By Steve Ridgeway
Being a freelancer has all kinds of perks, so it’s understandable so many people want to take this route. It gives you a great deal of autonomy over your life and how you earn your living. Of course, becoming a successful freelancer is really difficult, as it takes time to build a solid client base. What really propels you forward, though, is when your first client hires you. That first individual or company who hires you marks the start of your freelancing career. What’s the secret to getting that all important first gig? Here are a few techniques to help you reach this goal.
By now you should be able to see the importance of having a personal website. Having a website is an obligation, despite what type of freelancer you’d like to become. Sure enough, just putting up a website won’t cut it, if you want to get work. You need to ensure that people actually find out about your website. This hints at the amount of marketing and advertising that you’ll have to do.This indicates that you’ll have a lot of marketing and advertising work to do. Actually tell every person you know about the website you’ve put up. Call people on the telephone, transmit emails, etc. If you are lucky, even though some of the people you share the information with might not need it right away, it’s possible they know someone who does and they’ll recommend you.
Go job hunting! Check all the places where people seeking employment might search. Play the part of a typical job seeker, even though your real goal is to find a freelancing gig. You may find that someone who was planning to hire an employee might actually prefer a freelancer if they think about it. In many ways, employees are a lot more expensive and more of a hassle to deal with than freelancers. See what happens if you respond to “help wanted” ads by proposing the possibility of doing the work on a freelance basis.
Learn how to do cold calling. This is the name for calling a business without first getting permission and pitching yourself and your offerings and then asking if they might have any work for you. Figure out everything you can for this market. It is a more involved process than simply introducing yourself and asking for a job or a sale. There may need to be some friendly bantering with a receptionist. You have to learn the art of following up on the calls that actually make it through to the person you want to talk to. After you get the hang of things, however, you can use this to your favor by quite a lot.
It’s intimidating to have to seek out that first freelance job. It’s hard to figure out your starting point or what you need to do. It’s a good idea to start out with the techniques we’ve taught you in this article. From here it’s a matter of whether or not you’re willing to keep learning. You are going to be able to find all sorts of things that will help you reach those first few clients and then, before you know what has happened, your business will be out of control and wildly successful.