How To Find Freelance Clients That Fit You Like A Puzzle Piece
When you first start your career it can be difficult to find freelance clients to fit you. If you’re a web designer for creative entrepreneurs, the last thing you want is to design a website for your local plumber. But, you take it because a job’s a job right? Wrong.
The work that you do tends to determine the work that you will do. Successful businesses run largely on referrals. Let’s be honest “birds of a feather, flock together.” The plumber that you worked with will likely refer you to the local mechanic or hardware store. Not that you don’t want paying clients – of course, you do.
You didn’t leave your cushy 9 to 5, to do work that pays. You wanted to find clients that fit you like a puzzle piece. The plumber is not leading you to the next Jenna Kutcher. Not sure where to start? Continue reading and I’ll tell you the best ways to find your ideal clients.
YouTubers or Influencers That Your Ideal Clients Follow
Once you decided to freelance, I’ll bet that you spent a lot of time on YouTube searching for ways to grow your business. We all do it. While you’re watching videos, you started scoping out the people in your industry. Let’s say you’re a meal delivery chef, and you were checking out the latest recipe from a food blogger. Inspiration is great, but did you stop to think that you’re in the perfect place to leverage your business.
This Youtuber’s audience loves the type of food that you make. They are not skilled at making it, and they are open to receiving help. You know this because of the video they’re watching. Here’s the thing: the YouTuber does not provide the same service as you, but you have the same audience. This gives you the opportunity to connect with members of that audience. Scroll through those comments, take a look at the likes, and reach out. Perhaps, you’ll read a comment that says, “Those croissants look delicious, I wish a place near me made those.” This is your opportunity to pounce. Comment back, showing your value.
Always, always, always share what you do and where they can find you. This allows not only that person to reach you but also others who come along after. This technique can work on Instagram, Facebook, or even on Amazon reviews (wild – I know.)
Get creative, and think of where your ideal client hangs out. What videos they watch, who they follow on social media, and what books they read. These are all great places to start getting your name out there.
Cold Emailing Brands That You Know and Love
The first week into my copywriting career, I sat down and thought of four brands that I love. I chose brands that I could authentically write about. After making that list I went to their website and saw if they had a blog that I could contribute to. Sure enough, they did. Immediately I sat at the keyboard and pitched them a story about how their product impacted my life. Did I know anyone from these brands? Not a soul. Did I get a response? Yes!
It’s hard not to be intrigued when a customer emails you about how your company changed their life. The best part, none of it was made up. When you reach out to brands that you know and love – you already have a leg up.
You don’t have to be a copywriter like me, to cold email companies. If you’re a health coach, you can reach out to your favorite protein company or local juice business. You can offer to write a post for their blog, come in and coach their team, or even create a lead magnet e-book for their website.
Get really creative with your offer. The point is that you know the company better than most people cold emailing them. You know their voice and what their audience wants to see because you are their audience. Be sure to remind them of that throughout your email.
Don’t be afraid of a somewhat lengthy email. Most people will say to keep your emails to a sentence or two. I’ve found that my most well-received emails are about 200 to 400 words.
Having trouble finding contact emails for brands? Next week I’ll show you my process.
Facebook Groups Dedicated To Your Target Audience
I know, I know – you’re already in Facebook groups. You’re responding to every post that mentions your niche. Competing with hundreds of other freelancers trying to get the same job.
Everyone told you that’s how it works, and it does – sometimes. But, when you’re trying to build up your clientele you don’t have time for sometimes. You’re in a ton of entrepreneur groups (#girlboss). You’re given several opportunities to network and throw your name out there. Unfortunately, these opportunities don’t often result in work.
To find clients that are your missing puzzle piece, I’m going to need you to get real specific. What’s the best way to stand out in a Facebook group? Be the only one fluent in your expertise!
Join groups that only your ideal clients would hang out in. Here’s an example: you’re a photographer. You specialize in wedding and newborn photography. The perfect place for you to be is in bridal and expectant mother groups. Someone is sure to ask “hey does anyone recommend a photographer?” There you’ll be to offer your help and answer any questions they may have.
The same goes for any type of freelance career. Move away from general business groups. Move towards groups that allow you to position yourself as an authority in your field. Show up, add value, and again always share what you do and where you can be found.
Follow The Trail Of Instagram Hashtags
As I mentioned earlier, Instagram is a great place to connect with your ideal clients. Whether it’s from skimming through an influencer’s page to find people looking for your offer. Even showing your work on your profile – allowing people to come to you. It’s necessary to put yourself on the platform.
We all know to use hashtags in our posts that are relevant to our niche to draw in customers. But have we ever searched them ourselves?
For example: as a personal trainer you’re looking for clients that want to transform their body. So you can look for hashtags like #weightlossjourney or #newyearnewme. Someone may not be posting #lookingforapersonaltrainer. People don’t talk like that on social media. But they are talking about their current wants, needs, and interests.
Similar to the Facebook group technique, you need to go where your client is.
Again, I’m going to ask you to get creative and very specific. Write down the types of things that your target audience would be posting on social media.
Here are a couple of examples:
If you’re a wedding photographer search: #isaidyestothedress #isaidyes #engaged
If you’re a finance/money coach search: #debtfree or #savingforahouse
Your goal is to think like your client, find them, and then reach out with value.
One Last Thing
When you want to find freelance clients that fit you perfectly, you have to think outside of the box. You can reply to Facebook comments, and apply to job boards all day long, but you’ll be one in a million. Sometimes you’ll get work and most times you won’t.
I’m not suggesting that you avoid the classic ways to grow your business. They should be used in conjunction with uncommon and more creative ways to get your name out there.
The one thing these methods have in a common is that you’re meeting your clients where they are.
You need to step outside of your comfort zone to approach people that need your help. So get out there and find freelance clients that fit you, and let me know how it went!