Land Your First Paying Client In 8 Hours

Without Awkwardness — and Without Spending a Dime

Cody Libolt
For the New Christian Intellectual
12 min readFeb 22, 2019


Land your first paying client in 8 hours?

  • Without awkwardness?
  • Without spending any money?
  • Without setting up a complicated “funnel”?

Here’s how: It’s called the 8 Hour Method.

To make this work, just follow the steps below. You’ll get there in just 8 hours of work.

Since you’re reading this, I will assume you want a paying client. What needs to happen for you to get that?

  • You need something to sell.
  • You need to be considered credible at that thing.
  • You need to talk to someone who wants it — so you can make an offer.

I created the 8 Hour Method as a way to get you to that first paying client.

Why? Because once you land a client, your self-perception changes. You will feel like the world has opened up.

I want to get you there.

This plan is so simple that anyone with a computer can do it. It requires no unique skill. Just the choice to do it.

Here’s the plan in outline, followed by a set of appendices to walk you through the steps in full detail.

1. Set up a viral giveaway using the free tool KingSumo. It’s quick and easy to do. I’ll walk you through all the steps in Appendix A at the bottom of this article.

2. Set the giveaway so you will pick one winner who will receive a free Platform Deep Dive and Review. You’re going to invite people who already have a website or YouTube channel to enter your giveaway. (Later you’ll get more details in Appendix B.)

The winner will get your in-depth input on the pros and cons of his existing work in your opinion.

This kind of feedback is something nearly every creative person wants but doesn’t get enough of. And it’s something that you can provide without any special training. You just need to give your honest feedback as a normal user.

You will deliver that feedback in whatever form you like: written, recorded as a quick video, or via a phone call. You’ll see more about how to deliver the Platform Deep Dive and Review in Appendix C.

3. Set the contest to run for just 3 days. (You are only going to put 8 hours of time into this project, but you will do the project over 3–4 days.)

4. As the viral giveaway is running, prepare to contact people individually. Use this short timeframe as the occasion to reach out to people by text message, email, and Facebook and individually let them know you have set up your first giveaway, and you wanted them to see it before time runs out.

You’ll write something like this:

Hey, I created my first big giveaway promotion. I hope you’ll check it out — and even give it a share if you like it. The giveaway closes at midnight on Thursday. Here’s the link:

It’s as simple as that. The key is to send this message to as many people as possible — and hopefully send it to people who may be interested in getting that free Platform Deep Dive and Review.

It’s a numbers game. You don’t need to get 100 entrants. Maybe just 10 people actually interested. But you’ll need to send the invite to 100–200 people.

5. Identify the people and send your outreach message. For directions on how to do this, you’ll use Appendix B: Four Easy Ways to Invite People to Your Giveaway.

6. Once the contest ends, notify the winner and deliver your Platform Deep Dive and Review. (You’ll find directions for this in Appendix C). After doing the review, you’ll also ask them if they found it helpful. In Appendix D you’ll get a guide for how to collect a great testimonial.

7. From among the entries to your viral giveaway go find a paying client! You will have generated a number of entries. That is a list of email addresses of people who wanted a free Platform Deep Dive and Review. That’s a good sign that they may become a client. Email each of them and let them know that although they were not drawn as the winner for the contest, you’d like to talk with them about their platform goals by phone.

8. Get on the phone with anyone who says yes to that email.

Over the phone, ask them the following:

  1. What are you working on?
  2. What’s a quantifiable goal for this project in 30 or 60 days?
  3. What is keeping you from getting to that goal?
  4. Would you like my help getting there?
  5. Would you like to hear about how I can help you?

It’s time to make the sale! What do you have to offer them? Do their needs fit with your abilities?

If nothing else, you could simply offer them their own Platform Deep Dive and Review for a discount from the normal price. For instance, you could explain that the in-depth review and report is an $180 value, but because they entered your contest and helped spread the word, you’d like to offer it for $99.

Since you’ve already done one of these reviews as a free giveaway prize, you will know how to do it — and you will be able to point to someone else who had a positive experience working with you. You can even show new clients the testimonial you generated from that first free client.

You’ll likely have other ideas about how you can help clients. Maybe you’ll want to work as a freelance copywriter or web-designer. If you’re out of ideas, see Appendix E for a list of freelancing ideas.

9. Make an offer. Explain your fee based on value, not time. But make sure you’re getting paid at least $60/hour for the time it will take to complete the work. Keep in mind that your fee has to cover the work it took to locate and sell to the client as well as the work of delivering what the client buys. Send an invoice via PayPal.

10. Once they have paid your fee, congratulations! You have your first client.

By now, you likely have a list of other contacts and leads to work from. You may bring in referrals from your earlier contacts. Plus you have that original list of entrants to your viral giveaway.

Make sure you’re doing top-quality work and seeking a good testimonial from each person you work with. Ask the clients the questions in Appendix D to make sure you get the testimonial worded in the best way for your future use.

Keep finding new clients! You can do this.

Happy Freelancing!


Appendix A — Exact Steps To Set Up Your KingSumo Giveaway
Appendix B — Five Easy Ways to Invite People to Your Giveaway
Appendix C — How to Deliver the Platform Deep Dive and Review
Appendix D — How to Collect a Great Testimonial
Appendix E — 20 Freelancing Ideas

Appendix A — Exact Steps To Set Up Your KingSumo Giveaway

For this giveaway, we’re doing a Platform Deep Dive and Review. The premise is that good clients are people who already have a platform of some kind. If they have a platform, that shows that they have good follow-through skills and some level of commitment and a desire to accomplish something. This is the kind of person who may be willing to pay for your help.

Nearly any person who is creating an online platform would be interested in feedback on his platform. You can help shine a spotlight on it.

If you want to make the Platform Deep Dive and Review private, you can do that. But you also have the option to make it public. With permission from the winner, you could write a blog post reviewing the pros and cons you saw. Or you could make a short YouTube video.

If you stay positive, this public review is an easy way to grow your credibility with onlookers. When you talk about what other people are doing right, it positions you as someone “in the know.” Other people may be attracted to your work because they desire to appear in that spotlight too.

For more about how to deliver the Platform Deep Dive and Review, there is Appendix B. But for now, let’s work on setting up the viral giveaway tool. This tool is going to help you get the word out about your freelancing services in a way that brings in clients and doesn’t feel awkward.

Instead of approaching someone and saying, “Hi, do you need any freelancing work?” you are approaching them saying, “I’m excited about this big giveaway we’re doing. Would you like to know the details?” You’re inviting them to look at something that is already happening right now — and something that has a deadline.

I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you to create the viral giveaway. I’m even providing a template for the words and image to use as you set it up. You can use exactly what I give you — or you can make something similar for yourself.

You’re going to be giving away a service that is valued at around $180 — a Platform Deep Dive and Review. It will take about 1–2 hours of your time to provide this service, but it is high value.

Here is a photo sample that says “Win Your Own Platform Deep Dive and Review.” You can use this as is, or make a similar one for free at

Now go to and create your free account.

Let’s walk through how to create the giveaway. (By the way, if you’d like to get on video conference and walk through these steps together, just let me know. I may be able to help you.)

Quick Note: You are also able to add a link to a free bonus for all entrants. If you have a lead magnet or something that somewhat fits in this context, feel free to link to it and call it a “Bonus for every participant.”

Here’s what we have to work with…

Front Page:
The header image (I provided a sample above)
A big space for a title: Win a Personalized Platform Review
Value: $180
Winners: 1
Time Left: 3 days

Description text: Win a personalized platform review. We’ll do a deep-dive into the things that are working best about your blog or video channel and share quick action items for what to do next or improve. This is a $180 value to help grow your platform.

(Plus: If you’re adding some lead magnet bonus: “All participants receive FREE immediate access to X BONUS.”)

Link to your website:

Thank You Page:
You are able to add a link to “share,” “like,” or click in the following ways:

Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Messenger
Share via Email
Like us on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter
Subscribe to my channel on YouTube
Subscribe to my Podcast (This can go to any URL)
Link (This can go to any URL, so this could be your lead magnet or email newsletter opt-in)

Use any of the above options that fit your existing online presence.

Click save. Click around to see your options for sharing. The giveaway form can be embedded in a website or shared as a link by itself.

Now you’re going to need to share that link all around. No one will find out about your viral giveaway until you tell them about it. Appendix B will give specific steps.

Appendix B: Five Easy Ways to Invite People to Your Giveaway

A. Send the message to anyone who regularly sends you an email newsletter. Hit reply to the email and send this: Hey, I created my first big giveaway promotion. I hope you’ll check it out — and even give it a share if you like it. The giveaway closes at midnight on Thursday. Here’s the link:

B. Find people who already have a YouTube channel, including anyone to whom you are subscribed. Go to their main channel page and look in the “About” section to see if they have a website, then email them, same as above.

C. Send a message to anyone you know personally in your phone messages or Facebook messages who may possibly be interested in blogging or starting or growing an audience, same as above.

D. Send your outreach message to general friends and family who could at least share the viral giveaway with someone else who could be interested, same as above. This is not awkward. You removed the awkwardness by making it something you’re already doing. You’re just inviting them to check out something you created.

E. Share the link on your own social media accounts or send it to your own email list or the list of anyone willing to partner with you. Super Tip: Incentivize partnerships by offering to include their lead magnet as a freebie in your giveaway. This also saves you the time of having to create your own lead magnet, so it’s win-win.

Appendix C — How to Deliver the Platform Deep Dive and Review

You have options for delivering your prize. On the day you set, KingSumo will report a winner. You have their email address, so contact them to say congratulations and let them know you’d like to set up a time to do the Platform Deep Dive and Review with them. Decide which kind of feedback you prefer to give or which options to offer, choosing from:

  • Phone interview
  • YouTube review
  • Email review
  • Etc.

In any case, ask them the following questions to get started:

  • What site would you like me to review?
  • What are the main reasons you created this?
  • Who is your ideal viewer?
  • What are you proud of about the project?
  • Are you looking for a particular kind of feedback?
  • Is there anything else you’d like me to know as I get started?

Then take an hour on your own to do a dive deep looking over their website or YouTube channel and writing your thoughts about it. Put this into the form you’d like to present it, and deliver your Platform Deep Dive and Review.

Don’t forget to collect a testimonial while you’re delivering the review. For tips on that, see Appendix D.

Appendix D — How to Collect a Great Testimonial

Close to the end of your project, let the client know part of your process is to do a project review with the client to make sure they received the best quality of experience. Ask if you can talk with them by phone to talk through a few survey questions.

This format is helpful for getting the kind of answers useful for a testimonial quotation. Here are the questions to ask:

  1. What were you focused on before we did this Platform Deep Dive and Review?
  2. What was it like as you were trying to work on that?
  3. What was different once you got the chance to see the Platform Deep Dive and Review?

4. How is this experience going to shape your work moving forward?

5. What is different now for you now?

Right after asking these questions, this would be the best time to ask if they know anyone whom they could refer to you. If so, suggest that you could send an email and they could forward it along to their friend.

Appendix E — 20 Freelancing Ideas

  1. Platform Consultant: Offer your Platform Deep Dive and Review as a regular paid service. (And create free ones, solicited or even unsolicited to get your name out.)
  2. Freelance Copywriter: Write the words that others need for making sales.
  3. Line Editor: Spell check someone’s book or blog.
  4. Guest Host: Be a guest interviewer for someone else to help them make a recorded presentation.
  5. Outreach Assistant: Content creators are often looking for opportunities to meet other content creators and find guest interviews. Offer to help make initial contact on behalf of someone else.
  6. Transcriptionist: Type out a transcription of someone’s podcast or other recorded material.
  7. Content Assistant: Help someone take 10–15 articles from their site and reshape them into a mini-book.
  8. PDF Book Designer: Take a blog post and expand it into a PDF lead magnet book.
  9. Slide Show Designer: Offer to take someone’s slide deck material for a speech, a SlideShare presentation, or a webinar and give it a makeover it to increase the visual interest with images.
  10. Audio Assistant: Offer to edit someone’s podcast recording in GarageBand to remove any long pauses, repetitions, “ums,” or coughs.
  11. Social Media Assistant: Offer to help someone with the administrative work of their Facebook page or group, including creating a content schedule and setting up automated posts for them.
  12. Designer for Social Media Graphics: Create text overlays on images as title cards for their podcast episodes and blog posts.
  13. Email Outreach Assistant: Offer to help someone set up or manage their email newsletter.
  14. Web Assistant: Offer to audit someone’s website to check for broken links and any other issues the owner would want to know about.
  15. Web Designer: Help someone with back-end website tasks ranging from getting a new feature to work or solving a specific problem to improving the overall layout, organization, and aesthetic or even installing a new theme and setting up all the needed features.
  16. Web Manager: Take a task from the shoulders of the writer by entering the material into the website, checking for errors, and publishing it.
  17. Funnel Designer: Help the person install a lead magnet at their homepage or a content upgrade within specific blog posts.
  18. Search Engine Optimizer: Help someone optimize their site for search engines.
  19. Videographer/Video Editor: Operate the camera and create finished videos.
  20. Coach: Teach someone how to do something you can do.

Thank you for reading!

If you need my help setting up you KingSumo giveaway, reach out to me here.

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy 5 Mistaken Beliefs that Keep You From Blogging — And What To Do Instead.



Cody Libolt
For the New Christian Intellectual