How can I find my first freelance clients?

This is a question I get asked very often, so I’ve decided to share my collection of the most effective strategies that will help you get started:

Cold emailing

Find people in your niche and personally contact them. This is the most straightforward way to begin, finding people who are likely to need your service and making a personalized offer is free and very effective.

Content Marketing + Social Media.

Write a blog or make a YouTube channel, share free value, submit links to Hacker News or subreddits, use your posts to advertise your service’s landing page. This can be combined with smart PR/Influencer marketing(guest blog for people, get people to share your content), and SEO(think about long-tail very niche keywords that you can rank for).

Engineering as marketing

Create open source or free software that your potential clients will want to use, use it to drive traffic to your page. Look at draw.io or chapp.is for a great example.

Facebook ads

Facebook ads may not be the best long term strategy, but they are an excellent way to quickly test your landing page and see how well it converts. Target audience in your niche, make an appealing ad, and spend a few buck sending traffic to your page, it’s very easy.

Collaborate

Find people who already have clients, and offer them to work on projects together(for example you can contact app designers and offer them development services).

Referrals and word of mouth

This is kind of a chicken and the egg problem at the beginning, but after you have your first clients, they might bring more business or recommend more clients. Consider giving people heavy discounts at the beginning, if you think they will bring you more business in the future.


Do you have questions about building and growing an online business? Send them to advice@startuplab.io, and I will answer the best ones in my future posts!

Receive weekly digest of my best posts!