As a new side hustler, trying to land quality clients is the name of the game. But it's also one of the most intimidating and fear-inducing things you'll face as a freelancer.
So how the heck do you go about landing quality clients?
The first thing you need to do is ensure you're a quality freelancer in the first place!
Now I know that if you're reading this blog, then you're already smart (:-)) and if you're smart, then that means you're heading in the right direction of being a quality freelancer.
[Tweet “The first thing you need to do is ensure you're a quality freelancer in the first place!”]
But you also need to make sure that you've got these qualities lined up as well:
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- #1: You need to be reliable. That means that you'll respond to a potential client within 12-24 hours and that you'll show up for Skype interviews when you say you will
- #2: You need to be honest. Honest about your skills and abilities. I'm all for faking it before you make it, but if you know that you can't learn something and meet a client deadline within the timeframe set, then say you can't do it. Not being honest is the quickest way for your side hustle to crash and burn before it even gets off the ground.
- #3: You need to be friendly. If you don't like dealing with people, then running your own business probably isn't the best thing for you to be doing! As a side hustler, you'll be the front-person of your business, which means that if you want to attract clients or customers, then you need to be approachable.
- #4: You need to be confident. I'm not saying you need to be outgoing or an extrovert, but you do need to be confident. Confident in your abilities, confident in being able to deliver and confident in yourself. You can be an introvert and quiet and still be confident.
And that's just a start. You should also have your shit together. And I mean that in the nicest possible way… if your personal life isn't together, then starting a side hustle is going to add even more stress to the equation.
Don't do it to yourself.
And yes, while the saying goes, “there's no time like the present…” sometimes you just need to have the presence of mind to know when it's a great time to start your side hustle and when it's time to just wait a little until you've got the right headspace.
Ok Lise, enough with the sermon!
Sorry about that, but I just wanted to make it very clear that in order to find and land quality clients, you yourself need to be a quality freelancer as well.
Now that we've nutted that all out, let's get down to finding those awesome clients!
Table of Contents
Land Quality Clients The Easy Way
#1: Identify niche sites
If you want to land a quality client, you need to make sure you're fishing in the right place. This means that you need to first identify the type of client you want to land and then figure out where they're hanging out.
While I'm a huge advocate of using sites like Upwork and Freelancer, it can be difficult to wade through the waters there and find the right clients that you want to work with.
This is why, inside the new Side Hustle Blueprint course, I talk about niche sites and how to find them and use them to your advantage.
The easiest way to identify a niche site is to simply Google the type of work you're planning to do. For instance, if you were a website designer, then you might search “freelance website designer jobs”.
This would be your search results:
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Once you've got a couple, then you can start looking through the gigs available and identify the jobs you're interested in then check out the client details. Remember, you only want to work with clients who have a proven track record — do some digging around and see what the client's reputation is like. If you get any weird feelings, walk away!
#2: Be memorable
When approaching a client you've identified as being high quality, then you're ready to submit your email pitch and proposal.
You want to stand out from the sea of freelancers vying for their attention and the best way to do this is to be memorable…
Here's a couple of ideas that could leave a lasting impression on your potential high quality client:
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- Record a quick introduction video and include it with your email pitch!
- Send them a thank you note in the mail, as in the physical post…
- Use color in your proposal, black and white is so last year!
I'm sure you can think of some ideas as well, but the key is to make an impression so that they don't forget you when they are scrolling through all the emails…
#3: Follow up
If you've had an interview with the client, wait 48 hours and then follow up with them, but in a way that is helpful.
This means thinking outside the square and offering more value to them. During your interview, you would likely have found out more about the client, armed with this information, you can now think of other ways that you could help them.
In your follow up email, you could give them one or two suggestions that they can implement straight away that will help them in their business. Not only does this increase your chances of landing the job, it also shows initiative and further cements the impression they have of you — that you're a quality freelancer and someone that they can work with long-term!
#4: Be upfront
This is not the time to be coy. Be upfront about your rates, what you're expectations are and how you like to run a project.
If you use tools like Freedcamp, Trello or Asana to manage your client work, let them know that you do this and that you provide a detailed video to all your new clients on how this works.
Clients don't like surprises, so if there is anything they need to know, tell them.
#5: Show your initiative
Clients love it when you take the time to understand their business, so if you want to land a quality client, do you due diligence before you even attempt to contact them. Find out where they are located, what their core business is — get a holistic view of the company so that you can see how your project fits into their overall business.
Once you have this understanding, it will be a lot easier to craft a unique pitch and proposal for them. The more you can show that you've done your homework, the more they'll be inclined to want to know more about you and seek you out for an interview, at which point you'll wow them with your charm 🙂
Landing quality clients doesn't have to be hard, you just need to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Stand out from other freelancers by implementing these tips and you'll be well on your way to having a lucrative side hustle business full of quality clients you want to work with.
Want to make sure you attract the right clients? Check out my book, Capture Convert Captivate: How Creatives Can Use Email Marketing To Connect With Their Tribe, Make An Impact, and Create Consistent Income! Grab your copy here.