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The Freelancer Guide: How to find clients

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Finding clients, or ‘new business’ is tough. They are often like buses, you wait ages for one, then all of a sudden two or three arrive at once.

This is evident more so for creatives, as we are not very tuned to the business side of freelancing or running your own company.

One of the main things you have to remember is that you need to look at your freelance career as a representation of how you promote yourself. You are offering your services as any other business would, meaning you have to get out there and pitch, call, email clients and get new business.

The beauty of today’s world is that you no longer have to physically take your portfolio to meet your next client in person. You can easily pop an email over to whichever studio or agency you want to work with. Here are some tips for contacting new clients:

Direct clients

Every month or so when I have some free time I will Google studios and agencies that interest me. Find their contact emails and send them over a few lines of why I want to work with them and how I find their work interesting. This is key!

Please make sure you have a genuine interest in the client, as this will come across in how you connect with them and you don’t just appear spammy, trying to email whoever you find. You should want to really work with them!

Recruitment agencies

Recruiters are amazing, especially when you are starting out. Their job is to find you work! They take a commission of course, but they do the hard work for you. I’ve found most cities have recruitment agencies, so pop an email over and meet them in person to see how they can help you. Once again, Google is your friend for finding local ones in your area.

Portfolio websites and job boards

There are loads of these on the internet and most portfolio sites like Creativepool have job listings. These portfolio sites are powerful for sharing your work and being scouted by clients. They are also a good way to just connect with other designers and creatives.

LinkedIn

I’ve recently found LinkedIn to be pretty good. Start connecting with designers, peers you know, and often your profile will be viewed by people in their circles. They also have an option to show recruiters and clients you are actively looking for work. Networking is also a big part of finding clients, but we’ll talk about that a bit later on.

Catch up on previous parts of The Freelancer Grind below:

Making a clean and simple résumé

Creating an eye-catching portfolio

Understanding your role as a freelancer

Setting your rate

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