Millions. Yes, millions! Think that millions of people made it into freelancing. What makes you think that you do not have the skills of doing so? I talked to so many ‘’wanna-be freelancers’’ and at the end of the day, the issue is our own mindset.
If it would be that easy, everyone would it, right? Your current situation doesn’t matter, it matters where you are heading. Stop looking for instant gratification in a job: you reply to some emails a day, surf on Facebook, and wait for your paycheck. Create systems that support your road to success and waiting for a paycheck is not one. One system that is pushing you to success is to find your own clients for your freelancing business.
The benefit of finding your own clients is that you can filter them depending on your compatibility, payment expectations, projects, and company culture.
I know what most of you are thinking: I do not know where to find jobs and clients, so I will not bother, I am happy with my current condition.
I will be honest with you. You must change your perspective on choosing the easy way. Adopt mindsets that take more energy, because those are the most unbeaten roads that will lead you to financial success. And remember that small choices have a big impact. And James Clear said ‘’ With sufficient motivation, you can overcome significant obstacles’’.
And know that the secret to freelancing is not to stop making improvements.
Let’s get on some ways on how you can find freelance jobs and the avatar of a perfect client.
1. Cold Calling/ Emailing
A hard way of clients is cold calling or emailing, this is because it requires some great sales skills. If you are a great salesperson, that is even more rewarding.
How can you do that with cold calling:
If you have some preferred companies you want to work for, just call them to ask for the right person to talk to and pitch your service. With cold calling, it will take a while until you receive a positive reply. And believe me, it’s not a matter of luck, it’s a matter of effort.
How can you do it via email: Have a draft email: clear, concise, and use Google to see what companies are hiring for remote workers and give it a go. Do not be disheartened if you don’t receive a reply as fast as you expect it.
Let me simplify this process for you: it’s called the Law of Averages. Jim Rohn explained it so well: ‘’If you do something enough a ratio will appear. The key phrase is if you do something enough a ratio will appear. If you talk to ten people, one said yes. Now a ratio has begun: one out of ten. Talk to ten, get one. Once it starts it tends to continue. If you talk to ten more you get another one. The forth time you talk to ten, you get two people. Why? You are getting better!’’ So, for you to get a client, you must talk to at least ten prospects. A prospect is a future client.
The keynote here is: you must be consistent and results will take time. I mean, in a matter of months.
2. Freelancing Platforms
If you are new to the freelance world and you hate the sales funnel, I recommend you sign up on Upwork.
Upwork already did the hard work job of finding clients, and all you have to do is to win them over. They charge a fee for each project you are working on. If you have a long-term client, your fees are even lower.
Specifically, Upwork charges a fee of:
- 20% for the first $500 billed with the client.
- 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000.
- 5% for lifetime billings with the client that exceed $10,000. So if you have a long-term client once you pass the $10,000 threshold, you pay just 5% of it in fees.
The tricks of searching for your perfect client on Upwork:
When you search for a job, see the Filters option, and chose the following:
- Experience level: intermediate/ expert
- Client history: 1 to 9 hires, 10+hires (we need to make sure that someone else worked with this customer and that the projects were successful. Check the client’s profile and you will see if someone left any reviews. Use your gut to judge based on that. Check how much they paid the previous freelancers)
- You can even select the budget, so it broadens your research
I am with Upwork since 2014 and to be honest, I really love them. What I learned on the Upwork platform is that success takes time and what it matters is to be consistent: consistently apply to jobs, consistently ask your previous clients to leave you a review, consistently update your portfolio.
3. The Traditional Job Platforms
LinkedIn is a great navigator to help you land the next freelance job. Open the website, go to the search box and write the desired job title, and click enter. Now under the search box, you will see the section Jobs, and where you will see the location box, just write ‘‘Remote’’. Hit the search button and now you have a list of jobs to apply for. Take it one by one and see what’s suitable for you. With LinkedIn you will see two options when applying to jobs: ‘’Easy Apply’’ this means you apply directly with your LinkedIn profile- so make sure you are having an attractive one, and you will also see just the button ‘’Apply’’ so you will be taken to an external website to apply.
Some tips for your LinkedIn job application:
- You can sort the jobs by ‘’Easy Apply’’ so it will save you a lot of time during the application process
- Don’t apply blindly: see where the company is based. If it’s a US company, they probably will require a copy of work authorization in the US, make sure you read the job description. If the company is based in the UK- the same thing applies. Check the requirements in the job description, they always put that down.
To find your next gig on Indeed, write down the job title in the ‘‘What’’ box and write the word ‘‘Remote’’ in the ‘‘Where’’ box.
Another favorite platform of mine is AngelList.
AngelList helps you find amazing opportunities from startups from Silicon Valley. So this is your chance to land with a fast-growing company. Most of the jobs are remote and contract work.
According to them, they have 9 million job listings, 70mln reviews, salaries, and insights and 50mln monthly unique visitors.
How to search for remote jobs on their platform: in the search box write down the job title and instead of the location write ‘’Remote’’ To save your searching time, create a job alert and you will be notified as soon as a new job is posted, based on your selection.
Some tricks on how to build an avatar of your perfect client once you have your first interview:
- is your client prioritizing quality work over quantity work?
- during your conversation, did your prospect say any bad things about his team or prior contractors? This will give you a hint about his professional abilities and respect for previous partnerships.
- are his/her expectations in alignment with yours?
- are you fitting their profile of a valuable freelancer? Find out what they value and compare it with what you value. Do they value time off to avoid burnout, do they nurture company and contractors’ development along with their team?
And at the end of the day, use your gut and hope for greater outcomes.
I am freelancing since 2014 and I learned a valuable lesson: effort comes before the reward. If you do not put in the work, you have nothing to reap.
Some general tips:
Tip 1: learn to keep all your clients in one place. I have a Skype address where I add all my clients so we can stay in touch fur future projects or just to exchange a ‘’hi, how is the business going lately’’. If I am busy in the next 4 months, I want to make sure that I have another client lined up.
Tip 2: I always accept interview invitations, even if I am not looking for a job. I can spear 15-30 minutes in my day, to make a connection with a prospect and keeping in touch with him when I have the availability on taking on a new project. In this way, I save my time I would waste on cold calling.
Tip 3: If you are just starting in the freelance world, stay on platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, because you have an online contract with terms and conditions, you don’t need to bargain to be paid (this is done automatically). In case of disputes, Upwork becomes a mediator.
Tip 4: You learn more by struggling than by winning. Do not choose the easy way.
Tip 5: Do not worry if you don’t find a job from the first application. Keep going.
Tip 6: If you did not reap your results yet, that’s a good sign, you still have more work to do and more goals to accomplish.
Tip 7: As Warren Buffet says ‘’don’t put all your eggs in one basket’’ and what I mean by that do not rely just on one channel to find clients. Stay active on a maximum of three of your choice and keep an eye out. Automate your searching. Get job alerts to apply as soon as a position is open.
What freelancing platforms are giving you the best results? Share them with us!