I revisited an “oldie but goody” post on LifeHacker.com yesterday. The post “How to Start Freelancing (Without Quitting Your Job)” had some great tips and inspired today’s post. I would love to hear your tips SO PLEASE feel free to post away in the comments!
If you haven’t made your first $1,000 as a freelancer yet, then read this article carefully. Here you’ll learn three different ways of getting clients in two weeks or less to get your career off to a running start.
=> Method #1 – Work with People Who Already Have a Client Base
Instead of trying to find your own clients, why not find and work for people who already have clients?
No matter what industry you’re in, there are people who specialize in providing freelance services for clients. They’re intermediaries – they find freelancers and find clients, connect the two together and collect a small amount of money in between.
The best way to find these companies is to do a search that someone who’s looking for a service might type in. For example, if you type in “Cheap Website Design,” you’ll find fifteen providers selling websites for under $400.
If you contact all fifteen of these asking if they have freelance work they want to outsource, chances are at least two or three will respond with a yes.
=> Method #2 – Getting Your Own Clients
If you’d rather get your own clients, there are many ways to do that as well.
One way to do so is to post on related forums. For web writers, this might be Digital Point and Warrior Forum. For graphic designers, it might be SitePoint Marketplace.
Find where your potential clients congregate and post a persuasive ad for your services.
Other places to find potential clients are eLance.com, Guru.com and Craigslist. These are great because they have a large base of people who are actively looking for freelancers. However, you may be competing with a lot of people in third world countries who can underbid you because their cost of living is lower.
That said, you can still get a lot of clients even if your rates are higher – if your quality is higher. Regardless, even if you have to charge less to make your first $1,000 online, do so just to get the experience.
=> Method #3 – Unique Business Models
In any given area of freelancing there are unique business models that you can take advantage of.
For example, in graphic design 99designs.com allows designers to compete for bids. Threadless.com allows designers to create t-shirts for money.
In freelancing for writers, eHow.com and Wisegeek.com both hire writers to write unique articles on strange and obscure topics.
These are just three examples of unique business models that pay money for freelance work.
When you’re just starting out, pick just one of the three above methods and master it. If you pick a method that really works for you, you’ll easily make your first $1,000 within a couple weeks to a maximum of three months.