I’ve decided to turn the questions I’m receiving into a series of blog posts, so if there’s anything you want to learn more about in the business of blogging, DM me on Instagram or leave them in the comments below.
Today, I wanted to cover the topic of how to find clients when you start out freelancing.
I’ve been fortunate that the majority of my clients have come from the Internet. Before you reach out to potential clients, I think it’s super important to have a certain level of confidence in your work and results that speak to your skills. It can be especially difficult to land clients online for a few reasons – people have no idea who you are, what you look like, or if what you’re saying is what you can actually do. While there’s amazing talent online, there’s also a lot of bullshit – we all know that. That being said, I’m going to share how you can find clients when you start out freelancing like I did…
– Make a list of potential clients
Before you start the outreach process, you need to know exactly who you’re targeting so that you strategically target your pitch and rework your resume to fit the needs and vision of that particular client. In my case, I work specifically with bloggers on content strategy and creation, occasionally photography, and planning and execution. The term bloggers alone is pretty general in itself so I even go further as to target fashion and lifestyle bloggers with a following of at least several thousands. I am very picky about who I work with, so if they’re not already an established blogger (like Zanita), I need to see that they have potential and are committed.
– Reach out on Instagram.
When reaching out on Instagram, I never make any business inquiries right off the bat. These are typically influencers I feel have potential and a point of view, so I want to develop a relationship with them. I most likely have already been following them for a while and will ask to do test shoots. A free photoshoot is always a great way to build a relationship while growing your portfolio – this has worked well for me. From the test shoot, I’ll send over high-res, fully-edited photos with a quick snippet of my services and what I do. That’s where the lead begins and flourishes.
– Pitch via email.
Two years ago, I would have never had the nerve to reach out to an influencer online and offer my services. Today, I’m comfortable enough with what I can offer that I’ll take the leap of faith. The one thing that has benefitted me most is my current client list. When one influencer sees that I’ve worked on content strategy, planning, and execution with a mega-blogger, they listen. I know many of you may not have had the luxury of working with a high-caliber influencer like Zanita, but that’s why I think it’s so important to have industry experience. Be willing to work for someone for a few years before branching out on your own.
– Network & meet in person.
Meeting someone in person is the best way to find clients when you start out freelancing. It’s extremely exhausting for me to be in a crowd of people – especially when everyone is super competitive (like in blogging). Moving from a full-time Content Manager to a freelancer has really pushed me out of my shell as I strive to be that socialite for the sake of my business. It has been extremely beneficial and a wonderful learning experience.