I’m not really in the habit of telling little white lies or giving the impression I’m the perfect freelancer. Telling porkies tends to only adds pressure to others (and a whole heap on myself). I like to be honest with you – whether it’s about the state of my accounts or a change in the approach I’m taking. I love freelancing, but it’s not all onesie Wednesdays and tweeting for brands.
So, here’s my truth this week: I have been a lazy freelancer in 2014…in terms of finding new clients. Work has been happily busy, but I’ve lapsed a little bit in terms of hunting down new clients. When things are going well, it’s easy to let these things slip – and you only realise when something happens to a regular client and you’re in a state of panic about finding more regular income.
Chatting in the Facebook group for my Freelance Lifestyle Ecourse Alumni, several others felt the same – whether they’re brand new freelancers or experienced. So, in the spirit of adopting an accountable approach where we can share tips and set ourselves goals, I’m renaming today ‘Pitch Slap Wednesday’. Today, I want to make step to hunting down some new clients – and I want you to join me!
So, here’s what to do. Choose three things from the list below, and put them into action today. There are a mix of tasks that take between a few minutes and a couple of hours, so even if you’re tight for time you should still be able to do something.
- Update social media bios with your latest info and keywords – 10 minutes
- Find a local networking event, and book your place/email the organiser – 45 minutes
- Update PeoplePerHour/Hourlie/website bidding site bios – 45 minutes
- Look up the hashtag for your local area on Twitter, and have a browse for potential opportunities. Tweet using the hashtag – 15 minutes
- Pull up Google, and look for the local business parks. Look at the businesses, and consider whether it’s worth dropping a leaflet/pack round to them in the next week with more information on what they do – 60 minutes
- Check out some of the groups on LinkedIn and Google+ that link up to the service or skill you offer – 30 minutes
- Check out the services page on your website. Is it doing you justice? Is it SEO friendly? Spend some time auditing it, and some time on Google Keywords working out which terms work best – 60-120 minutes
- Ask around – you’ll probably be surprised by how many of your friends and family don’t really understand what you do. Explain it in terms of what they’d need, and you’ll probably find one or two will have a lead for you – 60 minutes
- Check out some online job sites you’ve never used – 90 minutes
- Get in contact with previous clients, to see if they have any needs. Also, consider offering them a referral incentive if they don’t have anything for you but know someone who does – 30 minutes
- Consider a special offer – whether it be a 30 minute taster session, discount if they pre-book several months work or a free ebook when they purchase your services. – 30 minutes
- *NEW* Give LinkedIn Pulse’s new blogging platform a try – a great way to reach out to business contacts – 1 hour
- *NEW* Create a Slideshare presentation to share publicly (this is on my list today!) – 1 hour
- *NEW* Check in with your previous clients, to see if they have any needs – 30 minutes