How to Be PRO-active vs. Reactive to Find New Freelance Clients
Are you tired of waiting for the perfect freelance gig to land on your lap like a serendipitous gift from the universe? The reality is, if you build it, they won't always come. As a freelancing PRO, it's important to be proactive in finding new clients, instead of being reactive by panicking at the last minute when you have none.
Client prospecting can feel daunting, especially to newbie freelancers, but once you make it a regular routine, it becomes a snap. In this post, we're going to break down the benefits of being proactive in finding new clients rather than being reactive, creating worry and unnecessary anxiety in your life and business.
Embrace Your Inner Freelance Detective
Picture this: you're scrolling through your social media feed and stumble upon a company in desperate need of your knowledge and skills. Instead of scrolling past it, unleash your inner detective and start your proactive journey. Go beyond the basic website scan and dive deep into the company's history, values, and recent projects. Then (and here's the kicker) have the courage to reach out. Send them a Loom* video with your thoughts and insights on how they can better their game - and how you can be part of it. Make your video short and to the point. With Loom, you'll be able to track if someone watched it and for how long.
Networking: More Than Just Mixing and Mingling
Networking doesn't have to be the awkward cocktail party you dread attending. It's about building genuine relationships that can lead to exciting collaborations. Reach out to fellow freelancers, attend industry webinars, RSVP to a local meetup, and participate in online forums. But remember, networking is a two-way street. Don't just ask for favors; offer your support and expertise as well. Who knows, your next client might be just a "hello" away!
Consider joining the FreeBirds Community to mix and mingle! Your best bet to find qualified, paying clients is through your fellow freelancers. Plus, being freelance doesn't mean you have to go it alone. If a project requires skills you're still mastering, team up with another freelancer who excels in that area. This not only expands your capabilities but also fosters a sense of community in the freelance world.
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Change Your Prospecting Narrative
Freelancer or not, business owners often cringe at the idea of putting themselves out into the world to prospect for new clients, often feeling "too salesy". If this sounds like you, know that it's completely normal, but with a shift in your narrative, you'll be amazed at how easy it can be to connect with new clients. Here's the thing: it's less about "pitching" and more about listening.
Whenever possible, speak to a prospective client directly by offering a free discovery call. There's only so much you can say in an email or message. Getting on a call with someone allows you to gauge their needs by deeply listening to their business woes. By being proactive and booking a call, you'll most likely beat out the competition.
How to Change Your Narrative on a Discovery Call:
- Instead of "Here's how I can help" ask a prospective client "How can I help?" allowing space for them to describe their specific needs, helping to navigate the conversation.
- Instead of "Here are my services" ask them "What at the biggest holes in your business that I can fill?" helping you to position your services for your client, instead of finding a client for your services.
- Instead of asking "What's your budget?" ask them "What kind of return are you looking to achieve?" allowing them to get excited about the potential instead of worrying about the bill at the end.
By allowing them to steer the conversation by asking mindful questions, you'll be able to tap into their specific needs instead of "pitching" and feeling "salesy".
The Power of Portfolio Polishing
In the world of freelancing, your portfolio is your shining armor. It's not just a collection of past work; it's a testament to your skills, creativity, and versatility. But don't just slap together a bunch of random projects and call it a day. Curate your portfolio to showcase your range and expertise. If you're aiming for a specific type of freelance work, make sure your portfolio reflects your mastery in that area.
Consider each project in your portfolio as a chapter in your superhero saga. Explain the problem you faced, how you conquered it, and the impact it had on your client.
Stay Agile, Stay Relevant
The freelance landscape is ever-evolving, and your skills and knowledge need to evolve with it. Proactivity means staying ahead of trends, learning new skills, and adapting to changes.
Invest time in continuous learning. Attend workshops, online courses, read industry blogs, and stay on top of industry shifts. Being a freelancer who's always a step ahead not only boosts your credibility but also makes you the go-to expert for clients seeking cutting-edge solutions.
Turning "No" into Kryptonite
Rejection is a part of the freelancer's life, but remember, every "no" brings you closer to a resounding "yes." Instead of wallowing in defeat, turn rejection into your superpower. Be proactive and ask for feedback to learn from it. Maybe there's a skill you need to improve or a different approach you should take. Treat each rejection as a valuable lesson that hones your abilities.
Celebrate Every Victory, Big or Small
In the fast-paced world of freelancing, it's easy to overlook your achievements in the pursuit of the next big thing. But every victory, no matter how small, deserves to be celebrated. Did you land a new client? Complete a challenging project? Learn a new skill? Treat yourself!
Freelancing isn't just about reacting to opportunities as they come; it's about creating your destiny. By embracing proactivity, you're not just a freelancer; you're a freelance superstar. Your journey won't be without challenges, but armed with research, networking, and a willingness to adapt, you'll soar to new heights as a PRO.
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