Being a freelancer comes with a ton of perks. You have the freedom to choose your hours. You can finally attend all those PTA and school activities. You’re in control of who you work with and the projects you take.
But when you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you’re probably going to take on projects from clients you may not be so enthusiastic about. Finding the right clients is a common concern with a lot of freelancers so don’t worry if you don’t snag the ones you want right away.
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What Makes Up Your Ideal Client?
Before you can go out hunting for your ideal client, you want to identify what makes them a perfect fit.
Consider the following:
- Is it a topic, project type or subject matter that you find ideal? For example, finance, social media management, patenting?
- Do you prefer certain communication styles? Messenger, email, or maybe phone?
- Are you looking for someone who is detail-oriented or someone who lets you manage the details?
- Do you want to work together as a team or would you like to work alone?
A lot of freelancers see their ideal client as someone who provides them with well-paid work on a regular basis. You do want that; however, if you don’t enjoy working with that client or on their projects, the money isn’t going to be as fun to earn.
You’ll soon burn out, and your relationship with the client may end badly.
That’s not your ideal client 😞.
So What Do You Do?
- Write down your ideas about who your perfect client is. Who is it you truly want to work with?
- Imagine them and try to get a clear picture of who they are and what they would mean to your business.
- Think about how you can both benefit from working together.
If the picture you have in your mind makes sense and you feel excited, then this is your ideal client!
Keep your ideal client information where you can go over it whenever you need a reminder.
Tracking Down Your Ideal Client
The next step is to check out where your ideal client may hang out. Are they on social media? Are they a local business you can get to know face-to-face? Find out where they hang out and make yourself a part of their world and add value to it.
For example, if your ideal client is a small business blogger interested in finance and money-saving topics, then you may network on small business blogging sites or finance sites. Check out the other people who are hanging out there too to see if they would be a good fit for you.
- If they’re on social media, comment and contribute to their posts, get on their email lists and reply when asked.
- Introduce yourself. Maybe you love your potential client’s products, perhaps you like their personality and feel they’ll be a good match for yours.
- Let your potential client know how much you like their work.
- Let them know what you do and offer them your services.
- Consider offering a project on a trial basis. That way they get to know you and the fantastic freelance work you do, and there’s no risk to them.
Great places to connect are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and local networking groups.
Ask for an introduction
If you know people who know people, let them know who your ideal client is and ask for referrals and introductions.
Hard work is only part of the success equation! Who you know is also important, and it makes the road to a successful freelance career faster and easier. So, go ahead and ask your friends, former co-workers, and family for those intros.
Finding your ideal client isn’t as difficult as you might think. Try to always think of yourself as a business owner and not an employee. You’re running the show. You can choose who you want to work with. It’ll take a little work but as s result, you’ll have a much more satisfying career as a freelancer.
Here are the key points we went over:
- Describe your ideal client in a paragraph or two and create an ideal client avatar.
- Seek them out online and off.
- Ask for introductions and referrals.
- Connect with them and offer value.
Your ideal client is out there looking for an ideal freelancer – that’s you!
Resources for You
Click here for a helpful post on connecting with Facebook groups.
Click here for help setting up a LinkedIn profile.
Want some help setting up your business goals? Click below for a free guide!