A freelancing business like any other business needs a lead pipeline. Meaning you must have clients coming in constantly so that your revenue keeps on increasing or at least be viable.
However, most businesses have a sales team that does the job of hunting and bringing new business. But as a freelancer, you are that person. You need to generate leads as a freelancer.
So if you don’t know how to sell your services, it’s going to be hard for you to survive. As a successful freelancer, you need to identify potential clients, market yourself, reach out to your prospects and seal the deal.
But at the same time, you can’t spend all of your time generating leads as a freelancer. You’ve your projects to work on and deadlines to meet.
That’s why we are going to offer you methods through which you can create a lead pipeline. So that you don’t have to spend all your time on marketing.
And by the end of the article, you’ll be getting more clients and hopefully conversions.
1. Create free content
Now you might be thinking: “I don’t have time to create YouTube videos…” And nobody is telling you to do that, although you can but let’s discuss that later.
For now, you can start with social media. And even if you can’t manage to create content on every platform, we highly recommend you to start with LinkedIn only.
Why LinkedIn? Because LinkedIn is the hottest platform to generate leads as a freelancer right now. And you can read this article for proof.
So let’s talk about content on LinkedIn and how does it work.
You see, when you create content on LinkedIn, thousand of prospects see your content. And these potential clients are searching for freelancers themselves. So it’s just a matter of ‘being visible’.
For that, you need to create free content. Here’s how you can create content on LinkedIn to get more clients:
- Share text-based post on LinkedIn which shows that you have mastered your skills
- Create helpful posts for your fellow freelancers so that prospects see you as an expert
- Text-based content works best on LinkedIn. Meaning you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating content.
- Do it regularly even if you are generating your targeted leads as a freelancer.
If you want to learn more about creating content on LinkedIn or building your personal brand. We highly recommend you to go through this blog.
2. More than LinkedIn
Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the best platform to generate leads as a freelancer. But what if you don’t want to limit yourself on LinkedIn only.
What if you want to get more business or just build your personal brand even bigger. In that case, we recommend you to go all the way and create content on:
You can also target Facebook but it highly depends on the demographics of your targeted clients.
Instagram is still a relevant place to get your personal brand going and will help you get good results. Twitter on the other hand is quite different but you should definitely target that also especially if you are looking to generate international leads.
At last, we have YouTube. Now YouTube will take a lot of time and it can get hard to manage both freelancing and YouTubing. However, If you can manage to grow your channel, you can easily set yourself apart from 90% of the competition from your niche.
When you make it on YouTube, you instantly become bigger. Your prospects will be able to recognize you easily and you can charge more for your social status.
Not to mention that there are other perks of joining a YouTube community. You get sponsorship, ad money, and more recognition.
3. Cold outreach still works
What if you don’t want to do all the hassle of creating content and giving it some time to work. If that’s the case, cold outreach should be your sharpest weapon.
However, some people believe that cold emailing or outreaching doesn’t work and it’s not a sustainable method to generate leads as a freelancer.
That’s simply not true. Cold outreach is a numbers game and depends on how you do it. For example, according to statics, the average response rate of cold emailing is 1-5%.
But that number depends on certain factors which influence your success rates. This simply means that you can work on these factors to improve your success rate. Here’s how:
a. Tailor-made your emails
It’s that simple, really. A personalized email gets more engagement.
If you’re sending emails based on your client’s avatar, you’ll increase your chances of getting a reply.
But how do you personalize your emails?
Make the email look like it was sent just for them. Create a personalized subject line that includes their name. The body of the email should be focused on ‘how well you can serve their business to grow’ or ‘how your services are going to help the client’s business’.
When you do that, you’re suggesting to your prospects that you took the time to research and you care about their business. All these things not only increase your chances of getting a reply but hopefully conversion also.
b. Include a call to action
When you send a personalized email, you don’t just want it to be read. But you need to make sure that the reader has some kind of action to take so that the chances of getting a reply increases.
Therefore, including a powerful call to action is crucial.
Although there are no rules when it comes to the word count. But it should be short, specific, and action-oriented.
For example, you can always end your CTA with something like this:
- Let me know when can we start
- Let’s discuss your project now!
- Let’s have a discussion, it’s free!
If you want your CTAs more powerful, add these elements:
- Create scarcity. Leverage FOMO (fear of missing out)
- Use numbers. Offer them discounts for a limited time
- Add emotions. Let me know how their business will be profitable
- Avoid “I and me” use “You”. Make the email customer-oriented.
Let’s move on to the next step – how to generate leads as a freelancer.
4. Following up will help you convert
Remember when we said that you need to maintain a pipeline? So that you always have clients coming up. This is one of the most important parts of that.
Generating leads as a freelancer isn’t just about getting leads, but you need them to convert afterwords. And for that, you need to follow up.
But we get shy when we have to ask again if they are interested or not. It almost feels like you’re stalking them or just disturbing them. However, it doesn’t work like that.
In fact, interested clients would expect you to send a follow-up email or text. Because we’re all busy, and sometimes we get distracted. That’s why it’s your duty to send a follow-up and check on them.
Think about it. What can go wrong? They might say no or just don’t reply. And that’s fine because you’re running a business and business is about numbers and probability.
You can make a folder for awaiting responses. When someone responds to your cold email, thank them for responding and reply with a follow-up email asking for more information. Do not overlook the importance of CTAs in this situation also.
You can now file this email away in your pending reply folder. This way, you can keep track of your follow-ups by date and other details, and you can send the follow-up again if necessary. Successfully following up is crucial to generate leads as a freelancer
Side note. When writing a follow-up, make sure you are doing these things:
- Understanding your goals
- Including a CTA
- Writing a relevant subject line
5. Maintain a good name
As a freelancer, you need to get bigger. You need to establish yourself so that more people come to you and ask for your services. This happens over a long period of time.
Your old clients will refer you to more people. You’ll be winning more recommendations and your personal branding will become a badge of trust.
All these things will help you to generate leads as a freelancer. Not just leads, but premium clients. At this point, you won’t have to worry about generating leads as a freelancer. But you’d need to filter them so that you work with the best clients only.
This happens when you maintain a good name in your industry. What does that mean?
It means you care about:
- Providing quality to your clients
- Sustaining your favorite clients
- Building a good relationship with your clients
- Your name and not just run towards making more money
Maintaining a good name in the freelancing industry should be your top priority. You should focus on the long run. Your strategy should be to satisfy your customers.
What is the benefit of mastering your skills if nobody asks for your services? It really sucks when you’re good at providing value but you don’t get any leads or conversions.
These were some of the most practical and actionable ways to generate leads as a freelancer.
Make sure that you’re implementing these techniques on a daily basis. And remember to take action!