How to Get Clients as a Freelancer | Jen Phillips April | Skillshare
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4 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Intro and Overview for Finding Freelance Clients (and Living in Paradise)

    • 2. Video 2 5 Steps to Finding Freelance Clients

    • 3. Video3 Track and follow up

    • 4. What I Would Do Differently


About This Class

Want to freelance but not sure how to find clients? This class will walk you through the steps of landing your first (and your next) freelance clients so you can have a profitable and fun freelance business. Suitable for freelance writers, graphic designers, and other service professionals who sell to B2B services. 
Led by a freelancer with almost a decade of experience. 



1. Intro and Overview for Finding Freelance Clients (and Living in Paradise) : I welcome to how to five freelance work. If you're new to the world of freelancing congratulations. Or if you've been at it for a while and you're looking for ways clients, that's great to welcome. And I'm happy to have you here. So let me guess. You all started out thinking freelancing would be like, cool. And you have all these people talked to Pettitte taker. I don't help see her do some kind of fades, are having a good time. Great and stay. You're finding that it's a lot more like I don't really know what I'm doing. Maybe you're kind of panicking a little bit looking at your back account. Maybe you're just sitting there at your justice with me nine years ago, something like Does trying to go know what I'm supposed to be doing this like, I just don't understand. So last with those programs about today, I'm gonna take you to the five steps of finding clients. It's process, which means it's it worked. The process it will work for you on is something I've learned over the years and picked up from many other people as well. My name is Jim Phillips. April I have been Ah, freelance writer, blogger and are your sources 2000 11 Yeah, 2000. The early days of 2011. I had been a decade spent decades museum field working this museum educator. I gave tours and historic sites high created programs for kids and adults and my grants sometimes. And I was in charge of newsletter LeGros charge of the website. Ah, and it was all very interesting. And I had studied two dozen. This will fly but plan and light but also always want being a freelance writer at this time rattling around the back of my head for years. And I had read a lot about it and follicle programs and never done anything with it. Never watched that never come out around the edges. Allen towels, My job who lost are finding the museum where I was working and we roll laid off. So that was a real wake up call, and I thought, Well, okay, this universe gives me a kick in the pants to go out and make my way into financing world. That was how I interpreted the time I had unemployment for a pile and I had some money coming in through ah, website story years earlier and said, Okay, I'm going out to do this. It took me so long because I just didn't I I didn't have the confidence. I was too scared to death. And it was really hard for me to pick myself up and get going. So I'd like to help you escape with that, Um, that laundry. A lot of it's going on up here, let me tell you. And so that you live the life that you want to live. If you look around. Hey, I am not in Pennsylvania where I was looking at that time anymore. I now live in the Caribbean in Mexico, Mayan Riviera. I've been here for your half. Love it. I have always loved with broads. Just my opportunity to do that on day. I could pick up and move anytime going where I want to big hose of my freelance writing career of my business that I have set up So that location independent. So let's jump into this and you too, can achieve your goals whether that staying helping your kids well, that's removing your your life after a lay off for a career change or being location for yourself. Okay, so the first rule of freelancing is to always be marketing. And not everybody realises that we'll talk more about this as we go through it. Adult meat. And it's Panisse snake, oily kind of way, but and really valuable and helpful way. And your sanity will thank you if you do this because you will be able to bring hand clients and you will be able to work with the country people you want to work with. So come back in the next video and we're go through like the four. The five process hold five is really five basic steps. You go through these steps and you and you execute off. Have consistently you will land work. He will end clients that you would be able to scarcity your way to better paying clients a better on and more fun projects to. So join us right there in a moment and I'll see you there 2. Video 2 5 Steps to Finding Freelance Clients : I welcome back video, too, So we'll get started talking about the five in Ways off problem Freelancer. Five steps because it's really 1/2. You know, if you want to get to where you want to go, you need road map, right? Everyone knows that. So this is your GPS. Think of it as your GPS to get from where you are Now, Whether you've been free asking for a while, you want to wrap it up whether you're just getting started you want, but you want to have a goal. Bm whether it's to make it sort, not let anyone there's to be location. Deformed it like I am. Whatever works for you is fine. So in this workshop will go to the simple five step formula for problem free. This is something I have learned over the years. I still put in practice today, and lots and lots of professional writers do this. So this feeling a secret to building out for enhancing moon office? It's also tell you, at the very end what I would do differently if I were just getting started. Today there are a few things. So the simple plots that former find clients is defining what you're selling. Boy, let me tell you, I have I've been totally victim of this. Guilty of this is a really better word of No, I'm not being up to express what I do. Okay, So being able express what you do succinctly is important and sometimes of the starts with choosing something to do. Like, for example, I write last different kinds of materials, different kinds of industries. But I don't say that such a prospect say I write Love those four x industry, even though I also write emails with copy and other things. But it's just easier for people to wrap their heads around, so that can either said yes, we need that. It's up. We'll go into more detail now to you identify the companies who already spent money on what you do about that more moment to then you want to make your offer. You got trapped. You talk to and go follow follow follow up. This isn't for it is really really Alec Austan. So how you answer the question? What you're selling depends how easily you'll find freelance work. If you doubt me, go to a networking event and talk to a whole bunch of people and say hi, I'm a freelance writer on a They're gonna go. Oh, hi. You know, they're going to hand you their best parts like I saw Phil State or whatever. Also make it simple. Make it simple. Don't overthink this If you if you want a blogged. If experience Barney didn't go for that, I have a lot of spirit longing for the pet industry. And I also like he studies I also as last year and 1/2 of do it profiles and expats with Broad. And I started to more travel writing so but depends on what I want talk with depends on what I'm actually saying to them. So your journalist specialising technology. I see tons of ads for that, but I don't call myself act. Are you white paper right here? Are you a technical writer who really loves geek out like industry terms and and turn on the futures into something that really understandable for the lay person? Because awesome. So it's really much easier for people to understand. You are and do it for if you could be so simple to tell them So I Hello you know, Mr Our business. You know, expert, I'm a blogger for the pie industry. That's an immediate connection. They understand that. Um if you don't know, then just picked something. Honestly, if you're just getting started and you're really not sure at all what you're going tol what your specialties might be, that's fine. But all I but it's going to be easier for you to market yourself, find fires, and you choose something. Say OK, I'm gonna pick this and I look around this road next six months because it's going to, you know, you're going to have you reached out of people and it takes a little bit tight, Get it? So just pick something and you can add on to that You could You can adapt that you can change it later, but six months I do X and then go with that. Because when you're really clear to yourself and to other people, it makes all the rest easier. It makes it so much easier, so step to identify the companies who spent money on what you offer. This may sound counterintuitive. Oh, well, so on. So really go then Half X y and Z maybe I should offer without. Don't you would. You could try. But I could tell you from past experience and hundreds of other freelance writing business owners that is like beating your head against the wall. More candy because of you talking 25 companies who None of them have a block and you want a block and you say, Well, I can come and bought for you And I could, you know, blocking hands all the benefits that helps you know, it's, you know, build your credibility, all of the sort of thing. But they don't have a block. They don't care. They don't care about that. Also, if they don't have the block opponent built now you've got yourself stuck on. If they do, say yes now, you gotta figure out how to get the block out into their website. You know, you got yourself a couple of the technical position unless you're selling that on and I don't. But that is, you know, that could be a problem. So them that could take three months to get the block. He said, Our attention, you know, but can on it's the crossing. A lot of money. Essentially, that they? This is all money. You're up on a get free before you could do invite so you could see Hopefully that doesn't really help you. That's not gonna be a benefit for years. If you were offering blogging services instead, if you seek out companies who have active pots And you said that some kind of a don't say Oh, I see you have a second cloud. I really like your blogging, X, y and Z. This was interesting because of whatever Say something, make your personal you first line. This doesn't have to take home taking five, eight minutes on. Then you say and say I happen to be a blogger. And with this car experience, it's not meeting a lot longer. Let me know if you happen. Talk. I have got multiple clients using that kind of language. And since this did linked in a very simple process So who are these companies? This is gonna take some time, so I recommend blocking out, you know, awesome. I do it in like chalks. I think I will take, you know, half hour with in another half hour, and I just keep building this list. When I was first getting started, someone had recommended to build this giant list like 1000 companies and that overwhelm a like nobody's business. So that works for you. Then go for it. But for me that I didn't come right away on. I have the energy van. Let's go build a couple. Listen, take a little time to find. So let's talk about that this moment. So right now, make unless the types of companies who used types of services that you want offer what kinds of products to these companies How How big of these do you already have experience in the industry? It will be easier for you if you start. Is freelance riot you something? You already have some experience. So other people a whole time job, whether it be hobbies, whatever you want. You something, Aria. Some kind of industry college off. This is gonna be a lot easier for you to talk to you and then make another list where your but she name. And it's true. The name of the details. Now this You know this commute ongoing process it is remains offline. Process. Every time I had people, I just dropped them into my spreadsheet that they? I said note. At that way, I don't like a column. We'll talk that if you don't know if you don't have any kind of process and you have no idea of your topic before. So here is one of the legs you confine somebody maybe going how one find these companies so years out. So the example complice is that every industry has conferences, usually multiple ones. So if you were to go to the conference list if you were sick people and, you know, conference of whatever topic, uh, what's gonna come up is a website for said Conference. You know, Global Pet Expo just happened this week. As I'm recording this super suit was another big part of conference that happens every year . That's summer. You go. I have those websites and I see the sponsors. So that's a place where you just start. We'll see the sponsors. You may be able to download a list of the people who have the boots. Some of the some events of like 203 100 boosts the people who go to trade shows, and it's been $1000. Booths have marketing dollars, so this is a good place to start. Uh, so you could start five. Go right by him. But l still want transfer. And so it didn't before that. So you could keep it for a while. Write down all the names of confidence, then if you know movie. Oh, start looking up. Records of Arctic harm. People like Russia marketing Marty. Three types of tiles. Tight house can vary their new ones all the time. But these air kind tiles looking for and you can do, like, the name, the name of the company. And like that industry tile like plus tile, you link that does a gold mine. You going to link? Tell and you start, You know, putting that up, you start dropping in the names. I will actually create a separate video for ways to usually didn't use different filters. So what's the that process? Each and in set three. Make your offer. Okay. It gets easier for practice. So its first time. What food? And your offer? ISS simple. Your flight. Hey. Yes, You have an active flog, and I'm a blogger with 20 experience. If you have you have a potter looking love trap like it's that simple. Don't like this. Don't overthink it. It's not about you. It's not about them is business. If they're looking for a bladder, then they will give you. And you know what? People are nice like. People are nice. So most people Um, yeah. So here's a sample cold email script that you can use. My name is Axel, freelance writer. I specialized X Y Z. So mine clients include If you have fun, it's already have a nice plant list. You know, I couldn't for some pretty big names of pet industry, so I used those, um, you know, and then you could say, Do you working out several years? This is very simple of putting toe them a message. Call that So if you don't have experience, then you need finds up, right? So whether that's writing block post, here's just sort of on topic that you you show examples If you've written articles for work or for a newsletter or volunteer capacity alone that counts. So what you got? Start waving a start, start what you have and you're gonna build up over time, and it's all good. Okay, so in the next one next line, we're going to start talking about the tracking and follow up on this is where the gold hats. All right, so see, there you 3. Video3 Track and follow up: I Welcome back. This is the section where the rubber meets the road. We're going to talk about tracking and follow off with your potential prospects and future Christ. This is where we make it work on you know what? You could do this so tracking charge each rack. Inglis is so important. For years, I did not track officially and well, it's assistant. I would get into a habit after we get for Oh, you know, a few days and then I would just drop the ball, not do it for months. So did work out. I'll tell you didn't get me anywhere I wanted a So you entrap iwas usually three or with peasants is what I indicated. Last videos didn't see that go back will watch that I have a simple, short, simple little use yourself to do and offer your services is just So you said that first message the market on your spreadsheet Who talked to when? You know what is the day? What company do they work for? And did you get a response? If you did right, sometimes you'll get response. Say hey, thanks for you know we'll keep you sometimes you won't get anything with a lot of nothing's . I don't think that people always look at their presidents. And so there's that as well. So just so pay, just track. It's gonna take more than five or six weeks. It takes a lot in the past up six months. I have Ah, we're worried about 500 companies. I'm still doing it. I do this consistently weak upper beat and I Lambert. So this is this'll works, so follow. Follow follow Because you know what? Only 3% a proffer I eat are looking for your services Given time, British left a lot So let's tap said you reach up 100 properties and three of them were actually looking for you like a great you know, you just feel so perfect. Wonderful, right? But you have to be chopped off your people, OK, so you could make that better because 11% according to, uh, head Gideon was a business writer and has been in the region. They have found that 11 shit of those prospects purchasing said three months of inquiry three months, which is have a lot. So you need You needn't come everybody. So why would you go, Huh? Were you always be reaching out to different people instead of following up assistant? I mean, cause it's like to be, like, every three months, every three months. Four months? It depends on Ah, you know, Depends. Sometimes sometimes this has happened in me. I had a quiet say, I walker reaching out through this prospect for several months now and he said, Oh, yeah, we have You do your services try. It's a couple of months. And so I did. I said my Yeah, we're We're getting close or try us again in two more months. Okay, then and then. But third time I messed me says, Hey, yes, we're going to be ready to use you served. I get past this. Higher person is gonna be responsible for releases passing on may wait use, you know, very cited. Exploration points on. I said, Great. So now I have a massive that Ripper. So we're having a conversation about working together. You know, this has been four or five months in the process. Six. Okay, you know, but this is the multiple times it takes more than one with the one touch is exact. 17% personal boarded six months study that was 60.5% 1st in 7 12 months. A lot. You know that? Stay in touch, that saying conduct as a top of high so that when they do need someone, you're the person I think of, like how many jobs would reach out? She's got the right kind skills less that's that's right back to you. So it talked about 100 people today. Three of them are ready for you and then 11. We'll be back with next month's one stay in that cycle because not going up using money and that hot bill So he doesn't let me my column because lots of Roy. But I don't have but people. Of course you don't want about people we're not talking about, you know, sent daily emails going. Are you ready? Because that would be a precious were using follow up tactics or standard business protocol ? Here's a few examples. You can set up Google Arch for notifications in that business, so we'll alert you. Go to Google. You you go. You type in Google alerts and comes up on. Then you put in your keep work terms, and if you have a business in mind than you had ends. So you could see if they want awards you can see is a higher used. You couldn't see pressure they put out, right. And, Womack is your opportunity to have a little bit more insider knowledge on such company For you. Hey, congratulations Saw Likewise. You just happen That shows you paid attention and you got to stand there looking for a help . The draft pay attention. You're interested in working Do this in articles of interest. That's a wall war, You know that That's had been around for decades. Reasons to put the house full them up with, actually look with actual meal, male things that interest people want work. Now that is you got you know they're not. So you put the u R l on dso that's in working the phones to say, Hey, I want you So I wanted to be topical. Course you want to be something that's in issue related. I don't want to be like something law, but if you've been in a new study has come out about something that is and she related. Maureen Johnson had half lawyer. You're off top prospects. These are the These were once your boot work with easy to understand three industries in your heart, right? Pick up the phone. All people I know that so outdated. But honestly, it's works. You get to have that like there's a whole lot of connection that happens when you speak to someone in real time. You hear their voices. It's a people thing would like to see now to pick up the phone. Just say hi. Especially this people you work with in the past like that. You know, you already have Alicia there. Um, you know, Big One is checking out past clients. I know what designers are. No writer Teoh. Every every 56 months, they're reaching out there past clients saying, Hey, you know, I just want to check in, see how you're doing lots of people on business, maybe some that are called interest. Um, he's a great, great ways to pick up work. If you're going on vacation, your car clients and you're going on vacation or you're going your poppers or something, then you can let him know that Hey, after the p on the office, you know, you know, give them lots of notice like four. Hey, it's not like, you know, going to be on the office since basically, it's the industry conference and they're also going that they're also part of the industry . You can pass it. They're going, Hey, I'm going to use president. Maybe he'll be there. Yeah, I've heard of people getting work because the company toe of l word hot belong, but we would love it if you would cover part accomplished for us. If you would write up some pieces for us. You know, that is a way that you could get. I've also heard of people who said who just bed from pious because it could be gone for a week or two weeks, and that's that gives you the time. If you're architects, for example, for company. Oh, right. We need to get that thing done by X, y and Z, and that's not gonna work a girl but their outhouse. So here, let me get that to the sooner and it was so you could plan. So every sales person who she takes 57 points of contact with war sales, right? Five cents isn't what I mean by that Touches and bond followed By reaching out over, you have to talk people more than once. You know, it's very rare that you say hi. I'm general. I have I have 2000 brought post head industry, um, people blogger like that. And then you know what number? Yes, would be a lot. I mean, that happens like once. Ah, like 500. Okay. Maybe once I want but, uh, it's not, and it's usually not quite that quick, you know? So it could take, as I mentioned earlier. This is other. That is that, you know, come back. It wasn't too much backwards into hunts, you know, they had a career services. Hey, how you doing? We're doing this content strategy, right? Aircraft with a couple of months. If they don't mean they don't mean it with drop of sexual propose a couple of months. And I'm not the affection about I'm just gonna find them. Hey, you know, I was a couple months. You said let's see how things are going. You know, I keep it like your goal when you are reaching out to people initially the star conversation, and ultimately start relationship people so that you are building a network that is really services. Whether your Web designer, whether you're grabbing, is on or whether you're right, this is not a transactional business. This is not a, you know, sell like hot cakes or something. You are service and it's different sales process. And it could be a long appeals process. Supplies eso You know that going into it, then you're good and you keep marking marketing. But I have found in almost a decade that this direct outreach is just so, so effective. That is just ridiculous not to do it. If you actually attend how making you could be happy. So tracking how am I gonna is tracking your sales? Are your potential sales your clients issues so you don't know you reach out to if you have a track right to happen. Tracking you can use the CRL customer relationship. Management tool is your bag. I used them both for a while, which is a subscription based service. Um, so then I use them anymore. Are, um, hope spots streak interacts with female university really quickly, easily it's free. It's that you could even use a simple khushi not doing house or got through this, but she going? I've got you know who I talked? Teoh company. They work for, um, on the date they responded. Me? Yes. Great. Did they? You know how we had a conversation yet? When did I follow up? I have all of that information there, especially really? So hopefully basic and keep me on track. So? So now that you've got specific about what you're selling, yes, you identified companies who already spent money on what you offer and 1/2 away. You try you out, reach Agra, follow up, then you could get them. You get these clients, and if you just start, did not be dissuaded. I mean, whatever. I get to three out of outreach, that's that's that you're going to keep. This is a process bill business journey. And it's a very eye opening experience in terms of your I grow your personal development lots of fun and allows you to achieve your goals and your dreams wherever you want. I want to live abroad. I want to teach, um, states and go someplace else. Nice is not so bad. The futures right down the street, like two blocks. Uh, so whatever your goals are you could do this. I do have a, uh, a video on using LinkedIn for your business. And so that's my help as well. So look for that. So join me the next video where I'm gonna tell you what I would have done first before a story, okay? 4. What I Would Do Differently : Well, if I were starting all over again, I would do a few things differently. They want things I learned when I started My very is ready business in two girls. 11 words like I love so many things. I didn't know I didn't know them because I never died before, right? I didn't know voices. They're just so that go into it that I had No. Who about headbutt Phillips? Did you figure of Apple configure out all of this? You know, and then I But I also realized that I had no idea about my clients. That's easier that waas So far we're starting over. I would follow the stuffs that I got for you. I am actually following those stuffs now. And when I moved to Mexico, you're half ago I saw one starting out my business over again. Have you have off more College has assisted clients. But I also hit laughed like people moving and I was no the buy local area here for what I did. And so I really in that way I was starting out that I was completely online and I was only about halfway online before I thought I was further along that I was in some way. So it's these exactly that stuff falling these days, and I get clients implies every every picture so hard core about not reached part core those flight of steps of like the finding your offer, finding the companies who use that kind of service making your offer, tracking it. Following up, that is, it has passed the work. So don't go, you know, spending time on Facebook, or you think you get to strap yourself in a 1,000,000 different ways that is the work and then put in the work and it will come back here. I had wasted a lot of time and unfocused market back in my earlier days. I'm not. When I was single that we're here Group out of it, read more weak for a while there on, Yes, I got clients out of that, and I did so that but it was most of it with one, you know, well projects. So that really wasn't sustainable either. So this is a fella consideration. I do want going, that's where do you want? You know what? Just projects like warehouse hot, and it's depending on your business. That could work really well. I mean, I know what signers were, you know, charging 25 $30,000 for Web design. So they obviously have half the money of agency. That is a different business model that one person show so long to person. You have a B A s. Oh, it's You have to think about the kind of business want half and as I you know and it's quick and more if it's gonna change, too. And that's OK. But where do you want to be in a year from now where you know that's going to dictate the kind of work you Now how you start your marketing? What's your offer? Who's offered to thank you? I would also are sorry all over today. I would brand myself with beginnings. It was especially constant, writer. I would make sure my website is widely marketed and incorporate those keyboards incorporate places. You know what I hold off on a CEO. I've been writing for the Web since 2005. Yeah, uh, I miss the boat entirely. There are so many people who have achieved more financial success, and I have in ah, shorter of our time because they came out of the gate and understood things like content marketing 100 according harping. I wasn't putting it on a website. I was so branding myself in that space and they were a neighbor cheek, um, or recognition for success. And then I have. And that's just like once I do are so it's like you learn regular and you learn and you are so it's perfect. You start where you are. You start with skills in half and you do what you can do and it's going for fast develop. I will say that I have achieved my goal was moving abroad. So I have achieved that and I would track my time. And like my ass is relentlessly because you know what? One of the things if you are you paid you charge by the hour you charged by the project. I usually charge by the project. So if you pay a flat rate and that works out for me, as long as I am able to write quickly and get it in in a reasonable amount of time, But I have to estimate my time, you are, you know, before I could do that so things that I've written on. A lot of topics that I can write quickly. Like for things like like those time. So my pet logs me right pretty quickly because I'm on top for So now if I take on something that's more technical don't Williams. I don't know and understand. Well, I'm gonna happen about research on it. That's more than longer. So that's going Teoh down my, my great, Great. Um, so that's something considered, too. So I would track my finances in my time I was talking about. Really? And so I was tracking doing the outreach and get clear on what you want. Offer huge, huge import. So go get up. You could do this. You connect with me on Twitter or Facebook here, we'll still share. Um, please follow me there. And I look forward. Teoh here. How you're OK. Thanks for being here.