New to Freelancing? 13 Ways to Earn Enough Business to Succeed

Often, people are afraid to strike themselves as freelancers because they are not sure how to drum up enough business to stay afloat. What is your best advice on how to do this and why?

Freelancer working on a project
Photo Credit: Artem Podrej / Pixel

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an inviting body of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. YEC members represent almost every industry, earning billions of dollars each year and creating thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Build your reputation first

If you’re working as a freelancer in the exact same business you’re not currently working for a company, I think the old adage “don’t quit your day job” is still good advice. Get one or two clients whom you can handle responsibly for the rest of your day, do excellent work for them and enhance your reputation. You can then quit your main job without undue fear.

– Kyle Mitchwood, Carolina Dodger

2. Be active on social media

Be social on social media every day. This doesn’t mean just creating content that you can cross-post across platforms (which is very important), but engaging with others. I see entrepreneurs often make the mistake of thinking that people will just “find them”. But if everyone believes that someone else will find them, who is doing it? Take steps to reach.

– Maurice Schwartz, Dr. Receipt writing and marketing

3. Notice your ideal client

The best way to drum up a business as a freelancer is to target your ideal client. Once you know who you want to work with, you can start creating appealing content and marketing materials for them. You can also reach out to potential clients through social media or networking events. By focusing on your target market, you can attract the right kind of clients and sell more.

– Blair Williams, Member Press

4. Work with other freelancers

Start working for other freelancers and take on their extra work. If you do a good job they will send you a job they don’t want or you don’t have time for. My first clients’ books were from other professionals who had more experience than me and often I got referred clients who were too young for them. I have created meaningful relationships and lifelong valued clients.

– Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

Increase online sales using digital marketing

5. Improve your online visibility

One way to attract clients to your freelance services is to promote your services online So, start working to improve your online visibility. Not only will this attract new leads, but it will also help you build brand recognition. When people start recognizing you, they will come to you if they need any services.

– Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. Write guest post

It is easy to grow your business if you have a strong reputation. I recommend reaching out to publications that publish content in your industry and asking if they accept guest posts. Use this opportunity to write a price-packed article for another publication with a link back to your website. This strategy helps build your reputation, which will eventually lead to more on-site traffic.

– John Turner, Seedprod LLC

7. Create industrial connections

For any type of freelancer position, it is important to focus on building a networking connection in your industry. It’s an easy way to keep your foot on the door and be noticed by your target audience.

– Stephanie Wells, strong form

8. Ask for a referral

Always, always ask for referrals. Don’t ask once; Ask periodically. Then, you can take advantage of the multi-person networking efforts. Don’t hide in the home office. Attend every event that may be related to your field. Work in a coffee shop with a pile of business cards next to you. Learn to be the one to break the ice, and have faith in yourself.

– Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

9. Highlight testimonials

One way to find potential clients is to show testimonials and other types of social evidence on your website. Research shows that 72% of people wouldn’t take action on a website unless they read reviews. It doesn’t matter if they are buying a physical product or a person’s service. Reviews and testimonials can greatly impact your sales and engagement.

– John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

Sending cold emails

10. Cold email business owners

A freelancer can develop two important skills to bring in clients: lead generation and cold email. I recommend learning these skills or seeking help from fellow freelancers to find real emails for business owners. An aspiring freelancer can then cold email these owners with their service offer. This way, they can be kept finding new clients.

– Syed Balkhi, WP Beginner

11. Design an attractive website

If you want to see success as a freelancer, you need to build an audience. If you do not have a website, it is almost impossible to see consistent engagement. I recommend creating a blog for your readers and sharing industry-specific news, opinion pieces and suggestions. Long ago, you had a list of options when it came time to choose your next gig.

– Chris Christoph, Monster Insights

12. Build your portfolio in a special niche

The key to increasing cash flow as a freelancer is to find a place where you can start building a portfolio to showcase new possibilities. For example, as a writer, you can focus on some areas where you are interested or have some kind of real-world experience, such as healthcare. It is much easier to sell a job if the examples you send to prospects are relevant to their business.

– Richard Fong, Bliss Drive

13. Focus on the quality of your work

One of the most effective ways to stay on top of your freelancing game is to consistently focus on quality content. Whether you are a makeup artist, photographer, writer or web designer, people will come looking for you if you can impress them with the quality of your work. It helps to promote word of mouth and attract more clients.

– Josh Kohlbach, wholesale suit

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