When people know I freelance and run Studio Flurry, the first question is always the same: “How do you find your clients?” The simple answer is hustle. The tactical answer is detailed below.
1. Tell people you’re freelancing
Surprisingly, most people don’t do this. Just waiting for folks to knock on your digital door isn’t going to work. Taking tactical steps that strategically inform your network will.
- Post on your social media channels, including LinkedIn.
- Message every one of your LinkedIn contacts in your industry and tell them you’re freelancing. (Seriously, this is huge!)
- Visit contacts.google.com and export your 100 frequent contacts. Email them to let them know you’re freelancing.
This can take up to 2 weeks depending how fast you move. Let them know you’re now freelancing full-time and spending some time letting your network know. Ask if they know anyone looking for your skillset.
2. Set an achievable & specific goal
When I first started freelancing, I focused on an achievable goal: make enough to cover my rent each month. I ended up making more, but this helped me hit an initial milestone quickly.
Set a goal that’s achievable for you. Avoid pie-in-the-sky goals and do something near-term. You want to get feedback quickly. Honestly, I think a goal to cover your monthly costs of living is a great starting point.
After you hit that, you can set a new goal for savings, retirement, or other things.
3. Learn a little about “business”, sales, & negotiation
You don’t need to read every book, or even all of a book. The goal is to understand some basics so you can communicate prices confidently and clearly.
Confusion and doubt over how much you charge, when you bill, and whether you can deliver will make it hard to land projects. Don’t “just wing it”.
If a client asks you for cost-related info, be prepared to offer a competitive hourly rate or a clear framework for them to understand how cost is calculated. If you have absolutely no sense of a reasonable hourly rate, then start with a tool like this freelance rate explorer aggregated from real data.
Good luck! If you want some personalized coaching and strategy for your freelance/agency ambitions, I offer a few 1-hour sessions the first Friday of most months. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.