Getting your first freelance job might be like a difficult task, but not anymore. Freelancers have been on the rise lately, and especially since companies and startups have been choosing to hire freelancers. The good news is that freelancers have uncapped earning potential and are very flexible, allowing them time to pursue a hobby, spend more time with family, take a day off to suit individual needs, etc.
Other benefits include being able to work for whomever you choose, whether they be a one-man-band or a global agency, or indeed as many clients as you want to serve. You truly are your own ‘master’. Many freelancers work for a handful of large agencies and several smaller direct clients. It is good practice to mix and match like this – as a freelancer, without the job security that working as an employee provides, it is wise to avoid having all one’s eggs in a single basket.
Getting clients on board
With this in mind, let’s move on to looking at how you can get your first freelance job. We talked before about how freelancing is often built up alongside employment and gradually takes over as freelancers build their client base. But today we’re going to expand on how to advertise and get your first clients.
There are a few different ways of approaching this. Some people may already have industry contacts from the last employed job they held. Others actively market their freelance business, building a website and advertising locally. And yet others join freelancer platforms such as Worxmart, Proz, or Fiverr and register a seller account giving details of all the services they can provide to interested parties.
Once you have had a think about what skills you want to offer, you need to think about who your target clients are. As mentioned earlier, most freelancers work for a mix of direct and agency clients, and access their workload in different ways; directly, working for agency project management teams, and using online freelancer portals. It is a good idea to check out which agencies supply the services you provide so that you can register with them as a freelance provider, as well as emailing companies you like the look of with an introduction and portfolio.
Don’t forget to sign up with freelancer portals like Worxmart, where your freelance profile is continually available and in front of a range of clients. The benefit of using a freelancer website is that it does the advertising for you while you concentrate on working. There is also payment security to take into account. Using a freelancer portal such as Worxmart, because the client has already paid for their order before placing it, the freelancer is guaranteed payment as soon as that order has been approved by the client.
To recap all this, there are three ways in which you can access freelance clients and get you first freelance job:
Getting your first freelance job by networking and direct advertising
This is the costliest and most time-consuming way of getting new clients, but there are no management fees and you can generally charge higher rates. Good direct clients who pay well and on time are every freelancer’s dream. If you have industry contacts, use them to get some direct clients on board if you can. You will need to build a portfolio or have a website they can visit to see examples or descriptions of your work.
Getting your first freelance job by signing up with a big agency
You still have to do plenty of legwork getting your CV in front of project managers and agencies can beat you down on rates, which can be very disheartening, especially at the start of your freelance journey, but once you’re on board, and serve their teams well, you can become a go-to supplier and get a chance to increase your rates.
Using a freelancer website to get your first job
The nice thing about this is that everything is in one place – files can be downloaded and later delivered via the website, conversations happen inside it and nothing gets lost. You can set your own rates and while competition is stiff, once you have built up a reputation for quality, you can get some really good clients.
Don’t ignore social media
All freelancers should have a website and a well-maintained social presence such as an established LinkedIn page (you can easily build one using WordPress. This will help you not only get your first freelance job, but also maintain a consistent stream of jobs and projects throughout the year. Some professions may find other social media sites suit them better, such as an Instagram account (many freelance photographers use these). It all depends on what you’re offering your clients.
Even better: when you complete a Worxmart profile, you can easily use your unique freelancer URL to promote your services on the social media channel of your choice. Interested parties can click on a link that will take them directly to your Worxmart profile, where they will be able to see how much you charge and a list of the services that you offer.
Up, up and away
These are the basics that every freelancer should take into account as you try to get your first freelance job. It is always helpful to have a plan and think carefully about what route to sourcing new clients is likely to suit you, your business, and your lifestyle best. If you put the background in place first, writing a great CV and investing some time in a simple website or comprehensive social media presence, you are far more likely to be able to persuade people to work with you.
Communication and visibility are crucial to getting new clients. Spend a little time each week to update your social media platform, even if it is just a LinkedIn page, and take the trouble to connect and chat with others in the same field – this can be invaluable. If you’ve decided by now to give opening an account with Worxmart a go, then take a look at this handy guide to kicking off your freelance career with us, and remember that the same rules apply: taking the time to fill in a comprehensive profile will give you a much higher chance of gaining new clients quickly.
Good luck, and be sure to keep visiting our blog page for more hints and tips!
Now you are good to start and win your first order on Worxmart.
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