How to Get Dream Clients: 12 Freelancers Share Their Best Hacks
We asked female freelancers, creatives, and consultants from around the world to share how they get dream clients.
Here’s what they said:
Monika Kanokova, Freelance Community and Content Strategist
It’s actually pretty simple. Start a side project. Do something you love (and tell everyone) that you want to be hired for.
Veronica Stoddart, Travel Editor & Content Marketing Consultant
The most effective way to get dream clients — and the way I’ve gotten my best ones — is through networking. It seems obvious, but it really does work. A consultant’s best contacts are those they already know in their own industry.
One of my favorite clients came via a professional colleague who approached me with a plum project, unsolicited. So take every advantage of your own network.
Emilie Badin, Lead Designer & Art Director
The pursuit of dream clients will fuel your design process to its highest iteration. Do not wait for their call. Anticipate their needs.
Invent new features, redesign popular apps, improve existing flows, come up with innovative concepts that stand one step ahead of their next product release. You have the power to unravel the new horizon. A strong portfolio showcases the future.
Madison Hanna, Founder of Curated Compass
If you’re on a digital platform designed for a specific purpose, don’t be afraid to color outside of the lines and get creative with how you want it to work for you.
I landed one of my dream clients through CouchSurfing. While I primarily use this app for what it’s designed for, housing and local cultural exchange, I was fortunate enough to attract the eye of my first client. I was clear in my profile description that I was traveling abroad as “a first-time digital nomad and was looking to connect with creative entrepreneurs who were in need of some PR/Marketing skills.”
My client was in town for a coworking conference and while he wasn’t hosting, he was looking to connect with interesting folks working remotely. We met up for coffee, and two hours later, I had a job offer.
Use your authentic voice whenever possible, and let people know what you’re all about, remember: there are no rules!”
Laura Oliver, Freelance Writer, Editor, and Digital Media Consultant
It goes without saying that you need to work hard to build a good portfolio and make sure you have your wish list of dream clients ingrained in your mind or close to hand. But in addition, it’s worth pushing yourself too. When I launched my freelance business a mentor recommended a one-off, business launch email to my entire contacts book. No one minds getting an update like that — it’s a great way to reconnect with people and put your work at the front of their minds.
I also try to challenge myself and pitch to dream publications regularly — especially in new markets as this will help strengthen my business as well as satisfying a personal goal. Each time, I research the business and try to find the right person to speak with.
Even if my pitch is rejected, sometimes it’s about making those contacts and learning how to improve your pitch for next time.
There is such a thing as a good rejection.
Lazarus Agency, A Digital Marketing Agency
For us, visiting the client has been very helpful. I know that is impossible for most digital agencies.
My partner and I were having beer at one of our favourite, small scale brewery. We were genuinely interested in their story and their process as we loved their beer. After talking for almost an hour and half about how they got started, their philosophy, and where they see themselves in the future , we got their business card. We are currently in conversation with them about next steps, but it’s amazing that showing interest in someone’s story can lead to better things. We also love their product so it is a win-win for us!
Amy Ahrens, SEO Freelance Writer
Honestly, my best clients are referrals from competent people that I have worked with previously! For clients that refer me often, I’ll send a handwritten thank you and Starbucks card or offer a freebie — like a blog post. It truly works wonders!
Milou van Roon, Founder of Explorista Media
My number 1 tip for getting dream clients is actually pretty boring: network! Make as many connections as possible. Get to know people. Help them. Don’t sell to them yet.
Just go to events, do public speaking, keep a blog: make sure to expand your network and more and more people know who you are and what you do.
People work with people they know and like.
Eventually the work will flow naturally to you!
Kimberly Erin, Travel Blogger
Be as personable as you can be within professional borders. There is nothing wrong with sharing a little personality with your clients, it helps to build trust between you and them. As human being, I believe we are attracted to a warmer tone than cold and robotic. Don’t be a robot, show them who you are.
Evie Smith, Founder of Rebellious PR
I think my two biggest tips in getting a dream client is that a) they do something you love and believe in. b) You jive with them — you can see a harmonious partnership or the opportunity to learn and grow with them.
Jenn Sharp, Freelance Journalist
Growing my personal network has been key to my success. I always pay attention to what people/businesses in my city are doing, and approach them with ideas for a communications strategy if and when it’s applicable. Clients have come out of interviews I was conducting for a different organization, too. There are usually people who need help with some kind of communication/media strategy — they just don’t know it yet!
Julianne Pepitone, Freelance Journalist
The best clients are those who are responsive, professional, and clear about their desires. So I hold myself to those standards! I pride myself on being reliable (which shows in my filing projects ahead of deadline), easy to work with (I want my client to know that when they hire me, it’s as good as done..and done well), and clear in my communications.
Conduct yourself as the consummate professional and you will attract clients who do the same.
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Originally published at gobehere.com.