how to freelance

You’ve Landed Your First Client, Now What?

You've landed Your First Client.jpg

Congrats, you’ve landed your first client! So now what? Chances are you’ve spent so much time marketing yourself and creating funnels (God bless your heart if you’ve mastered this) that you’ve haven’t taken the time to figure out what’s next? What exactly will you need to do to make sure your first client doesn’t become your last client? No need to worry, I got you covered! These simple yet effective tips will have you ready conquer your first gig and move on to the next.

Get Organized

This is a good time to get your ducks in a row. What systems will you need to have in place for this client? Will you need any new tools or apps to manage your client? If so, will you need to pay for them or are they free? Also, will you need to create separate accounts for tools you already use like Dropbox or Gmail, or will creating separate folders be enough?

This is also a great time to get your calendar together. If this client requires you to come in or meet up on certain days, make sure those days are free.

*Make a grand list of everything you will be doing for your new client. From that list, identify what you will need (tools, available days, additional storage, etc.) and use that as a starting point to get yourself organized!

Be Consistent

Make your business hours clear to your client and make sure you’re available to respond to your client within 1 hour time during business hours. Even if it’s a note saying “Hey, I'm in a meeting and I will give get back to you within the next 2 hours”. You never want to go “radio silent” on any client, especially a new client. Being prompt and consistent is what's going to build you guys working relationship and help gain their trust. Always be available when you say you will be available.

And deliver on time! Don’t be the contractor that’s always a day or two behind. If you told them you're going to get them that report by EOD Thursday, send it EOD Thursday, not Friday morning.

Upsell when possible

I once worked as an ‘Influencer Consultant’ for an app where my main role was to recruit influencers to promote the app. Though it was a dope app, I realized that they really lacked in marketing especially when it came to social media marketing. After a couple of months I pitched myself to the founder to help create social media content for them. I honestly could have done this the first week because that’s when I realized they needed help with it. I decided to wait so I could first prove myself knowledge and reliability before approaching them about additional responsibilities. And it worked! I was soon bringing home 2 checks from 1 client.

* Anticipating a client’s needs is a great way to upsell your services. Ask yourself, “besides that they hired me for, what else does this client need help within their business? Is it something I can help them with?”. If the answer is yes, find the right time to approach them about taking on that task.

The Grind Doesn’t Stop

So now that you’ve taken the time to get organized for your new client, what’s next? Well, getting more clients of course! Very few of us are fortunate enough to land a single client that meets all of our financial goals on the first go around. Once you feel like you’ve gotten a handle on your first client, continue your marketing efforts to land new accounts. Don’t forget to update your portfolio/resume with your new role.

How To Land Your First Freelance Client

How To Land Your First Freelance Client

Over the years a lot of people have asked me "how do I start freelancing?" and honestly it's been a struggle for me to answer that. When I started freelancing in 2015 it was by chance. I created a blog about Harlem and I would constantly create cool graphics for it as well as promote it via social media and a monthly newsletter. Naturally, I added it to my LinkedIn profile and was then contacted by a recruiter who was looking for a few freelancers to do entry-level marketing/research work for a small marketing firm. I ended up landing the gig and before I knew it I was a freelancer! I soon started taking on more responsibilities within the marketing firm and started leveraging the work I did there to gain additional clients.

While it was a bit of "luck" involved in landing my first freelance gig, putting my work out there was really the first step to me gaining a client. So for everybody wondering "How do I start freelancing?", here are son helpful tips on how to land your first freelance client!

Portfolio

No one will know what you’re capable of unless you show them. If you don’t want to create a public online portfolio (though I highly suggest it) at minimum create a PDF or some type of presentation/package you can send to prospective clients.

Side Bar: When I started freelancing I didn't have a portfolio but I did have an informational blog where I included info about myself along with articles which served as an example of what my interests were as well as what I could do. If you're feeling overwhelmed by creating a portfolio or you feel you don't have enough work to put into a portfolio, starting with a blog may be a great option for you.

Create/Update Your LinkedIn

As I said, LinkedIn was where I got my first freelance opportunity. While having an online portfolio is a great way to direct potential clients to see your previous work, LinkedIn search options allow clients to come to you based on your profile and skill sets. It's like job searching while you sleep!

Attend Local Networking Events

Nothing beats good ol’ fashion face to face networking. You never know what opportunities are in the room. Approach it as looking to learn and build relationships rather than looking at it as a surefire way to get clients.

Networking is a process that should be implemented throughout your long term freelancing strategy. I recommend attending at least 2 networking events a month (even more if you can swing it ). Also, it's great to go to events targeting professionals in the field you will be freelancing in but also attend events that target your clients as well. For example, my freelance work is within marketing and content development so I often attend events geared towards entrepreneurs/small businesses looking for more marketing skills.

Remember: You just need one!

Don’t think that you need 5 or more clients out the gate because you probably don't have the systems in place to properly meet that volume of work. Take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race!

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to gain your first client feel free to hit me on social media or comment below!