If you’re wondering how to get clients, you’ve come to the right place. Contra specializes in matching Independents with their ideal clients.
As an Independent, you need to get comfortable promoting your services. That means proactively reaching out to potential clients.
Back in the day, outbound marketing like this meant going door to door to see if people were interested in buying your vacuums. The Internet makes finding new clients much easier.
In addition, many professionals rely on inbound marketing, a strategy focused on attracting and engaging potential customers through valuable and relevant content rather than actively seeking them out. In this guide, we’ll explain how to get clients as well as tools for tracking leads and retaining loyal partners.
Why should you get new clients? 🤔
Independents operate in an environment of constant flux, with dynamic projects and evolving client needs. Unlike traditional employees, who enjoy the stability of a consistent paycheck and predefined roles, freelancers must continuously seek out new clients to ensure a steady income stream and maintain their professional relevance.
Here are some of the primary benefits of obtaining new clients:
- Unleashing the power of diversification: Reliance on existing clients stifles growth. New clients lead to diversification, expanding your skills and expertise. They offer diverse projects and perspectives, fostering innovation and expertise.
- Building resilience and adaptability: Adaptability is essential in the dynamic market. Engaging with new clients means adjusting to varying needs and work cultures, ensuring survival.
- Expanding professional network: A strong network brings referrals and endorsements. Connecting with clients and peers elevates your status in the market.
- Reinvigorating creativity and motivation: Engaging in new challenges reinvigorates creativity and inspiration for business owners. It inspires creative solutions and exceptional results.
- Bolstering financial stability: Diversified income sources reduce risk. Acquiring more clients leads to a stable financial situation and opportunities for growth.
- Cultivating a reputation for excellence: New engagements showcase your prowess and professionalism. Positive reviews and testimonials build a solid reputation through word of mouth.
- Nurturing long-term partnerships: New clients can become long-term partners. Trust, dedication, and exceptional work lead to consistent projects and income.
14 ways to get new clients ✨
Finding clients is vital for sustained success as an independent contractor. We’ve compiled 14 ways to acquire clients and set yourself apart in the market.
1. Reach out to potential clients on social media 📱
Choose the right social media channel or job board based on your target market. Interact naturally with potential clients, adding value to conversations instead of spamming your pitch. Keep an eye on social media for freelance opportunities and reach out with your elevator pitch and portfolio link when you spot relevant openings. Save detailed job proposals for more formal communications.
2. Create a comprehensive online presence 🌐
Showcase your skills like freelance website designer Kylie Buss by including an elevator pitch and Contra profile link on your socials. Diversify outreach methods to avoid relying solely on one social media channel.
3. Find clients through Slack and professional groups 🧑💼
In addition to social media, focus on building connections through lead lists and niche communities. Join relevant groups related to your target market. Additionally, connect with fellow creatives in Independent and entrepreneur communities like Contra's Slack, which offers valuable support and exclusive work opportunities.
4. Create a lead list 📃
Contra's State of Independence report shows that most independents prioritize fulfilling projects. Choose who you want to work with by aligning with companies and brands sharing your values. Create a list of potential partners, focusing on those working on initiatives that resonate with you.
5. Engage in thought leadership 🧠
Create thought-provoking content on a blog or other platform to showcase your industry insights. Seek speaking engagements to increase your visibility. This establishes authority and attracts clients who value your expertise.
6. Implement a referral program 🗣️
Encourage word-of-mouth marketing through referral incentives. Satisfied clients will refer others, expanding your client base organically.
7. Offer free consultations 👌
Provide free consultations to build rapport. Personalized interactions increase the likelihood of converting prospects.
8. Utilize social proof 🥰
Display testimonials, case studies, and success stories on your website or portfolio. Social proof shows that others trust your expertise, making potential customers more likely to hire you.
9. Develop specialized packages 🧩
Create tailored packages to differentiate your services and provide clear value propositions to potential clients. By tailoring packages to specific needs or industries, you highlight your understanding of client needs.
10. Optimize local SEO 🔍
SEO boosts your online visibility, letting potential clients find you more easily in search engine results. You can draw targeted traffic by optimizing your website or portfolio with relevant keywords, high-quality content, and authoritative backlinks.
11. Create engaging video content 🎞️
Videos demonstrate your skills in real-time, offering potential clients a tangible preview of what you can achieve. Additionally, they allow you to infuse your unique personality and style into your presentation, giving clients a glimpse of the person behind the work.
12. Conduct workshops for corporations 🛠️
Offer workshops to corporations to showcase your knowledge firsthand. By providing valuable insights and hands-on training, you can foster trust and rapport that sparks long-term partnerships.
13. Attend networking events 🤝
Conferences and networking events present invaluable opportunities to meet potential clients and industry professionals. By immersing yourself in these settings, you can forge meaningful connections across the industry and get your name out there.
14. Offer free resources
Share valuable free resources related to your expertise to spotlight your knowledge and demonstrate your value. By providing potential clients with useful tools or insights at no cost, you build trust and position yourself as a go-to expert in your field.
8 extra tips from experts 🧑🎓
Building on your new strategies, let’s explore expert-endorsed tips to elevate your marketing and position you as a sought-after contractor.
- Conduct market research: Identify trends, pain points, and gaps to tailor services effectively.
- Create engaging case study videos: Video testimonials from prior clients add a human touch that underscores the impact of your services.
- Join professional associations: Membership connects you with potential clients and industry developments.
- Personalize your outreach: Customize communication to build rapport with potential clients.
- Implement a follow-up system: Consistent follow-ups increase conversion rates.
- Offer pro bono services: Support nonprofits to expose yourself to potential clients and build goodwill in your industry.
- Focus on niche targeting: Zeroing in on a specific niche helps you understand and address the unique needs of that audience, increasing the resonance of your marketing and outreach efforts.
- Harness the power of webinars: Value-packed webinars attract potential clients who are eager to learn.
Essential tools to start working with new clients 🧰
When accepting new clients, you need suitable tools to seal the deal. The right software empowers you to forge strong connections and ensure a successful partnership with your new clients.
- Project management software: A reliable tool to organize tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. Features like file sharing and communication channels streamline project workflows and foster effective collaboration.
- E-signature platforms: Get contracts signed fast with e-signature platforms. Eliminate cumbersome paperwork and expedite the onboarding process securely.
- Video conferencing tools: Nurture a human connection with video conferencing tools. Face-to-face communication fosters trust and a deeper understanding of your clients' needs.
- Time tracking software: Efficiently manage billable hours and project timelines. Monitor time spent on tasks for accurate invoicing and transparent billing.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Nurture fruitful relationships with CRM software. Track interactions and project details to provide personalized and attentive service.
- Cloud storage solutions: Securely store and share project files with cloud storage solutions. Easy accessibility, collaborative features, and data backup facilitate seamless file sharing.
- Client feedback tools: Implement survey and feedback tools to gather insights on client satisfaction. Foster a client-centric approach and strengthen your business reputation.
Rejection is normal — and following up is key 😱
Landing your first client takes time; continuing to grow your client base takes even more. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
Here are tips to stay on top of your leads so a potential client never slips through your fingers:
- Keep track of every rejection attempt with a Notion or Google spreadsheet.
- Note the date you made contact with a potential client and their response.
- Make a plan to follow up. This could mean scheduling a follow-up call to answer their questions or sending a casual email with an article relating to their field.
Time to take action 🚀
Attention Independents! Ready to attract a steady stream of clients? Embrace creativity, showcase your skills, and engage on social media. While you’re at it, join Contra to find global opportunities and connect with clients worldwide. Seize the opportunity and redefine your career with us!