client leads is by getting referrals. To get referrals you need to treat your current and past clients like gold.
If you can provide an excellent experience for your clients (fast and quality work), then they’ll be more than happy to pass around your name.
What’s the best way to get a referral? Just ask! One way I like to get referrals is by including a section on my feedback survey that I send to my clients after a project is completed. Not only does it help improve my business, but I get a testimonial and better my chances at getting a referral.
Referrals are very important to me and my business, so I hope you’ll keep me in mind. Do you know of any other person or small business that could use my services?
Can you think of any current or past clients that you can contact for additional work or new referrals? If so, reach out to them as soon as you can and see if there’s anything you can help them with or if they know of someone else you can help.
Build a product
Building a product is a bit more complicated and time consuming than the other tips above, but the benefits are remarkable! Not only is it an amazing learning experience that leaves you satisfied, it can also generate additional income, and demonstrate your expertise in the eyes of others.
Think about everything that goes into building a product: building the product itself, creating a landing page, and marketing. All of this shows that you’re able to take an idea and bring it to life, and this will certainly attract potential clients.
I built a landing page for my new book, and just by doing that I’ve had a couple of leads interested in getting help designing their own landing pages.
Make your own luck
It’s true when they say you want to be in the right place at the right time, and to be in the right place at the right time, you have to put yourself there.
If you aren’t putting yourself out there and giving it your all, then you risk missing out on opportune moments where clients are coming to you for help.
You have to work towards success every single day, and in turn, this may result in a steady stream of projects.
Are you doing everything that you can to get your name out there?
Those are my tips on bettering your chances at getting found by clients. How did I do? Did you find some valuable information that you can apply to your own freelance career? What are some ways you’ve attracted clients?
Let me know in the comments below.
P.s. If you enjoyed this article, please take one second to share on your favorite social media site. It really helps and is much appreciated!