How to Get Freelance Clients Online (2024)

April 23, 2024
how to get freelance clients

Quick Summary

  • Design a good portfolio and keep improving your pitch.
  • Focus on networking, to connect with professionals.
  • Explore freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiver, etc. to get clients.

Table of Contents

Investing time and money in a side hustle offers an incredible opportunity to individuals. It gives control and independence that the classic corporate job does not. While it has repercussions, it offers a range of untapped opportunities. As a result, the freelance industry is witnessing a major boost in recent years.

The freelance market can be volatile depending on the client or lead inflow. Freelancers are always presented with an infamous question, i.e., ‘how to get clients as a freelancer?’ Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Multiple factors affect the lead inflow of clients for a freelancer in 2024.

Freelancing has now ventured into the online space more than ever before. But how to get clients online is a skill and art that not many have mastered. The freelance market includes various professions, such as freelance writers, developers, administrators, assistants, designers, and more. This article will dive deep into the world of ‘How to get freelancers in 2024 and the variable involved.

Steps to Get Freelance Clients

Wondering how to get started in the world of freelancing? Finding the right freelance clients right from the beginning is important. A good portfolio can be the difference between a hit or misses in a freelancing career. Understanding how to get a project from a client and a portfolio plays a big role.

Whether it is a portfolio link or a quick email, it must be at the freelancer’s disposal at all times. Why use a freelancing portfolio for marketing themselves? Here’s why :

–        Solid marketing material to showcase the resume

–        Great way to impress clients with past work

–        Creates opportunities that suggest similar niche histor

–        Expresses experience and expertise in any field

A good freelancing portfolio is a great way of storytelling. It tells an in-depth story about the expertise, niche and category they specialise in. It helps in finding clients that are niche specific. A well-made portfolio makes it easier to get clients as per the freelancer’s requirements.

When uploaded on a relevant website, a freelancer’s portfolio is a great way of attracting the freelance client. It’s the biggest asset that delivers the impact the freelance expects. The answer to ‘how to find clients’ begins with a simple yet impactful portfolio.

What to include in your portfolio?

But how to get a freelance client? Use a portfolio as a powerful tool that can leverage a freelancing career correctly. Making a portfolio is a simple task, but it needs to be well-thought. To advance the career and find clients, a portfolio must be comprehensive.

A crisp portfolio must include the following:

1. Summary

Summarise the entire freelancing work history, background, and niche categories in 3-4 lines. This must be a focused, crisp snippet into the core USP of the freelancer. This will help the freelancer client to have a good first impression.

2. Background

Secondly, get into a detailed background. In this section, the emphasis must be on how the skillsets developed. This could be via work experience, internships, educational background etc. Focus on how these skill sets can help deliver what the client expects in a specific field.

3. Curated List of Best Work

In the end, the work must speak for itself. Therefore, showcasing the best work is critical to finding clients that choose the freelancer. The work showcased must be published preferably; if not, it must be presentable.

4. Client Testimonials/ Reviews

Wondering how to take a project from a freelancer? Show them success stories and reviews. Review reviews make the difference when deciding between two freelancers with similar skill sets. Therefore, having good reviews accessible on the portfolio is important.

5. Contact Form

A simple contact form that captures all the client details, such as work requirements, email id, contact number, name and website details, is important. This goes a long way in building a good client list that can be reapproached as required.

Transform your freelancing journey

Freelancing opens up new opportunities for freelancers in 2024. Investing in good strategies that assist with lead generation, marketing, and customer service is essential. Freelancers have many ways to get new clients consistently as long as they constantly reinvent the wheel, exploring, learning and growing.

Looking for platforms where freelancers can use their knowledge and skillset to their advantage? A platform such as Chegg India offers freelancers a wide range of opportunities to learn and mentor. In addition, becoming a subject matter expert with Chegg can help them go a long way. This includes signing up to become a Chegg Q&A expert.

How does it work? Freelancers can pass basic tests online and establish their expertise. They then get paid to answer questions that have been posed online. This work offers flexibility, good compensation, and hones skills. In addition, the freelancer gets the chance to constantly stay in touch with their field.

Work Anywhere, Anytime Hassle-free Earning

Freelancing demands freelancers to stay abreast with the latest trends and theoretical and practical knowledge about the subject. Work with Chegg as a subject matter expert and become proficient as a freelancer.

Use your social media to get Freelance Clients.

Social media is an indispensable tool when it comes to self-marketing. How freelancers present themselves in the market will become the face of who they are to the clients. Generally, before making the final choice of freelancer, freelance clients check social media pages. The following factors need to be kept in mind as a freelancer market themselves on social media

1. Strong Bio

The first thing a client reads before sending a connection request is the ‘Bio’. A freelancer’s bio must not be casual or abstract. It must be clear and crisp, giving an insight into the freelancer’s work style. For example, it could include statistics about the number of clients and projects done. A link tree of work done can also be included here.

2. Consistent Posting

The first step to finding the right client is knowing who the right one is. Therefore, frequently posting, putting out thoughts and ideas, professional nuggets, and free tips on social media helps. It builds trust and establishes expertise even before the client connects.

3. Choosing the right platform

A freelance designer needs Instagram to showcase their work; a freelancer writer needs Facebook and LinkedIn to showcase their skills. A developer needs LinkedIn to showcase expertise. Every freelancer must analyse their client and determine where buying decisions are made.

4. Maintaining a brand image

Maintaining a consistent brand image that aligns with the freelancer’s work identity is important. Therefore, freelancers must ensure every post and image is in line with their brand.

Get out there and network.

Networking is an indispensable part of the freelancing career. Like it or not, when learning how to get freelancing work, attention must be paid to networking. Freelancers must focus on maintaining email lists throughout their freelance careers. This enables them to consistently reach out, post updates and stay in touch with the client. Some of the best ways to the network include:

1. Connect With Past Clients

Past clients are always a great asset in finding new ones. In addition, past clients are the best testament to work. They can reel in new clients and put in a word for freelancers that creates a real impact with prospective clients. Freelancers must also proactively ask the past client for referral work or recommendations on who can help.

2. Help People Connect

One of the best ways to network is to help those who need it. For instance, when a connection is looking for a designer, and you know someone, always proactively help. It may come around someday when any of the parties need your help. Especially people from the same industry that need assistance. This creates long-term associations that last and bring in clients.

3. Social gatherings

Connecting with people and businesses and discussing work at every opportunity is very important. Leveraging it to the maximum makes a big impact. Freelancers must always have their business cards on them.

Freelancers at social gatherings must always find a way of talking about their expertise. One never knows when an opportunity shows or when a client may have the need. Freelancing is a lucrative career because almost professions usually include categories where anyone and everyone can be a client.

While push selling oneself in such set-ups is never advisable, don’t hesitate to speak about work. When someone asks freelancers about their work, they must be willing to give a quick insight. Therefore, it is recommended that freelance professionals have a quick summary introduction that they can confidently deliver at all times.

4. Special networking events

Networking meetings are a great way to meet the right business professionals. Networking meetings allow freelancers to network freely with a host of businesses that may need freelancing services. Several networking meetings frequently happen across locations. Either these could be industry-specific meetings or location specific.

Get Paid for Your Knowledge

How to go about a networking meeting?

  • Prepare a custom presentation

Freelancers must always prepare a custom presentation created for a specific networking event. This shows that they are dedicated professionals putting in the hard work. This custom presentation must highlight past work, future plans, top clientele, and more. Creating a great firm impression will go a long way. It also is the best way to pitch to various clients in one go.

  • Listen Carefully

Paying attention to others’ presentations and business is equally important. Not only does this offer a good starting point for discussion, but it also helps freelancers look for potential clients. For example, a freelancer designer can look at presentations and pitches to make them more impressionable. Being attentive is important in the world of freelancing.

  • Tradeshows

A freelancer often gets stuck in middlemen, thus affecting pay scales. Tradeshows are a great way to meet direct clients who can directly benefit the freelancer. Tradeshows open up a range of opportunities that can make all the difference.

Set yourself up as an expert

The mantra ‘Jack of all trades, master of none holds true for freelancing. Setting themselves as an expert makes all the difference in why clients choose a specific freelancer. Being an all-rounder works at times. However, success follows those who upskill themselves in a niche in the long run. Here’s how freelancers can set themselves as experts :

1. Let the title and expertise match

While choosing the right freelancer to work with, clients undertake thorough research. Freelancers must be aware that their social media handles play an important role. For example, ‘Freelancer Content Writer‘ & ‘Tech-specialised Freelance Content writer’ make two different types of impact. A technology client is more likely to choose a specialised writer. Hence, emphasising expertise in the title itself can be powerful.

2. Choose Project based systems.

Instead of taking up random work, freelancers must be more conscious about their chosen projects. Therefore, going from random work to a project-based conscious approach is important. In addition, proactively choosing to work in a specific niche will go a long way in making a difference.

Analyse metrics and note them as success stories

When working in a niche category, analysing metrics is important. These metrics of success act as a testament to the next client. Freelancers must consciously and intentionally take the time out to note metrics. Emphasising this, posting these metrics on a website or portfolio leaves a lasting impact.

Some other ways include :

1. Speak at events:

Events are a great getaway to networking with the right set of people. Just attending an event as a freelancer creates a great networking opportunity. But attending it as a speaker can be a game-changer. A prominent way of standing out is to become an expert.

Learning the art of speaking and delivering impactful speeches will help massively. Freelancers must invest their time and effort in signing up for speaking events. It gives the freelancer a wide audience and brings the attention of people who are interested in working with them.

Speaking events could be a small one at a local college or a big one at a networking meeting.

Learning to speak at these events is going to attract the right crowd. There is a variety of freelancing networking groups that look for speakers. A freelancer can interact with multiple people or groups and talk about their expertise.

Pick the right event, especially those that have your target audience. Sign up for speaking events as a freelancer and own up to your subject matter expertise.

2. Be a mentor:

Various freelancers choose the mentor route to make a name and gain clients.

Wondering how becoming a mentor helps with freelancing? Well, a mentorship role allows a freelancer to find and create a tribe. In addition, it starts establishing their name and persona as an expert. This can be an encouraging factor for clients who are unsure about the freelancer.

  • Pros of Becoming a Mentor

To become a mentor, one must engage in continual learning. This ensures that a freelancer never stagnates in their role. It encourages constant growth. The freelancer must stay abreast with industry trends, tips, tricks and hacks. This is what mentorship is all about.

Building a Community- Becoming a mentor inevitably means building a strong community of people from any specific field. This community makes all the difference in creating a long-term impact as a freelancer.

Finding Talent- To eventually build a strong brand as a freelancer, a collaborative approach is necessary. Experienced freelancers can mentor and hire less experienced freelancers for them to grow and learn.

  • Cons of becoming a mentor

The role of mentorship may be time-consuming. Freelancers must be able to allocate a set amount of time for the same. Additionally, becoming a mentor can also dilute the portfolio. Take up resources that could have been invested in freelancing.

3. Start a blog:

Blogging is yet another way of setting up thought leadership and expertise as a freelancer. Freelancers can easily write impactful articles that deliver value to readers. Regularly posting these write-ups can have a positive impact on the client. Some areas that the blog can cover include

  • Industry specific blogs

Freelancers that post blogs often have a higher chance of attracting clients. Industry-specific blogs are a great way to let the client know about freelancers’ expertise. Discuss industry-based challenges. Discuss success stories and how freelance expertise can help the client. Add value to every word of the blog.

  • General hacks, tips blogs

This is one of the simplest, no-brainer ways of attracting client attention. Clients are always concerned about improving their organisation’s productivity. Share free solutions, tips and tricks that can help in adding value to the client.

  • ‘How To’ blogs

How to blogs do well in search engines. A good how-to blog gives the client an insight into the freelancer’s mind. They get an idea about the type of work they can expect, the style of work and their knowledge level. Good How-to blogs set up the pace for hiring an expert freelancer for the job.

Also, read: How to Make Money Blogging: Free Guide for 2024

Take a freelance website out for a spin

For a freelancer, a well-designed, optimised website makes all the difference. The freelancer must have complete control over the entire website. This means being mindful of the style and design of the website. Want to learn how to get projects from clients? Here’s how :

  • Audit Current Website

It is important to audit the current website and analyse if it aligns with the freelancer’s brand image. This includes the page load speed, the overall optimisation, the call-to-action buttons and more.

  • Identify Loopholes

The first step after this is to chalk out the loopholes. Note the points that do not resonate with the current brand identity. Note if the page has red flags that could deter the customer. Check if the website does not have testimonials, product listings etc

  • Make changes

Once the changes are identified, work on a plan of action to make the changes. Having a good call to action, an SEO-optimised website must be a priority for freelancers. This can help them in getting clients effortlessly.

  • Consistently Update

Website Updating is almost as important as having one. Freelancers must invest resources such as time and money in updating it. This could either be posting blogs, offers, testimonials etc.

Top Freelancing Sites of 2024

Freelancers are always on the lookout for new clients. The best part about freelancing is that geographic boundaries don’t bind them. Freelancers could work with clients across the globe as long as they have access to it. But how can freelancers gain new clients globally?

Freelancing sites are the answer to this query. In the digital world, several online freelancing sites allow freelancers to look for clients. They range from bidding sites, order sites and vetted talent websites. Some of the top websites for freelancers include

  • Upwork – Upwork is a bid-based freelancing website. It has an exhaustive database of freelancers that have signed up. No specific vetting process occurs. However, freelancer clients can choose their internal vetting process for selection. Freelancers can bid for their roles and move forward once selected
  • Fiverr – Fiverr presents freelancers with opportunities across the world. They can place beds on the order, projects or contracts suggested by clients. Freelancers need to post their work, their experience, the number of years etc., expected pay etc. This portal allows for a very honest, transparent modus operandi.

Also, read: 20 Best Freelancing Sites in India

Keep learning and improving your pitch

The freelancing market isn’t a straightforward one. There is a need for constant upgrading and scale-up. The indispensable part of the freelance lifestyle is to keep upgrading the pitch. How can freelancers improve their pitch

  • Update client list

Nothing creates an impact like a good client does. A stellar client list speaks for itself. Mention the list of clients, the work done for them and preferably their reviews. Freelancer client is more than willing to write out reviews for freelancers when the job is well done. The portfolio must at no point be an outdated one. It must be consistently upgraded in the best possible way.

  • Update skillsets

For freelancing, donning more hats than just one is a big part of their career. For example, a freelancer needs to be a marketer, an admin, a salesperson, or a communications expert. Therefore, constantly investing in ways to improve skillsets is essential.

Besides this, it is also mandatory to upskill in the area of expertise. E.g., a technology freelancer must upskill and learn AI, Blockchain to gain more clients and knowledge.

Additionally, freelancers must review their pitch presentation and portfolio every 3-6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do freelancers increase clients?

Freelancers can opt for several simple, easy-to-implement strategies to improve their client base, this includes:

1. Updating the portfolio
2. Participating in networking events
3. Revamping the website
4. Attending local events and shows
5. Introducing themselves at any event or function

How can I get clients directly?

To get direct clients, the best ways include:

Cold Calling: Freelancers can search for the top companies within their area of expertise. This can be followed by cold calling and reaching out to them. Using platforms like LinkedIn to get in touch with decision-makers is important.

Freelancing Sites: Many freelancing sites stated above can help freelancers search for the right audience for themselves.

How can I find freelance people?

Freelancing is easier when an active network of people comes together in a strong community. Many freelancing communities bring freelancers across different forays together. Being active and engaging in these communities can bring in more work.

Here are some useful resources:

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