Tips on how to get the clients and jobs you like
As a freelancer, I started to look at different ways to get clients. I realized that is not good to have only one source for new projects and I did something about it. These are the 5 things I did to find awesome jobs and better clients:
CREATE AN ONLINE AND PRINT PORTFOLIO THAT YOU ARE PROUD TO SHOW AROUND
In the first 3 years of freelancing my website was a mess. I had too many examples of my work, I didn’t have a specific style and I was applying for too many different jobs. Although I was specialized in Infographics, for some reason, I thought would be important to show everything I worked on.
I recently updated my portfolio and I decided to show off the work that I am really proud of and represents me the best. If you look at my website www.cotici.com you will see clearly what represents me and the work I prefer. I designed a clean, minimalist website because I am a minimalist designer. I showcase infographics, presentations and magazines because this is what I like to create!
If you look, you will notice I am showing the clients that are recognizable. I have worked with many other important brands but unfortunately I cannot showcase the work in my portfolio for various reasons, confidentiality being one of them.
GO OUT AND DO SOME NETWORKING
I know you heard this before. Trust me, it works. Networking means making acquaintances, making connections, starting conversations and eventually discovering if you can help somebody, somehow.
When I go networking, I do not go out thinking “I am gonna come back with 10 clients”. I would be constantly disappointed!
I like to mingle and see if there are people I resonate with and if I can actually learn something from them.
To be honest, I am a functional introvert and I am having a hard time socializing for a long period of time but I am going to at least 6 events in a year, just to get out of my comfort zone and meet some interesting people that might help me extend network and knowledge.
APPLY ON UPWORK
Upwork became one of my main income sources. As your website, your Upwork profile must represent exactly who you are and what you do. I try to update it every 6 months. For me, applying for Upwork is like chatting with a friend. It seems so easy and so natural to connect and sort out the people I would like to work with.
I search only for “infographics” “annual reports” “brochure” “ebook” “deck” and '“presentation”. I already have a category for all these keywords and I can only see project that are over 200 dollars.
LinkedIn became more of a job and business to business platform. Many professionals are gathered on this platform and create digital networks. It is important you have a well rounded profile, even if you are not planning to apply for certain jobs. I’ve had clients who checked out my Linkedin before hiring me for a job on Upwork.
GET REFERRED BY OTHER PEOPLE
50% of the work I received this year was because someone referred me to someone else. I receive big contracts that I never even thought about because someone liked me. It was not always like this.
I believe the reason I got referred was because I was professional, not necessarily because I was keeping my head down. People appreciate when you are being professional in a shitty situation and not letting emotions get in the way.
I am thinking about writing an article about how I stopped letting emotions get in between my success and my goals. Interested?
The key to be referred by other people is to be nice and professional, even when things go down hill. Also, keeping in touch is also important. Every year, I send a personalized email to my top 10 favourite clients and I try to express my gratitude and how much I value our professional relationship!
It is not always a client who can refers you. It can be another designer. I am part of an amazing graphic design community in PEI and I am so so thankful for that. There were a few times a colleague sent a client my way and there were times when I sent clients to other designers. Sometimes, a client needs someone specialized and this is when you can actually help a client without doing the work yourself.
I hope this helped!
I hope you get the clients you want when you want them!
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send me an email or comment below!
Start freelancing! Live your dream!