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6 tips to help tech freelancers build a client base

Sarah K. White | Jan. 4, 2017
Freelancing is a great opportunity to be your own boss and create a flexible schedule. These six tips will help you build a reliable client base.

Just as you would with any other job, make it clear why you think you're the best fit to work on future assignments. Make sure you sell yourself to the client by emphasizing your unique set of skills and how excited you are at the potential to work on future projects. "If they say no, you really haven't lost anything. But if they say yes, you could land yourself a job for the long haul," says Mizzi.

Connect with other freelancers

When building your network as a freelancer, don't focus on only potential clients. You should also build connections with other freelancers in your industry. It's not only a great way to get keyed in to new freelancing gigs, but if you can't finish a project for a client, it looks more professional if you can pass the opportunity off to another trusted freelancer. In fact, Mizzi says that in her experience, some of the best freelancing gigs she's landed have come from other freelancers in her network.

"I have had several freelancing jobs passed on to me from other freelancers who weren't able to complete the assignment at the time. It looks more professional when you're unable to complete an assignment to find a trusted replacement, rather than to reject an offer for work outright," she says.

Specialize on specific skills

With a growing demand for specialized technical skills, more businesses are turning to freelancers to fill those needs on new projects and initiatives. If there's a certain skills gap in the industry, you can jump in and fill that role for businesses who can't find that skill internally or in potential candidates.

"As more business moves online, local talent pools can't keep up, resulting in jobs taking multiple months to fill. At the same time, there are many skilled freelancers living outside of these cities also looking for work," says Rich Pearson, senior vice president of Marketing and Categories at Upwork.

Focusing on specific skills can also help you find communities or industries where your skills are needed the most. Instead of targeting across the board, if you use this focused approach, Falstad says it becomes easier to land new clients and build a reputation.

"I worked in the music industry for years and relate it to how a band typically finds success. Every person you meet who is active in the space and understands your offering is like a fan. It is worth the time to cultivate those relationships and be sure they understand you and know what you offer. Then, when they hear of a need, you will be at the top of their list and they will be happy to make the referral," he says.


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