Things looking quiet in your inbox? Are you starting to worry about money? You’re not alone. Not having enough (or any) clients is a problem all freelancers have, usually multiple times throughout their freelancing careers. It’s particularly a struggle in the beginning when no one knows your name and you’ve barely got a portfolio.
Here are some mistakes freelancers make that could be the reason why business is quiet for you:
You’re waiting for them to come to you
While it would be lovely to sit back and watch the clients come to you, this is just not going to happen unless you’re very well known in the freelancing world.
Building a website and social media profiles are a solid first step but they’re not enough. Clients need help to find these things and unless you go out to them they’ll go for the ones that are easier to find.
Your services lack focus
You may have already heard that specialising is the best way to go. Clients will generally have a specific idea of what they want from a freelancer so tailoring your website and pitches according to that will help you stick out. Specialising also helps to establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
Some clients will love hearing about your low rates. Others see it as a bad sign. They’ll assume you’re inexperienced and may avoid working with you. On the other hand, high rates may make you unaffordable to new clients. It’s a difficult balancing act and may require some experimentation.
You’re not focusing on the client
Many freelancers make the mistake of focusing too much on themselves when writing pitches or website content. They talk about why they are great when really they should be focusing on the client and how you can help them. It’s a slight distinction to make but it can make the difference in persuading a client to sign up.
You lack proof of your abilities
Don’t have a portfolio or testimonials? How do clients know you’re any good unless you show them? It’s always difficult in the beginning to get proof of your work. Many freelancers opt to create samples of work for prospective clients to take a look at. Others will work for free or low pay to get some experience and testimonials under their belt.
You’re too pushy
While some freelancers are guilty of not pushing themselves enough to get clients, others are guilty of the opposite. Pushy marketing rarely works these days. It just puts people off and makes you look desperate. They’ll wonder – if you’re so good why are you desperate? Instead play it cool and keep the conversation friendly.
Freelancing is a lot of work to get started, especially when it comes to winning clients. It will take a lot of patience and experimentation to find a system that works for you. It’s important not to get disheartened when potential clients say no because the next may well say yes.
Are you struggling to bring in clients? Or do you have tips for others who are? Please share your comments below.