If you are new to the freelancing world and you are trying to land your very first paying client, it can feel a little overwhelming at first but some simple preparation you help!
Landing your first client can be a thrilling yet daunting task as you want to be seen as a reliable and professional individual right from the start, that's why knowing how to approach potential clients is so important.
In this post, I will help guide you through some practical steps that will help you land your first freelance client, whether you're a copywriter or a freelancer in any other field. These steps will focus on key aspects of freelancing that any potential client is likely to be looking out for in a freelancer they are looking to hire!
You could say that this post is more of a checklist that you may wish to follow along with to help improve your chances of landing that first client...
Before we get into the checklist, I will say that the BEST thing you have when trying to land your first client is...
If you are honest and authentic then you are more likely to be a person people want to work with; you don't necessarily have to tell your client if they are your first so long as you can deliver on what you promise. Being a newer freelancer can make it difficult to build creditable at first but we all have to start somewhere.
To best prepare for landing that first client, have a look through the following checklist to see if there is anything that might stop a client from working with you; if so you know what you may need to work on before reaching out to your desired clients...
Landing your first client - checklist:
1. Have you defined your niche and skills?
Before you embark on your freelancing journey, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your niche and the skills you bring to the table. What are you passionate about, and what do you excel at? Identify your strengths and weaknesses to help you focus on the right clients and projects.
2. Have you got a portfolio of relevant work that you can use to demonstrate your skills?*
Even without prior freelance experience, you can build a portfolio to showcase your skills. Create samples of your work, whether it's writing, graphic design, coding, or any other service you offer. These samples will serve as your calling card when reaching out to potential clients.
*P.S. You can include anything suitable that demonstrates the skills a client's work would require.
3. Do you have an Online Presence?
Having a strong online presence is crucial in today's freelancing world. You will want to set up a professional website and use platforms like LinkedIn to create a profile that highlights your skills and portfolio. This will help establish credibility, as well as showcase your work.
4. Have you started networking?
Networking is a powerful way to land your first client. Attend industry-related events, and join online forums and communities, to help you connect with potential clients and fellow freelancers. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and share your expertise to build your reputation.
5. Do you know how to pitch your services?
Will you be cold emailing, or cold calling potential clients if so do you have a plan in place to guide you to pitch your services? Don't be afraid to reach out to potential clients directly, just make sure you craft a personalized pitch that explains how your skills can benefit their business.
Top tip: Be concise, highlight your unique selling points, and show genuine interest in their projects!
The list of what you could do, have planned or prepared is endless but really when you are trying to focus on landing your first paying client it's important to not lose sight of what is important...
In a nutshell, being yourself while showing your expertise is key. Keep your online presence consistent across platforms – it's like your digital calling card. But, here's the real secret sauce: networking! It's not just about collecting business cards; it's about building genuine connections. Know who you are, what you bring to the table, and why you do what you do.
In this journey, remember that your professionalism, online presence, and network are your secret weapons for success, helping you stand out and thrive in your field.
And I wish you the best of luck landing your first client!