Guide to Land Clients: 9 Tips & Tricks to Get Started as a Freelancer | Julian Wiskemann | Skillshare

Guide to Land Clients: 9 Tips & Tricks to Get Started as a Freelancer

Julian Wiskemann, Freelance & Sustainable Vending Machines

Guide to Land Clients: 9 Tips & Tricks to Get Started as a Freelancer

Julian Wiskemann, Freelance & Sustainable Vending Machines

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12 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. What's there to learn?

      2:42
    • 2. Website, yay or nay?

      5:07
    • 3. How to: Time & Rates

      6:04
    • 4. Avoid this!

      3:35
    • 5. Do you even LinkedIn?

      3:38
    • 6. Acquisition Tips and Tricks

      2:43
    • 7. Pitch Perfect

      5:16
    • 8. Go Co-Working

      2:08
    • 9. Good Gear

      2:46
    • 10. Thought Leadership

      4:15
    • 11. Being Nice

      3:32
    • 12. Recap & To-Do-List

      5:31
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About This Class

How to get started as a freelancer? While for some it might be a natural process that slowly evolves, for others it can be a sudden career change. And a scary one at that. Bills need to be paid, there is a nagging pressure to succeed, and several unanswered questions on how to kick things off. 

I will help you by answering the most important questions you might have, and traps you need to evade. This includes: 

  • Which moves should be my first when starting to freelance?
  • How much should I bill? 
  • Where do I find new clients? 
  • How do I approach potential clients? 

In this class I will share the biggest mistakes I made when starting my freelancing career, as well as the 9 things you should do to land your first clients. After this class you will have a prioritized To-Do-List that will help you to get your first paying client. 

As I want to get better in creating those videos, I am very keen to hear your feedback. Please review and/or comment this class. Also, feel free to add me on LinkedIn: I am very happy to connect. https://linkedin.com/in/julian-wiskemann

I am wishing you the best of success in landing your first clients! 
Best wishes from Berlin

Julian

Meet Your Teacher

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Julian Wiskemann

Freelance & Sustainable Vending Machines

Teacher

Hi there, thanks for stopping by. 

I am Julian, a communication and marketing freelancer based in Berlin, Germany. I also run a small vending machine start-up, selling sustainable snacks. 

I have been freelancing for more than four years and worked with leading agencies for some of the most innovative companies. I did (or still do) projects for Google Cloud Platform, YouTube, Klarna, Cowboy.com, Nivea, Bacardi, and many more. For the last two years I was also teaching Online Marketing and Public Relations in offline classes. Now I want to share my work experiences and knowledge here on Skillshare. 

Before starting my freelance career, I was working for the international PR-Agency Edelman, followed by Best Kiteboarding, where I worked as t... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. What's there to learn?: After this class, you will have a prioritize to do list. And you just need to start taking off those boxes in order to land your first client. Hi. Welcome to how to heck freelancing. And today we're going to talk about how you can lend your first client. My name is during this good man. I'm s you probably can hear. I'm German. I live in Berlin and for the last four years, I've been working there as a P off freelancer. Before I started working as a freelancer, I had, like, six years of work experience locked down, and I was working in a large PR agency working for grey Goose vodka, Bacardi Bombay sapphires or the premium Bacardi brands. But I also was working for Shell and for uni lever brands such as Walt Ice Cream. And then I did three years of working for a kite surfing company. Best kiteboarding us brand on, and I did all the communications stuff for them. I did a lot of social media marketing for them, but I also did like photo shooting, video shootings, writing website texts and so forth. I did everything that has to do with communications So I'm a generalist, and this is what I'm being paid for. Nowadays. I don't only do PR projects. I also do a bit off photography but even more copy of writing, social media marketing and especially coaching like these old school face to face coaching on being paid by the German government, basically to help people that have been unemployed for a while and want to get started being self employed. And I help them with the transitions to become self employed and how to do the marketing. Especially for this. And one question I get asked a lot how to land the first client, and basically I was struggling with the same problems because I started four years ago, uh, working as a freelancer and didn't have anyone to ask questions. So I was all in my own. I was just starting to go to a coffee place where the people were really approachable. They said that with a fancy Mac books not looking left or right, and I just sat there with my old slow laptop and I didn't really know how to get started, and I made a few crucial mistakes that really slowed me down and it took a while until I figured out how to do business in order to get business in. And today I want to share with you the main mistakes that I did and how you can avoid them . And we also going to cover time management and how to set an hourly raid. We're going to talk about if website is really that important. And I have to tell you it is not, and we're gonna talk about tools that you need in order to get started. After this class. I really want you to have a prioritized to do list. But you just need to check off in order to get started. And if you follow along the steps we're going to discuss, you will have your first client in no time. Sounds good. Let's get started. 2. Website, yay or nay?: to kick things off. I want to talk to you about the importance of heavy and website because it's not websites a really not that important because when I got started naturally the first thing I thought is I need a good website in order to attract business. But boy, was I wrong. So I was sitting in this coffee place or these people with their fancy laptops around me and I thought OK, naturally, if I want to have business, I need toe like build website, make me being found and this is something I see all other freelancers that gets started, keep doing and basically what I experienced I didn't get zero business from setting up a website and the worst thing is it took me forever to set up a website. So when I got started, I said that for six days straight, working 10 hours a day, drinking 200 euros worth of couple genome. So basically I spent 60 hours of my time which translate with my hourly rate into 4000 euros plus 200 years for cappuccino. I spend that much a lot of time and energy into building a website and yeah, I could have paid someone to build for me for for 2000 years. But on the other hand I didn't have money back then. I was just getting started so I didn't have a big budget. I didn't want to throw out 2000 years to get a website, so I figured I could do it myself and learn it along the way, which was actually a good thing. But on the other hand I did a really shitty job. The website is not very good. It's very slow loading. It's not being found on Google's. That's not ranking at all. It doesn't even have a SSL certificates which is really bad for Lazio. I I didn't really put any attention to keywords when I was writing the text, so I did a lot of things very, very poorly setting up the website. Maybe as a result it never brought any business to me in the last four years. A. It got zero business but I still spend 60 hours on their website and it were 60 hours where it didn't earn a single cent but just wasted away energy. You need to distinguish between billable and non billable hours and you want to keep the non billable hours as low as possible while you keep the billable hours the hours where money is actually coming in as high as possible. Building a website. It's not bringing business in or it's not being something you can charge, so it's non billable. You shouldn't stress about non billable that much. Am I saying you don't need a website? No, I think the website It's still a bit important. Like potential clients can look up your portfolio. They can inform themselves about your service. They see your contact details, which is really important. So I think it website. It is a well, a thing you need as a freelancer, but it shouldn't be a top priority. And here two reasons why Reason number one, you probably don't need that many clients. You're not an agency. You're a one man show. One woman show you can't handle more than 34 maximum off five clients unless you're a wedding photographer and you need to have new clients come in all the time. If you're working with other companies, you can only handle 34 maximum of five. And that's already like super stressful to have five people calling you at the same time asking for stuff. So you really don't need to attract that much business. Second reason, you can't build a good website unless you put a crazy amount of time and energy into it. And I'm not talking about the 60 hours I invested. I'm talking about writing content like every day. You need to have a new block poles and so much more in order to rank on Google and it's just not gonna happen. If you spend that much time on your website, you will never have enough time to work for clients actually earning money. So you're not in the website business, you're in the freelance business, So you really need to stop worrying about stuff like website that you probably don't even really need. And you really need to work on how to get those billable hours up. And that is getting clients. And this is probably not by having a great website. So what is the take away here? Three things. Number one Don't stress too much about your website. Don't make it your top priority. Do a good job, but don't overdo it. Number two don't spent more than two days building that website. Why today's? Because it can be done in one. Don't make the same mistake like I did and just use a new tool. I used WordPress, and it was a tool and never used before. Rather use it toward which is a bit more intuitive there. So many cool platforms out there, like Squarespace, Wix, whatever. Just used the one that's most intuitive and get it done in one day because you can have great results in one day. And if you spend two days, those results will be amazing. So don't waste away 60 hours like I did do it in probably 16. Number three. Start tracking your time. What I like to do nowadays is basically multiplying the hours I invest into a project with my hourly rate. And then I have an idea of how much business actually invested into that project. That's it. With my little rent about websites, let's dive into a time management and what you should charge your clients 3. How to: Time & Rates: OK, No, let's talk about something exciting time management and setting your hourly rate. I had this romantic idea that I would be completely free in organizing my time. And unfortunately, I have to disappoint you. Most freelancers won't be able to do that being of PR freelancer and actually charging kind of a premium fee. I have to be available to the client, and I also have to call journalists during the day. So basically, during the day during the normal working hours, I can't really leave my space, depending what your profession is. You probably can if you're a graphic designer or photographer in general, working in the creative area, you might be able to get away working at night. For example, working as a freelancer, you really don't have anybody telling you to work. And for some people, that might be a problem, because they will just start playing video games, going out for walks, enjoying the sun, and this is really not working. If you want to earn money and you don't have a client right now, for example, you're probably not having a client right now. Otherwise, you wouldn't watch this video and you don't really have anything to work for. You don't have any deadlines, so it would be too easy, toe actually not work and this is something you really need to avoid. Setting clear working hours really helped me a lot to motivate myself during that time. I really sit by the computer and by the telephone, and I really work. You really want to work those working hours that you said? And if you don't have anything to work on and you need to find something toe work and there's always something to work on, their billable hours, thes hours you spend on the clients and the un billable hours where you do your text returns, your marketing and all the other stuff you need to do in order to run a business. I use this to calculate my hourly rate. My approach was the following. I was looking at how many hours a week I want to work, which was 40 hours meaning 160 hours a month, and I was calculating how much money I actually need. And this is kind of a tough calculation because you also need to not only take rent and food into account and probably your car and your car insurance, but you also need to take into account that you probably won't have clients at certain times where you need to, like invest more into marketing, where you don't earn money, that there will be sick days where you can't work. So you can't also bill any money. And there will be vacations where you won't work. So you need to earn enough money for those vacation days, and you also have to think about even if it's nothing most Texas thought. You have to think about pension, like when you're old and gray and you can't work anymore. You need to have enough savings to get you through the day because when you're self employed, you don't pay into a pension fund. And unless you do. But I don't. I just decided that I want to save up enough, and then I came up with the some, which was about 5000 years a month. So I need to earn 5000 years a month in order to live comfortably, pay my rent, pay for all my fixed costs and still have enough for bad days and later on, hopefully for pension So this was some Some calculation I did. And then I just divided this 5000 euros by the 160 hours. I want to work. And I came out with, like, 30 I think 32 years was the hourly rate, a need to charge. And then I thought, Okay, it is completely unrealistic. Not every hour you work is available. If you decide to work 160 hours, you need to take into account that you have to do your Texas that you have to do all this banking stuff that you have to do marketing that you have to meet clients in order to sign clients. So there's, like, heaps off stuff like approximately 30 40% off. The work you do will be unbearable to keep that into consideration. So I calculated with that, and I came, um that came to the conclusion that I need to charge approximately 50 to 60 years in order to have all the billable hours cover my expenses and even more so I decided I want to start charging 50 euros an hour, which is for Berlin like a very normal rate for Hamburg, another German city. It is fairly low, but I felt comfortable with 50 years because I haven't worked in PR for a while. I was to communications manager of Mesquite Body, so I didn't really specifically working PR. So I wanted to rather go but lower then 60 years, for example. So I decided to start with 50 because I thought, this is the worth off my time and also to have a little bit of a benefit setting myself apart, being like a bit more affordable than other freelancers that probably charge 60 or 70 euros an hour. So I wanted to be a bit cheaper in order to secure clients really, really fast. So basically, this is how I calculated my hourly rate. To sum this one up. It is kind of impossible to tell you what you should charge your client, but I have a few suggestions for you. 1st 1 is think about your skill level. How much experience do you have then? Also think about the demand. Is there a high demand for your skills? Then take into account how much other freelancers are charging, like probably just asked them. It never hurts to ask. And then, um I also suggest that you take into consideration how many hours a month you can actually work And how much money at the end of the month you need to earn, and then you can kind of figure out what you should charge. The second thing I want you to take away from this class is to set clear working hours. Really define at what time you want to be online and available and get work done. If you don't, you probably won't work efficiently. I mean, being freed. Answer. It's all fun. And so But if you don't respect your own working hours, you don't respect your business and you probably will fail in this business. So I really, really want you to set clear working hours and use those working hours toe work, not meet friends, not playing fortnight or any other thing really work during these hours. 4. Avoid this!: lesson number three Know your own value. So the first thing you do when you're a freelancer and you finally finished your website ATR east. This is what I did. I started telling all my friends and all my family that I started working as a freelancer and this is completely correct. This is what you should do. You should always. Network networking is the best source off clients. This is key to finding clients. Nevertheless, don't work for friends and family. Why would I say that? First of all, you spent much more time working on friends and families projects that you would ever want to do because you really want to get this one right, which you should always do when you work for clients as well. But you will probably work even harder and even more and not charge all the hours. You're actually putting into it because they're just friends and families you want. You want to help your friends. Obviously, you're emotionally connected to the client and you do more than you are being paid for. That is bad. Second thing is, you probably give them a friends and family discount, which is also bed So you end up working even more for less money. Not good. When I started as a freelancer, I told friends and they just started a business. A new kiteboarding brand elevate kite boats. You should really check them out. Amazing company. Amazing product. And I knew they were just starting, so I didn't want to charge them a premium. They asked me if I could do the launch on social media. I was happy to do so. I was happy toe keep my food and kiteboarding industry, which is a really cool industry. So I obviously wanted to do it. But they already told me or I knew that they don't have much money. So I was offering my service for 20 years an hour, even though I just did the plan that I want to work for 50. I should never have made that offer to them. This was really bad business. This was not hitting my goal. It's not the KP ice to key performance indicators I was setting before. So after one month or two months, I worked up the courage to tell my friends Hey, I need more money and basically what I did right? away. I quit. My friends would write justly say Okay, but we already got this job from you for 20 years. I would be pay 50 now And this was something I could really not argue other than Hey, I need money Once you said a very low price is really tough to go higher because explaining someone that you will charge double the price for the same kind of work. It's impossible. You can't explain that someone nobody wants to pay double the price for something they just originally get before he take away here is never tell yourself. Under the value set, I strongly advise against working for friends and family. It has the potential to ruin friendships or family relations. You will work more than you're actually charging. And he will charge less because it's friends and family. So they're like three great reasons not to work for friends and family. What I suggest you do issue start building up a network off other freelancers as soon as possible. First of all, you have someone to us questions to and not some weird random guy on the Internet you want to do. But you will have like actual people in your business that, um that can answer all your questions. Second of all, you can send business their way, and in return, they hopefully sent business your way. So if some friend of yours, or if a family member wants to work with your once, I need someone in your field and ask. You always direct them to other freelancers to do the job. For that, they can charge them properly and do a proper job for them. And then in return, you hopefully get also jobs from their side. 5. Do you even LinkedIn?: we talked so much about making the stakes. Now I want to actually talk about how to land your first client. What really landed me? My first client was being active on linked and on Instagram. My first client was actually on Instagram. I basically just posted this picture here and wrote that Hank, please check out the website. I'm starting to work as a freelancer. No simples that I don't have like big following on Instagram. I never really published anything I posted like 20 times before. It's a really nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary. I basically just told my friends Hey, I started working. A former colleague of mine, he reached out to me, asked me if I could jump on a plane, come to Munich and work for were cloud on a project to PR Project. They were launching the platform in Germany and he needed someone to do some basic media work. I was in business and I ended up working two years for him charging 55 years an hour and did really, really well, actually. And no, not everybody can do an interim pulse and land on your client and keep working for them for two years and of money. That's not how it works. But getting the word out there is how it works. Besides Instagram, what is much more important is that you get a proper linked in profile. Lincoln is another game changer for every freelancer and you I cannot miss out on Lincoln. This is where your clients are. This is where you need to be. This is where you need to show what kind of products and services your offering as a freelancer, Lincoln is here to stay. It is owned by Microsoft, So it is one of the big players in the market. If you don't have a linked in profile, you should create one today. This should be the number one priority on your to do list. Once I got active on linked in and being active ending and does not only mean to update your profile picture to upto update your cover image and to add a few friends know it also means participating in discussions, scrolling through the news feed like you do with any other social media platform and commenting, liking and so forth. This is really important that you do that If you start doing this, people will find you. They will come to your page and they will connect with you. For me, it was really important to build up to that 500 plus meaning once you have 500 contacts and linked and it just size this 500 plus and I was thinking, Okay, that looks professional. This is how I want to be perceived by others that find me, because if they see that I have more than 500 contacts, they will think im digit. You don't need to have 500 contacts in order to get started with clients. But being active on linked and participating in discussions, adding the people that, you know, like former colleagues, no matter who do it, it's really a game changer and for me, within like, two or three days off, becoming active unlinked and like properly active woman was already reaching out to me, asking me to organize events in Berlin, and this is what I did and I was doing it for a year. Like once a week. I was doing those events for her and it was usually like 10 hours. I was charging 50 years an hour. So I charged 500 years for a day. It was amazing. So I was already earning 2000 years a month just by doing so. Just by being active in Lincoln, this should be your number one priority. I'm also not a big fan of social media, like being there for myself, like building a brand around myself but being active on linked in really lance. A lot of clients, like 30% of my clients are coming from Lincoln, actually, to sum this up real quick, be active on social media and especially, start a link and channel today. Be active on linked in. Show your skills, show your portfolio and participate in discussions. Best thing about it, it's free. You don't need the premium to get started. 6. Acquisition Tips and Tricks: Lincoln didn't do the trick for you. And neither that Instagram. Don't worry there other ways to find work. Another mistake I did when I started freelancing was doing acquisition Cold Acquisition, meaning I was researching companies that I thought were interesting. I sent them an email showing the my portfolio. Andi, I wasted hours doing so. I never really got a reply back that it was interesting for them. Other people are hurt by calling them, and that is even worse. Nobody likes cold calling, especially not the one, not the person that is being caught. Don't do cold calling. This is not how you win client. So how do you get clients if you don't really have an active Lincoln profile? Well, you're changing this right now, but what else can you do? Use Facebook there the heaps off Facebook groups that offering jobs. For example, in Germany, there's an actor face for group called Who Has Time for that? People are searching actively for freelancers and their groups for every state or every country, so you will find jobs being offered on Facebook. But, hey, you also don't have a Facebook profile, and somehow those jobs on Facebook. They're pretty shitty paid. Well, don't worry what I like to do. Which I did before I had this big network where jobs were coming in without me doing anything. I was actually looking through job searches. I went to all these platforms like Monster Step Stone. Indeed. And I was looking for companies that had open positions that I would be very able to fill with my skill set. So I was finding positions like PR manager, event manager, copywriter, all these things that I actually offer and I saw companies that are searching for them and what I did. Then I would get the contact details and I would use again I would use linked into research who is in charge for that project. And then I would contact that person saying, Hey, I see you have a need for an open position. I don't want to hire with you, but I still offer my services. And then I would send my four for you, and this was so much more efficient or effective than just cold calling. The people really use those search engines, see who is actually a need for your job, and then give them an alternative. You probably don't want to work full time for them. But you can say, hey, as long as you don't find anybody and you really need to staff that position, Stephan with a freelancer. And here I am. And this is what I can do for you. That is really, really effective. And it landed me a couple of clients. So if you don't have anywhere to go, go on. Indeed going steps. The ongoing Monceau of whatever the search engines for jobs are called in your country and search for open positions with a skill set that you offer. 7. Pitch Perfect: how to write a good pitch. One of the most important things when it comes to a pitch is finding the right person and addressing the right person. If you send the perfect email to the wrong reception, it won't be opened and you won't get in response. The most important thing, the crucial thing is to find out who actually cares for your pitch. What I like to use link and once more, Lincoln and I'm not pay fighting. And don't worry using linked and you can actually apply to the people that really are interested in your skills. You find out who is the marketing manager who is in charge for creatives, who is in charge for text, and then you can send your pitch to that person. I sometimes pitch on linked indirectly, so I don't even using email. I just write them in a message on linked and usually this is very effective. Sometimes when I have the email, I also write the email to write the perfect email. You need to nail that subject line. Nobody is opening an email if it doesn't have a great subject line or nobody's at least going to remember it. A good subject line is spot on and you write the subject line. Try to be very short, very specific, and address the need off the company. So, for example, would work really well for me, it's using freelance B two b PR specialist. What I don't like to do is like asking like this fishy questions in the subject lines. Like, Are you looking for a freelancer? It sounds like advertising. You're not really advertising. You're basically having eye to eye level conversation showing a person what kind of skill sets you're offering for the male body. The only way to write inmates nowadays is keeping them super short and simple. And basically, you may should be out of three segments. First statement is staying. Hey, how are you? 2nd 1 is introducing yourself the services that you're offering and the third part being 1/4 action. So for me, I usually write the maids like, Hey, how are you doing? My name is Julian. I'm specialized in B two c communications and PR and I would be very keen to work for your company as I heard that you have open positions. Next thing you want to do is at a call to action. A culture action basically tells the person what he or she needs to do next. I say, Do you want to grab lunch on Tuesday or on Friday and try to be really specific and tried to give them two options already and really try to meet them in person? Because this is where you establish a personal connections. This is where you start a network, so really try to get them away from email away from the computer and to meet you in person . This is help you win a client when you send an email. Also, make sure that you have this little footer in your email stating your linked in profile and your website and your instagram or whatever channels you're using. In orderto inform the person that receives the email what you're all about. Don't put your portfolio in there. If they are interested, they will find it. They will check out your linked and where your portfolio should feeling. They will check out your website where your portfolio hours shown. So don't stress too much about pitching all the services that you're offering and being very sales e in an email. Just keep that image as short as possible. If they're interested in meeting you, they will meet you. If they're not interested at all. Don't stress about it. Just keep that email very short. Keep it like 23 Maximum four sentences. Be very friendly and just try to meet them in person. This is where you actually sell yourself, so you get to meet them in person. What do you wear? What do you do? What do you dress? What do you eat? Different stress too much about it. Just be yourself dressed for the position. If it's like a creative thing, you can go in a hoody. If it's more for formal, things were assured. Like just dressed for the occasion. Select a nice place place, which is com where you can talk where you don't feel it. Stop a place where you feel comfortable and then just be yourself. Talk about the projects that you're it did prior to this and what you think you could offer to them. I really advise you not to lie about anything and to make your work greater than you actually are, tried to be realistic and to be on point. Incredible. Don't try to win them over by giving them some weird cheesy, say its pitch. Just be yourself and tell them what you can offer and what you can do and also what you can't do because what you're aiming for, its long term partnership. What I advise you to do, it's to not talk too much about yourself. It is to ask questions people and generally like to talk about themselves, and it's easy to be liked if you just ask enough questions. So don't talk that much about yourself. Talk about the company, asked the person some personal questions and really try to connect on a personal level then after the lunch. Usually I like to pay for the lunch. I like to do that, not because they're in my depth and feel like they're obliged to pay back by giving me a job. I just want to show them that I'm successful at what I'm doing and that I can easily pay for lunch. Obviously, I don't force them. Everybody can pay for themselves. I don't like to be invited. I just like toe to keep it like informal. But probably this is awesome bit of a cultural thing, and you really have to find out what is the correct thing to do in your country. 8. Go Co-Working: Hopefully, you managed to get a client by now. The first thing you should do once you've got a client is to sign up for co working space. You don't need to have your own office, but working from home just doesn't cut it anymore. Another mistake I did was working from home for too long. Night desk was in my bedroom. So every morning I would wake up and I would see my desk. I would see my work, my private life and my business life. They were completely one. And this is really not good for your mental health on a long run. So getting out of the house, getting a co working space was the best thing I could do not only for my mental health, but also to get clients joined a community. This is one of the best ways to get jobs. Participate in a community in every major city everywhere in the world on now, co working spaces that have like some kind of community. This is where you meet other freelances. This is where you actually learn about their rates, about their ways of getting clients. And this is the people you can refer clients to, For example, if you have those friends and families or you actually too busy to take on new clients. But you get requests, you can give your clients to them, and once they have requests that they can't handle, they give them to you. This is basically how you network. This is how you will get 90% off your jobs. One of the main issues being a freelancer is that you don't have colleagues. You can't ask for a second opinion. You have to provide the answer without double checking with anyone going to a coworking. Space gives you this big opportunities to ask others for their opinion. And if you're having troubles with a client, you can talk to others about this problem. Obviously, you also have to listen to their problems every once in a while. But this really helps you with your mental health so much. This really helps you with networking. It is the one thing that you need to start doing. Can you take away here, get a coworking space, Do it today 9. Good Gear: the next lessons is going to be a super short. We're just gonna talk about good gear. Being a freelancer, you don't eat much to get started. If you are like a photographer, Yes, you need to invest a bit more. You need probably a good camera and especially decent lancers in order to get started. But like, if you're like me a PR freelancer, you just need a laptop in a stable Internet connection. This is all you need. But another mistake I did, right? In the beginning, I was hanging on to my old laptop. I thought I'm a freelance. I don't eat much at my old laptop. Basically, I've right of write press releases and that kind of stuff I can run like word or like Google dark. So whatever programmer was using at that time, I don't need a fast computer in order to run it. And I don't really need a fast laptop. Then when I had my first client meeting, I was unpacking this old shitty laptop. The client was looking at me and I instantly knew I lost completely all trust into their client, for the client lost their trust in me, which was way worse, and the client didn't take me seriously anymore because they saw. Okay, this guy isn't a professional because he's not using professional tools and the stupid s this sounds and it is actually stupid. You can write an amazing press release on a very city computer, and only because you use a fancy MacBook or fancy Dell computer. Your President Lee's won't be any better, or your website copy won't be any better and really, really doesn't matter that much. But if you can't afford proper work equipment, clients will assume that you can't fault them for a reason, like spending 1000 years for computer or $1000 or even $2000 for a computer. This might sound expensive at that time, but losing a client that can potentially bring in business for way more than 2000 years or $2000 that is expensive. Losing a client is expensive. Not signing a client is expensive buying a computer inexpensive. Therefore, I tell you, you should invest into proper gear as soon as possible. That's not as important as investing into a coworking space. Still get a proper computer, it will save you so much time when you're working, even if you're just switching between documents, restarting starting the computer or using creative tools such as photo shop or another tools, it will really save you a lot of time. And time is kind of money in our business, and you will also look more professional. People will take you more serious, and this is basically what you want in order to sign clients. And if a client doesn't hire you because you have a shitty leapt up, the climb is probably a bit stupid. But nevertheless it is lost business and lost business and expansive and expensive on your end, not on the clients. And really don't try to lose clients just because you have old shitty computer. 10. Thought Leadership: next thing I want to talk to you about this thought leadership, and this is an important topic. If you really want to make freelancing your career the big problem with freelancing ISS that you will never get a promotion. There is basically no one offering your promotion. You can't be more freelancer than you are. Yeah, you can call yourself a senior freelancer if you really want to, but basically everybody will know that this is a bullshit title. So don't call yourself a senior freelancer. Your freelancer. You will stay freelancer. You won't get a promotion. There's no one giving you bonus. There's no one giving your promotion. Being a freelancer in that regards kind of sucks. However, you can raise your prices every year. If you have a client, you can call them every year you can ask for a race. You can tell them. Hey, I have one more year of experience. Therefore, it will charge five fewer small or $5 more because I will do a better job for you. I learned I know your product better than a year ago. I know your service better than a year before I know the media landscape or the graphic designs or whatever you are offering, you know what better after working for them for one year. So after one year, you can ask for a race. Usually I would go for $5.5 year steps and then per hour and ask for more money. However, you will eventually reach a cap. You will eventually reach a point where the client will say, Hey, even though you're very good freedom So you're probably the best freelance if we have ever worked with this is really charging more than any other freelance will us for. So, for example, in PR, this would be like 100 years. There was no company in Germany that would pay a regular freelance the I've person 100 years an hour, so I would never get 100 years an hour, or at least more. So. This is where it ends unless I become a thoughtful year and people actually pay me for not executing, but for developing, and what does it mean to be a thought leader? Basically, you build a pres ona around yourself. You build your own brand and you become well known and highly regarded as a freelancer and the expert in your bill of business, a thought leader, bright, thought, provoking materials. He or she puts information out there that it's thought provoking. That kind of means you started right Guest articles block articles. You start being very active on linked and posting and sharing your opinions, solving problems or at least talking about them and giving thought provoking ideas. And this is what you do in order to build a reputation to build up a zona that could brand around yourself. So how to become a thought leader? One of the best ways of becoming a thought leader is writing guest articles. So for every industry, there are, like trade magazines, for example, for pr their magazines and write about P R and media landscapes for graphic design, like art magazines for photography, their hips off magazines basically, for every field off freelancing you can work in. There are trade media, and you can start writing and submitting guest articles. And if there's like no media that wants to take your guests articles, write those articles for Lincoln. Write those articles for your block on your personal website. I mean, you spend so much time building that website anyway, unless you were listening to me. Use it in order to build up Arizona around yourself. Attract new clients by showing that you are the best in that field, that you are an industry leader that you are thought leader thought Leaders can charge much more money than other regular freelances because they are more well known, they have more request is higher demand If there's higher demand, you can ask for higher prices, obviously, and being a thought leader also comes with heaps of other benefits. You're more prone to networking, and this really helps you to grow your business in order to become a 30 that you need to invest time. And this is time you could also spend on clients on this billable hours and being a thought leader that is rather stuff for one billable hours that is building a brand around yourself , and you really need to be thoughtful. Where do you want to invest your time? But if you don't have any clients, then maybe two thought leadership right guests articles right, linked in articles and really try to put yourself out there in order to attract more business. Being a thought leader is a great marketing tool 11. Being Nice: The most important skill you need to nail in order to sign new clients is actually being a nice person. Being nice is the key. In order to find new clients, people will recommend you and refer you to new clients if you're a nice person and it really doesn't matter if you're the best, it matters. If you're the nicest, people want to work with you. If you are a nice soft skills as so much more important than hot skills, obviously you should also do kind of a good job. Nobody wants to pay high prices of premium prices for people that are not performing well, But definitely nobody wants to have an asshole in their team. Soft skills are the most important thing you need to know. Nowadays, you need to be able to have a small talk with anybody without feeling awkward. You need to be able to keep a conversation going. You need to be able to smile. You need to keep a cool head. When you have stress, projects often gets dressy. You need to be concentrated. You need to stick to your word. If a client asks you for a deadline, you tell them a deadline and you hold that deadline you're punctual and your friendly, your smiley, you're happy and people will like to work with you. And they will always give you more jobs. And they were recommend you to other companies. And you will get so much work just like being a nice, approachable person. It is super easy to fire someone who is doing an incredible job but is an asshole. It is super easy. You just tell that person please don't come back to the office while it is almost impossible to fire someone who does a shitty job. But it is a great person. You don't want to hurt that person. You don't wanna be unkind to that person. And I don't mean you get away doing a shitty job just by being nice to person. That is not how the whole thing works. You need to show that you're dedicated. You need to be punctual. You need to be on time. You need to stand by your words. You need to hold deadlines. But the thing you need to learn is how to be nice, approachable person, how to network how to be friendly, how to have lunch and have interesting conversation at lunch. Even if you have never, ever met before. And this is by doing eye contact, this is by smiling. This is by asking questions, and this is by also listening to the answers and following up with even more questions. This is how you get like by people. This is how you will get jobs. It is also super important that you're to the summer party to the Christmas Party, that you're being invited and that Europe there do that 10% more and especially smile 10% more. You should never brown nose like kissing anybody spot. But you should be an approachable person. The easiest way to do that is by having fun, like try to get projects that you enjoy working on and try to work with clients you enjoy working with. And then the money is just secondary. Having fun at work, having fun with the people you're working with. That is the crucial thing. And as soon as you're having fun, as soon as you enjoy the company of the people you're working with, they will also like you and they will refer you to more clients and you will have a good time. It is not about signing that many clients. In the end, it is keeping the clients you have getting like a retainer to work on, getting more business coming in from the clients you already have, and it's so much easier. You don't need to negotiate your hourly rates. You don't need to do any of that sort of stuff. You know that they will pay you on time. You don't need toe run after invoices that are not being paid. Really try to keep those clients that are working well for you. 12. Recap & To-Do-List: Let's sum things up in order to give you that to do list. I was talking earlier about what you should do. What should be your next steps in order to let your first client working as a freelancer, the first thing you really should do its manage your time. Think about when you will be available. If you want to start at nine in the morning or early, a 10 how long you are available and then start thinking about your hourly rate. Make a good plan. What you can charge your client, what you need to earn and when you will work. Really be strict about your working hours. Don't get distracted. Don't cheat. Stick to your working hours and just keep doing it until you have the success you want. The next thing you should do is create a kick as Lincoln profile, it is so important it is free, and it's easy to do. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day for your linked in profile. Participate in discussions, add people, add skills and have people confirmed your skills really be available on linked and show the skills that you have sure your portfolio participate in discussions and just be on link and you will be found and you will get job offers on linked in super important. The third thing you should do getting started as a freelancer is setting up that website we were talking earlier about. Don't stress too much. Don't spend too much time on that website. I beg you, don't overcomplicate things. Website is only good for two things. First thing is being showing the services you're offering. Second thing is showing your contact details. It is as simple as that. Don't stress about every word you do. Don't spend 60 hours like I did on the website. Just get it done in one or two days and I promise you you can get a good result in those in this time. Just trust a platform that is offering great templates for website and used those and you will be absolutely fine. I promise you the fourth thing you should do is looking for actual jobs. As a freelancer, I like to use social media channels like Facebook groups, for example to look for jobs. But I also use like job search engines such a sponsor Step stones, Really Look at those and see which companies are having open positions in your line of work and then reach out to those people and offer year service as a freelancer. They will have open here for you as they actually need somebody to fill that position. And as long as they don't find a full time position, they might even hire you as a freelancer to do the job to get the job done. The next thing you should do is pitch right at least two or three pictures a day and really try to set gold. I think a nice goal would be having a business lunch once a week with a new person, a new company or new potential client, or at least another freelancer. You get to meet and toe exchange knowledge, pitch and get to meet people. Start a network. It is super important at networking will be the main source off jobs coming your way. The next thing you need to do its work on your soft skills and on networking go to community events, meet people, have lunches and really work on being approachable, person being smiley, being nice, being friendly, asking heaps of questions and being a good listener. This is also something that will get you jobs. Eventually, people will want to work with people who they like. And by working on yourself, skill people will start liking you. You will get more business number seven, get a coworking space as soon as you can afford it. This should also be on your priority list. And it should be kind of high up there because in a coworking space networking will come naturally. And you will find jobs eventually just by being a member of a community and by meeting like minded people every day at work. It is also incredibly important for your mental health because working at home can be kind of a drag as a freelancer s, you will work alone. It is kind of tough to really try to get out there, meet people, connect to people, and you will get new jobs almost instantly. Once you can afford a coworking space, you should also look into getting professional gear. That really reflects who you are. Professionally, it sounds stupid, but it is really important to show up to business meetings with the proper leapt up with proper gear. Otherwise you can lose business, and buying a expensive good laptop is much cheaper than losing business. And the last thing you should put on your to do list it is not very important. That's why it's the last place it's just work on your thought leadership skills. If you really have time on your hands or you want to grow as a freelancer, put yourself out there as a thought leader, right guest articles. Write articles in general on your linked in profile or in your block, and you will get recognized eventually as being and thought provoking thought leader. And you will get more business coming in and you can. And you can ask for higher rates because people know you and know that your professional thanks so much for watching my videos on how to land your first client. I hope you had some takeaways and you learn something, and I would be very, very interested to hear what you are thinking. Write it down into the comments or hit me up on link, and this is my linked and actually I'm happy if we connect. I'm happy to share more of my experience and following this channel and auditor, learn more in the future for me