As the gig economy is growing, many freelancers these days find it challenging to consistently generate good leads. Especially for the ones who are just beginning with their career, generating new business is one of the hardest parts of freelancing.
Along with being really good at what you are doing, you also need to go out there and get more leads. It won’t matter if you are perfect at what you do until you start to market yourself and people have heard of you. Being a freelancer is not easy. While businesses have their sales team, you are on your own through this whole process. To grow your network and get more leads, you need to identify potential clients, approach them, convince them and then sign a contract with them.
Freelance lead generation is difficult because you are looking for prospects who value your work and adhere to the payment deadlines. Finding new qualified clients is a time-consuming process. You need to invest in attracting new ideal clients. While there are numerous ways available to find potential clients, the point is to figure out what works the best for you. Start with creating a list of characteristics of your ideal clients and figure out the niche that you want to target for your lead generation. Once you have this ready, you are set to enter the highly-competitive market.
Read this article further as we outline a few major strategies to help you with lead generation and increased conversion rates.
#1 Leverage the opportunities online
Most experienced freelancers say that they have got the best opportunities by staying active on social media channels and by exploring various forums and platforms like Refrens.com. It is one of the most effective ways to generate business without spending a lot of money and by investing your time.
You have your target audience online, you just need to consistently stay online and know where to look for the kind of leads you are seeking. For example, if you are a digital marketer look for LinkedIn or Facebook groups to join in or participate in forums like Quora. Stay online by regularly sharing your relevant experiences, knowledge, tips on these groups. Doing this will help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche and a trustworthy person. Remember that building relationships is crucial for generating new leads.
#2 Look for referrals
One of the best ways to generate leads for your freelancing business is by leveraging your existing network and asking for more and more referrals. Some of your clients have probably been in the trade for a long time and have an extensive network of people who are likely to require your services. If you satisfy your clients, there is a high chance that they will refer you to their network; due to this, leads generated via referrals have the highest conversion rates.
Do not feel awkward to ask for referrals; the customers need to be reminded that you are looking for opportunities and would appreciate a referral. Try and seal it before your project with the client is over, as you are fresh in their mind at that time. Through asking for referrals, you can stay in contact with past clients and get repeated business from them along with getting new leads.
#3 Cold Calling/Emailing
It is time to start pitching to new prospects and one of the most reliable ways to do it is through cold outreach. Search and lookout for people who you think will be interested in your services. Send them an email or call them directly. When doing this, make sure to be specific about what you want to tell them and about the action plan to follow.
When sending a cold email or doing a call, you can use a sample pitch that you must have articulated. However, ensure that you modify it a little to address the person to whom you are sending the pitch. This will show that you want to work with the client and will help you stand out from your competition. Be consistent with this and make it a daily habit. Start by deciding on a number of how many pitches you are going to send daily. Once this becomes a habit, keep a track of how many daily pitches to prospects are getting converted into clients.
#4 Have an updated portfolio
Your portfolio is the document which showcases your work potential and skills to prospects. A lot of times, your portfolio will be the deciding factor on whether the client wants to hire you or not. Keep your portfolio updated with your best work. It should be a snapshot of your personality and working style. Make it available on various websites and platforms to attract leads. This is an effective way to generate leads without you approaching the client.
Reflect through your work how you can solve problems which a potential client may be facing. Your portfolio is a reflection of your expertise and skills. However, you should also be focusing on how the portfolio adds value to your clients and adheres to their requirements. This is a way to advertise yourself, but also keep evolving it to fill in the gaps of your target market. You can do this by understanding the existing gaps, evaluating how your services will solve those needs, and by creating tangible content like blog posts, designs, case studies, etc.
In A Nutshell,
While the whole post talks about generating quality leads, it is incomplete without one last tip i.e. to follow up. Everyone is busy these days, ensure that you follow up minimum 2-3 times with prospects who have not replied to you yet. Doing this will increase your conversion rate.
Being a freelancer with so much in hand, you do not have enough time to keep experimenting with everything. Figure out and adapt the strategies that work for you to help you consistently generate more high-quality leads. By following the tactics mentioned above, you will be able to maintain the income that you have always wanted as a freelancer.
Be persistent and have patience, you will surely thrive in this environment. We hope that you will implement these strategies and generate more business.
Ashutosh works as a Product Manager at Refrens.com – India’s most powerful platform for freelancer’s finances and growth. He has helped some renowned technology companies with their product. In this blog, Ashutosh shares how to generate qualified leads. You can follow Refrens.com on Twitter, LinkedIn.