How to Land Your First Gig as a Freelancer

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  • Posted by: Aldas

You have been hunting for at least one client’s yes. Or maybe you just quit your office job to try your hand at freelancing. Either way, getting that first client can be daunting.

Every freelancer, newbie or established, dreams of being a success story. Bagging your first gig will form the basis of your success. As a beginner, it helps a great deal if you know what to do. Here are some tips to help you bag high-paying clients as a first-timer!

Tip 1: Decide on a Niche

A niche is an area or topic of specialization. Being a jack of all trades will have you trying to learn too many things all at once. This can be confusing and exhausting especially for a beginner. Choosing one area and working on it will make you an authority in a short while. This will help you get clients faster.

If you are trying to decide on a niche, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What area of the market can I aid in?
  • Is the area profitable and financially viable in the long run?
  • Who are my ideal clients?
  • What skills do I have to offer them?
  • How valuable are my skills valuable to my ideal clients?
  • Are the target clients able and willing to pay for the skills I have to offer them?

Identifying your niche aids in positioning yourself in the market. This cuts across the board since you cannot be an all-rounder. Moreover, it narrows your focus to work on your expertise.

Build on the skill-sets that are required for that niche. For instance, in ghostwriting, grasp the details that will get clients hooked. Master skills needed in proofreading, editing, eBook, and newsletter writing.

Tip 2: Capitalize on your Network

One mistake that freelancers make while starting is understating their networks. Start by telling people close to you what you do. Get the word out to your strategic and operational networks.

Identify what your networking objectives are and the purpose to achieve them. This will enable you to know which networks to use for certain purposes. For instance, with job search, begin with contacting HR managers and/or bosses.

Connect with other freelancers, both physically and virtually. This will help you exchange ideas on bidding styles, rates and skills. Surprisingly, you could land a profitable collaboration with your fellow freelancer.

Tip 3: Create Compelling Profiles on Platforms for Professionals

LinkedIn is one of the professional platforms where you can get clients. When scoring platforms for professionals such as LinkedIn, have the following in mind.

  • Use your official name and email on LinkedIn. Avoid sketchy and childish names like ‘Pretty Girl Mercy’. A professional first impression gets the interest of the target client.
  • Edit your job title and job description to suit your freelancing niche. In the “about” section, highlight the freelancing work that you do. Feel free to include applicable work samples and your contact information.
  • Specify that you are available for freelance work. Failure to disclose this may have clients assuming that you are overwhelmed.

Create your profile on a website and build your portfolio. If you have a blog, purpose to include a ‘hire me’ section. Personalize this and make it convincing enough for clients to click on.

Tip 4: Learn and Practice Cold-Pitching

The goal here is to contact a stranger and capture their interest. For you to ace cold-pitching, pay attention to the following:

  • What is your intent? Recognize whether you want to do an introductory or a full-on pitch
  • Go through the potential client’s profiles and look at what they like. Can you deliver the quality they need?
  • Familiarize yourself with the client’s needs from past publications, job posts, etc.
  • Ensure that your email address is professional. Avoid silly and punny addresses
  • In the pitch, include what you do and how you can help them. Add links to your previous work, profile or samples. Ensure that you conclude by asking for a reply.
  • Personalize each cold-pitch email. Avoid sending the same email to all potential clients. Doing this will eventually land your email in their spam folders. Let it be clear that you had them in mind while writing the pitch.

Tip 5: Guest Posting

Reach out to reputable sites and platforms that accept contributors. These could be paid or unpaid gigs. Regardless, this is the perfect way to get clients to recognize your work.

While reaching out, ensure that these platforms are in your niche. Once they have your work published, work hard to become a regular contributor. This is the surest way of building credibility and trust with consumers.

Tip 6: Actively Look for Freelancing Gigs

Put yourself out there by looking for jobs on freelancing platforms. Find sites that post freelancing gigs on a regular and bid. Eventually, a client will find you to be the best fit.

Another platform to look for freelancing gigs is on Facebook Groups. Here, jobs are being shared on a regular basis. Joining such groups also serves as a learning platform for like-minded freelancers.

As You Start Your Journey to Successful Freelancing

We understand that freelancing isn’t always a smooth ride. Especially in the beginning. As a beginner, you might be in for quite a ride. A bumpy but fulfilling ride. Let us help you navigate some of those bumps. Subscribe to our newsletter to get exclusive guides on freelancing.

Author: Aldas

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