How to find your first freelance customers – tips for beginners

Short description

An advertising manager was forced to leave their occupied territory due to a full-scale invasion by a terrorist state. They decided to try freelancing despite their doubts that they wouldn’t be able to compete with experienced freelancers. To increase their chances, they filled out their profile as much as possible, added a portfolio of their past work, and created a high-quality main photo. To become a perfect freelancer, they followed a checklist and took the initiative to bid on projects. After landing their first task, they earned their first income and started to gain more clients. With the Plus profile, they were able to stand out from the crowd and get more clients. Even in difficult times, a beginner freelancer can find clients with the right initiative and quality services.

How to find your first freelance customers – tips for beginners

I am an advertising manager. Due to a full-scale invasion by a terrorist state, he lost his job and was forced to leave the occupied territory. When he was already safe, the question arose of finding a new job. But now is not the best time for this, so I thought about freelancing, because I have experience in working with advertising, I am good at Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and my skills can help someone.

But the first opinion regarding freelancing:

“There will be no place for me. The entire flow of clients will go to those who have been freelancing for a long time and who have a high rating.”

But I decided to try anyway. Registered, filled out the profile as much as possible, added my past work to the portfolio.

First steps in service

After registration, I filled out all the information as much as possible. So I was able to get additional “stars” from the service and more trust from customers. Even if no one reads this, customers still don’t want to work with a noname. The client first of all wants to see in front of him a person with whom he can talk and work. So this first impression is very important. High-quality main photo, description of yourself and what you can give to others.

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Next, you need to take on a portfolio, this is also a very important point.

Where to get a portfolio for a beginner

For me personally, this was not such a difficult question. Although I just registered on the service, I used to work with graphics and had something to show. Although, on the other hand, most of the works were of the same type. Since I worked as a manager in a manufacturing company, I advertised only our products (equipment): equipment catalog, photo retouching with equipment, creatives and a website, of course, also with equipment. That is, all on one topic.

Prior to that, I also did something “on a sundress”, but these were already outdated works that I did not like. Therefore, I decided to dilute the portfolio with new works, and the themes … And I chose the themes for these works, imagining who could become a potential client: maybe a dental clinic needs a logo? Or is it an ad for sneakers? Yes, these are unreal clients, but these are my real works, showing my level, my style.

This will definitely help the future client understand what he will get from me. This will show your skills and advertise you as a specialist.

How to add work to portfolio? To do this, I have identified 4 necessary points:

  1. Title. It is important to make a clear catchy title. This is the first thing a potential client sees.
  2. Description. It is necessary to describe in detail your work included in the service, what exactly was done.
  3. Hashtags. If you put down hashtags, then the chance that customers will more likely find you in the freelance directory will increase.
  4. Price. With the current prices set, you will save both yourself and the client time.

Making bets

The client will not find you while you are a beginner, so you need to actively bet on the laid out projects. Fortunately, there is such an opportunity, and this opportunity must be used, to take the initiative into one’s own hands. It is important to carefully read the task, realistically assess the cost of the project and the deadlines. You don’t have to promise what you can’t deliver. And, of course, do not write template text in the rate. The customer must understand that you have at least read the assignment.

Freelancer Checklist: How to Create a Winning Bid

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First client

My first task was photo editing for a commercial firm. It was necessary to simply cut out the objects, put them on a white background. It was easy for me.

Although I did not have any feedback, I was able to get this task. To do this, he simply suggested that the customer make test pictures. There were more than 100 in total. The customer was satisfied with everything, we discussed the terms, and I received this project. So I got the first client and the first income – 50 euros!

After I received payment from my first client, my doubts about “only those who have been here for a long time and with a paid account earn here” dispelled. By the way, about the paid account. Looking closely at the advantages of the Plus profile, I realized that I need it. Although I was not going to pay for anything here, because the savings 🙂. But since I have already earned on the service without the Plus, it means that I can do more with the Plus. Looking at it as an investment, do not feel sorry for that money. So the very next month I was from Plus.

Why I liked Plus

From my first experience, I realized that it is very important to quickly bid on projects. It’s also important to stand out from the crowd. Because I’m not the only performer, but one of dozens of those who responded. And the seeing customer – several dozens of offers similar in price and term. Many leave a link to the portfolio, and now you need to go to each one, look for works on similar topics in the portfolio, and go back. And so 40 times!

Not everyone has the patience, so your portfolio may not be seen. And here I see the most important, in my opinion, advantage of the Plus profile – the ability to immediately add one image from the portfolio to the message, which will be appropriate. This greatly simplifies the first communication with a potential customer.

The subtleties of using Plus on Freelancehunt

Gathered information about the implicit Plus benefits that help freelancers work more efficiently on Freelancehunt and earn more.

Further more!

Already having meager, but experience, I continued to bet. Of course, not all projects were mine. But I started getting new clients. I tried to do everything with high quality, and if something didn’t fit in design, tastes didn’t match, I discussed it with the client, and made adjustments to get the desired result. Some people really liked my work, as well as the collaboration itself, and then they turned to me again through Personal Projects.

Is it possible to earn?

So, even now, in such a difficult time, a beginner can find clients. Despite the lack of reviews on the service, high ratings and considerable competition. So the main thing is act. Provide quality services, earn money and, of course, support the Armed Forces of Ukraine!

From the editor. If you liked the article and want to share yours too experience, write to us. We are waiting for your stories!

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