Getting your first client as a freelancer or agency is the hardest part of starting your business.
If you start and don’t have any work lined up, you will get demotivated quickly.
That’s why it’s crucial to quickly get your first client so you can start gaining experience.
I’m sharing three different strategies on how you can get your first client right when you start your business.
Friends and family
I think you underestimate how easy it is to get your first clients through your friends and family. You have a couple of advantages when using this method:
- Your friends and family already know your personality
- They see your work ethic daily and can vouch for it
- They introduce you to their network, so the leads are already ‘warm.’
How to use friends and family strategy?
Ask your friends and family to recommend a business you can work with. They can introduce you so you can start with an advantage.
Make a Facebook page, share a heartfelt post on how you just started your business, and would love some referrals.
An authentic story always works, and people love to help you when you ask for it.
Work for free, once
If you can’t rely on your friends and family, you could do one project for free.
I usually recommend not working for exposure, but if your portfolio is empty and you need your first client, it’s a great way to start.
Find someone online or contact a local business and make them an offer they can’t refuse. You could offer to manage their social media campaigns for free; they pay for the monthly ad spend. This allows you to gain experience.
All you have to do is ask them for a testimonial of your work. You can use that review on your website and in your marketing documents.
You should also write a case study that includes the results of the effort that you put in.
By writing a case study, you can show your potential clients that you know what you are talking about. Make sure also to include screenshots and proof of your work. Don’t forget your testimonial!
Use the case study approach
After you did your first (free) project, and you have written your case study, you should contact similar local businesses and ask to present your findings to them.
If you can show them that you know how to deliver, they might give you a shot.
Clients love results; they don’t care about the process involved. Convince them that you can make a difference and use your results from the past to show them it can happen to their business too.
After getting your first client
There are always a few things you should do after completing your first project.
- Ask your client for a testimonial that you can use for future work. Social proof is super essential for building your brand.
- Convert your work in a case study. That means you now have two different portfolio items that you can show new clients.
- Make sure your client becomes an ambassador of your brand. Deliver the best results that you can do. Once they see the value of your efforts, they will spread the word and let their business network know you are the best freelancer for your specific niche.
After you have collected your testimonial and written the case study, you should publish it on your website. Potential leads love looking at what you’ve done for other businesses, so allow them to do that.
I hope this article helps with getting your first client. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them through YouTube.