As freelancers, finding clients is half the battle. It definitely seems like a battle when you’re competing for clients over the internet, or trying to make an impression at a networking event. Relying on emails and handshakes to land clients is boring, but it seems to be the way most freelancers get their clients. Is there a way to find clients without networking?
After all, if we’re stuck waiting for a response via email or waiting for our turn to speak at a networking event, that’s wasted time! We could be getting paid by the hour (or by the project).
So…how can you skip the waiting game and get connected with potential freelance clients?
Since the creation of Wi-Fi has given us the ability to freelance abroad, freelancing has become more and more digital. That means that most of our freelance interactions happen online: programs, projects, invoices, and of course, client searches.
However, finding our dream clients on the internet sometimes feels like looking for a needle in a haystack! It’s also hard to predict for what it would be like to work with someone from their online profile.
Keeping your ears open and offering your services to people you meet on a daily basis is a great offline approach. They’re also likely to spread your contact by word-of-mouth.
However, there’s only so many chances that your neighbors might need your services. Well, then it’s time to get more relevant neighbors – try a coworking space!
Every time I’ve ever worked from a coworking space, I’ve networked with tons of different freelancers working in many different industries.
You might think freelancers won’t be able to help you get clients; they’re looking for clients themselves. However, the best freelancers know that sometimes you need to hire the best help!
Freelancers are a special group of people. We love collaboration (that’s what we do!) and we’re always looking for creative solutions. That’s what makes freelancers a great resource to find new clients and projects.
Now, where can you find freelancers?
Your local coworking space can serve as the next place to find clients without networking!
They’re full of working professionals and a wide variety of ongoing projects. Whether you’re renting a desk, an office, a meeting room or attending a meet-up or networking event, talking to other freelancers can give a huge boost to your network.
Coworking spaces have a more relaxed, friendly spirit, too. It has none of the same awkward vibes as a networking event.
What are they working on right now? What about their past projects? What niche are they working in?
All of these questions will provide you a solid background on their experience. It also gives you the chance to let your experience shine. The chances are that you’ll both remember each other and the services you offer in case you need to refer someone or hire outside help later.
This question isn’t mean to pry into their work ethic, so make sure to ask in a friendly way. Try asking, “So, how is that project going? How are you going about it? Everything according to plan?”
If you have a similar experience, give details about it. Offer your fellow freelancer some value through your advice.
Before you know it, they’re likely to realise that you have expert-level experience to contribute. If there is a problem area that they’re facing, perhaps they’ll hire you to help. If there’s an process or manoeuvre that may help their project but they’re unknowledgeable in, you can be hired to help.
As soon as you start connecting experiences, collaboration proposals and new opportunities will arise automatically!
Can’t find a way to collaborate? Keep chatting about your work and talents anyway. As freelancers, we encounter lots of projects and don’t always have the skill set or the time for all of them. That’s when we make referrals.
To be sure they’ll refer you, try to give out business cards while networking in coworking spaces.
It’ll make you memorable and easy to find when the next opportunity calls.
✅ Talk about your work with every freelancer you meet!
✅ Connect your freelancing experiences to find all possible collaboration possibilities.
✅ Strike up conversations during coffee breaks, lunch times and break times.
✅ Attend the networking events hosted by your local coworking space.
✅ Give business cards to all your new, potential clients!
Got your own client-finding tip? Comment below!
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