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4 tips to getting Leads for your Freelance Business | ❤️ Dil se Designer - Issue #4
In this issue, I talk about how you can get leads for your Freelance Business.
Being a freelancer is trendy in 2022 and will continue to do so. There’s a reasonable adoption rate of freelancing in the past few years compared to what it was over a few more years.
But, there’s also a big audience considering taking a plunge into the world of freelancing. As per a survey conducted by Upwork, more than 50% of the people said they would love to switch to being a full-time freelancer.
The number of freelancers is increasing. But that number is still not so huge, and if you’re considering being one, there’s a lot of potential.
But here’s one of the first questions that I get asked by almost all of the budding freelancers -
Toh bhai, how to get leads as a freelancer who’s just starting out?
I will share my perspective as a designer who has been a freelancer for some time before turning it into a full-time agency
But before we begin, I hope you have 3 things in place.
A stacked-up resume - Or these days, a complete LinkedIn profile
Your portfolio - This can be a bunch of work while you were working for someone else or some of your favourite mock projects.
Social proof - Try collecting testimonials for your mock work or your previous managers. You can collect them seamlessly on Rivista - A product on which me and my team have been working over the last 8 months and is out for beta. Reply back to know more details about this.
So if you have those three things in place, well, woohoo, you’re all set to start. If not, read on, take notes, and go back to work mode to check the above list.
Now with that cleared off the line, let’s dive into those 4 tips with which you can find leads as a freelancer.
1. Ask in your network
Yes, give yourself a task to ask. If you have been working as a professional in the industry, start putting the word out amongst your colleagues. If you want to continue your job and do this as your side gig, consider telling your friends or colleagues from your previous office about your new side hustle.
Here in India, we’re scared about asking or letting people know about our gig because of ridiculous reasons.
Arre yaar nahi chala toh log kya bolenge - Fuck log dude! Who cares. If you fail, you learn. But what if it clicks. Remember it will take time but chances of it working out is directly proportional to the amount of confidence and trust you have in yourself.
Arre zyada batao toh toh log nazar lagate - In all honesty, there’s nothing like buri nazar. There are only reasons, one after the another, to cover up your failures.
Chacha bol rahe hai bank ki exam pe dhyaan do - No offence but zara chacha ko poochna kitna hi kamate hai wo aur kitna hi maza aata hai unhe bank me note ginke logo ko dene me. (Shayad offensive hogaya 🤪)
FFS, ye sab stereotypes ko hatao. Aur apne kaam ke baare me logo ko batao
2. Do a low-cost project to get a real client testimonial
Finding a high-ticket client can be frustrating in the initial days. Trust me, even though if you start with some backup money in your bank account you might start feeling a little anxious with no incoming in the first couple of months. Toh kaisa karna?
Fikar not. Try lowering your rates for your premium offering in the initial days.
For example, if you were pitching web design services for $1000 and your success rate was 0, then maybe try going as low as $200 or $300 for the first couple of projects OR consider working for some non-profits for free of cost.
Remember your only objective in doing this is to get some real work for your portfolio along with some real client testimonials.
These platforms are great to start with.
Bas ek dikkat hai (which in my opinion is a good dikkat).
It's a marketplace full of competitors, and to win projects, you will have to improve your writing and communication skills.
I started with combining these 2 platforms only because thodi angrezi kyaa aagayi thee mujhe, apne ko laga apanich bramha! Only to realise that combining this with networking would have given me massive gains.
I made around $15000 in the first 18 months and I was over the moon. But what I earned from this experience was brilliant. I had done over 100 projects (including both small and big) and learned about a market which I never thought existed in the first place.
4. Outreach as an expert
This is also a very powerful strategy if you're doing it with meaning. Here's a very practical example.
I love doing UX for SaaS products. So I started looking for SaaS products that might need some help in this area. I got 2 clear platforms where my target clients were already marketing their products.
I picked applications where there was a scope of improvement from UX point of view. Then -
I used to use the free version of the application for 1-hour max
Note down things where I feel things could have been done better
I went on their website to see how they are communicating their ideas and features to the general audience
Record a loom video of all the gaps that I felt
And send it to their publicly visible email address with my notes and mentioning to reach out if they need help.
I did this around 40 times.
I got 3 clients where I did complete UX work for their new version of the product.
I helped 4 product founders, and I charged them hourly for my consultation.
Now that, gave me good revenue. $15,000+.
Cool right? But before I started doing such outreach, I already invested some time on my social presence and my website which I used as a point of reference for these emails.
So try talking about a specific niche, see where your clients are hanging out and then outreach with an intent to solve their problem which will automatically place you as an expert in the eyes of a few.
Well, toh ye raha! My 4 clear-cut strategies of how you can get leads as a freelancer who's just starting out.
So, where are you in your freelancing journey right now...
If you're not freelancing, then are you thinking about it?
I will look forward to all of your responses.
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